New Delhi : In what can be a shot in the arm for the field of cognitive science, the Ministry of Science and Technology has come up with screening tools for early detection of dyslexia in four different languages.

The assessment of dyslexia is carried out using a series of age-appropriate, culturally-valid psychological tests in the child’s native language — Hindi, English, Kannada and Marathi.

Scientists working on the project said nearly 70 to 80 per cent of students are diagnosed with Learning Disorders (LDs). Dyslexia is the most common learning disability with almost 35 million children in the country suffering from it.

“Since dyslexia is a learning disability, the teacher is the best person to identify it,” said Nandini Chatterjee Singh, project in charge and a scientist with the National Brain Research Institute (NBRC) at Manesar.

Researchers have come up with DALI, a comprehensive screening and assessment battery of tests for children with or at risk of dyslexia, between classes 1 to 5. Two separate screening tools have been developed for school teachers to identify the learning disability.

One is the JST (Junior Screening Tool) for classes I-II and children between 5 to 7 years. The second is MST (Middle Screening Tool) for classes III-V in the age group of 8 to 10 years.

Interestingly, the study and the subsequent kit were prepared through inter-disciplinary force. “So, there were psychiatrists, linguists and scientists doing the research,” Singh added.

Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Harsh Vardhan also released a book on ‘Specific Learning Disorder: Indian Scenario’ and also the screening tools for teachers and assessment tools for psychologists for dyslexia. — PTI

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