Experts point out why children with learning disabilities need support & guidance
Children with learning disabilities struggle in schools because their disability often goes unnoticed. In the long run, poor academic scores can affect the self-esteem and confidence of the child. Experts point out why parents and teachers must be aware of learning disabilities in order to reach out to the child. With the right guidance, the child can do well in academics.
According to reports, thousands of children in schools across India have learning disabilities. Unfortunately, these are hidden. The child who gets admitted into mainstream schools undergo a lot of struggle to cope up with lessons. Their low marks affect confidence and self-esteem. Most of the children start hating to go to school or end up being depressed.
Parents and teachers have to step up while the child goes through such hard times. They need emotional and mental support. Most importantly, the child must be diagnosed at an early stage so that they can get the required help and do well in life.
Seema Lal is the co-founder of TogetherWeCan, a parent support group.
It is important for teachers to be trained during their B.Ed classes on the different styles of learning. Children with learning disabilities are usually labelled as lazy or arrogant since they can do well in other areas. This lack of understanding ends up hampering the child’s self-esteem. They believe themselves to be ‘dumb’ or not capable of academic work. There are ample exam provisions for such children now. But parents must be willing to accept their child’s disability. Teachers must understand that and guide the child well- Seema Lal.
Understanding learning disabilities
There are different types of learning disabilities. Dyslexia, dysgraphia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and dyscalculia, all belongs under the category of learning disabilities. The child will experience different kinds of difficulties. They might struggle to read, write or even do their math problems. Language, coordination and controlling skills will also be affected.
Most of the times, parents and teachers look out to cure the child from a learning disability. This is sheer lack of awareness. A learning disability cannot be cured. Instead, the child can get help by adopting different methods to make things easier for them.
There are many ways to reach out to a child with a learning disability. Identify the methods to help them study, take charge of your child’s education, stay positive and patient. Parents must not worry fitting their child into mainstream education system. Know what they excel in and help them to improve their strengths.
Looking at the brighter side
Did you know that prominent and renowned people like Albert Einstein, Thomas Alva Edison and Daniel Radcliffe had learning disabilities? A disability need not come as a road block to success. It all about determination, will-power and hard-work.
Manju Balasubramanian, Principal, Delhi Public School, Bengaluru North says that attitudes towards children with disabilities are changing. The Central Board of Secondary Education has always promoted inclusion. “But schools have to be more responsible. Teachers have to be trained accordingly. The latest disability act has included 21 disabilities. CBSE has made it mandatory for all schools to have special educators and counsellors to reach out to children with disabilities”, says Manju.