Gujarat government launches important initiative towards early screening of learning disabilities
Children with disabilities benefit from early intervention. There is no disputing the fact that timely detection and diagnoses can ensure they get the right care and attention at the right time.
This is also true for children with learning disabilities, and to enable this a first-of-its-kind training program has been launched in Gujarat by the state government, which has brought the education and health departments onto a common platform with the aim of training teachers and special educators.
These special educators and teachers will be trained to understand various types of disorders ranging from language processing issues, ADHD, ADD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, to name a few.
The first session has already started with 80 educators under the National Mental Health Programme.
Such initiatives, experts say, could prove to be a game changer for children with disabilities in the state.
Lack of awareness and information hampers the proper development of the children and this affects their academic and social lives. Through the training, special educators will get to learn about hands on techniques to identify the underlying problems in their students. - Dr Neena Rao, Founder-CEO of Margika
Margika, a Hyderabad-based NGO , took the first session along with experts from the Gotri Medical College. There are online sessions as well, to be conducted by the experts fromUK and USA.
Educators are being trained to identify learning-related complications using observational skills and questions. This can result in early screening which can then be confirmed through intervention of experts.
"The training in remote areas such as Sanand and Bawala villages has been very successful", says Aniruddhsinh Padheriya, Director, Ananta International School. "Educators and even parents from the regions took part in the introductory and awareness sessions. Training can help change the mindset of parents and teachers about learning disabilities".
Trained educators can also help create awareness in their respective areas by sharing information about learning disabilities that primarily affect children with parents and other teachers. Hopefully other states will learn from Gujarat and start similar programs.