Re: DSM: Learning disabilities at SVS

bud & barb brooks (
Sun, 24 May 1998 22:09:40 -0400

Hi Teresa - correction - I'm the one who wrote this:

> > << As far as ADD etc, if
> > a child is free to come and go wherever, whenever and doesn't have to
> > attention to stuff he's not interested in, how could anyone say he has
> > attention problem. The school environment creates these

you wrote;

. But this is an intuitive feeling only. I'd feel more
> comfortable if I had some statistical data backing up my intuition.

We would all feel more comfortable with scientific evidence but I never
could find anything much except what SVS published. They have a book
called Legacy of Trust which is their scientific study and seemed quite
thorough to me.

At this stage of the game, using this method to allow your child to unfold
his own way is a giant step of faith - one I think would be worthwhile but
scary at the same time. My children are grown now but if I had little ones
I'd want to try it. It's a day to day thing and I'm sure you'd experience
doubt and misgivings the entire journey as well as extremely high points
where you'd know you were right.

There are many success stories. I have a friend in Orlando who used the SVS
method with her youngest son before she actually knew about SVS. She
homeschooled him - unschooling. She took him out of school because he was
about to commit suicide. She let him play video games and draw all day
long. He had a dream to be a video game designer. When he found out he
needed math, he learned all the higher math in 1 year. Lo and behold today
he works for Nintendo in San Francisco as a video game designer at age 22.
He's been featured in Smithsonian Magazine. There's a real success for

Have you read Kingdom of Childhood? It's another SVS book with former
students describing their experiences. It's wonderful and inspiring.

If a school age child is desperately unhappy, wouldn't the most important
thing be to get him into a better situation? Then again if they tolerate
their situation and seem relatively happy, I'd leave them be. For some
children, the lack of structure could also make them nuts.