What is remedial therapy? When is the right time to take remedial therapy?:
In a child’s life, education takes a pivotal role. We know that school places a great deal of both formal and informal expectations on children from junior school to higher classes. Sometimes children face extreme difficulties trying to meet those expectations. Largely, we assume that a poor grade is the result of less study time, poor motivation and lack of perseverance. Reality is not always that simple. Sometimes children perform poorly even after considerable efforts despite having an intellectual capacity to do better. Learning is a process which requires: underlying abilities of planning, reasoning, attention, self-monitoring and awareness of strategies. To overcome any hindrance in learning, systematic intervention is required. Remedial therapy is one such process, which is used to deal with scholastic difficulties.
Remedial therapy, as the name suggests, is an intervention aimed at assisting an individual to achieve a normal or increased level of functioning when performance is below expectations in a particular area. Remedial programs are generally designed in ways through which a gap between child’s expected performance and current performance can be bridged. It focuses on imparting the core skills. It is also known as Developmental education or Basic Skill Education or 3R’s Education (Reading, writing and Arithmetic). It is a basic catch-up education for typical students of a certain age who have fallen below minimum standards in the areas of literacy and numeracy skills.
Now the next relevant question is when to seek remedial therapy? It is mostly provided to children with learning disorder such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, attention deficit and hyperactivity, Autism Spectrum Disorder, slow learners, children with intellectual deficit, also children suffering with spasticity. Sometimes children suffering from Depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder also requires remedial therapy to catch up with scholastic difficulties. Many a times it is also provided to gifted and talented children who need aided assistance with analytical and logical thinking that is not part of school curriculum.
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If children are facing delay, deterioration or difficulties in the area of reading, writing, arithmetic or all of them it is advisable to seek professional help. Professional psychologist or special educators can provide remedial therapy. Before initiation of therapy, detailed assessment is required. The aim of assessment is generally
- ✓ To find the cause: Detailed assessment generally comprises of IQ assessment, assessment for learning disability, attention and concentration level of the child and his emotional adaptability. The findings determine the goal for the specific child. For example, if a child has mild retardation in intellectual functioning, the therapist will set goals appropriate to his/her intellectual capacity and not beyond.
- ✓ To find out current level of scholastic skills: The remedial educator uses special techniques and strategies depending on the level at which the child is functioning. The remedial technique can start with basic skills like letter recognition, sound identification, syllabification and move on to higher elements such as blends, classification, grammar rules and so on. Sometimes children need higher level interventions like the multimodal approach known as V-A-K-T (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, tactile) is used as it is known to have maximum benefit to simulate learning. Special audio-visual stimuli are used to facilitate learning such as flashcards, workbooks, pictorial aids, puzzles and so on.
In remedial therapy, the therapist tailors an individualized therapy plan for each child. The therapy plan usually focuses on sensory integration, improving gross and fine motor skills, development of vocabulary, conceptual clarity, developing logical and analytical skills, improving organizational skills, improved social functioning, proper habit formation which will help in overall development of a child. There is no fixed duration for remedial education. It depends upon each child’s distinctive needs. Typically, the child is required to be under remedial learning as long as he or she is able to show significant improvement.