TIS Helps Children With Learning Difficulties

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<p><strong>London &mdash; Dec. 14</strong><br />Thanks to help from global learning provider Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), more than 3,300 children with learning difficulties (LD) are now getting professional help and advice with their education &mdash; and more children with learning difficulties are receiving that help each day.<br /><br />At the end of November, TIS hosted the second annual Tata Interactive Learning Disability Forum (TLDF), a unique global symposium on LD. Topics at this year&rsquo;s TLDF included pretesting in schools; handling the LD student in class; and counseling the LD child and his or her parents, with speakers drawn from all over the world, including Lorraine Petersen, CEO of the U.K.-based organization nasen, and Polly Bayrd, a consultant at the Learning Disabilities Clinic in Minnesota.<br /><br />&rdquo;Not many schools in Mumbai were aware of learning difficulties &mdash; all too often, these children were deemed slow learners. In keeping with the Tata Group&rsquo;s commitment to corporate social responsibility, TIS adopted the cause of LD students, and the Tata Interactive Learning Disability Forum is one of our key initiatives,&rdquo; explained Sanjaya Sharma, CEO of Tata Interactive Systems.<br /><br />&ldquo;It was heartening that the TLDF was instrumental in ramping up the number of schools in Mumbai that recognized LD as an issue &mdash; and made the requisite accommodations for LD students &mdash; has gone up from about 100 in 2005 to 230 in 2006 and 480 in 2007,&rdquo; he added. TIS has been instrumental in supporting the LD Clinic at Sion Hospital, Mumbai, one of the few of its kind in the country. It also partners with LD-focused organizations, such as nasen and the Maharashtra Dyslexia Association. Some of TIS&rsquo;s other LD initiatives include striving for changes in medical and teachers&rsquo; curricula to include LD in the syllabi.<br /><br />&ldquo;TLDF 2007 focused on multidisciplinary approaches to LD certification and remedial interventions,&rdquo; explained Sharma. &ldquo;The aim is to involve the different levels &mdash; schools, counselors, parents, hospitals and so on &mdash; and bring them together in an attempt to recognize and support LD children by making the LD certification process more efficient and working on remedial interventions with the LD child.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;And, while experts can tell us what needs to be done, TIS can actually make it happen by bringing its project management approach to the challenge,&rdquo; Sharma pledged.<br /><br />Speaking at TLDF 2007, Dr. Madhuri Kulkarni, professor and head of pediatrics at Sion Hospital in Mumbai, explained that LD often manifests itself via “problems at school” and that, to be successful, remedial education needs the support of the child&rsquo;s parents or guardians. Kulkarni added: &ldquo;LD is a common neuro-developmental disorder which is demonstrated by up to 15 percent of the school population, has an equal male/female distribution and is most likely to be familial in origin.&rdquo;<br /><br />According to J. C. Mistry, who heads the LD initiatives at TIS: &ldquo;Learning difficulty is a lifelong disorder that affects the manner in which individuals select, retain and express information. They are also termed as &lsquo;learning differences&rsquo; based on the fact that certain individuals learn differently.<br /><br />&rdquo;Although several products are available for the identification and remediation of learning difficulties, most of these are either unable to sustain the progress of a disabled child or not aligned to government standards. To overcome this limitation, we develop end-to-end solutions that screen and identify children with learning difficulties, and offer remedial action as well as a tracking system to monitor their progress,&rdquo; Mistry added.<br /><br />Further information about the TLDF is available at http://tldf.tatainteractive.com. </p>

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