Passionate Instigator, Dynamic Problem Solver
July 30th, 2014 04:35:00 pm
As I fight this David versus Goliath battle over whether ADD/HD is a disability, I come up against studies approved by the government—which can't be wrong or biased because that doesn't happen in this country. We're made to believe that our government is more interested in us and our children's welfare than it is in cashing checks from lobbyists. No matter how I point out the several yards of wool being pulled over the American public's eyes during the last several decades (because it was in the best interest of a corporation or power broker group, including unions) some people say they still can't see it. If I talk about how our children are being used as profit centers and cash cows, someone shouts that I'm a crackpot. If I refer to our medicated madness as a form of child abuse, people are horrified, but not because they acknowledge the truth in it—they're horrified that I would call it abuse. For every minute of blood, sweat, and tears I pour into trying to stop this madness, a million dollar check is written to Washington and Madison Avenue in order to twist the truth and keep the gravy train going.
By declaring that something is a disability, we create a disability. ADD/HD that is not managed well—that is, exacerbated by poor diets, bad environments, the wrong support systems and a lack of understanding—can make aspects of life debilitating. The difference being that a disability will always make someone less able, to some degree, and the playing field will have to be leveled to help them. A debilitation created from the environment or surroundings can't solved by fixing the person; the environment in question must be reckoned with. For instance, if someone is wearing old shoes that are clearly too small for them, and full of mold and mildew, they will end up limping. Their bodies, wracked with pain, will eventually show other signs of distress. They may end up struggling with depression, anger, or a plethora of other issues. The mold and mildew can create a whole list of physical ailments—from skin irritation to respiratory issues. But changing the shoes quickly will clear up the problems.
Taking an ADD/HD child and feeding them a toxic diet, educating them in a system that is ill-fitted for their preferred methods of learning, and parenting them in negative ways will result or manifest in mental, emotional and physical issues. If they grin and bear these issues for too long, they will become disabled. Whether or not that disability has a name, it will follow them into adulthood, where they will wholeheartedly believe that their ADD/HD is a disability. Instead of recognizing how they were handled, parented, educated, or fed, they feel debilitated because of their experiences surrounding ADD/HD, and they give up the reality of how truly gifted they are.
Here are some examples of the “disability” that are environmental factors and can be corrected:
Hyper: Naturally high energy. Bad diet containing too much of the wrong kinds of stimulation. Too much forced inactivity (like television) and not enough time built into the day for a release of energy.
Unfocused: Can be exacerbated by environmental factors like lighting, chemicals in the air, forced physical inactivity, lack of engagement with the child that piques interests and engages their love of learning. Too much lecturing without enough interaction. No engagement with the child to teach them the applicable value in the materials being taught. Not teaching them in a way they learn best.
Doesn't complete tasks: Struggle can be a backlash of the aforementioned factors. High repetition is painful for the ADD/HD learner. Even if teachings are engaging and interesting, when there is no increased knowledge happening through repetition the student will not respond favorably. Depending on the age, a sense of “why bother” could prevail, since so much of traditional education feels like it sets them up for failure in the very nature of how it functions.
Organization: Structure, structure, structure—but it has to be the right kind of structure. The time it takes to co-create the right kind of structure can serve everyone for years to come. It is worth its weight in gold.