10-year-old boy who beat the odds despite dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome is S'pore's latest role model

Despite suffering from dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome, 10-year-old Jarret never has let his condition get in his way. 

Aside from picking up soccer, Jarret is also set to represent Singapore in the Awladna International Arts Forum for the Gifted in May. 

Jarret’s coach at The Footy Kidz Soccer Clinic and Academy told Stomp that the boy’s amazing achievements stem his amazing tenacity and determination. 

Said the coach: "Jarret has always been a hardworking child who never gives up, and works really hard to be the best he can be on the field."

Due to his condition, Jarret is unable to read or learn things the usual way.

His mother, Ms Tay told Shin Min Daily News that due to her son's dyslexia, a developmental difficulty of language learning and cognition, he cannot learn to pronounce words as easily as other children. 

In addition, the Irlen Syndrome meant that Jarret has a problem with processing visual information. 

She said: "When he reads, the words will form an incoherent and chaotic mess in his mind. 

"Sometimes the words appear to float on the paper, other times, he cannot see the words at all.

"In some cases, the gap between the words look so big to him that he cannot comprehend the meaning."

Mrs Tay said that Jarret did not like to read even while he was in Kindergarten and often asked her to read to him. 

When he progressed to primary school, he started having problems copying sentences and told his mother that the words would move about, confusing him. 

Mrs Tay and her husband then got for him a pair of special cylindrical lenses, alleviating Jarret’s problem. 

Despite his conditions, Jarret is remarkably gifted in the arts, and without formal training, is able to reproduce a drawing within minutes after taking a single look. 

Said Mrs Tay: "He would use my art materials and research on the items he wants to draw.

"His memory is almost photogenic, and he doesn’t forget. He is able to remember a picture at one glance and can replicate it accordingly.”

Asked about Jarret’s relationship with his parents, his coach said: "Mr and Mrs Tay’s parents are some of the most supportive parents, not only to their two kids (Jarret and his older brother) but to all the children here at the academy.

"They are always there to support them for every training session and present at the matches which they are participating in. 

"Cheering for them, encouraging them, they are role models for everyone."

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