By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 17: The past decade has witnessed a spurt in the recognition of Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) in India and more recently it has been recognized as a benchmark disability under the new disability law, The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. Despite the growing awareness, there are several misconceptions and changes in the field related to definition, assessment, magement and certification of SLD, said Dr. Geet Oberoi.
Shishu Sarothi, with support from Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives, organized an interactive session on Specific Learning Disability on Saturday. It was led by Dr. Geet Oberoi, founder President, ORKIDS, New Delhi. Around 50 representatives from schools such as Delhi Public School, Holy Child, Royal Global University, Maria’s Public, Cambridge Intertiol Axel Public, SSA, Assam, Cynthia Lobo’s Preparatory and The Early Birds Montessori as well as practitioners such as clinical and school psychologists, special educators and parents attended this session.
“In order to achieve an ideal scerio, the academic community needs to be proactive, identify SLD at an early stage, have trained manpower to screen and provide affordable remedial services,” Dr. Oberoi, and added: “As per tiol Brain Centre (NBRC) under DST Ministry, 10-12 per cent of a classroom in India has varying degrees of SLD. People with SLD not necessarily have low IQ, in fact, they might have a high IQ but have skill-based difficulties such as reading, writing, comprehending, reasoning, lack of appropriate expression, mathematical issues and social skills. SLD being a hidden disability lacks understanding and acceptance which leads to depression in students. Depression amongst students is sadly a very common problem which again is a reason behind the increasing student suicides.” Shishu Sarothi aims to step onto the field of SLD and carry forward screenings and assessments, remedial intervention, capacity building and so forth.
CBSE, ICSE, IB Board of education have provisions for persons with SLD but, according to Dr Oberoi, it is the school’s responsibility to keep an account of whether proper guidelines and curriculum is being followed or not.
Some famous persons with SLD are Thomas Edison, Einstein, Nelson Rockefeller, Winston Churchill, Mahesh Bhatt, Abhishek Bachchan. This is to show that they might have specific learning problems but have the full potential to excel in life and in fact contribute greatly to society.