Saturday, 25 August 2018

Acceptance is the First Step Towards Learning

Every parent I have met, goes through the emotion of disbelief, pain, guilt, not necessarily in that order, when they come to know their child has ‘difficulty’ with learning (It’s not difficulty or disability but the brain’s ability to learn differentlyNeuroplasticity).

Going through these emotions is normal. But at the end of it, I have to rationalise and prepare to take the next step. The first step towards dealing with learning difference in our child is acceptance, which is unconditional. The moment we accept, the perspective shifts. I don’t look at the situation with trepidation and fear, but with acceptance and love. With acceptance and love comes the ability to find approaches to help our child become learning independent. This is important since young children require adult intervention to become learning independent.

In our culture, we place undue emphasis on the written word. When a child has difficulty with the written word, we bludgeon the child with an overdose of the written word in a misplaced sense of achieving learning. We will simply break the child.

Parents should come to terms that our child is learning different. 

That ability is an advantage since our children process information differently. The Dyslexic Brain can think in images and process information faster than a non-dyslexic brain. Equip yourself with knowledge about the learning difference your child has, you will be able to help them on their path towards becoming learning independent adults.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Parent Support Group

Gift of Learning Difficulty (G.O.L.D) is a parent support group for those who have children with Learning Difficulties. Read the poster for more details.

To join please contact:

Vinit: or 9443534000
Lakshmipriya: or 9962942377
Mrudula: or 9840289483

Monday, 5 December 2016

Chef Venkatesh Bhat On How He Managed Dyslexia

Chef Venkatesh Bhat was at his inspiring best when he spoke with frankness about how he managed his dyslexia to become a successful chef. Watch the interview here:

Interview courtesy: Madras Dyslexia Association

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

*Vaishnavi's Triumph: A Story of Belief and Determination

When I met Vaishnavi* for the first time, she came across as a soft-spoken woman – spry and energetic in her sixties. Her eyes exude kindness and compassion. In reality, this fa├žade props up a woman of steel. She’s a terrific lady. And once you get to know her, you’ll realise she’s a storehouse of knowledge on supporting a child with learning differences, as a parent and as a teacher. Listen to her story of struggle and triumph in her son’s turbulent voyage through school; and how he emerges victorious because his mum believed in him and stood by him. Listen to Vaishnavi's story:

*Name changed on request.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Bread Basket

Sugar buns drenched in warm, melting butter were the highlight. Baking bread at Big Man's Bakery.

Bread Basket

Occupational Therapy

We usually hear about occupational therapy (OT) in a certain context: when adults are rehabilitated after a stroke, an accident or complicated surgery. Occupational therapy helps people to learn to do the activities of daily life – self-care and social skills, social interaction, education, work.

Why should children with LD/ADHD go through OT?

The main occupation of children is to play and learn. Children with LD/ADHD usually have issues with sensory integration, also known as Sensory Processing Disorder which hinders their ability to play and learn. Occupational therapy will help to integrate all the senses. Since we perceive, understand and behave according to what the senses tell us, a breakdown or disturbance in this neural pathway will cause changes in the way we behave.

If a child’s auditory (hearing) sense is under stimulated (hypo) the child will not pick up all the sounds she hears. When she listens to a nursery rhyme (Ding, Dong, Bell) she may hear it as:

Ing, ong, ell
Ssy’s in ell
Oo put in

She’ll miss sounds and words.

Sometimes LD/ADHD can occur along with one or more of the conditions listed below. OT together with Special Education are necessary for the child to be able to learn and to integrate into her environment.

Watch the OT Video here: Courtesy Madras Dyslexia Association


Dysgraphia is difficulty with writing. Handwriting is a fine motor skill. Look at the spaces between letters and words in the above sample. They are uneven and ‘odd’. Despite the child having learned her lesson she has difficulty in writing her answers. She also tends to substitute words which are incorrect – bath instead of shower, wood instead of log. 


Dyspraxia is the inability to plan and carry out sensory and motor tasks. The child is clumsy and not well-coordinated. He can’t walk in a straight line; he’ll have trouble copying from the blackboard; he won’t know how to plan and write his answers within the lines of his notebook. His writing is all over the page. He has trouble remembering what happened in class (short-term memory); he will push and shove in a group (can’t perceive distance and body space); has no control over emotions - when he’s angry he’s violent, when he cries he won’t know how to stop and when he’s happy, he’ll shout at the top of his voice.

An occupational therapist will assess your child and create a programme which is suitable for the individual needs of your child. It may be twice a week or thrice a week sessions. Sometimes a child may require a home programme where a parent/care giver may supervise the therapy requirements for the child every day, and visit the occupational therapist twice or thrice a week for more rigorous sessions. It all depends on the needs to the child.