Thursday, December 20, 2012

Service Children with Learning Difficulties

Children with learning difficulties may not be less intelligent than other children.  They may have problems recognizing shapes, sequences, words, sounds, or emotions.  They may have difficulties in memorizing, writing, gesturing or drawing.   They may be perceived as being slow, clumsy, or even retarded.  They may not be completely cured, but can be treated if diagnosed early and professional help is available.

A professor from our university is teaching a subject in Service Learning on treating children with learning difficulties.  Her team explained to us today how they taught our students, without prior training and equipped initially only with enthusiasm, how to assist the professionals in helping these children.  Experts diagnose the children’s specific difficulties.  Teachers treat the children with appropriate methods.  Our students act as assistants in the programs the professionals developed for these children.   In one case, there are 2 children in the small group.  One is more interactive and received all the attention; another is more reserved and ignored.  How ready are we to notice the situation, and how should we handle it?  It is a challenge for our students and  equally, ourselves.

The children receive additional support which the professionals are hard-pressed to provide.  Our students discover a lot about these children’ special needs.  More importantly, our students discover a lot about themselves, their ability to step out of their comfort zones, and their own capacity to care for others.  We, as teachers, also discover a lot about how to teach, to encourage, and to support our students.  Society is enriched in the process.


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