One in 59 children are identified with autism spectrum disorders and millions of children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. — yet psychologist Devon MacEachron, PhD believes that there is too little attention given to enabling people with neurologically different minds.
“Neurological differences like autism or ADHD are considered to be dysfunctional, disorders, and disabilities under the medical model of mental health,” she explained. “When most of us think of diversity, we think of things like race or sexual orientation. But there’s a different kind of diversity you might not know about: neurodiversity.”
Would depression fall under neurodiversity? Would narcolepsy? I don't have autism or ADHD, but I would not say I'm 'neurotypical' when there are far more brains that do not have narcolepsy or even depression than there are brains that do.
Being ostracized at a young age for being different has life long consequences. When one learns in the formative years that one does not fit in, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. When special people keep themselves apart, society lacks the input from some of the most innovative, intelligent people. The world would be a much better place if children's strengths were encouraged, instead of only supporting the average. Society has been regressing to the mean so long, the mean is getting lower and lower. Mainstream elementary school is destructive. Do all you can to support special children. We will need them one day.
I think that this is a great time for humanist concepts of value in diversity. I fear it's all talk in a world where competition for resources was never so high (and I don't mean in the jungle). I mean competition for jobs, mates, that type of thing. My guess is that while organisations rise up to combat ignorance, it will just go underground and intensify. I hope I'm wrong.
I don't know what to make of all the TV shows nowadays that have autistic people demonstrating their almost supernatural abilities in the pursuit of criminals, medical cures etc.
By the way, that movie Temple Grantin was great!
I like this approach. Throwing so many meds at this complicated system that we know very little about is sad and often dangerous. All brains are different. Wouldn't it be great if we could lean more toward accepting people's differences and valuing them rather than always trying to make everyone happy and socially accaptable all the time..
According to the book “Rethinking Madness”, even schizophrenia should not be considered a disease to be cured with medication. According to the author, those people are dealing with existential questions, and if given social support will eventually find their way in most cases.
I wonder how many great creative geniuses have been drugged into oblivion by our medication-crazy society.
Without trying to bring shame to the effort... but I am starting to believe medicine agenda is to find something wrong... to diagnose for the hell of validating the wrong. I had been wrong before, I recognize all the great medicine do on a daily basis on pursuit of health but... overdiagnose happens a lot maybe to create a crisis and to resolve it? Ala trump and north korea???? And since it worked, let's repeat it with Nato. Oh that was mean... I hope no one gets offended... I will stay away from hospitals for a while now.
I have two granddaughters, from two different sets of parents, in the same family. Both girls are on the Autism Spectrum.
Ann,14, has severe Asperger's with a violent physical hurting behavior. She has a high IQ off the charts. Can memorize an entire chapter of a book in seconds, then performs it. She gets along with NO one, as she is a bully to all. She will not perform hygiene or wear clean clothes. Schools that are free will no longer accept her. Sadly, her future looks grim, which breaks my heart.
The other granddaughter, Betty,9, is also on the Autism Spectrum. She is diagnosed with extreme High Anxiety. She, too, has a high IQ. She worries herself into a crying, vomiting, screaming, runaway mess over forgetting a book or spilling her drink. She does get along well with others, acts in plays, dresses herself in fashionable clothing, does her own hair, does chores and homework without asking.
I have a cousin who is on the Autism Spectrum, almost the lowest mark. John is 60 and has the brain capacity of a two year old. He can walk. His mother dresses him, brushes his teeth and sits him on the floor to play with his toys. He lived in a mental hospital when he was young. Now he goes to a group home during the week, with his 85 year old mother transporting him. There were no other children in this family and no one to take care of John when my aunt dies.
This was three entirely different examples of Autism in the same family. The only common gene all three have is my Grandfather, who was the town doctor when he was alive. He was very intelligent, healthy, and held a side job as a pathology professor at the University Medical School. He lived to be in his late 90s. His daily regiment was a teaspoon of vinegar and teaspoon of honey every morning. Born in 1880 and was in WWI as a doctor. My grandfather's parents were from Inverness, Scotland
Does anyone know how to determine how these cousins got on the Autism Spectrum? sharing with: @BigWaveDave
I was diagnosed ADD when I was about 12. I don't have the hyperactivity-centered version. I was on Ritalin for a while until I explained to my dad how miserable and zombie-ish it was. Over time I developed the ability to run persistent multi-channel thought processes at a quantity of 2-4. I can also hyper focus on a single process, but only if it can hold my attention. I got a college degree without medication.
There are limitations and a different set of operating parameters sometimes, and it's easy to view some of them as problematic. Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria is a hellish aspect of ADD, and the daily potential for insomnia and anxiety and depression aren't very fun.
My girlfriend's 13 year old son is VERY ADHD. He's been medicated for years (which I don't really like doing but) he is completely unmanageable without medication, to the point of occasional self-harm during his tantrums. He has some speech issues that seem to largely stem from words coming out in bizarre orders relative to the thought he's trying to express, and he very often seems to exist in a 30-second perceptive bubble. I have a similar bubble, but I've had more time to adjust to the idea that the world outside the bubble requires attention and mnemonic anchors within the bubble in order to maintain awareness of the bubble's position within the flow of real time.
And in my personal experiences with people with ADHD or people on the spectrum, there's often a certain activity or type of thought at which they excel at the cost of a weakness somewhere else. And maybe I'm just being optimistic, or a little romantic, but this says to me that there is at least some possibility that these kinds of 'disorders' could represent prototypical neurological baby steps towards some minor but beneficial evolutionary step towards more specialized brain types, or brains which have better conscious access to a greater amount of cerebral resources.
My father taught and coached high school for about 18 years and then became a Vocational/Technical director who put a lot of time and effort both into his students and then into getting pilot programs for our state and helping determine the guidelines and practical application of the Vocat career track when that whole college track/vocational track model wa's being introduced around the turn of the millenium. I've spent more time than I care to admit listening to the backstage politics and craziness of the education system.
The standardization of education is really good for administrators, politicians, and managing to set 'standards' at a national level. But the current paradigm in education (I say current as though it hasn't been a problem for 20+ years) is not designed with people who are different in mind. Teachers aren't teaching their students, they aren't even teaching their curricula. They're teaching the end of year tests. For one, because this 'standard' makes schools compete with each other academically for what little funding is available, and what determines the numbers used to determine teacher bonuses and school fundings: the standardized tests. We've reduced the entire education process to competitive economics, and the only way to ensure your school will get what it needs is if you teach this one way to get good student scores on the tests. The process does not allow for people with different learning styles or non-standard brains. There is only one avenue of success provided, and the only way to fit the square pegs into the round holes you need is to sand down the edges with medication and incredibly toxic forms of social control.
And some parents don't want to be identified as parents of 'different' children, or are in denial, or fear the social backlash of being personally judged for whatever deficit or abnormality they perceive their children to have because appearances and social standing are more important to them than having a child who can learn to harness their abilities, understand their limitations, and love themselves BECAUSE of who they are, instead of IN SPITE of what they are.
There are a lot of very toxic, selfish, abusive, etc. adults who use their children as status symbols, as outlets for failed personal dreams, this list could go on forever and it gets more disheartening with every scenario. And neurodiverse children, because they are labeled 'disabled' or 'dysfunctional' or whatever politely insulting word neurotypical people use to differentiate themselves, are often victims of these kinds of systemic and toxic paradigms that afford them no real opportunity to thrive because homogenous social systems revile anomalies and outliers and their participants often prefer to simply ignore that which cannot be forced to assimilate or regress towards the mean.
Excellent insight. My brain doesn't work like other people's brains, but that doesn't make me abnormal. I am more emotional, artistic, empathetic and insightful than others. I am also given to snap judgements, misperception and black and white thinking.
I don't have a disability, I see things differently.
I am waiting to the day when instead of medicating kids so they are more like the rest is not the norm. I feel we should be finding different ways to teach them instead of making them fit into this sheep box the majority of society views as acceptable. Everyone and every mind is different. I do not feel our education system is providing the best education for all the diversity out there. But rather the kids are required to first into our education system and if they have problems complying they are medicated or