Remedial Education

Anandini works directly with children with disabilities, Dyslexia and other Learning Disabilities.

One-to-one teaching-learning sessions enable the child’s specific needs to be addressed. These sessions besides benefitting the child directly also help families cope better.

Once families are able to understand the needs of their child better- they are able to support her/him better.

Remedial Education doesnot mean just working with the child, on various subjects. It includes a lot more. It is aimed at helping the child in overcoming his/ her difficulties and regaining the confidence and the smile that invariably gets lost along the way.

KARAN’S STORY … 

Karan was in a school that had supported him throughout his junior and senior-school years. They allowed Karan extra time for exams, were lenient while marking for spelling and even offered him an alternative question-paper whenever necessary. Despite all this, Karan was only able to score between 35- 40 % in all the papers he was required to take at that level. He was trying his best but there was a limit to what he could do on his own. The feeling of not being able to achieve was being reflected in his personality- which is always sad to see in any child.

What was surprising was that- it was only in class ten that his mother felt the need to come to a special educator…

About the Family:

Karan was from a nuclear family that was financially well-off. Coming from a family that had their own business, there was also an inherent tendency to take things a bit easy and not stress so much on academics. Karan passing an exam was sufficient. This also partly explained the fact why they opted for remedial help only in class ten. Karan’s mother was totally involved with his school work and other help that he needed.

The father was not even aware of the difficulties his son faced and what was required to ensure that he was able to do well in his board exams. The word ‘dyslexia’ was just that- a word, without a meaning as far as his father was concerned.

The emotional impact that this had on the mother can well be imagined. Regular meetings were required to address her needs and concerns. Struggling to learn more along the way, she was given information and contact details  of other mothers and a parent support group and encouraged to go there. Her time with Karan and his studies left very little time for her to focus on her own needs.

Karan was also going through a tough phase. Class ten bringing its own set of emotions and stress and then to start afresh at that stage.

Assessment:  A preliminary spelling and reading assessment revealed that Karan was way below grade-appropriate levels. Looking at the history notes that he had brought along, it was difficult to decipher even a single word. Even he could read only a few words – words that he had written himself! Words like ‘the’, ‘is’, ‘and’ – were also spelt in a way that they had no connection to the actual word, making it absolutely impossible to decipher.

Strategy: Since there were only six months to go before Karan sat for his tenth boards, there was no time to focus on spelling or reading strategies and rules. The time was utilized to build his comprehension and organizing skills to enable him to attempt questions that required descriptive answers.

The sessions were also utilized to prepare Karan for using a scribe for his exams. The text was read out to him and he was asked to dictate his answers.

It must be kept in mind that using a scribe is not a very easy task. The person has to get used to the fact that he has to adjust his flow of thought to the writing-speed of the scribe. It is advisable to practice this procedure if possible much before the exam in order to reach a level of comfort.

Along with the academic input it was also necessary to build Karan’s confidence and constantly encourage him. Building on his strengths and reinforcing what was taught, helped him focus and start working independently as well.

Result:  Karan was able to get about 60 % a huge jump from the 35- 38% he had been getting. He managed to clear his class twelve boards similarly.

With an interest in the service industry, Karan went to a college abroad and managed to top the class! Today he is doing well for himself – happy and confident!

What could have been…

One can’t help but think what if Karan had started remedial education earlier? Since he had been identified at junior school level, he would have benefited immensely with input at that stage and would not have suffered the inferiority that he did through his formative years. In the end it is not all about how much he scored at the high school level, it is about looking at the person and the trauma and emotions that he went through that could have so easily been avoided…