Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Children with Learning Disabilities should not be sent to Special Schools

Children with Learning Disabilities should not be sent to Special Schools

Emphasising how negatively a child suffering from learning disabilities can be affected if kept away from normal classroom teaching, Ruc­h­ika Sachdeva, well known th­erapist on children with le­a­r­ning disabilities from Mumb­ai, said on Wednesday that 'su­ch kids should always be ad­­mitted to normal schools only.'

"The biggest mistake parents do is to discontinue with normal schooling once they come to know of the problem. Instead they should immediately inform teachers about latest findings and let normal schooling continue," said Sachdeva.

Sachdeva was in city to conduct a workshop on children with learning disabilities organised by city-based 'Potentials' at Punjab Agricultural University. The event was attended by parents, teachers and organisation working on problems like autism, dyslexia, cerebral palsy and others.

Asked how parents can identify if their child suffers from any learning disability, Sachdeva said, "There are many symptoms that appear at a young age like language and speaking delay, not picking basic concepts like confusion between left and right or solving basic mathematics and even problems in writing, reading or weak memory which, however, appears at a comparatively higher age. Parents and teachers have to start noticing."

"Once symptoms become clearly evident, one should immediately go for assessment tests from clinical psychologists having special training and qualifications in child development," she said.

She added that once the problem is confirmed, parents should immediately inform the school teachers. "There is nothing to be ashamed of," she said.

There are various problems related to child development and learning disabilities like dysgraphia (problem in handwriting), dyscalculia (problem in basic arithmetic), dyslexia, language disorders, non-verbal learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, social/emotional disorders, cerebral palsy among others.

"We simply need to understand that every child is different but isolating him or her is not the solution," she said, adding, that in order to promote inclusive learning, efforts are being made to empower classroom teachers to handle such students.

Meanwhile, Drishti Public School, Narangwal was honoured for their initiative on setting up an inclusive unit in the region and SEABA International Public School, Lehragaga in Sangrur district was recognised for similar initiative in rural areas.

KVM, Civil Lines; Bal Bharti Public School; Guru Nanak Public School; BCM School, Shastri Nagar; Harvest International School and DAV Public School, BRS Nagar attended the workshop.


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