The case of Aakash shows the perplexity of Learning Disabilities and the difficulties parents
face. Aakash's parents have long been aware that their son has severe learning problems. As an
infant, Aakash had difficulty in learning to suck. His early speech was not clear and frequently
his inability to communicate led to sudden temper tantrums. The kindergarten teacher told that
Aakash was "very slow in learning"; his first-grade teacher said he "doesn't show interest in
reading and writing"; and succeeding teacher labeled him ‘lazy' and then ‘emotionally disturbed'.
Aakash's anxious parents attempted to find the source of his learning problems to help him and
themselves in a hope to come out of this distressing situation.
They desperately followed suggestions from many therapists and professionals who intended to
treat such difficulties.
One therapist diagnosed Aakash's problem as a lack of neurological organization and instructed a
lengthy series of motor exercises. Another therapist detected a visual problem and suggested
visual training exercises which he received for several years. They also consulted a
psychotherapist for counseling for themselves and Aakash. One teacher identified the problem as
a lack of instructions in phonics and Aakash was sent for intensive training in phonics. The
family doctor suggested that Aakash is going through a phase and he would grow out of it. In
spite of so many efforts, Aakash was not showing any improvement. He was still finding
difficult to learn and was lagging behind his classmates. By now Aakash was 9 years old, he was
failing in school and he has lost confidence in himself.
The problems faced by Aakash and his parents are typical. Each specialist viewed Aakash's
problem from its perspective and failed to complete the missing pieces to make a complete
picture. They failed to understand the child as a whole. What is required instead is an
interdisciplinary approach to the problem of learning disabilities- a joint effort from all the
professionals and co-ordination to understand the root cause of the difficulty.
The intervention of learning disability requires uniformity in instruction. Correct diagnosis and
the right strategies to deal with Learning Disability is the key to overcome the problem. Parents
and teachers should ensure that the strategies followed at home and school should be consistent
and monitored. Remedial Intervention should be planned as per the child's learning profile. Take
the practical step and avoid confusion which may distract the child in getting beneficial help. The
intervention should be evidence-based. Maintain the transparency in communication between
school and home. "It takes a village to raise a child".
Effective communication between parent and school will give a positive outcome.
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