HE was often punished for his poor grades at the Chinese primary school he attended in Penang.

“I had short attention span. I daydreamed and played a lot in school.

“My grades throughout my school years were either average or below average.”

But, Fitri excelled in sports, music and story-telling. He was even made head prefect in secondary school.

It was only when he was 25 that Fitri was diagnosed with dyslexia by a lecturer when he was studying at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom in 1997.

The lecturer noticed Fitri had symptoms of dyslexia as he had difficulty putting his thoughts in writing.

This was when he was working on a dissertation and had to do a presentation.

“I still remember during the last week of my final year examination, my lecturer met me to discuss my dissertation.

“During the meeting, he pointed out that I showed symptoms of being dyslexic.

“What he told me that day completely changed my life.

“I was lucky that the university had teaching staff who were trained to identify people with learning disabilities, and was equipped with the tools to support students with dyslexia like me,” he said.

Fitri graduated with a degree in Computing and Software Engineering and is now working as a manager at the Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics Systems Bhd.

He is also the president of Pertubuhan Sokongan Ibubapa Dyslexia Malaysia.

Fitri is a strong proponent of giving more attention to people with dyslexia, so that they can reach their full potential.

This includes training more teachers to identity children with learning difficulties — so that they would not be labelled “lazy and stupid” like he was.

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