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June 2000

news

Issue 3

Inside this Issue:

2 "Who stole the pack of popcorn?", by Parvez Mody

2 "Emotional problems in children", by Dr. Anjali Chhabria

3 "Portal Review: eGurucool.com", by Anand Desai

4 "My son", by Dr. J.D. Shah

Our team at Drishti: Lakshmi P.S. Manisha Bhoola Anuradha Patpatia Meghna Wadnerkar Mitali Purohit Simi Pais Viveca Braganza Vrucha Pandya Shweta Choksi Swaroop Sampat Devika Vohra Smita Desai Anand Desai

206 Midas Chamber, Andheri (W), Mumbai 400053 Phone: 022-6348732 e-mail:smita_desai@vsnl.com

Dear Friends, Drishti has moved again. However we now hope to remain here. Beginning on a new academic year fills us with hope and expectations to do something more. . . . something new. . . exciting. We are thus happy to announce the launching of our website, Drishtionline.com, this August . Through Drishtionline we hope to reach out to a lot more children and their caretakers-the parent, teacher, health professionals, etc. Our reach-out program has now flourished too. In this program, we are offering an entire series of workshops on parenting skills. Some other areas of focus also include study skills, awareness of learning disabilities, children with developmental delays etc. In this issue we have included the issue of the final product of the school years - Board Exams. Dr. J.D.Shah, a medical practitioner & parent of a child with mild Learning Disabilities tells us about his journey through the school years, which culminated with the recent results of the SSC examination. Dr. Anjali Chhabria, practicing psychiatrist, shares with us some useful information about emotional health of children. Dr, Chhabria has been closely associated with Drishti & we have in her a respected source in the field of mental health. I wish to take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to Lakshmi, a psychologist who together with Meghna have created an efficient and very capable team in our Testing and Evaluation cell. Lakshmi leaves us this month for higher studies abroad and we all wish her the very best. As always, a note of thanks to all the dedicated staff at Drishti. We currently have a lovely mix of the new entrants to the field and those who have helped Drishti grow along.

Dr. Smita Desai


My corner

Food for thought

Who stole the pack of popcorn?

Emotional problems in children

By Parvez Modi

A chat with Dr. Anjali Chhabria

Sam earned his living by selling popcorn. He lived a hand to mouth existence. To make his job more interesting he used to dress up as a clown. He lived in a small tent on the road. And used to sell it besides his tent under the shade of the tree.

Dr, can children suffer from emotional problems? / how do emotional problems present themselves in children ?

Once he was selling popcorn. He felt that one of the packs of popcorn was missing. And saw a few popcorns lying on the ground. But he couldn't see who took it. As he was a poor man he could not afford to lose any of the packs. So his earning for that day was less and he had no profit. It started happening everyday. And he could not afford to lose any of the packs. So he decided a plan to catch the thief. So the next day he tied a rope with a bell attached to one of the ends of the popcorn pack. And waited for the thief to grab that pack. Luckily the thief grabbed the same pack to which he had tied the rope. After the thief took the pack he followed the ring into the bushed. Hiding behind the bush he saw a sqrrerel eating his popcorn sitting on the branch of a tree. So he thought that he can't ask the squirel to pay for the popcorn. So thought for two to three minutes And he decided a plan. So he approached the squirel and made a deal with him.The next day it was a suprising thing to see. The squirel and Sam both were selling popcorn. And it was selling faster than before. And at night both of them sat together and having dinner. And now both of them were best friends. After a few years he could afort an apartment and they shifted to an apartment and now he is runing a huge restaurent. (There are some spellings and grammatical errors in the above passage, which were made by the student. We have retained these.)

Children like adults have emotions and hence are susceptible to emotional disturbances like depression, anxiety etc. But these disturbances may present differently. An emotionally disturbed child may refuse to eat or overeat, may complain of recurrent headaches or other bodily symptoms frequently. Sleep disturbances, nightmares, night terrors, bedwetting may occasionally be the presenting symptoms. A shy child may withdraw further, start crying excessively, start stammering or biting nails. Disturbances in concentration or not doing well in school may be the only signs of an emotionally disturbed child. One must also pay attention to a child who has become excessively stubborn or throws tantrums and shows 'bad' behaviour. Is it true that these problems will increase in the new millenium? Yes. As the human race becomes physically more comfortable, emotionally, life gets more difficult. Nuclear families, both parents working, the pressures of the educational system, increasing divorces all contribute to increasing pressure on the child who may find difficult to cope and break down emotionally. Are physically / mentally challenged children also prone to emotional disturbances? Definitely a mentally challenged child is low on his intelligence - but not in his emotions. Hence he can experience the entire range of emotional disturbance, which have been discussed earlier. Children with borderline intelligence may be the worst affected emotionally, since this is the group which works hard but gets the least awards. What should parents do when they find a child emotionally disturbed?

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A sensitive parent not only recognizes the early symptoms but also takes charge of the situation. He / She assess the symptoms and tries to recognize the probable cause of the anxiety. Avoid labelling and criticism. Love and affection without overprotection help in coping with a difficult phase. The parent should listen to the child and support the child without crippling him. Once the problem is identified, one should not hesitate in taking help from concerned professionals, as mental health is as important as physical health.

News U can Use PORTAL REVIEW: eGurucool.com By Anand Desai As one of the most well known education portals in India, eGurucool certainly warranted a review. I was just a little excited with this prospect. Was it really a "cool" site and would it live upto its reputation of being an e-guru? And thus the day was spent.... The home page certainly looks loaded, at least at first sight it does. Like any database driven portals, such as Yahoo, Rediff, Indiatimes, etc. However a closer look reveals a large degree of redundancy on this page. It is otherwise, quite clean and neat in its presentation. Beginning my journey into the various menu options, you immediately notice the Delhi bias of this site. The Academics section is replete with solved papers from various, central and Delhi based boards (includes school, college/university, entrance exam papers). These are quite extensively covered. However, whatever happened to subjects other than Science and Commerce? Obviously the problem of presenting subjective answer solutions is not easy to address and this could be the reason for restricting this section to more objective areas. I do feel that there is a significantly large population of students that will justifiably feel left out by eGurucool.

presentation is also very methodical with meaningful insights combined with facts and figures. More information regarding institutions offering pre-requisite courses for these careers would be welcome. Study Abroad is obviously a rather popular subject and one finds several links not only to foreign colleges but also to consultants and foreign education services, such as British Council and USEFI, etc. I particularly liked the presentation by the consultants Bosche, who provided all the important facts and figures upfront regarding study in Australia, as well as interesting links to various colleges there. My dummy enquiry with another consultant CEHS, via e-mail on 20th remains unanswered as of date. I was disappointed by the section on Schools as it really did not seem to serve any purpose other than act as an advertisement for the handful of schools in the few cities that had chosen to be present! Most big gun schools in Mumbai are totally absent from their Mumbai list! It was nice to see information about organizations such as Interact, Rotract, SPIC-MACAY, etc., in such a portal as this would help the student community network with these organizations, in the end benefiting them both. There is immense potential in making the portal really "cool" with the help of the Unwind and Xpressions sections. However this, to me, has not happened yet! Or maybe its because I am some dozen years beyond the actual age domain of the intended audience! In summarizing, I think this is a very good effort in bringing together important information for the Indian student within a single portal. Based on this beginning, and the pressures of continuing media coverage, we can certainly look forward to eGurucool developing into a true cool guru.

Best of Careers section under Careers has a refreshing list of career options, such as Event management, Jewelry designing, etc. The Drishti-Newsletter3.doc

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achievement but on the medium of achievement, i.e. my son.

Parent contribution My son by Dr. J.D. Shah Distribution of sweets, non-stop calls of congratulations, gifts from relatives... the event being the Xstd result of my son. One would think that the young boy has scored in the range of 85 - 90%. But his score was 71%, a score that does not reflect his I.Q. and talent. Then...why the celebration? My son suffered from a rare, metabolic disorder and facial paralysis while in grade eight. He was promoted to grade nine on the basis of his performance during the rest of the year. He spent a great part of grades eight and nine in overcoming the side effects caused by medicines and in keeping pace with his peers who had gone ahead socially and academically. When my son began grade ten, it was a start of an important journey and an important social event for all of us. Our focus, however, was not on

We concentrated on building his lost confidence by focussing on small achievements, analyzing test results to find out areas requiring improvements, trying not to compare his work with his peers. Even when we compared his work with his peers, we tried to focus on the process of achievement, on their hard work and arrived at the principle that talent apart; it is only hard work that pays. We followed the example of Sachin Tendulkar- our family idol-that fresh approach to game and life alike, is focussing on the joy and pleasure of playing and not dwelling on past events. This approach helped us a lot. The journey was not smooth. We experienced a wide range of emotions - frustration, anger, satisfaction, and joy - and in the bargain, gained further insight onto the inter-dependent principle of existence. Our son amply expressed this sentiment just after his exams: " whatever I will achieve, will be the result of my hard work + my teachers' efforts + help of medical, paramedical professionals + parents' guidance + grandparent's contribution (cutting off television connection with my consent.) This, I feel is the best gain of Xth stndard.

Creative capers Paper Pin on Jewellery Materials:  Water color paper  Crayons, colored pencils or permanent markers  Black permanent marker  Scissors  Safety pin  White glue  Wax paper Process: 1. Draw a colorful design on a piece of water-colour paper. 2. With a black permanent marker, outline the design and add details. 3. Cut out your design and place it on a piece of wax paper. 4. Apply a heavy coat of white glue to the cutout. Let it dry thoroughly. 5. Glue a safety pin on jewelry pin to the hardware to back of the cutout.

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Drishti-Newsletter-2000-June  

Emotional disorders can have a cascading effect on a child's development. Dr. Anjali Chhabria, a reputed psychiatrist provides a medical pra...

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