Gone are the days when school was great fun. Today as we look around, we can see that competitiveness has ingrained in our society so deeply that students are now under tremendous pressure to achieve unrealistically higher levels. With the general attitude of favouring students who score marks and shunning those who aren’t, prevalent on a deeper level in our society, the parents are left with no other choice but to make their children work harder so that they get the acceptance and attention that they truly deserve. However, this attitude of parents is often misinterpreted by others as being hyper-focused on grades alone. Though there are parents who pressurize their children for personal gratification, this does not apply to every parent. Parents and teachers might have their own justifications and reasoning for what they do. However, the real sufferers are the poor children who are unable to articulate their true feelings and problems. You have to put yourself in their shoes to truly understand the difficulties that they go through.
What is LBLD?
LBLD refers to the range of difficulties faced by children with respect to understanding, comprehending and communicating spoken and written languages. For fluent language skills, it is necessary for the complex cognitive processes like attention, auditory, visual perception, processing, memory and executive function to work together properly.
Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia are some of the many disorders that come under LBLD. Most children diagnosed with LBLD have average to superior intelligence but due to their difficulties with respect to listening, speaking, reading, writing, spelling, doing math calculations, to name a few, they fail to perform well at school. Parents, oblivious to this, feel that the children aren’t putting enough effort and on being stressed out thinking about the future of their children pour out their wrath on them. On the other hand, children who are battling an inner conflict for which they aren’t getting any help or dyslexia support from either parents or teachers, continue to struggle in school and finally lose their self-confidence and also their interest in studies.
Warning Signals of LBLD
- Inability to read, write, or spell at grade level
- Difficulty in spelling words
- Difficulty in pronouncing words properly
- Difficulty in rhyming
- Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week
- Difficulty in creating sentences
- Reads and rereads with little comprehension
- Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations
- Often confuses about left/right, over/under, front/back
- Difficulty in identifying the sounds that correspond to letters, making learning to read difficult
- Mixing up the order of letters in words while writing
- Mixing up the order of numbers that are a part of math calculations
- Able to grasp concepts faster when taught through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids
The best way to understand LBLD is to watch the film ‘Taare Zameen Par’ directed by Aamir Khan, which beautifully captured the inner turmoil of a dyslexic kid.
Research indicates that Dyslexia is the most common and most studied one, affecting 80% of all those identified as learning disabled. The incidence of dyslexia in Indian primary school children has been reported to be 2-18%, dysgraphia 14%, and dyscalculia 5.5%. We, at Avid Mentoring Hub, always believe and reiterate the fact that not all children are created alike. They differ in the way they understand concepts. Some children grasp ideas faster while others don’t. Since, in schools everyone is taught alike irrespective of their grasping power, a small percentage of students lag behind with no fault of theirs. In spite of having the potential, they are always looked down upon and have to bear the brunt of their teachers and parents.
LBLD gets identified only when the child reaches the school age and therefore teachers can play a greater role in diagnosing LBLD early on. However, teachers avoid discussing this issue with the parents, since most parents go into a denial mode refusing to accept any kind of learning problems in their children. Instead, the parents should take a proactive approach and try to do research about the different means of helping children with dyslexia.
As a parent, if you are certain or at least suspicious that your child is facing learning difficulties, do not wait for any miracle to happen but get support at the earliest. This is the only way to help your child to reach his or her potential. As the severity of the disability differ in each child, only a speech-language pathologist (SLP), psychologist, or a dyslexia specialist can help the child to overcome these difficulties. And just because child psychologists are involved, parents must never shy away from discussing openly about the different dyslexia treatment programs.