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DO WE NEED ANOTHER “TAARE ZAMEEN PAR?”: Helping Kids with Dyslexia Grow!

27 Oct 2015

Should we call it an effect of the highly acclaimed 2007 flick, Taare Zameen Par, but it’s a fact that the country has turned sensitive towards children with dyslexia.

A decade ago professionals having trained in this field spent endless meetings with schools to sensitise them about this issue.

As expected there was a lot of struggle for a concept never heard of before. Especially when it concerned children of reasonable levels of intelligence. Many shrugged it off as a “rich man’s fancy” while others followed “the ostrich attitude” and pretended it didn’t exist.

As luck would have it this movie turned to be an eye opener for many parents, teachers and professionals. Schools sent bus loads of teachers for a common viewing and they all came back with sensitivity poring out of every cell of their bodies. 

For a lot of them, there was guilt for not having done what they should have done, while others patted their backs for helping children with general academic difficulties cope with their own ways.

Parents heaved a sigh of relief and finally knew what was wrong with their apparently bright children, who did not do well in academic areas. Overall it seemed that receptivity and empathy had increased.


Human memory is short lived and soon it seems sensitivity has flown out of the window. All children need to be constantly treated with compassion and proper caring.

It is sad that the more progress we make in various fields, we seem to move a step backwards when it comes to understanding our children.

Reports of schools reverting to their “same rule for all” policy started trickling in as soon as the new term started.

Support earlier given to special needs in schools seems to take a back seat. In some cases support and help has been discontinued.

Is this what we had in mind when we thought “tare zameen par”had impacted? How can decisions and policies be made at the whims and fancies of organisations and individuals?

There is a law against physical abuse in schools, but what about the emotional abuse which is rampant with our special children in schools? Are our counsellors in schools seriously looking at issues concerning special needs?

The CBSE Board has been extremely supportive at the Board class levels, so it is not difficult for schools to provide special support for special children at school level. 

The Board has left it to the discretion of schools to support since dyslexia is not yet included in the disabilities act and continues to be a part of the by-laws.

In a way it is allowed to help special children, it just depends on how sensitive each one is to the cause.

Just as there is a silver lining to each dark cloud, let’s not negate the sensitive work done by thoughtful people. 

Special needs issues are still considered priority in many schools, but a single case of insensitive handling by others dulls the entire process.

The way forward

At a time when the government is committed to making sure that all children learn to read and write effectively at school, it is more important than ever that children with dyslexia have their difficulties diagnosed early so that they do not fall behind in school.

There is sufficient experience and expertise available to identify children with specific learning difficulties.

Suitable teaching materials and programmes have been developed to help children with dyslexia at all levels of severity.

Training courses exist for teachers who wish to learn more about this specific learning difficulty and how to handle it in the classroom.

It is vital to ensure that children and adults with dyslexic difficulties are not left behind.

The following steps are essential if children and adults with dyslexia are to realise their full potential. They urge all concerned to work towards their implementation:

  • Increased awareness so that parents as well as teachers can recognise those children at risk.
  • Pre-school activities that enable children to develop their listening and language skills.
  • Early identification of difficulties in nursery and primary schools.
  • Provision of appropriate help for dyslexic pupils and students throughout their education.
  • Teaching methods that provide a sufficiently thorough and logical approach to ensure that reading skills based on language development are acquired and remembered by the learner.
  • Training for teachers to meet the needs of children and young people with dyslexia-type difficulties.
  • Awareness among employers of the ways in which individual members of staff might be affected by dyslexia and a positive approach to enable them to make a full contribution in the workplace.
  • Access for dyslexic adults to appropriate assessment and help at any stage in their lives, including those in prison.
  • Screening for dyslexia as soon as young people get into trouble at school or with the law.


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Tags: #Dyslexia #Growth #Help Kids