Why a Remedial School?
In recent years considerable attention has been given to the diagnosis and treatment of learning disabilities. It is now known that between 15 and 20% of all school children have some form of learning barrier or difficulty which prevents them from achieving their full academic potential. The degree of severity of the difficulty varies and most children with such a difficulty can be catered for in mainstream schools, provided that they are given professional and remedial assistance. However, a small proportion have a more severe level of disability which requires full-time remediation, either for a limited period, or throughout their school careers. Remedial schools exist to cater for such children.
Learning disabilities take a variety of forms, which do not reflect on a child's basic intelligence but may lead to frustration, low self-esteem, emotional, social and behavioural disorders, and a great deal of heartache and frustration for parents, children and teachers.
Learning difficulties are often due to:
- Visual perceptual problems - the incapacity to interpret or give meaning to what is seen. This can lead to difficulty with reading, writing, spelling and mathematics for which a child requires recognition, insight and correct interpretation of what is seen.
- Auditory perceptual problems - the inability to interpret auditory stimuli. Leads to difficulties in distinguishing subtle differences in sounds and in hearing instructions against a background of noises. Also leads to difficulties with reading, spelling and with comprehension. Auditory perception is the ability to process auditory stimuli and to make sense of it.
- Motor problems - a child can have difficulty on a gross motor co-ordination level (involving large muscles of the body) or fine motor co-ordination level (involving more complex finer movements executed mainly by the hands). This can lead to difficulty in participation in sport and in classroom activities, eg posture, pencil grip, handwriting and cutting out.
- Neurological disorders and/or physiological disorders - such as ADD and ADHD. Without adequate focussing of attention and concentration there can't be learning.
- Memory - auditory-, visual-, rote visual- and long term-, short term - and working memory are all essential to learning and important for academic success.
- Language - a developmental language delay, language confusion or language pathology prevents the child from understanding fully the information which is heard in the classroom, or what he must read, as well as preventing him from expressing himself orally or on a written level.
- Emotional problems - can impact on successful learning