Early Detection Of Children With Learning Disabilities Vital, Say Experts - Eastern Mirror
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Early detection of children with learning disabilities vital, say Experts

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Jun 14, 2024 7:06 pm
Andrew Ahoto speaking during the programme on Friday. (EM Images)

DIMAPUR — Schools are the ideal environment to identify children with learning disabilities, particularly in the lower classes, said Andrew Ahoto, Chairman of Livingstone Foundation International (LFI) on Friday

Ahoto was speaking at a consultative workshop on learning disabilities (LD) at Livingstone Foundation International in Dimapur.

Themed ‘Do you see me’, the workshop was jointly organised by LAPIYE Centre for Mental Well-being and the office of the State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, in collaboration with Livingstone Society and Breeze Women Welfare Association (BWWA).

Teachers and mentors are crucial in identifying children who may be struggling and that early intervention is key, stressed Ahoto, while pointing out that many parents focus on older children but fail to recognise the importance of early intervention in the lower classes.

The lower classes should be given maximum attention, he asserted, adding that this is the most important and crucial phase where they can be taught what is right and wrong.

Ashe Kiba, General Secretary of Nagaland State Disability Forum, echoed Ahoto’s sentiments, noting that the needs of individuals with learning disabilities can often be overlooked or misunderstood.

It is crucial that people not only see but truly recognise and embrace their presence as each individual, irrespective of their challenges, carries within them a treasure trove of potential and promise, she added.

She also asked the participants to cultivate an environment where inclusivity thrives, every voice heard, every perspective valued and every individual respected.

Resource persons at the workshop included Fr. Joe Mariahdas, Director of Shalom Rehabilitation Centre; Dr. Simpson, HoD, Department of Paediatrics, Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research; and Kopele Tepa, special educator and headmistress of Bumblebee Inclusive School. N Achiba Ozukum, parent of a child with LD, also shared his personal experiences.

Fr. Joe Mariahdas highlighted various types of LD, including ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, auditory and visual processing disorder, and dyspraxia. He cited hereditary factors, problems during pregnancy and birth, or incidents after birth as potential causes.

He also suggested cognitive remedial therapy as a remedy for LD.

Dr. Simpson shared common characteristics of LD, including problems with reading comprehension, spoken language, writing, reasoning ability, hyperactivity, inattention and perceptual impairments.

He also elaborated other traits that may be present, such as uneven test performance, motor disorders, and behavioural issues including impulsiveness, low tolerance for frustration, inconsistent school performance, among others.

By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Jun 14, 2024 7:06:00 pm
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