‘12% of school-going kids have communication disorders’

‘12% of school-going kids have communication disorders’

About 12% of school children have communication disorders that impact their educational, social and emotional lives, according to experts. 

If identified early, it becomes easy for the children to overcome the disorders, says Dr N Shivashankar, Professor and Head, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).

“Courses on communication disabilities in school children must be included in teachers training, so that the teachers are equipped to identify such cases and provide required therapy,” added Dr Shivashankar.

Disabilities workshop

About 100 teachers, both from government and private schools attended a workshop conducted by NIMHANS professors -- Common Communication Disabilities in School Children -- as part of the Indian Speech and Hearing Association Conference.

Dr Shivashankar, who conducted the workshop said many teachers were able to identify disorders in children facing such issues in their classrooms.

Sensitising teachers

According to Dr Shivashankar, many teachers who attended the workshop feel they want training programmes at school level so that all the teachers are sensitised.

Talking about speech and hearing disorders, the professor said there are six common issues among the children -- language disorder, mild learning, reading and writing disorder, speech and sound disorder, stuttering and auditory processing concerns. 

‘Children low on self-confidence’

Childrenhavingdifficultiesinreading, writing, understanding and expressing thoughts and ideas may have poor academic performance, Dr Shivashankar said. The children also have poor pragmatic language skills that make them misunderstand social cues which in turn lead to bullying by peers. 

The net effect on the development of the child is low self-confidence. When some of these disorders are identified
and treated in the early school years, proper academic and psycho-social developments are possible.