Teachers should be given special training to deal with students with learning disabilities who required special attention, Minister for Social Welfare and Panchayats M.K. Muneer has said.

He was inaugurating the Indian Counsellors’ Association (ICA) and a seminar on ‘Management of learning disabilities and behavioural problems among children’ here on Sunday. Rather than counselling children with learning disabilities, it was better to counsel the teachers, he said.

He noted that there were instances when the teachers had no clue on how to deal with a student who required special attention. So they adopted many unscientific methods, resulting in undue pressure on such children. This could be termed ‘teaching disability,’ he said.

He said the Social Justice Department was aware of the problems faced by the students of institutions run by it, where unscientific approaches adopted by the employees caused much distress to the students.

He said the problems of students who had undergone mental and physical torture should be identified and addressed to prevent such children from developing Borderline Personality Disorder and becoming a threat to society. Vested forces were waiting to trap such students and use them for illegal activities.

Teachers were mostly unable to identify such problems in classrooms. Anxiety and depression had become a norm among many children these days, he said.

ICA chairman K. Sivarajan presided.

ICA general secretary K. Pradeep Kumar and vice-chairman Muhammad Mustafa; IMHANS director P. Krishnakumar; and consultant psychologist Sr. Catherine Chako spoke.

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