Specific Learning Disabilities
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Did you know that according to various studies, 10 to 19% of school-going children in India have learning disabilities?  

Do you remember the little boy from the Bollywood film, ‘Taare Zameen Par’? Remember how his teacher, Aamir Khan helps him make sense of alphabets and numbers? The little boy in the movie has a condition called Dyslexia. It is a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading due to problems identifying speech sounds and learning how they relate to letters and words. 

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 defines Specific Learning Disabilities as a heterogeneous group of conditions wherein there is a deficit in 

  • Processing language, spoken or written, that may manifest as a difficulty to 
  • Comprehend
  • Speak
  • Read
  • Write
  • Spell, or to do mathematical calculations. 

It includes conditions like perceptual disabilities, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia and developmental aphasia.

It's important to remember that having a specific learning disability does not mean a person is less intelligent. Individuals with these conditions possess strengths and talents and use a variety of strategies and accommodations that can help them access and process information. 

These conditions do present unique challenges in the classroom

Students with learning disabilities require some adjustments in the mode of learning, modified testing procedures and so on. They use assistive technology and modifications to classroom assignments and assessments. However, with the right support, individuals with specific learning disabilities can succeed in their academic pursuits.

There are several genius minds with learning disabilities who have shot to fame

  • Inventor Thomas Edison had dyslexia and ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). He created the motion picture camera, the light bulb, and the phonograph! 
  • The inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell also had dyslexia. 
  • Remember the discovery of pasteurization by Louis Pasteur? He had dyslexia and dysgraphia, a condition that prevents the person from being able to write. Yet, he created vaccines for rabies and anthrax. 
  • Famous writers and film directors, Jules Verne, George Bernard Shaw, F Scott Fitzgerald, Oliver Sacks and Alfred Hitchcock, all had learning disabilities!

Here are a few organizations working with children with LD and ADHD. 

Learning Disabilities Explained 

Association of Learning Disabilities India 

Maharashtra Dyslexia Association

Anjali Morris Education and Health Foundation

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More Resources

Familiarize yourself with and expand your vocabulary of disability-related terminology! 
B - Barrier-free
S - Sickle cell anaemia
C - Curriculum adaptations
S - Staying motivated
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