Inclusive education is required now to ensure that all children, irrespective of their psychological or physiological condition. Mrs Hemamala Balasubramanian, a special educator who has had working experience with several schools, especially in Delhi and National Capital Region, says that it is extremely important to say and understand that it is a condition not a disease.
She also mentions that even though there is splitting debate among the education communities about tagging, it has been the one thing that has seen high success rate in identifying those with special needs. She also emphasizes the need for early identification and intervention to help the children with these learning disabilities to assimilate well within society.
There are many forms of learning disabilities; dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, autism – what used to be called as mental retardation – muscular dystrophy, visual impairment, hearing impairment are some of the more well-known ones.
According to Mrs Hemamala, she says there always should be a special place for them to learn. Especially one where facilities are given, where teachers will go slowly about teaching as the regular schools will go after completion of syllabus. It is not that organizations such as CBSE and ICSE are not aware of the issues these children with disability face; they are given leniency up till Class 8 but then it is upon the child to catch up to his peers in academics. However, it is not just studying that children do at school. They learn how to be in school and thus able to apply the learning outside of school in the real world also.
When it comes to learning, teachers and schools are at the forefront of it. Teaching with inclusivity in mind, it all comes down to teamwork. For schools before they undertake special educations child, a school must always have a special educator and a counsellor. There should be a daily or more that three times a week reporting about the child with special needs.
That is only the beginning. As the child progresses in school, schools and teachers must always keep the parents aware of what is happening with their child in school. Even taking a student out of class as some sort of punishment can only be done with parental consent.
Teamwork and constant discussions leading to the outcome that is best for the student is what inclusive education requires. Even cog in the wheel of the education system should be supportive apart from having creativity and innovation to be inherent in the world of teaching.
What Is Inclusive Education And How Do We Implement It
Teachers must keep in mind that children with special needs need not be tagged all the time. But it does take a team of dedicated people, be it helpers or other assistant teachers, to help educated the child within the school structure. It is also always prudent to include the parents while discussing how to proceed with educating the child with the special needs. Having government policies in place is always good, but to help the child, it is always better to reduce the book curriculum, let the child learn at his/her pace and be a guiding hand wherever necessary.
Identifying And Diagnosing Children With Learning Disability
There are many different reasons as to why a child is born with a learning disability. As the world progresses, there are more and more disorders coming to front. Dyslexia, discalculia, autism, hearing impairment, visually impairment, Down's syndrome - these are all just the mostly common ones. While autism and Down's is mostly diagnosed in early years, learning disabilities come to front only in an academic setup. It is up to the teachers to be observant and not judgemental about their students in case they have a learning disability.
Effective Teaching Practices for Inclusive Education
When it comes to inclusive education where all students, irrespective of any ability or disability they might have in learning, team work is the key. Schools wanting to promote inclusive education need to have a special educator and a counsellor at all times. This teamwork also must reflect in decision making. Discussions leading to an outcome that is best suited to the child is what everyone needs. Teachers must also always undergo training as well self assessment time to time to be the best knowledge providers for the children