Re: A.D.D.

Alan Klein (
Thu, 21 Nov 1996 22:53:53

>>Question from Judith:
>If the child is removed from "the disabling school system" is it possible
>that the child has learned the lesson taught there all too well? For
>instance; reading: self concept of inability to read. Do you think that
>when a learner want to read - one will read, no matter the age? Or should
>there be "intervention"? Or is the best "intervention" - no intervention
> at
>all - but supportive attitudes and confidence that the child (even an older
>child) (or learner) will read when the desire to read comes from within?

The lingering effects of that system can be devastating and protracted. We
often refer to the need to "vomit up" the lessons learned in such an
environment. This rather graphically depicts the upheaval that often goes on
in people who are finally returned their freedom to self-regulate after being
in coercive situations. They often "internalize the oppression", to use a
modern cliche, and blame themselves and/or their new environment for their
difficulties. They can become aggressive as they fight the demons that have
been caused to dwell within.

The good news is that they do learn when they want to learn...when they
finally retrieve the inner motivation. The question you ask is about
interventions to achieve that inner motivation faster. If you want to call
it "intervention", the best intervention you can do is to make sure that the
environment that is available to that person is truly supportive, rich in
possibilities, materials, and people, and non-coercive, even subtlely. I
truly believe that reading, as a basic skill, will be learned when one sees
the need and/or benefit of doing so. The environment should demonstate these
needs and benefits as all good, healthy, intelligent homes do. The only
environments that regularly don't are schools that place reading in the
category of "Painful Activities."

Sharing your concern, caring, and love are appropriate "interventions" as
well, so long as the concern shows itself as statements about you, rather
than statements about the other person. For example, I could easily see
saying to someone, "You know, I get such a kick out of reading and finding
things out from books, and I care about you so much, that it pains me to see
you feeling so bad about your ability to learn to read. I know you can do it
and I just want you to know that I'd like to help in any way that you would
like me to." What I would cringe at is saying, "Reading is good for you and
you are not learning, so you will work with me until you do."

'nuff said?

Alan Klein ...
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