Re: [Discuss-sudbury-model] ADD and ADHD

From: Richard Berlin <>
Date: Sat Feb 18 13:19:01 2006

> ††††† So my tirade is simply, Sudbury model schools donít need to
> address ADD or ADHA because their not real entities. Children find
> their own way of adaptation to the world and learn to work with their
> mind no matter how itís wired.

I think that denying they exist automatically cuts you off from the
audience that most needs to hear your perspective. Better, I would
think, to assume that they *do* exist, and argue that the diagnosis is
too freely made. What follows is one such argument.

As my wife (a therapist who has lots of experience with children)
reminds me on occasion, a diagnosis like ADHD can only be properly made
when the symptoms persist ACROSS SETTINGS.

You can clearly see this by reading the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD:

Note item C:

C. Symptoms must be present in 2 or more situations (e.g., at
    school, work, and at home).

and also that item A stipulates

     symptoms...have persisted for at least 6 months TO A DEGREE
[emphasis mine]

Taken together, I believe these two get at the crux of the problem:
first, that the diagnosis is often made without regard to the fact that
the symptoms are primarily confined to school; and second, that the
caveat about developmental level is being ignored because too many
people don't understand what is developmentally appropriate. As many
parents have discovered, a large proportion of boys and a fair number
of girls who are developmentally NORMAL are not capable--in the early
grades--of the kinds of activities emphasized by traditional schools.
(Be it public school or private, by the way; the defining
characteristic that makes these schools unsuitable for many boys is the
pedagogical model, not the funding model.)

-- Rich
Received on Sat Feb 18 2006 - 13:18:28 EST

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