Backed by 500,000 euros in government funding, a screening platform that identifies children with reading disorders is ready to be put to use in Crete. The program will first target 1,500 children who have shown signs of dyslexia before expanding to the rest of the island.
According to the platform’s founder, Dr Ioannis Aslanides, the “Defeat Dyslexia” initiative will be the first extensive neurobiological testing project for dyslexia.
Rapid Assessment for Dyslexia and Abnormalities in Reading (RADAR) uses non-invasive techniques to identify children with dyslexia.
The program monitors eye movements during silent reading tests to produce scores that distinguish typical and atypical readers and combines the expertise of ophthalmologists, pathologists and social workers to develop personalized therapies.
The platform was developed by Aslanides, the medical director of the Emmetropia Mediterranean Eye Institute and founder of RadarMission Ltd.
The team has already conducted more than 4,000 experiments at Harvard University in the US and Cardiff Metropolitan University in the UK.
“With the help of some of the world’s most dedicated engineers, doctors, educators and willing leaders, we are inches away from winning a major battle against learning disorders,” Aslanides stated in a press release earlier this month.
The regional governor of Crete, Stavros Arnoutakis, said that the program could help the island’s schoolchildren surmount a common disorder that affects 15 to 20 percent of the world’s population, though many go undiagnosed.
“Here on Crete, we are addressing many pressing concerns including infrastructure modernization, efforts at sustainability, and job creation, but none is more crucial than ensuring the future for our children,” he added.
The “Defeat Dyslexia” program will be conducted under the supervision of the Hellenic Mediterranean University in Iraklio and the Regional Authority of Crete.