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Dyslexia cafe: from disability to patisserie

image via Kosmo KUALA LUMPUR, When Nor Haslinda Mohd Hanafiah's son, Amer, was diagnosed with dyslexia, she embarked on a journey of understanding and empowerment that led to the creation of Dyslexia Café—a place not only serving delicious treats but also challenging misconceptions about dyslexia.

Initially, Haslinda, like many, believed dyslexia was solely about struggling with letters and words. However, dyslexia encompasses more, involving challenges with verbal memory and processing speed. This lack of awareness inspired Haslinda to establish Dyslexia Café as a platform to educate people about this often-misunderstood learning disorder.

image by Ridhwan Said via Google Images

Situated first in Bangi and now in Batu Caves, Dyslexia Café has become a hub for families facing similar challenges. The café not only offers delectable pastries but also serves as an inspiration for parents witnessing Amer, now 23, as the pâtissier running the establishment.

Amer's journey from a dyslexia diagnosis to obtaining an advanced diploma in culinary arts and working at a five-star establishment reflects the resilience and potential of individuals with dyslexia. Haslinda, driven by her son's strengths, envisioned Dyslexia Café as a way to bridge the gap in understanding and provide a welcoming space for those with dyslexia.

Interestingly, Dyslexia Café employs another individual with dyslexia, Abdul Qhaliq Al Azfari Muhammad, a pastry chef and coffee master. Despite actively seeking dyslexic individuals for job vacancies, Haslinda notes that many may not apply due to undiagnosed cases, especially among older generations.

The café, known for its fresh and innovative pastries like the crombolone—a croissant and bombolone hybrid—serves as a testament to the capabilities of individuals with dyslexia.

Beyond pastries, Haslinda dreams of addressing the educational gaps in Malaysia for dyslexic students. Observing a lack of specific public school programs tailored to dyslexia, she aspires to open a dedicated college offering practical training in various fields. This ambitious plan aims to empower dyslexic individuals aged 13 and above.

Despite challenges, including financial constraints, Haslinda's passion and determination drive her vision. With Dyslexia Café as the starting point, she envisions creating a supportive network that empowers families and challenges societal perceptions about dyslexia.


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