Learning disability is something that any child can have, though it’s usually because of heredity but it can also happen naturally. However, its detection becomes an issue if the child can’t speak or write in English.
Earlier, due to the language barrier the tests didn’t yield proper and accurate results; detection of learning disability was quiet a task. Students from state board schools were unable to take test in English as they generally are not fluent with the language.
Pearson’s Clinical & Talent Assessment has now developed an outstanding tool for students who have learning disabilities. This tool can screen disabilities in children of 7-11 years of age in various regional languages like Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam and Gujarati. Mr. Dhaval Mody, a psychiatrist associated with Pearson explains, “The objective of this tool is to screen children at the school-level so that early remediation is possible.” He further added, “School teachers and counsellors, after being trained, can conduct these tests.”
Mody further elucidated that for now, only curriculum based tests (CBT) in some regional languages are available and these tests are mostly based on particular states boards; hence these tests can’t be used for all students.
To put in plain words, just a mere language barrier should not be able to keep various children with learning disability from proper training.
There are languages that are difficult to work on, like Urdu, to which Dr. Samir Dalwai, Development Paediatrician with New Horizons Child Development Centre agrees. He says, “We are facing problems because of the unavailability of testing tools in regional languages, especially Urdu.” For this, he suggests that there should be one standard test for such languages suiting the needs of local population.