Conventional IQ tests may fail to identify the intelligence of a child in multiple areas, said Dr Anuradha Srinivasan, Paediatrician and Development Neurologist at Mehta Hospitals. She was speaking at an awareness seminar on the needs of special children organised by the Silver N Springs Primary Schools in Chennai on Sunday. IQ tests look at limited areas like logical thinking and language skills and only during a limited duration of time. “The intelligence of the child might be far more than what is revealed. Moreover, the child might not respond during the test but might answer the same questions when attempted somewhere else,” said Dr Anuradha.
She emphasised that the challenge of the parent, especially for kids with special needs is to identify this intelligence in their kids and help them develop it. “Once you identify this, you can not only help the child develop his ability but also use that interest as a tool for his general learning. For instance, if a child is into music, you can use music to help him learn academics,” she said. The doctor said that in order to develop such skills in students, personalised individual curriculums for each student will be of great help.
“In spite of the fact that there has been a lot of improvement in teaching children with special needs in schools, an individual curriculum for the students has not yet come to vogue in the city. Mothers can play a huge role here, by evolving a curriculum for their child which is according to his or her talents and skills, which the school might be able to adopt later.” she said. Speaking about the identification of autism syndromes, the doctor said that parents must be carefully monitor the development of the baby as the earlier identification and treatment can go a long way. The intervention is most effective before two to three years. Delay in developmental milestones like making eye contact and pointing at objects are certain symptoms of autism. “Mothers especially must ensure that any doubts they have are cleared regarding the baby. You must persist on getting your doubts cleared,” she said.
The doctor also emphasised that in the case of children with special needs, parents must try to bring the behavioural problems under control by the adolescence period.