By Alisha Lalljee [www.alishalalljee.com]
BETTER YOURSELF BOOKS – www.betteryourselfbooks.com; 58/23rd Road, TPS III, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050; ISBN 978-81-7108-939-0 /Pp 131 / Rs 200
Living as we do in a world of heterogeneity, don't we often wonder why certain people take longer to grasp and learn in comparison to others? It is in that context that it can be safely attested that TAKE TIME is a book whose time has come, dexterously enabling the reader to perceive why certain people take longer to understand.
Evidently, with the rise in population, there's a rise in the number of cases of children with special needs as well as the number of schools for tackling such needs. The usefulness of this book lies in the fact that it "dives with its readers into the chaotic and painful world of the unexplored physical and mental ailments troubling us today with great detail" (p. 2): intellect, autism, cerebral palsy, hearing and visual impairment, muscular dystrophy… In the process, it will help the reader to, first of all, understand the diverse needs of 'special' people, and, simultaneously, to become aware of the various therapies on hand, inclusive education, diet and nutrition, etc.
Further, people who aren't very knowledgeable in the field will find this book an easy read for the information it provides and the lucid explanations of various terms concerning disabilities. As such, it merits recommendation for teacher trainees, whereby, eventually, children with special needs will benefit tremendously. Hindi film actor Adnan Khan, on reading the contents of TAKE TIME, contends: "…not only do I have a new found respect for families dealing with such ailments and their never-ending consequences, I am thankful for the hope the book instils as it lists the counter-measures to deal with each ailment" (p. 2).
Some individuals take time to understand the basic concepts that we would generally find easy; others have difficulty socialising and may never have close friends. Some children have difficulties in reading, writing, mathematics or any particular subject in comparison with others of their age; yet others face problems in speech, hearing, vision, and even mobility. These children may be exceptionally talented in all areas of their life, except for academics. TAKE TIME analyses all this, even as it tries to portray the diversity of individuals with special needs. Notably, the overview Alisha Lalljee offers through this book in relation to what such children are probably suffering from will, on the one hand, help parents, professional caregivers and social workers to understand in depth the diverse needs of individuals belonging to the 'special' category; on the other, it will help teachers in general to understand certain behaviour of their students better!
LADISLAUS LOUIS D'SOUZA