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The special children- teacher’s role in identifying them!

A child is a miracle of life. Such complexity goes in the making of a new human being, beyond the grasping power of mankind! At times there are children growing with certain drawbacks.  It is not the end of the road, but a challenge to identify the dysfunction and provide correct, timely treatment to ensure the child is well equipped to lead a full-filling life. 

From a mother’s arms, a child walks into pre-school, a second home. It is here that the first signs of behavioural problems are identified by a teacher. A wide range of developmental markers are assessed by the teacher during this stage like learning, cognition, social interactions, emotion components, ability to communicate, and behaviour to disorders like AHAD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), emotional-obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), or developmental speech/language delay, intellectual disability, autistic spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioural problems and dyslexia. Research suggests that these developmental issues generally go unnoticed at home by parents and elders.

The importance of pre-school teachers is usually underestimated, considering there is not much academic learning at a young age. But a child takes root at this stage of life. A well-rooted tree does not get uprooted easily when the storm hits. Early intervention with good learning aids like the ‘Talking Teacher’ by Purple Turtle ensures timely correction which will lay a strong foundation for the endless process of learning and growing. Talking Teacher is crafted for children in general but has proved extremely beneficial for children with learning disabilities. It has a unique pen shaped device which reads aloud when pointed to the text. This product can make a huge impact on a child diagnosed with Dyspraxia.

While learning aids help, the role of a well-trained teacher and a well-established preschool should never be ignored in the educational life of a child. 

The difference between a mischievous child and a child with a disorder needs a trained eye to differentiate. Teachers with years of experience have observed many children which enables them to identify typical behaviour from atypical behaviour.  In unison with the pre-school, child physiatrist and child psychologist can be included into further evaluation of the child. Child psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis claim that even something like bipolar disorder can be identified at pre-school itself. Therefore, correct evaluation and management is very important.

Many a time some children are slow learners. There is a difference between slow learners and the disability to learn. An introvert child or a shy child is different from a child suffering from anxiety and depression. Learning aids based on social-emotional learning like the videos created by Purple Turtle teaches important qualities like resiliency, self-management, and responsible decision-making skills to succeed in and while out of school too. The ‘Edutainment Series’ telecasted by Purple Turtle has a subtle way of teaching these important qualities to children while an interesting story is being played out.

In the course of treatment and therapy, a teacher’s role is very crucial. The teachers and pre-school help by observing the development of the child and track the progress while therapy and treatment are carried out. Teachers provide that extra help and instructions that are specialized for the child. This part plays a very important role before the life changing step of moving from a regular school to a special school.

Many parents choose to skip preschool and enrol their child into the nursery section or class 1. This only leads to a delay in recognizing and correcting the problem. In some cases, like Dyslexia, if therapy is provided at an early age like 4 years the condition can be managed better.

The birth of a child also gives birth to a thousand hopes and aspirations. Coming to terms with the fact that their child has even the slightest disability to perform normal functions devastates many parents. Pre-schools and teachers play a vital role in keeping up the morale of parents and the child diagnosed with the disorder by extending support, hope, and encouragement to the parents. A good pre-school along with well-trained and dedicated teachers can help a family bloom.

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