Founder And Director, Dyslexia Organisation Kenya And Rare Gem Talent School
Bold Question: What if all teachers were able to identify and support children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties at an early age?
Path to Metis: Joining pre-school is an exciting time for both the parents and their children. Parents look forward to hearing the songs and stories that their children learned during the day. Many children are eager to go home and share their daily experiences with their mothers; talk about the new friends, what the teacher said or did not say. This is usually the case for many mothers. However, this was not the case for Phyllis. His son never told about any story or song and could not remember anything that they learned in school. Initially she expected the boy could catch up but as school continued things became worse. At the end of the year the boy had not learned the alphabets. The letters were reversed such as b for d. The boy even faked sickness to be out of school.
At this distressing time, Phyllis came across a magazine with a caption “children who write ‘doy’ for ‘boy.’ This was the turning point for her. She knew her son had dyslexia. It was so much relief to realize that her son and her nephew were not stupid but different.
She realised there was need for a platform to create awareness and train teachers about dyslexia and other learning difficulties. In 2011 she founded the Dyslexia Organization, and one year later together with her twin sister, also a mother of a son with dyslexia, started the Rare Gem Talent School; an institution that offers individualized support to children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties as per their learning needs in Kenya.
Phyllis holds a master’s degree in Child and Family Development, B. Com in Human Resources Management, Higher Diploma in Human Resources Management, and a Certificate in the Teaching of Children with Dyslexia. Phyllis has led the Dyslexia Organization Kenya to partnership with international organizations championing the rights of people with dyslexia. She is a member of the International Dyslexia Association Global Partners. She participated in research on good practice in interventions for teaching dyslexic learners and in teacher training in English-speaking countries. For her Masters, she conducted research on the psychological challenges experienced by children with reading difficulties in upper primary schools. Currently, Phyllis is completing her MBA in Global Business Sustainability (GBS) and Social Entrepreneurship and a recipient of E4 Impact recognition Award.
Phyllis is involved community services especially raising awareness about dyslexia and other hidden learning difficulties and with a passion in teacher training. Her commitment in teachers learning about hidden learning difficulties is based on the understanding that if at least one teacher in a every school understands and can identify learning difficulties early, a lot of suffering by the affected children can be prevented.
She is a recipient of Diversity and Inclusion PWD Inclusion champion Award.
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