Meet Chetana Keni, child psychologist and special educator

Bangalore-based Chetana Keni is a child psychologist, special educator and counsellor rolled into one. She founded The Chetana Keni Institute for Remedial Education, under which she runs the progressive school, Aurinko Academy. She began her work in the field of education as a mother trying to help her five-year-old son with learning disabilities. She developed teaching methods for him and soon she was sharing with other parents who went through similar problems as hers. MetroPlus caught up with Chetana, who is also the academic director of Greenvalley International School in the city. Excerpts from an email interview…

In today's competitive world, are we putting too much pressure on our children?

Firstly, it is not a competitive world as we think it has become. In fact now there are so many opportunities in several areas. Today’s schools are at cross roads. One path leads into the past where age old philosophies, methodologies and a teacher will prepare children for the life and careers of the past. The other path leads into the future where philosophies and methodologies are fluid, where a facilitator gently guides and helps the child to explore information to gain knowledge as per his interest, ability and speed. The latter gives freedom, tools to gain information and provides a strong foundation of social, personal and emotional development.

How different is the current generation of kids?

Children haven’t changed much. They still want to explore, learn and be loved. But today parents have no time, no stories to share. Technology attracts them. School becomes a boring place where only scores and race matters. Obviously children reject and rebel. This is the main reason we are seeing behavioural difficulties. But if a family is active and has loads of things to do and learn together where is the time to get hooked to television?

Detecting and coping with learning disabilities

Detailed assessments like IQ, learning styles, academic skill sets etc will help us detect any learning gaps early and attend to them. At Aurinko Academy, we attend to each and every domain of child development while gently exposing the child to the world outside. There are no slow learners, fast learners, learning disabled and so on. There are only learning differences due to the uniqueness that humans have. Chetana will hold a workshop on ‘Understanding your child’ today at Trivandrum Club, from 10.30 a.m.