Education September 8, 2020
Madras Dyslexia Association adopts traditional games to teach children with disabilities
The Madras Dyslexia Association has adopted traditional games in remedial techniques for teaching children with disabilities. Special educators here say they have have witnessed significant improvements with the use of traditional games, which are so vital in developing the pre-skills for all children.
Significant improvements have been recorded in key areas like children’s overall focus, concentration as well as fine motor skills after adopting traditional games in remedial techniques, say experts at the Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA).
Speaking about this initiative, D. Chandrasekhar, President, Madras Dyslexia Association (MDA) said the MDA is constantly in the process of inventing, reinventing, and upgrading remedial techniques to bring about the slightest difference possible in the child’s development.
After a long day of school, children with dyslexia come for remedial classes, then they attend therapy classes, after which they’re tutored at home and they finish their homework. Whatever little time left, they like to spend it in front of the screen. At Ananya, our full-time remedial centre, when we make our Individualised Education Plan (IEP), we add in a pinch of a traditional games to tweak their pre-skills, which are vital for the academic development. We realised that they were naturally multi-modal and multi-sensory and usually cater to more than one skill. – D. Chandrasekhar, President, Madras Dyslexia Association
These games can be easily adapted to suit the strengths and the needs of each child. Traditional games have a way of seamlessly teaching physical growth and development, social-emotional development, sensory motor development, communication skills, problem solving, concept building skills, understanding and processing skills, executive functions, perceptual readiness for learning, listening, reading and writing besides several life skills, including social skills.
The skills developed/built through the play of traditional games are very important life skills as well as academic skills that cannot be ignored. Some of the practices and games and their benefits include:
- The ritual bath, which helps develop gravity control (vestibular control), body awareness (proprioception) and midline crossing.
- The ‘Thooli’ (baby hammock), which helps develop gravity control (vestibular control), body awareness (proprioception).
- Pallanguzhi’ (mancala), which helps develop numeracy skills, fine motor and grapho-motor skills, midline crossing, attention and focus development.
- ‘Paandi’ (hopscotch), which helps develop balance, gravity control (vestibular control), proprioception, tactile stimulation, spatial awareness, focus and attention.
- Goli – which helps develop proprioceptive stimulation, vestibular control, fine motor control, spatial awareness, visual discrimination and tracking.
- Bambaram – which helps develop proprioception, bilateral coordination, muscle tone improvement, spatial orientation, fine motor control and attention and focus.
- Kite flying, which helps develop large motor movement, muscle tone, spatial orientation.
- Five stones, which helps develop attention, focus, sequential memory, multi-tasking, active working memory, eye-hand coordination, visual tracking, visual motor association, vestibular control and proprioceptive stimulation.
These games do not require any expensive props and everybody could play them regardless of age or gender, added Dr Chandrashekhar. They cater to specific developmental aspects needed for children, keeping in mind the geographical and cultural backdrop.
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