Importance of Early Identification
The list of famous people who have overcome difficulties posed by Dyslexia is long and include stalwarts like Einstein, Edison and Steve Jobs.
Children with Learning Difficulties are as smart or smarter than their peers. What prevents these children from reaching such lofty heights? Late or no identification is the biggest hurdle. The average age of identification is 11 in India. Research across the world upholds the benefits of early intervention in terms of bridging the gap with typical readers and overall academic improvement. It is necessary from the neuro plasticity angle but more important is the need to prevent the cascading effects of reading failure- discouragement and reduced self-esteem in children.
The RPWD Act has created a considerable buzz around the need for early screening in India. The Bombay High court in a landmark judgment upheld the RPWD Act’s mandate for compulsory early screening. The onus is on the educational institution to get all children screened before the age of 9.
Early universal screening of children and additional training for educators offer the potential for reducing years of school failure and costly interventions in later years.