Dr. Anjan Bhattacharya
Consultant Paediatrician, MBBS(Cal); DCH(Lond); MRCP(Lond); FRCPCH (UK) APOLLO GLENEAGLES HOSPITAL, KOLKATA, Child Specialist, Child Development,
Care of New Born and
In every classroom we have the backbenchers! They needed not be so!! They are flocking to the back of the classroom because we are failing to pick up Educational Difficulties in Children. But not anymore!
Because this is a prevalent condition, distributed in human population, in the yester years, we stigmatized them and punished them for not being able to do what they were not designed to do!
We failed them!!!
Educational Difficulties in Children
10% of the school going children suffer from Educational Difficulties (some of which can be as a result of Autism, ADHD or Down’s Syndrome). Let us try to understand them by trying to classify their problems in conventional learning methods :
A]According to presence or absence of underlying diseases
Due to underlying diseases (Organic Pathology)
Due to Non-organic causes
B] According to types of Learning Difficulties
General Learning Difficulty or Delay LD
Specific Learning Difficulty SpLD
C] According to Scholastic Performances
Poor Scholastic Performances
Deteriorating Scholastic Performances
D] According to School related difficulties
School Phobia / School Avoidance
Bullying in school
There is now a new concept of “At Risk” LD, where the child presents in Nursery or Montessori with Red Flag Signs of Learning Difficulties in Children. Please also read on Early Intervention here.
A medical diagnosis is made by a medical doctor or a licensed psychologist. It is a determination of physical and/or mental health condition that must be listed in professional documents, such as DSM-lV-TR. An example of such diagnosis could be: Autism, Anxiety, ADHD, etc. In some cases diagnosis is a life-long condition (e.g.: autism), in some it can be a temporary condition (e.g.: articulation disorder) or a Social/Emotional reason e.g. Bereavement in the family etc.
Specifically trained and licenced Special Educators are conversant with approximately 13 different Educational Diagnoses of LD, of which 4 that are seen most often are Learning Delay, Speech & Language Impaired, Other Health Impaired and Emotionally Disturbed (see the link in the beginning).
Diagnoses are extremely objective and take time to diagnose. Parents need to be clear on the following points to help professionals arrive at as accurate a diagnosis as possible. This alone will go the furthest in bringing targeted help that their child needs so desparately:
Child is not “just playing up” or “lazy”
There is a specific medical and educational diagnosis that needs to be deduced
There are experts who have undergone such specialized training to make such diagnoses
There are internationally validated standardized methods of such diagnoses, just like one follows internationally agreed protocol to diagnose TB or Malaria
Educational Difficulties in children cannot be diagnosed through the medical model i.e. they are not so easily diagnosed as a medical disease often can be like there is no blood test for Dyslexia!
That does not mean that there cannot be an accurate diagnosis for the condition of Educational Difficulties of Childhood
But the diagnosis could only be reached through a process
Processes of diagnosis may take some time
Rushing the process of diagnostic work-up may hamper the accuracy
There is no substitute for competency
YOUR understanding is first and foremost requirement to make your child learn better
Therefore, your child needs you to engage and complete the process, if you want him/her to do better
(S)he cannot do better on his/her own without this targeted help
Do not assume that it is going to be a costly affair
Depends on the diagnosis.
Once the diagnosis is squared up, targeted definitive intervention plan may be drawn up.
Generic remedial measures must however, continue until the point of definitive measures can be reached.
At CDC, AGH we have the ability to get to a definitive diagnosis of Educational Difficulties in Children. We are also capable of holding your child with his/her learning needs through our Program of Care (Health Promotion) until such gleaming juncture of clinical excellence is reached.
There is hardly any unit in India that can offer such specialized services under one roof, that too in such a cost-effective and integrated way, especially in a corporate healthcare setup.
Our services for Educational Difficulties salvages a large number of children, who may have otherwise been gone down the route of preventable grief and preventable bad consequences. Please check some of the following links for further information on this issue: