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Red flags for identification of Special needs

In a normal classroom situation, how does a teacher identify children with possible learning disabilities? Here are some basic pointers…

A child needs a special education programme when…

Learning—Processing information and making links between concepts is constantly a struggle

Intellect—He has difficulty in reasoning and remembering information

Communication—He may be able to process and remember, but communication … verbally … and on paper, is a struggle

Physical characteristics—gross and fine motor coordination, medical conditions, or any physical handicapping conditions, such as visual or hearing impairments

School behaviour—He is unable to adapt to new situations or people, basic social skills are lacking and is not independent enough.

If a child consistently shows…

• Delayed language acquisition

• Pronunciation problems

• Slow vocabulary growth

• Difficulty rhyming words

• Trouble learning numbers, alphabets

• Trouble learning days of the week, color, shapes,

• Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals ( b / d ), inversions ( m / w ), transpositions ( felt / left ), and substitutions ( house / home )

• Avoids reading aloud

• Difficulty with handwriting

• Improper tripod grip

• Avoids writing compositions or long answers

• Poor coordination

• Unaware of their extended environment

• Transposes number sequences

• Confuses arithmetic signs (+,-,x,/,=)

• Get too much involved in detail.

• Poor socialization skills.

• Difficulty in comprehending word problems

• They have a difficulty putting their thoughts on paper, though they may be able to orally express them well.

• May have difficulty recalling known words.

• May have confusion in left –right directionality.

• Age in appropriate motor skills

It may not be just stubbornness or laziness….

The child might be having a LEARNING DISABILITY

All typical children want to have friends and typical children acquire social skills “automatically”. If this does not happen, it is necessary to find out the real reason.

The reason could be family background or just his intrinsic nature

but if

• he has no friends at all

• does not play like other children

• social responses are not in keeping with age

• has difficulty maintaining social interactions

• has repetitive flapping or rocking like movements

The child could have features of


In a classroom, if a child consistently has…..

• difficulty with sustained attention in tasks or play activities

• apparent listening problems

• problems with organization

• avoidance or dislike of tasks that require mental effort

• tendency to lose things like toys, notebooks, or homework

• forgetfulness in daily activities

• fidgeting or squirming

• excessive running or climbing, always seeming to be "on the go“

• excessive talking

• blurting out answers before hearing the full question

These could be signs of



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