TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR LEARNING DISABILITIES IN CHILDREN
Sadly, children often become the victims of learning disabilities and most parents don’t even realise about the existence of the problem until some time has passed and the child has suffered at the hands of the school teachers and their classmates.
Learning disabilities are basically neurologically-based processing problems that interfere with basic skills such as reading, writing and computing (math). There can also be interference with abstract reasoning, attention span, time planning, organising and memory. This type of disability cannot be cured or outgrown, unfortunately, but what can be done is that with the right support and specialised attention, your child can be trained to work around his learning disabilities such that he/she can succeed in school and go on to establishing a successful career.
Many people with learning disabilities have gone on in life to become global icons with unbeatable thinking capacities; such geniuses include Albert Einstein, John Lennon, Winston Churchill and Walt Disney. These people didn’t have access to the technology that exists today, but they still made a successful career out of their lives. In these modern times, things are different, and we have the benefit of the latest technology to help us diagnose, support and treat such people.
The reason behind these learning difficulties (LD) its believed to be either hereditary or due to some teratogenic factors like alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy or due to medical issues such as premature birth, diabetes, meningitis, malnutrition or even poor prenatal healthcare. Whatever the reason that be, the earlier the parents realise the problem and opt for treatment, the better the child will be able to cope with the pressures of learning and being at par with the rest of his or her classmates. Sadly, some adults only come to learn about their LD after having struggled through the difficulties of processing information throughout their childhood and remaining life. For such people, this information comes as a great relief and reassurance.
Treatment for LD is more ‘management-related’ than anything else as there is no cure for this condition. Treatment is usually multi-dimensional and centered on educational interventions, and biological, psychological and social factors. Since there is no magic bullet to take care of the learning issue, a combination of these essential factors from the principles of treatment.
Some unscrupulous practitioners might suggest that some magical medications alone are sufficient to fix the problem, but such is not the case; likewise, some might suggest that behavioural strategies are sufficient to solve the issue, but again, it would be wiser to make a beeline for the door!
The most important treatment is, however, someone explaining to the child what their shortcomings are and helping them to take it on from there head-on. Targeted screening, explicit instructions and child-centered focus are all that’s needed from caring teachers and caregivers to raise the child’s sense of self-esteem and keeping them encouraged to working harder.