–Piya Marker, Director – Head of School, The Aditya Birla Integrated School
When it comes to teaching, there’s no one-method-fits-all solution that can be implemented. Imparting knowledge is a process that is highly dependent on the student’s innate abilities, and the ability to grasp knowledge. In some cases, students might be quick learners, while some might not, and would require more time to process the information being taught to them. There’s also a section of students who face learning disabilities. Hence, there is a heightened need for educational institutes and teachers to be able to identify such students, and work with them to help them excel in their careers. In order to do so, they must first be able to recognize, and identify signs of learning disabilities. Among the most common that educators should focus on, include:
Simply put, dysgraphia refers to difficulties with written expression. Students suffering from this disability tend to find it challenging to hold a pencil, apply appropriate pressure when writing or drawing, or they may even feel tired and experience shoulder or wrist discomfort while writing. As a result of these challenges, it’s common to find students struggle to frame simple sentences, have difficulties with printing legibly and often lack grammatical awareness. There is a distinct difference between the child’s spoken and written expressive abilities.
2. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common conditions that affects children, and can have a lasting effect on their academic achievement. Such children are easily identified as they are highly distracted, are constantly fidgety and out of seat behavior is observed in in the classroom.
3. Processing Deficits
Processing Deficits entail a condition wherein the child faces issues in comprehending sensory data. This makes it taxing for them to thrive in a normal classroom environment without instructional support. Their shortfalls are most often auditory or visual, where auditory and visual perception becomes a challenge.
Dyslexia is another common learning disability. Children diagnosed with Dyslexia find it challenging to comprehend textual content. There are several ways to understand that the student is struggling with Dyslexia- such as, observing any phonemic awareness and phonological processing challenges. These children generally get confused between words that sound similar, and may also have a single reading problem or may face multiple issues at the same time. They may read each word with fluency but find it hard to comprehend what they have just read. Reading may also be choppy or laborious.
While mathematics might not be every child’s strong point, those with dyscalculia in particular, find it even more challenging to grasp number-related concepts, carry out calculations, and problem solve. Some of the signs to look out for include, the inability to arrange numbers in a sequence, and struggles with comprehending measurements, or even estimations of time.
With the increased awareness on the different learning disabilities that impact children, our education system needs to function with empathy, compassion, and a zeal to support these students along their journey. At the end of the day, the goal is to create an inclusive, dynamic, and a reformed space for students to learn, grow, and excel in their lives.