INTRODUCTION to children not getting the necessary help and

INTRODUCTION

Across
the world, statistics show that up to 10% of the population are affected by
Learning Disabilities (LD). In a country like India 13-14% of children are
affected by Learning Disabilities. “Learning disabilities are not a
prescription for failure. With the right kinds of instruction, guidance and
support, there are no limits to what individuals with LD can achieve.” Sheldon
H. Horowitz, Ed.D., Director of LD Resources National Center for Learning
Disabilities ( https://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2014-State-of-LD.pdf
)

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In
India the number of children with LD is large, the resources are scarce and the
problems are complex. Also other factors like lack of awareness, lack of
knowledge and lack of trained special educators often lead to children not
getting the necessary help and support. There are certain myths and assumptions
people have about children with LD such as: they are less likely to attend
regular school, be successful in life and have a good career.

It’s
heartwarming to read about the Bombay High Court intervening and coming to the
rescue of the children with LD. As per the news published on 30th
June, 2015 in the Times of India (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/list-kids-with-learning-disablity-HC/articleshow/47873109.cms
)

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court, in a recent
order, has directed the school education department to identify the number of
students who are detected with learning disability (LD) in Maharashtra in the
age group of 8 to 15years.
The HC said, “The school education
department of the state government shall submit a further report by August
15.” It had taken suo motu cognizance of a letter in April written by two
mental health professionals—Dr Harish Shetty and Dr Sanghnaik Meshram, following
a student being told that there could be no writer during exams conducted by
the National Institute of Open Schooling. The HC has also allowed other boards
like the Maharashtra state board, ICSE, CBSE, IB and IGCSE to be made
respondents.

One
of the suggesting measures for Maharashtra, Vijaykar said, “These kids should
have the option to appear for only two written papers and one performing
skills. They may not be eligible for degree colleges but can be made eligible
for Mumbai University’s Vocational Certificate Courses. The suggestion given is
good and would be a positive move if implemented.

According
to National Centre for Learning Disabilities “Learning disabilities arise from
neurological differences in brain structure and function and affect a person’s
ability to receive, store, process, retrieve or communicate information.”

Learning Disabilities
may not necessarily be due to genetic factors, illness after birth or
complications during pregnancy but may be due to consequences of insults to the
developing brain before birth or during birth involving factors such as drug or
alcohol use during pregnancy, oxygen deprivation and premature birth, prolonged
labour, maternal malnutrition or low birth weight. Even post-natal events
result in LD which include traumatic injuries, exposure to poisonous substance
or severe nutritional deprivation. Some people fail to discover that LD are one
of the reasons for their life long difficulties in the areas such as Math,
reading, comprehension and written expression.

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