Re: TECHWR-L ADD Therapy

Subject: Re: TECHWR-L ADD Therapy
From: topsidefarm -at- mva -dot- net
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 07:45:24 -0600

Andrew Plato wrote:
>>but seriously folks...the on-line therapy session here is a little

Andrew, I have to respectfully disagree with you on this point. A great
deal of what we do as TW's is teaching/training. It is important for ALL
Tw's to understand learning disabilities and learning styles.

<>Furthermore, there are a lot of people who think ADD/ADHD is one of those
"modern illnesses" that is seriously over-diagnosed thanks to profit
hungry pharmaceutical and medical community and a "its not my fault"

And on this one, I have to agree 100%. My big problem with both ADD and
ADHD is the use of the word DISORDER. Neither one is a disease or defect.
They are learning styles or (as a teacher I know calls them) intelectual
operational models. I generally try not to use the standard acronyms for
either issue (though this can make it hard to discuss them as that is what
people generally know them as). Instead I have developed a new pair of
terms for these "disorders". I use SCLS (Short Cycle Learning Style)
instead of ADD, and SCPALS (Short Cycle Physically Active Learning Style)
for ADHD. I feel that these are far more accurate discriptions of what is
actually going on with people who have these learning styles.

You'll notice I didn't say "people suffering from these disorders", and
that is for two very good reasons. First, as stated above, they are not
disorders. Second, these people are not suffering from these "disorders",
they are suffering from the education system's and society's
misconceptions that label these learning styles as disorders. The medical
profession has compounded this problem many times over to suit its
profit-mongering habits.

So, to Anne and others who have been brave enough to discuss their
"disorder" on this group: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!!!! You just
happen to have a different style of learning and processing information
than some of the rest of us. You are perfectly normal people; you do not
have a learning disability. In fact, the disability belongs to the
education system that refuses to recognize that what students in your
position require is a different teachning method, not coding as special
education. All you need to do is recognize that your style is different
and learn the necessary adaptive behaviors. From what I have read the last
two days, it seems that many of you have already been quite successful at
this, and at life in general: so much for being "disabled".

This brings me to my final rant on this subject: medication. Someone else
in this thread made a comment about the brain synapses not firing normally
in people with ADD/ADHD. I ask: as defined by whom? It is not that these
people's brains are not "normal", only different. I have a real difficulty
with medicating people to fit society's norms. Would we force blacks to
have their skin bleached so they could fit in with us "normal" white
folks? I think not! Then why is that our first response when someone has a
different learning style? Medication is prescibed far too quickly, in far
too many cases, and at far too high of doses, all in the name of fitting

Admittedly, a learning/thinking style that probably saved our species from
extinction 20,000 years ago (according to the hunter/farmer model) may be
a little out of place today if it is operating at an extreme level, and
that does appear to happen with a small percentage of people. Their brains
cycle through information at such a rapid rate that they have great
difficulty with any form of structured learning: a behavior that was
helpful when we were being hunted by predators interfers with function in
a technological society. This small group may need medication, but this
number is much smaller than Ritalin sales would indicate. However, the
issue here becomes whether it is this group of people who have a problem,
or is it our society that has the "disorder", but that's a subject for
another thread.

As Andrew said, we all have weaknesses, and we all have strengths. We must
take an inventory of ourselves, adapt to those weaknesses, and accentuate
our strenghts. Most importantly, we must all get off the self-pity
bandwagon espoused by modern society, and be a bit more skeptical of the
labels that are placed on other people (and ourselves).

Jason A. Czekalski


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