Staff Reporter

One in five show signs of learning difficulties

  • Symptoms include problems with speech, language, reading
  • Early identification, remedial instruction important in LDs

    CHENNAI: When schools release the first term examination results, parents usually start noticing how their child is faring. Some parents may find their wards falling behind the rest of the class. In fact, studies show that one in five children struggle with learning difficulties.

    Children with Learning Difficulties (LD) exhibit a range of symptoms, including having problems with speech, language, reading, doing mathematics, concentrating, and reasoning. But, one must also understand that not all learning problems are necessarily learning difficulties.

    Some children are simply slower than others in developing certain skills. Early identification, remedial instruction and appropriate therapy are important in handling learning difficulties.

    In the case of specific learning difficulty or dyslexia the child is equally or even more intelligent than his peers. He or she needs to learn and adapt strategies that make the most of his or her abilities.

    The earliest possible intervention is critical to succeed in coping with academics and life situations, says Subhashini Rao, Director - Administration of Sankalp, an organisation that works in areas of LD. October is being observed as LD month, to draw public attention to this widespread difficulty.

    Sankalp and Diksa, two organisations in Chennai working for the cause of children with learning difficulties, believe that every individual with learning difficulty can be successful at work and in relationships given the right opportunities. Sankalp - The Open School and Diksa use a variety of programmes and channels to achieve their goals, which include educating individuals with learning difficulties, educating parents about the nature and coping mechanisms of the condition, disseminating information, and promoting education and training on learning difficulties for special educators and mainstream teachers.

    For details, call Sankalp at 044 - 26182588 or 42732947, or Diksa at 28156301 or 2815610.