Human Qualities · Social Skills · Uncategorized

We are Social Beings!

“How can we focus on teaching our child communication and social skills when she does not even know how to read and write properly?” is a common question asked by parents. While it is important to address a child’s academic difficulties, it is equally, if not more, important to deal with children’s difficulties in social situations. Social skills are required for successful interpersonal relationships and they can have a huge impact on a child’s overall self-esteem. Children with academic difficulties are often plagued by feelings of inadequacy. This, in turn, may make them diffident about social interactions. A lack of self confidence often leads to faulty interactions with peers, ending in rejection. Continue reading “We are Social Beings!”

Resource Room · Uncategorized

Setting Up a Resource Room

Contrary to common perception, it is relatively economical to set up a resource room in a school.  While the school has to bear the cost of paying a special educator’s salary, the remaining expenses involve a one-time investment.  So what does a school need to do to set up a resource room?

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Parenting · Uncategorized

Siblings Matter

The matter of sibling involvement was a point brought up at a parent forum at PRAYATNA, Bengaluru. Parents are often overwhelmed by the problems exhibited by their special child that they fail to provide adequate attention to the siblings of such children. Ms. Arati Devaiah, a psychologist in Bengaluru, was a guest speaker at the forum and spoke about the significance of a sibling’s involvement in a child’s difficulties. Ms. Devaiah felt that explaining what the issue is to the sibling demystifies the problem for them. Getting the sibling to help a brother or sister with difficulties by reading to them or by assisting with homework is a good idea too.

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Behaviour · Uncategorized

Praiseworthy

An embarrassed Kiran showed me his English test paper on which he had scored poorly. A quick glance revealed that the fifth grader from a reputed school in Bengaluru had to work on a number of aspects of grammar and spelling. What struck me most about his paper was that it was replete with negative remarks and cross marks. On several subtests, the child had scored full marks, but the teacher had not written a single ‘Good’ on his paper. A unidimensional focus on what a child has done wrong without acknowledging what he has got right can indeed be demotivating. Continue reading “Praiseworthy”

Communication · Uncategorized

Parent-Teacher Communication

It is not uncommon to find parents seeking special education services for their child while leaving the school and teachers in the dark about it. Very often, a fear that their child may be deemed unfit to study in a regular school, prevents parents from opening up to teachers. While some teachers are not aware of the types of learning difficulties, most teachers have some degree of awareness. However, they should also be open to helping children with learning differences by exhibiting some flexibility in their expectations. Continue reading “Parent-Teacher Communication”

Human Qualities · Uncategorized

Patience

“Have a little patience…,” crooned the singer through the car radio as I navigated Bangalore’s traffic.  While I may not have patience waiting in a traffic jam, my job requires heaps of it.  In fact, when I inform people of my profession upon meeting them for the first time, I most often receive the response, “Oh you must be a patient person!”  Working as a special educator with children who have learning difficulties, I have come to realise patience is a quality that changes and grows with time.  Patience is not just about staying calm when a child repeatedly makes the same mistake or takes time to learn a skill.  So what is this special type of patience that I am talking about? Continue reading “Patience”