|SCHOOL GUIDANCE AND COUNSELING SERVICES|
|With the increasing number of kids reporting various problems in the area of cognitions, learning, behavior and emotions, it is imperative that the School Mental Health Needs need to be addressed on time.
The journey begins from every class teacher being a good observer in early identification of school related problems. A child and his areas of strengths and difficulties first comes in contact with the first teacher in the class.
Common behavioral problems like ADHD, ADD, Conduct disorders and Learning problems with respect to Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia and Other Learning Difficulties are commonly seen in classrooms today. Every child in terms of the classroom behavior and performance requires a personal space and adequate attention. Special needs children require various kinds of accommodations in the classroom environment. These accommodations are made functional and possible by applying the provisions given by the board and the modules of Individual Education Plan (IEP).
Peer educators and Peer Buddy apart from school teachers and counselors play an important role in providing a good academic, emotional and social support to the special needs child.
Case Study -1 of A VIth Grader
Rebecca (name changed) is a female student, aged 11yrs and 6mths. She was referred as she has poor concentration, is restless and lacks interest in studies. Her handwriting is illegible and spelling is poor. On enquiry, she reported difficulties with concentration, paying attention, organization, tidiness and listening.
Rebecca loves to play with She suffers from tonsillitis only when she catches a cold and either takes allopathic or homeopathic for treatment. According to her parents, Rebecca is happy, even tempered, social, and very affectionate. However, she is highly dependent even for routine tasks like reminders for brushing teeth. She is sluggish: takes time to start immediately whether it is getting out of bed, or settling to study. She prefers to watch television by sleeping on the couch. She gets hyper-tensed and cries for about two days prior to her examination result and then altogether forgets about it.
Rebecca loves to play with children of all ages. Cycling is her favorite hobby. She prefers to watch television when alone, but doesn’t get much time to do so because of her studies. She neither reads nor wants to be read to. She is well behaved in the presence of visitors. However, her parents are much concerned of her restlessness and immature behavior.
She started Kindergarten at the age of 4 yrs, changing school in Grade V due to change of residence. She has been having difficulty with concentration since Kindergarten, and has difficulty with following instructions in school. She used to confuse letters ‘b’,‘d’ till Grade III.
She has been taking tuitions every year in all subjects, as she has nobody to help her with her studies. She received remedial help for two months in Grade V, which had to be discontinued due to change of residence. She works independently. However, she puts in very little effort in school. She has many friends in school.
Her teachers say that she is restless and lacks interest in studies. According to her counselor, Rebecca lacks concentration in class and is mostly inattentive and seems to be engrossed in other thoughts.
CASE STUDY 2
SLOW LEARNING IS BETTER THAN NO LEARNING
Raja (name changed) at the age of 6yrs, a boy with peculiar characteristics was first noticed at his initial school to be very different from others.
He refused to communicate with his teachers, was unable to make friends in the class and being in the class for 6hrs a day, was always found Lost and Sad. His notebook had the least written work as he was very slow to write and he always forgot to get the timetable to school.
He had a younger sibling with whom his sibling rivalry was at the peak and being in a joint family set-up, he was pampered to a great extent. He started being very demanding at home, especially to get new purchases done for himself very frequently along with eatables of his choice.
The child was taken to the Counselor, wherein the parents were suggested to go for a formal assessment with respect to the child’s learning lags.
The child was diagnosed with Learning Disability with an IQ of 136. This gifted dyslexic had a difficult time in his first school, as inspite of all investigations done, the school and the board did not have provisions to accommodate the child in the school.
He continued for another three years in the same school with a lot of struggle in academic and behavioral areas. The mother, out of all family members, was most co-operative and reasonable towards the child’s needs and struggles.
Raja was then introduced to the city’s remedial educator, who made a great impact in the child’s life. Her hours of individual work with the child made his abilities outshine and difficulties put into good practice.
The School could not continue with the child, as his requirement for special needs were not fulfilled.
The parents had a turbulent time, visiting a number of schools of their choices, but to their despair, no school was ready to accept the child with his challenges and demands. Fortunately one of the school’s secondary grade teacher wanted to take up this challenge/cause with least exposure and support in the area of Learning Disability.
Today, the child has been almost for a year in the school, he still has a good challenge when it comes to writing and written work. The Oral Examination taken in this new school has led to a significant confidence level in the child. He smiles more and he has started socializing too. His behavioral problems are being tackled by the School Counselor and the Remedial Educator. His special tutors and special teachers are making a good difference by getting the child to write in the class and at home with ease (It’s slow but things are happening).Networking of services always helps in bringing up Special Needs children to their unique abilities and capabilities.
ROLE OF TEACHERS AT ALL TIMES