Learning Disability (LD) specialists in the city have been observing a disturbing trend. They claim that when parents bring children with learning disabilities for admission to schools, authorities often ask for them to be re-assessed, even if the child seeking admission has already been handed documents certifying them as having learning disabilities.
Parents and specialists believe that going through the tedious process of diagnosis repeatedly could prove traumatising. Doctors have raised concern over the growing cases of children coming in for repetitive assessment, at the behest of school authorities. This could have a negative impact on the children’s confidence levels.
Dr Mona Gajre, paediatrician and LD centre in-charge at Sion hospital, said, “The schools need proper guidance on learning disabilities, and that should be done by the education department and the school counsellor. When children are brought to their institutions, most of the schools send the children for re-assessment. Once diagnosed, LD is a neurological disorder, which may persist life-long. Sending the child for re-assessment may prove traumatising for him or her.”
Dr Vishal Sawani, in-charge of LD centre at Nair hospital, said, “There is no cure for learning disabilities. I presume the school sends children to the LD centre for re-assessment in order to get a prognosis about the child’s disability. But sending the child for repetitive diagnosis will not change the problem.”
Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education, said, “It is true that the schools tend to send the kids for re-assessment to the LD centres. This is perhaps done for the purpose of greater accuracy. Recently I got a complaint that central suburban school denied a child admission in secondary school as the child had LD. The school does not want to take extra efforts to help the child.”
What are learning disabilities?
Learning disability is a classification including several disorders in which a person has difficulty learning. The disorder can make it problematic for a person to learn as quickly or in the same way as someone who is not affected.