The Page is divided in 5 segments –
1. FAQs for Parents
2. What to do if a child is suspected to have LD
3. Myths & Facts
5. Links for provisions by CBSE/NIOS
1. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY PARENTS
1. Why only my child is struggling in school?
Each and every child is different and learns on his/ her learning pace. It is evident from the observations that your child is finding school challenging but we need to find out why is this happening these issues which are bothering his/her learning can be environmental or genetically acquired. Once it is ruled out with the help of assessment these issues can be managed with right intervention. There’s no one who’s chosen for these but can happen to any child.
2. What is Special Education?
Specially designed instructions to meet the unique needs of a child who cannot benefit from traditional methods of teaching. These difficulties faced by a child can be acquired or environmental. These programs are multisensory and proceed at child’s pace. These programs are formulated after identifying the learning style and strengths of the child along with that work is done the on development of skills.
3. Why is this program expensive?
Special education or remedial teaching has individualized or tailor made education programs which are one- to- one sessions based. These programs are designed to meet the unique education needs of the child as they are made according to the learners learning style which involves usage of multisensory tools and books of various skills which are different from regular books. Remediation teaching helps the child in developing skills which is required by him/her in studies. It also involve other professionals like speech therapist, occupational therapist, psychologist, special educator and class teacher. Please have a positive attitude and don’t teat as an extra expenditure but an investment in your child’s development.
4. How do we (parents) get to know what is happening in these sessions?
Our policies and way of work is very transparent. As a part of IEP, we make and review our monthly goals which are decided according to the skills which we need to develop in the child. This document has all the areas on which special educators along with other professionals are working on. We have no APPREHENSIONS in sharing them with parents. We also give a half yearly appraisals which mentions all areas of improvement, areas which require further remediation.
5. How much time do you think my child needs to overcome these issues?
See as I said the issues can be managed to a certain extend with interventions. How long it will take depends upon the severity of the issues and child’s response to strategies given. Once the skills are developed the child can manage to study independently but how long that takes to fill up the gaps again depends upon the child however you will see traces of improvements gradually.
2. IF I SUSPECT THAT THE STUDENT HAS LD …
Refer the student to an educational clinic, learning center or to a qualified practitioner for a complete evaluation.
A diagnosis should be based on:
• A history of school performance and family background
• A physical checkup to eliminate eyesight, hearing or neurological deficits
• An ability (usually an IQ test) Oral and written, expressive and receptive language development tests
• An academic assessment of oral reading, vocabulary, handwriting and composition.
This evaluation should be followed by a full written report detailing the areas of difficulty and a recommendation of an appropriate education plan.
3. MYTHS AND FACTS
Dyslexia Myth 1: Dyslexia is a visual problem.
The facts: The bulk of research now suggests that reading disabilities stem from difficulties with language rather than vision. Researchers think dyslexic children have trouble identifying phonemes-the tiny sounds that make up words, such as the “c” sound in “cat” However, vision problems can definitely contribute to learning problems. The child with tracking problems will lose his place. The child with eye teaming problems will periodically see double. These symptoms, and others, can contribute to being unable to stay on task.
Dyslexia Myth 2: More boys than girls are dyslexic.
The facts: As many girls as boys suffer from reading disabilities, according to studies conducted at Yale University. Reading problems relating to girls, however, often go undetected.
Dyslexia Myth 3: Dyslexia is a sort of retardation.
The facts: Dyslexia is a difficulty in learning to read, write and spell, despite traditional teaching, average intelligence, and an adequate opportunity to learn. It is impairment in the brain’s ability to translate information received from the eyes or ears into understandable language. It does not result from vision or hearing problems. It is not due to mental retardation, brain damage, or lack of intelligence.
Dyslexia Myth 4: There is no ‘cure’ for dyslexia.
The facts: Dyslexia is not a disease. Given the appropriate specialized teaching, dyslexics can learn to read (and even to spell) just as well as anyone else.
Dyslexia Myth 5: My child can’t be dyslexic. No one else in the family has it.
The facts: Beware. In some families, one, or both parents, are obviously dyslexic and all, or most, of their children, have the difficulties. In other families, dyslexia is not apparent in either parent and the other children are unaffected.
Dyslexia Myth 6: Dyslexics are “gifted/stupid”.
The facts: Repeated studies have shown that there is little relationship between dyslexia and intelligence in young children. Dyslexia occurs across a whole spectrum of intelligence and is likely to be found in the gifted and talented population as well as in the low-ability but most of them fall in the middle. However, if dyslexics don’t learn to read, their IQs tend to fall as they get older.
Dyslexia Myth 7: Reversing letters is a good indication of dyslexia.
The facts: In fact, writing backwards and reversal of letters and words are common among young children learning to write whether or not they are dyslexic. Only about 10% of dyslexics reverse letters. In general, letter-reversals become an area of concern if it persists beyond Primary 2 or 8 years old.
Dyslexia Myth 8: Dyslexics can’t read.
The facts: People with mild to moderate dyslexia have usually learnt to read well enough to ‘get by’ and to avoid being noticed. Despite this, their reading usually remains slower than normal and a spelling skills check will often reveal their true difficulties.
Dyslexia Myth 9: He can’t have dyslexia because he can read.
The facts: All children with dyslexia can read—up to a point. But the problem they have with processing speech sounds, prevent them from hearing all the individual sounds in a word. Therefore, they generally don’t read by sounding out. With poor ability to detect and manipulate speech sounds, dyslexics tend to have inadequate knowledge and application of how sounds are linked with their written form. This weak letter-sound link affects their ability to read to some extent. Instead, they often use alternative strategies like pictures, a familiar story, the shapes of words, and guessing based on the first letter or two. But their memories can hold only a limited number of words. So these strategies will fail them by the third or fourth grade. Without the right type of help, they cannot progress any further—no matter how smart they are or how hard they try.
Dyslexia Myth10: Learning problems are not that common.
The facts: Research has shown that approximately10-12% of the population could have a learning disability. This means, in a class of 40, there could be 4-5 children with this condition.
Dyslexia Myth 11: Dyslexia means you see things backwards.
The facts: If it were that simple, we could solve the problem by having dyslexic children hold their books in front of a mirror. Research has proven that people with dyslexia do NOT see things backwards.
Dyslexia Myth 12: Repeating a grade in school can remove dyslexia.
The facts: Dyslexics learn in a different way. Specialized teaching is necessary to learn to overcome dyslexia and cope with mainstream school.
Dyslexia Myth 13: All Dyslexics also have ADD/ADHD.
The facts: ADD/ADHD is an associated condition to learning disabilities. Research suggests that 40% of the children with learning disabilities could have attention issues.
Dyslexia Myth 14: Dyslexics will not succeed in life.
The facts: A great majority of dyslexics have succeeded in their respective spheres of life. Some famous and accomplished dyslexics include Albert Einstein, MM Lee Kuan Yew, Richard Branson and Tom Cruise, to name a few.
WHAT IS REMEDIATION?
Remedial programs are programs designed to address specific weaknesses for individuals who aren’t achieving up to grade level expectations. Remedial programs take place outside the regular or general classroom and are typically tailored to meet individual needs. Remedial programs can also take place in clinics or in private centers.
Remedial programs are indicated on an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Remediation of skills through intensive instruction and practice occurs in remedial programs.
In remedial teaching it is important to consider certain ecological factors affecting the students’ learning or the interactions between an individual and the various environments within which the person lives. A student’s ecological system include – the environment at home, school, social group, cultural factors which influence the desire and ability to learn. A complex relationship exists between the student and these environments. Also each of the environments interacts with each other and influence the student’s learning and adds to the student’s complex ecological systems.
PROCESS OF REMEDIATION AT ORKIDS
First meeting / informal assessment
The first meeting is ONLY with the parents as we do not want the child to be privy to the conversation relating to his/her weaknesses. Each child undergoes an informal assessment irrespective of any previously done assessments which then serves as a baseline to start the remediation.
Making IEP (individual educational plan)
Each child has an IEP which states the short term (3 months) & long term (6 months) goals. Besides this, each child also has a monthly goal sheet which is evaluated at the end of the month. These goal sheets can be shared with the school if required. Finally, each special educator/ subject specialist plans for each and every child on a daily basis. All the planning is supervised minutely by the clinic head.
The clinics function 6 days a week for 3 hours a day. The children come in as per their days which could range from once a week to six times a week. This decision is taken on the basis of –
1. Severity of the condition.
2. Parental consent to bring the child.
But the final decision makers are the parents. However, we do suggest parents to send their child for at least thrice a week for improvement to be seen within 4 to 6 weeks. The sessions are one-to-one unless the goal is group interaction. Children requiring speech & language therapy / occupational therapy inputs are slotted over and above the special education slots.
Each child’s appraisal report is prepared every six months. This report is given to the parents and can be shared with the child’s school.
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