Maslins set up dyslexia fund

Tragic loss: Otis, Mo and Evie Maslin. Picture: Supplied

A fund has been launched to support a foundation in memory of Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin - the Perth siblings who were among those killed in the MH17 tragedy.

Readers of The Weekend West _and the wider Australian community have been invited to contribute to the fund.

It has been created in the hope of forging a substantial and lasting foundation to honour the memory of Mo, 12, Evie, 10, and Otis, 8, and the bravery of their parents Anthony (Maz) Maslin and Marite (Rin) Norris.

Mr Maslin and Ms Norris want the foundation to help children with dyslexia and related learning difficulties through early childhood intervention.

The hardships faced by dyslexic children and their families have a particular resonance for them because Otis had dyslexia.

While the Dyslexia-Speld Foundation and other similar organisations does great things for diagnosed children, the Maslins found there was little or no assistance for families for earlier intervention and many undiagnosed children became frustrated and disinterested in school.

Mr Maslin and Ms Norris struggled to help Otis during his early schooling.

"Otis did two additional literacy sessions per week, paid for at great expense by us as there is no assistance for families in this situation," they said.

The Australian Dyslexia Association said dyslexia was resistant to traditional teaching and regular tutoring.

Individuals with dyslexia have average to superior intelligence and can learn. They just learn differently and therefore need to be taught differently.

Otis' parents want to work with dyslexia associations to focus the foundation's efforts on early intervention activity.

"What we would like to do is find a way to encourage these crazy, amazing, creative little kids to engage in school through early intervention at the earliest possible stage - four to five-year-olds or thereabouts," they said. "We know this is something our kids would be very happy about."

Telethon Trust chairman Kerry Stokes congratulated the family on establishing the foundation and said combating childhood dyslexia was aligned with Telethon objectives.

Donations can be made to the Mo, Evie and Otis Maslin Foundation
BSB: 092-009
Account: 12135-1