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Biography

Adel M Mishriky has graduated from Ain-Shams University Medical School, Egypt in 1976 and completed his Doctoral degree in Occupational Medicine in a joint program between the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and Suez Canal University (SCU) in Egypt. She has completed her Postdoctoral studies at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was the Chairman of the Department of Community Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine, SCU, and he is currently an Emirates Professor. He has published more than 60 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as the Editorial Board Member of Saudi Medical Journal

Abstract

Learning difficulties (LD) are hard for the public to understand and for educators to treat. This study aim is to contribute to improvement of the learning difficulties problem in primary schools in Saudi Arabia through measuring the awareness of primary school teachers of this problem, its identification and the role of teachers and describing its teachers’ reported prevalence. A cross sectional study design was used in this study carried out at Al-abnaa schools (boys and girls) in Riyadh city on a sample of 200 teachers. Data collection was through a self administered questionnaire to assess awareness of the term: “Learning Difficulties” (LD), its definition, causes, manifestation in reading, writing and math associated socio behavioral problems and the role of the teacher. The response rate was 73%. According to teachers’ opinions, the median of estimated percent of children with LD in their classes was 5.7% with inter quartile range 1.5-10.0%. Most teachers (77.4%) reported being aware of the term LD but only 23.3% could define it and 24% had correct knowledge of its causes. In total, the median score of knowledge was 3 out of a maximum 8 points. Teachers’ knowledge was significantly related to their gender (p<0.001), having a degree in education (p=0.006) and having attended training in LD (p<0.005). In multivariate analysis, female gender and the training courses were the statistically significant independent factors positively influencing the knowledge score. In conclusion, the primary school teachers in the study setting have deficient knowledge regarding learning difficulties, particularly the male teachers. The study recommends such training to all elementary school teachers to be able to early identify cases needing assistance