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What kind of school is best for my child?

Q: My five-year-old daughter has delayed milestones - rolled at six months, sat at one year, walked at 1.3 years and talked at 3.6 months. We took her to NIMHANS, Bangalore where she was diagnosed with ESD(expression speech delay) with adequate comprehension. Her IQ is 109. We are giving her speech therapy and she is attending a Montessori school. She still cannot talk clearly and can handle only Malayalam. The school authorities feel that she mingles with other children, but she is reluctant to learn new things. According to them her maths skills are excellent; however, her imitation skills are limited. What aspects should we keep in mind while choosing a school for her? What kind of support can we give to help her bloom fully?

A:The school should be a relatively small one, where children are allowed the freedom to be themselves. Perhaps a Monetssori school will best fit this description, though many of them use the Montessori system only in the preschool years. You should keep giving her warm support at her level and not be impatient with her if others her age have more advanced abilities. Having a kind teacher will be a requirement, but I do not see that parents have a choice in such matters. Maybe letting her spend one more year in a Montessori system would be a good idea. Talk to her teachers and decide. Get her interesting games that she can engage in as well as music and art materials at home. Spend time with her talking to her and listening to her. Avoid the generally noisy and confusing TV. She can grow up to be like other children if she is given tender loving care now.

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