Ms Al Nowais is the CEO and Founder of Ta’leem Training and Skills Development Center

The Ta’leem Training and Skills development Center (TTSDC) is located in the busy Al Nahyan Camp area of Abu Dhabi. At its head, is Emirati mother, educator and CEO, Mrs Shereen Al-Nowais, a dynamic force, whose petite size and gentle nature belie her purpose, passion, strength and resoluteness.

The TTSDC is young, strong, growing and serving a magnanimous purpose.

What motivated you to open the TTSDC?

I started Ta’leem because I have a son who suffered from dyslexia. I wanted to offer the same assessment and intervention strategies to overcome learning disabilities that were offered to my son in the USA. After educating myself about the learning disabilities, which affected my own son, I decided to open up the Ta’leem Centre in the UAE, in 2013. My aim was to help other children and adults living with learning disabilities in my own country. I attribute my success to my family, who have continuously supported me and to my team, who work hard to support the children and adults living with learning disabilities every day. My son, Mohamed, is my biggest inspiration. Without him, I couldn’t help kids or mothers. My short-term goals are to have a centre in each emirate during the coming 2 years. My long-term goals are to expand the support to have a specialized nursery school for Learning Disabilities and a local research centre for LD.

What have been your biggest challenges and rewards?

The greatest lessons I learnt from my son firstly; are perseverance, resilience, patience and courage. From the students/parents, I learnt hope, to resist failure and to strive for success. As the only learning disability centre in the UAE, our goal is to act as a role model and an awareness centre for the entire country. There are too many citizens in the UAE who are not aware of learning disabilities. Parents are in denial, shy and lack knowledge. Marriage between relatives is high, and this is a big factor that may increase the cases of dyslexia. Our goal is to educate them and to help them utilise the strategies needed to overcome the problem in order to live successful and productive lives.

What would you like the people of the UAE to know about dyslexia?

Identifying the learning disability at an early age is the game changer. If it is recognized in a young child, that child will not have to suffer throughout the entire years of his/her education. Once assessment is completed and the problem is identified, then the child can move forward with intervention strategies to help him/ her become successful academically and later in life as an adult.

What advice would you give to Emirati women interested in operating their own businesses or schools?

My best advice is to be committed to your dreams and passions. My passion to help others has allowed me to accomplish success with TTSDC. I’ve helped my son to become a successful young man in overcoming dyslexia. I am now able to help my country to become aware of the symptoms of learning disabilities. I am dedicated and passionate in my stance to continue to promote awareness in the UAE. I have always wanted to study education. However, the major was not available at the university where I enrolled. Now, I am planning to study for my Masters degree and Ph.D. in special education.

To learn more about the work being done at TTSDC: Visit their website.

By Lisa Fatimah

As an Orton-Gillingham trained Learning Specialist, Lisa-Fátimah specializes in designing multisensory English and Spanish language development lessons, modi cations and assessments for traditional and Dyslexic students. Her radio shows highlighttheprimacyofgirls’education, bilingualism and world language acquisition for a global audience. Email: [email protected]