To put it in the simplest terms, a remedial program is for students who have normal or higher intellectual abilities but who are not performing well in school, on account of some learning disabilities. A remedial program runs on Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) custom designed to address each students needs with special 1:1 attention (which cannot happen in a traditional classroom). Remedial teachers here spend more time working with the students so that they get the extra attention required to develop their abilities to successfully compete with their peers.
‘Special education’ is a program for students who lack the intellectual ability to perform in a regular class due to lack in emotional maturity, social development, physical abilities and/or analytical skills.
I.E.P stands for ‘Individualized Education Plan’. It is the plan of action developed by the remedial team to achieve the results we want in children and is administered by remedial teachers.
An aptitude test checks the IQ levels of a child. This is important as it helps us detect the areas where the child is lacking so that we can develop an effective I.E.P for him/her. A remedial program without an aptitude test is like building a house without a blueprint!
Each mind is different and each child is special. The longevity of the remedial program completely depends of the child and their requirement for it. For some it may be a few weeks, for some a few months and for some even a few years. Hence, it is always recommended to pursue a remedial plan for your child as early as possible when you notice the signs. This way the learning gaps can be filled timely and less work is required to be done with the child.
The decision made by CBSE to have a counsellor compulsory in every school makes us feel proud as educators. This demonstrates how well our education system has evolved so far. However, counsellors are not trained or equipped for providing a remedial education program. They cannot conduct a standardized aptitude test and develop an I.E.P for a child. Also, with large numbers of children with learning disability present in almost every school now, a single counsellor and/or special educator would be unable to give adequate time required by a child, ultimately leading to delayed results or no results at all.
Often as parents or teachers, we only tend to see the behaviours demonstrated by our children but fail to see and acknowledge the reasons behind them. A child’s lack of interest is sometimes to due a lack of understanding about what they are doing. There is a high probability that a child does not wish to study because everything being taught to him/her makes no or little sense to them. Subsequently, once that is certain through psychological assessment, an effective approach for teaching them with an I.E.P is required coupled with lots and lots of patience.
Do you feel that often your younger one struggles in day to day physical tasks ? Right from holding a pencil or spoon to tying their show laces, climbing stairs, running and even dressing themselves properly ? If these activities or some of the activities in between them made you say yes, then probably your child lacks in the area of motor skills and has poor muscle development along with poor coordination skills. These issues can be tackled with the help of an occupational therapist.
Dyslexia or any learning difficulty for that matter is not a medical condition and hence cannot be treated by a doctor. Learning disability is simply a different perspective of understanding things. These are some brilliant and creative minds who have their ‘wiring’ different from others.
Learning disability can be diagnosed as early as 6 years of age.
Learning disability is a broad spectrum and dyslexia is a part of it. Learning disability can occur in the areas of reading, writing, phonics, motor skills and/or with maths. However, dyslexia particularly refers to the problems of reading and writing, which is also the most common learning disability.
All learning disabilities occur due to problems in information processing. This could result in problems in reading, writing and/or maths along with other skills such as time management, reasoning skills, memory and organizational skills.
It is important to understand that learning disability can affect a child beyond academics and can have an impact on their relationships with family and friends as well.
Here is a list of specific learning disabilities:
This is often mistaken as a hearing difficulty. However, it is the difficulty which occurs in recognising the subtle differences between the sounds of words.
It is the difficulty occurring in handwriting and fine motor skills of a person. This may lead to poor handwriting, poor planning of space on paper, spelling mistakes and the inability to think & write at the same time.
This difficulty affects a child’s reading and language skills. It can vary differently in different cases and results in inability to understand text, poor spellings, poor memory, bad handwriting and difficulty in speech
This difficulty occurs in understanding numbers. Children with this difficulty may get confused between mathematical symbols, organizing numbers, telling the time or counting
This disorder affects the ability to draw or copy and understanding the information the eyes see. Children with this disability can get confused between numbers, shapes and letters which look similar. They also easily lose track while reading, find it hard to use a scissors, hold their pens/pencils too tightly and have poor eye-hand coordination
Attention related issues commonly occur with learning difficulties. However, most children diagnosed with learning disability also suffer with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD. A child psychologist is the right person to be consulted with in such a situation. They can assess you child for both there issues and suggest the correct remedial plan.
There are many children who develop speech at a later stage than normally expected. This late development often means that their speech is flawed with stammering, stuttering, drooling, unclear speech, lack of vocabulary development and much more. A speech therapist assess children and develops an appropriate therapy program for them which includes activities, equipment and facial exercises to help children speak faster, clearer and better.
True, children with learning disability do need extra attention. However, that extra attention should include a solid plan of action based on intensive assessment, teaching strategies, varied teaching learning material and a deep understanding of the issues being faced by the child. Simply sitting 1:1 with a child does not comprise as remedial education. Hence, a remedial teacher is the right person to develop and execute a remedial program for learning disability.
Slow progress in remedial education could be due to various reasons, which may occur individually or in combination of the following:
A thorough and intensive educational & psychological assessment was not conducted due to which all problem areas of the child were not properly identified
The remedial program lacks a solid and strategized I.E.P, due to which problems areas are not being tackled efficiently
The learning gap of the child is very large. For example, a child studying in class 4, who is only able to perform Kindergarten tasks, cannot be expected to show progress in 6 months. The expectation of results in such a short span is simply unrealistic.
The child may not be attending all of his/her remedial classes as suggested by the therapist. Frequently being absent means the delayed results
The right combination of therapies is not being provided to the child. For example, a child of dyslexia may have show progress in reading skills but cannot improve his/her handwriting if not combined with occupational therapy. Hence, only partial results are obtained.
Sometimes, the parents and/or teachers fail to replicate and imply what is being taught in the child’s remedial program. This means, the suggestions and modifications recommended by the remedial team are not being applied to the child’s school and home environment. This often results in delayed progress. To maximise the gains for the child, the school and remedial teacher have to work together.
Do not worry ! If you don’t believe us simply look around the world and you would surprised to know that some of the most famous people in the world also had learning disability. Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps, was constantly criticised by his teachers for not sitting still in class and was diagnosed with ADHD. Daniel Radcliffe, famously known as Harry Potter, struggled with motor skills ! Steven Spielberg, one of the most celebrated movie directors in the world was also diagnosed with dyslexia. Charles Schwab, one of the most famous Businessmen and Investors, with a net worth of more than $5.1 billion, still finds in hard to do reading and writing tasks. World renowned journalist Anderson Cooper, also struggled with reading from a very early age. Richard Branson, a dyslexic child, is the only person in world to build eight $8 billion companies from scratch !
If these people could make it in the world, so can your child. All they need is lots of motivation, support and the right plan of action and we are here to support you in this endeavour.