Re: DSM: More Information

Teresa Gallagher (
Sun, 24 May 1998 13:09:54 -0400

I'm not sure what Kathy was specifically referring to, but a disability
kids labeled ADD often have is dyslexia. This is any verbal problem not
related to IQ, including reading, writing, listening or speaking. It's
extremely common for ADD (or creative, gifted, etc.) to have such
difficulties. For example, boys in particular sometimes have severe
problems with handwriting. They may be extremely smart and know the
answers in their head, but can't write the answers down on a piece of
paper. Others may simple have general verbal difficulties (like me),
often combined with very good spatial or abstract reasoning abilities.
If you stop and think about it, most of school is verbal...listening,
writing...that's why I've always needed to teach myself and go at my own

Kathy's question is good...some dyslexic kids need a lot more attention
learning to read, and some really need a lot of rote memorization and
drills to get the letters down. I didn't, but some do. If a parent had
such a child, would that child get any individual help or attention from
the school? In the public schools it's mandated, in theory at least. A
lot of the kids that don't learn to read are actually dyslexic, but no
one knows (it's not true that all dyslexics reverse letters).

ADD itself is considered a learning disability or disorder. For a
minority of those diagnosed, this is probably true. But the majority of
diagnosed ADDers actually just have a different learning and thinking
style and are very good at teaching themselves, IMHO. In a Sudbury
school I don't think they'd need any special treatment (unlike a
traditional school, where they would). Of course, I may be wrong.

-Teresa Gallagher
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled
but a fire to be lighted." - Plutarc