“What does it feel like to be normal?’’ David Oh has always pondered this question having been diagnosed with Dyslexia and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) since kindergarten.
However, as soon as he knew that he was going to embrace the uniqueness of being a person with dyslexia, David’s mindset shifted.
“I take it as a gift. It is good to have these learning differences and I appreciated it.” he says.
David is a positive and determined young man who is currently pursuing a Diploma in Mechatronics and Robotics at Singapore Polytechnic. Having been exposed to robotics courses from a young age, David had continued to gain interest from his secondary school co-curricular activity – Robotics. As someone who likes to think out of the box, robotics has always been his hobby. He also dreams to own a company and create a self-sustaining robot in the future.
Looking back, he recalls that it was not easy to get here. David has received much guidance and encouragement from his school teachers and teachers from the Main Literacy Programme and the iStudySmart Programme. He has also pushed through to overcome his weaknesses and find ways to achieve.
“I get distracted very easily. For example, if something popped up on my screen, I will end up investing time on it and forget what I was meant to do. Initially, I used WhatsApp to compile a to-do list. However, through the iStudySmart Programme, I was introduced to a time management software called Trello. Now, I use Trello to organise my time.”
David presented on the topic of Dealing with Depression in his final presentation for the iStudySmart Programme.
Recently, David graduated from the iStudySmart programme and won himself the Best Content award in the presentation. He adds, “The iStudySmart Programme has helped to improve my time management, presentation and language skills. With all these skills that I now possess, I am pretty confident that I can cope well in polytechnic.’’
David encourages people who are facing similar problems to open up more to others as it creates room for understanding one another.
“Having dyslexia and ADHD does not mean you are not human. It is not a sign of weakness or any other things. It is just something you have to deal with.” he adds.
He also emphasizes how important it is to get professional diagnosis early. “You are then able to know what you have and what steps you are going to take to help yourself, to know what to do. This will help you in understanding yourself better and why you are thinking differently from other people., You will not lose self-confidence because now you know why you act a certain way.’’
David believes that having one or two dyslexic students in class is common. He hopes that there will be more awareness programmes in school and institutes of higher learning to address the needs of these students and educate others about the learning differences.
If you are interested to find out more about the iStudySmart programme click here.