Support learning-disabled children
Published: Wednesday | March 11, 2009
The poor treatment meted out to some of our children with learning disabilities is a cause for concern. However, I would like to use this medium to urge parents, guardians and caregivers to desist from doing so, because a child has rights.
Children who suffer from learning disabilities (the most common of which include reading disabilities - dyslexia, for example) often confuse letters that have a similar appearance. Other learning disabilities are dysgraphia (a disorder that affects handwriting) and dyscalculia (difficulty with mathematical skills).
Yet, most of those with learning disabilities have average or above-average intelligence. Symptoms of learning disabilities include delayed language skills, trouble rhyming, habitual mispronunciation, persistent baby talk, difficulty in learning letters in simple words, confusion involving words that sound alike, and difficulty following instructions.
Get them tested
If your child seems to have a learning disability, first, have his or her hearing and vision tested to rule out these causes. Then, obtain a medical evaluation. If your child is learning disabled, he or she will need your emotional support. Remember, a learning disability is not related to a child's intelligence.
Parents, guardians, caregivers, it is your responsibility to take advantage of any special programme your child's church or school might have such as tutoring. Enlist his or her teacher's cooperation. His or her teacher could give both written and oral instructions and let the child take exams orally. As learning-disabled children are often forgetful and disorganised, a second set of textbooks could be provided for use at home. A computer with a spell-checker could be made available for use in class or for homework.
Parents, guardians and caregivers, it is imperative that you build on children's strengths, encourage any ability or talent that they may have and praise and reward any accomplishment. Mastering basic reading, writing and math skills is important.
Given the proper motivation and assistance, YOUR CHILD CAN LEARN. He or she may just do it differently from others, and take a little longer.
I am, etc.,
4 Harribin Lane , Kingston