The authors of ‘Teaching Young Children with ADHD’ could not have phrased it better when they wrote, “No job is more satisfying than teaching children: however, no job in educating is more demanding or stressful than is teaching.” Continue reading “Stress Busters”
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?
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.
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”
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”
“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”
While there is definitely a growing awareness of learning difficulties, most schools in India do not provide additional support to children struggling with academic skills. Even if remedial classes are provided in school, special educators may not be adequately trained and are not equipped with teaching aids to deliver effective instruction. During these extra classes, teachers end up teaching the same lessons taught in classrooms in the same manner. However, the underlying deficits of the child are not systematically addressed. When schools are unable or unwilling to support children with academic difficulties, a recommendation of a ‘special’ school is made, which is more often than not, unnecessary. Continue reading “Not Just Another Room”