Do you know about learning difficulties? And do you know that with the right instruction, guidance and support, there's no limit to what children with learning difficulties can achieve? Read Special News to learn how...
..... for children with Specific Learning Difficulties
Special Attention Project (SAP) is a Ghanaian Non-Governmental Organisation that improves the lives of children with Specific Learning Difficulties by
Advocating for educational rights of children with learning difficulties
Providing training on Specific Learning Difficulties.
SAP also provides practical support to out-of-school children with learning difficulties in the streets of Accra.
Do you know a child suffering from a learning difficulty? Or have you ever wondered whether learning difficulties are real? And do you know whether learning difficulties can be cured, treated or even be overcome? In this Special News edition, we share with you the inspiring story of Eugene, who was born with a couple of learning difficulties. Eugene has completed his tertiary education and is now a self-advocate on learning difficulties and Autism. Eugene shares his challenges growing up as a child with learning difficulties, and how he overcame these challenges.
Eugene's story aligns well with SAP's vision. We believe that learning difficulties do not represent failure. With the right guidance and support, children with learning difficulties can overcome their limitations and achieve their ambitions in life. We envision a society where every child with a learning difficulty will have an equal opportunity of acquiring academic, social and professional skills required to succeed in school, at work and in life. We thank you for demonstrating your commitment to SAP's work over the years, and we continue to count on your support.
Effects of Learning Difficulties on Children in School
Has it ever occurred to you to find out why a child who is from a financial stable home will leave school and resort to living in the street? Well! Such child might be suffering from a learning difficulty which makes schooling unattractive. Children with learning difficulties have a major difficulty in one academic area while coping well in other areas. When a child is unable to cope with classroom work, he or she may try to engage in negative activities in order to get attention. Some of them include:
Disturbing in class
Not participating in class work
Sleeping in class
Be aware that negative behaviour may mean that the child has a problem!
“Our son is now able to read much better, and the Twi has really helped. We speak it at home and the school he attends also teaches it, so there is synergy. His improvement in reading has built his confidence and that helps him to learn.”
This was what a father told us after he taught his son to read with FonixGH. The boy is in Primary class 4 and he had serious challenges in reading.
FonixGH teaches reading through phonics (sounds) and Twi vocabulary. For many children in Ghana, Twi is a language that they speak at home or speak as their 'play language' with other children. However, in most basic schools children are taught reading in English, while reading in their local language is introduced at a later stage.
The FonixGH method was developed by SAP for out-of-school children in our individualised education programme to learn to read, since most of them speak little or no English. SAP piloted the method in five mainstream schools and adjusted it for teaching in a class setting. It has been reviewed by a Twi language specialist, and the first Activity Books are now completed.
Browse through sample pages of the FonixGH books and use the feedback form to tell us what you think.
We love to hear from you!
Among the many pre-vocational lessons SAP offers is decoration. Out-of-school children with learning difficulties are introduced to this lesson to help them improve upon their learning apart from the normal classroom lessons. The children are able to identify their unique talents through these lessons.
The decoration lessons help the children to develop fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination. This aids them to effectively use their hands. This in turn helps them for example, in writing and drawing. The decoration lessons train children with attention deficit to gain concentration and attention skill which benefits them in class.
These lessons show SAP's commitment to exploring different learning interventions that improve both academic and artistic talents of children with learning difficulties in Ghana.
Watch out for our upcoming Crowdfunding Campaign for your opportunity to help Children!
Children's Stories: Family Experience of Children with Learning Difficulties
Some children in SAP's programme believe that if their families had assisted them while in school, they wouldn't have ended up in the street. They share their family experience with Special News:
Derrick (13) "I can't remember the last time I did my homework. My mother and father were not ready to assist me. Therefore, I always went back to school without doing my homework and my teachers were never happy with me. I lost interest in going to school since I didn't understand what I was taught. I therefore, stopped going to school and started visiting a game centre close to my house and returned home late to sleep. The game centre became my regular place of visit. I always enjoyed being there because there were other children I could play with."
Kelvin (14)"My mother ignored me when I asked her to help me with my homework. I always failed to do my homework because I didn't understand the work in class and there was no one to assist me at home too. I usually sent my homework back to school undone and my teachers punished me. I felt I shouldn't go to school again. I then stopped school and moved to the street.
I Didn't Drop Out Due to Learning Difficulties:
Born with any such “gift” as a Specific Learning Difficulty can be confusing and mind boggling at times. But born with this kind of condition in Ghana can be quite depressing without the proper teaching and learning interventions. I was born with a couple of Specific Learning Difficulties including Dyslexia (difficulty with reading and spelling) and Dyscalculia (difficulty with mathematics) being the most prominent. I had my fair share of stigma from some family and friends not growing up as a “regular” learner obviously. Irrespective of my difficulties, I have a perfect IQ with quite an impressive level of problem-solving capabilities coupled with making unexpected connections with situations.
Only God knows how many undocumented teenagers and young adults have taken their own lives as a result of academic frustration due to depression linked with Specific Learning Difficulties. I did not give up and I did not drop out, I went all the way up to tertiary educational level with my faith in God in one hand and the positive support and encouragement from parents in another. With the notion that I wasn’t “dumb or stupid”, I focused my mind on the brighter side of life that I could achieve anything when I set my mind to it. I find myself asking why some of us had to be born this way and the most tangible answer that keeps surfacing is, “The world is getting complex and there is obviously the need for complex and dynamic thinkers and problem solvers at a point, the kind of thinking dynamism people with Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism poses.
We are just only misunderstood and our intelligence underestimated, but the truth is there is no such thing as a child who cannot learn but only a child who hasn’t been taught the right way to do so. So the next time you take out your frustration on a child who’s always getting his/her letters and numbers mixed up, think again for the human brain is a complex clock with many intricate wiring.
Self-Advocate for Specific Learning Difficulties and Autism
Promotors of SAP's Upcoming Crowdfunding Campaign on Social Media
Are you active on social media selling online, as a blogger or you love posting on facebook? Help promote SAPs upcoming Crowdfunding Campaign to reach a large audience!
Drop us a mail on email@example.com, or reach us through SMS or Whatsapp on 233-206-526-444 and we will welcome you on board!
We say a big 'Thank You' to Alpha Yahaya who helped us to create a promotional video showing the plight of children who have dropped out of school because of learning difficulties!
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A very big Thank You to everyone who supports SAP's work in diverse ways.
You make a difference in the lives of children with learning difficulties in Ghana!
SAP is mobile! To make it very easy to donate, you can now transfer money into our MTN Mobile Money account 054-4700505. No amount is too small and will always directly benefit children with learning difficulties.
Your support will enable us to continue our work, especially the practical help we give to out-of-school children with learning difficulties who live in the streets.
You can also support our work by donating to bank account 0130084468290801, EcoBank Darkuman branch, in the name of Special Attention Project.
If you bank online, create a monthly recurring donation today!