40 per cent of children with learning disabilities were found to be deficient in basic academic skills i.e. reproducing the English alphabet both in writing and orally, a hospital-based study conducted by the PGI has found. Doctors said that the aim of the study was to understand the learning process in learning-disabled children. The study was conducted by the department of psychiatry, PGI. Learning disorders interfere in acquisition of academic skills: speaking, listening, reading, writing, spelling, reasoning and organising information. PGI is recording an increase in children with learning disorders, doctors said on Wednesday. These disorders are being recognised in schools and are being referred by teachers and parents alike.
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Doctors said the children surveyed in the study were within the age range of 10 to 18 years. “The sample consisted of both genders, belonging to middle and upper-middle socioeconomic status. Children with an IQ < 70, or epilepsy, head injury, and infection were excluded from the study,” said the doctors. In the results, doctors said they found that 15 per cent were unable to correctly count from 1 to 100, indicating a need to focus on teaching the basics during the remedial process, while 60 per cent of the children have working memory deficits and are unable to do serial subtraction.
“45 per cent children have deficits in new learning and 35 per cent have deficits in recent memory. Visual and auditory memory were found to be prominently impaired in about half of the learning-disabled children of the study, leading to a subsequent difficulty in retention,” the study noted. A CME-cum-workshop on “Learning Disorders: Identification and Assessment” will be inaugurated on Saturday at the PGI.