Teachers to learn how to help children with lisps

Primary school students who stutter or have a lisp (difficulty in pronouncing  certain syllables) are not treated kindly by their classmates and are often mocked.

Published: 06th February 2019 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2019 06:00 AM   |  A+A-

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: Primary school students who stutter or have a lisp (difficulty in pronouncing certain syllables) are not treated kindly by their classmates and are often mocked. These articulation disorders can be corrected if identified early, say speech pathologists. Around 100 teachers from the city, from both private and government schools, from primary, middle and high school sections will be trained by speech pathologists from NIMHANS on February 7 as a precursor to the annual convention of Indian Speech and Hearing Association to be held from February 8 to 10. 

So far, 40 teachers from private schools have registered for the day-long workshop that will be conducted on the NIMHANS campus. Dr N Shivashankar, HoD, Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology said, “Children may have articulation disorders where he/she has difficulty in speech sound production with syllables like ‘ta’ or ‘ka’. These are minor problems and can be corrected if identified at an early stage. But if the child becomes habitual in mispronouncing words and other kids mock, the child goes into a different psychological state and falls behind in academics.”

“We will teach teachers in using techniques to remedy these problems. We will also teach them how to change the speech sound production or refer the child to a speech pathologist who can solve the problem in one or two sessions. We will provide them a checklist to look for common communication problems like language disorders,” he said. 

Children with language disorders are not able to speak coherent sentences and are often reprimanded for not fault of theirs. “Children become stigmatised when they’re made fun of repeatedly. They may also have learning disabilities and calling them lazy or scolding them won’t help,” he said. Indian speech and Hearing association (ISHA) is a professional body of clinicians and scientists who treat and study the disorders of speech, language, hearing and swallowing. The Bangalore chapter is hosting the 51st annual convention of ISHA at NIMHANS convention centre from February 8 to 10.

Around 1,200 delegates will be taking part in the conference. Recent trends in the field will be discussed and best approach to treat various communication disorders will be deliberated upon. There will be sessions on law and disability, certification process and hearing aid technology. A unique feature of the conference will be a session that involves caregivers of patients with communication impairments following stroke. 

Teachers who wish to register for the day-long workshop at NIMHANS can write to Dr Arvind Kumar, speech pathologist and audiologist at NIMHANS, at secretaryofishabc@gmail.com or call 9945033757.

At a glance
 Nearly 12 per cent of school-going children have communication problems that impact their lives.
 These children often have difficulty in reading/ writing and in expressing thoughts and ideas.
 These difficulties may result in low academic performance.
 The children also have poor pragmatic language skills that make them misunderstand social cues.
It leads to loss of self-confidence.
 When some of these disorders are treated in the early school years, proper academic and psychosocial developments are possible.
 Teachers play a crucial role in a child’s life. When they are equipped with skills to identify and subsequently handle common communication disorders in the classroom, the outcomes will be significantly better for these children.

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