Survey across 20 states finds that learning disabilities are on the rise

A study done by the Centre for Child Learning in New Delhi has found that about 4% of children enrolled in schools in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have learning disabilities. These include Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and dyslexia.

The survey was done in 20 states in India among children studying between classes 1 and 4. 25,000 schools were surveyed.

The study says that in most cases, learning disorders go undetected. Or they are reported as bad behavior or indiscipline.

ADHD is most commonly found among children, as against dyslexia. ADHD makes children less attentive as they cannot concentrate beyond a point. Teachers often call children with ADHD mischievous and destructive to the learning environment, says the study.

The report, released in February 2018, identifies memory disorders as well. This includes deficiency in mental retention of information among 3% of children surveyed. This condition makes it hard for students to remember what they have been taught. It also does not allow them to apply their learnings' during examinations.

Nearly 27% of the children were found to have dysgraphia. This is the inability to write legibly.

Future steps recommended

The Centre for Child Learning has recommended that schools take active measures to identify children with learning disabilities. The report says,

The study is based on a sample survey. In reality, there could be more children who have learning disabilities. Teachers should be sensitized to identify them - Centre for Child Learning report, 2018

The experts behind the study say that once the disability is detected, children should be given special attention. This will help them feel integrated in the school system. Punishing them will drive them into a corner. They will not be able to learn throughout their academic life. This might even lead to dropouts.

The survey also looked at children who dropped out due to learning disabilities. In most cases, they were integrated only in their teenage years. This was after parents sought expert help to detect the disorder. The report adds,

Lost academic years of children with disabilities should not be considered a deterring factor that prevents their reintegration into schools- Centre for Child Learning report, 2018

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