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Times of India
21 November 2011
Manash Pratim Gohain
New Delhi India

Wants Teachers, Paediatricians To Be Trained

Caught between parental pressure and the teachers’ inability to identify learning disabilities (LD), more than three crore such children are not only becoming academically poor but also show behavioural abnormalities later in life. Action Plan 2011 launched by the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) on Sunday demands that teachers be equipped with identification tools, parents informed about LD, and most importantly, 19,000 paediatricians be trained to deal with the disability. Launching this national plan in north India, IAP’s northern unit brought together paediatricians, teachers and policy makers from seven states for a daylong programme at Maulana Azad Medical College to deliberate on learning disabilities, causes and concerns, and also the road ahead.

Plan To Help Kids With Learning Disabilities

With increased awareness on these disabilities, a growing need to train paediatricians on LD, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AHDH) is being felt. “The cases are definitely on the rise due to various factors. But what is more important is that we now know of these disabilities. So it has become all the more important to get trained as half of the paediatricians don’t know what is autism,” said Dr Ashish Gupta, a consultant paediatrician.

Nearly 20% of schoolchildren suffer from some kind of learning disability. Experts warn that without intervention at an early age, they will become a liability on society.

Calling for larger commitment from all sections, the director general of health services, Dr R K Srivastava, said, “Under the United Nations Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2007, there is a global commitment to such children. But our own Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 doesn’t take into account LD as a disability. Though I don’t know the number in absolute terms, there is a general understanding that learning disabilities are increasing. The indicators are more dropouts and underachievers, and an increasing number of children not behaving normally when put in school.”


Action Plan 2011 of Indian Academy of Pediatrics seeks following amendments in Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Act, 1995

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