Last few years have seen a spurt in the no. of cases of learning disabilities. More and more children are being detected with some or the other form of learning disability. There are very critical thoughts this phenomenon is throwing up. We are sharing our (Parwarsh’s) philosophy and experience on this subject. We will examine the impact of this on the child and the parents and also the reasons behind the sudden spurt.
When a child starts to struggle in the learning system (school),
1. There is an increase in the anxiety levels of the parents. During the last one decade these struggles have started showing up very early. There are two factors which make this happen.
a. First the increased competition in the preschool and schooling space is making the educationists provide extra, to the children, for the parents to be lured to their institutions.
b. The increased level of competition (perceived) and parents wanting no less than their child exceling have added pressure on the child.
2. As soon as a child experiences a struggle the parents, teachers are there to spot it and work on it. Unfortunately the teaching methodology which is not suiting the child’s learning style is not getting examined but the question which gets examined is what’s wrong with the child.
More often than not the existing teaching methodologies are reinforced and the child is coerced into rote learning. The child thus moves to a higher grade albeit with a break in learning. In higher grades anything which is built on the missing link is again overcome by rote learning. The gap which was at a certain level becomes large enough to be termed as a learning disability in a couple of years.
Now to overcome the ‘deficiency’; exemptions are sought and approved by our system. What we have done in this entire process is labeled a human being for life. He not only is being looked at by others as less but what is more damaging is that he is looking at himself as LESS.
A small struggle got accentuated because he did not FIT in the ideal mold of a school going child and it became a stigma for life.
How can we cater to every child individually in a class of many (be it 25 or 60)? Is a question of skill to be dealt by the educators and not by the child being singled out for not fitting in.
In the current situation few are getting ‘diagnosed’ with Learning Disabilities. However there would be many others who because of the fear of being singled out force themselves to fit in. In that process killing their self expression rather than expressing themselves and being termed different.
Learning difficulties need to be dealt with at a child’s individual level and once the child learns how he learns, he is back on his course.
Over the last few months several children from 3 years old to 23 years old have come to us with not only their disability reports and certificates but dented self esteem and confidence. The work done with them is to simply identify the learning breakage and then bridge the gap both in their learning and in their self esteem. And thanks to their inborn limitless potential each one of them has walked out tearing their reports and with regained self esteem to make anything happen. And this has happened within 2 months!