“Where you see a child who clearly has not engaged in the rough and tumble of school, play work or whatever they are supposed to do at school, you have to ask yourself, ‘is there a social issue, do they have a problem of engaging?”’, Dr. Juliet Tuakli explained.
“It can certainly be an indicator of something being wrong in terms of psychological disorder,” she said of neatly tucked in school kids.
She explained it could be because the child has a defect in the development of his social skills such as engaging with other kids.
The Chief Medical Officer of Child Accra and Public Health specialist wants parents to be more observant about habits or tendencies that are easy to ignore.
It could be learning disability. Early detection of certain behavioural traits as innocuous as playing with small objects could be crucial in solving the problem.
What are learning disabilities?
They are hidden disabilities that may result from prenatal factors. It could be poor nutrition for the expectant mother or pregnant mothers who are suffering from some trauma.
When a pregnant mother also falls on her tummy or relies on too many chemicals, it could affect the development of the child.
Some learning disabilities require medical treatment but others need some particular attention from teachers and parents.
Most children experiencing a disability in learning are often teased by other kids or branded daft by teachers.
“It is a great problem in our schools.”
Explaining the conditions further, Dr. Juliet Tuakli said learning disabilities could relate to how a child sees or hears.
Others could be “seeing with the eye, seeing with the brain, hearing with the ears or hearing with the brain”, she noted.
A child may have difficulty in remembering the order of alphabets or pronouncing some letters.
Others have a comprehension or attention problem which is to say, a child may “sit quietly in the class, completely daydreaming, completely divorced from what is going on”, the pediatrician said.
Some school kids may also experience a perceptional problem. In this case, the child could be seeing an object in a way that is very difficult for others to understand.
While some children can overcome these learning difficulties naturally, Dr. Juliet Tuakli advises parents not to take these signs for granted.
She wants parents to send their kids for developmental screening every six months. It is not because specialists want to make money, she debunked.
“A screening will help pick up some issues long before a child gets to pre-school,” the Public Health specialist.