Mudcat Café message #1613966 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #86484   Message #1613966
Posted By: dianavan
26-Nov-05 - 01:18 AM
Thread Name: ADHD- Ritalin
Subject: RE: ADHD- Ritalin
Thanks, Mark, for replying to my posts. I don't think that we disagree on all that much.

In regards to dyslexia: My complaint is that it has become a catch phrase for kids who are having trouble learning in the classroom and who do not instantly 'pick up on' phonics. In fact my job is early intervention and phonoemic awareness. You say dyslexia, ...does exist, and it responds well to a good educational program that is based on phonics, among other things." Thats my point exactly.

I do disagree with the finality of your statement, "People with dyslexia can learn to be adequate readers, but they generally don't become fluent readers. They learn to use alternate brain pathways, which are slower and less efficient."

I know people with dylexia who are not only fluent but are also highly literate. In fact, they may not be able to digest text books and spit it back out but they are quite able to attain a critical consciousness and enjoy many different types of literature.

All people learn differently depending on their 'wiring'. Some children are visual learners, some children are auditory learners. Some children are kinetic learners and they are the most difficult to teach - guess why? They are always jumping up and down and they want to touch everything. They are restless and inattentive in most classrooms and in many social situations.

Yes, everyone's brain is different but has it ever occurred to you that some of those nerve connections are actually formed when concepts are learned? We know from Piaget that learning and development are closely linked. To say that people with learning disabilities have brain defecits is worse than saying they are handicapped.

It is true some children are challenged by the classroom setting and commonly used educational practices but it doesn't mean they are lacking intelligence or that they suffer from some kind of brain dysfunction. All of those catch phrases have no use in diagnosing or treating children with disabilities. Actually disability, defecit and handicap are all inaccurate. What is true is that there is not enough money in the educational system to hire qualified special education teachers and counsellors. If the money were put into the educational system, there would be no need for diagnosis or drugs.

I'm retiring very soon so it doesn't matter to me personally but if special education teachers were paid as much as doctors, we might attract more young people to the profession. Instead, we choose to drug children and that is shameful.

Don't get me wrong, Mark. Some kids may actually be so severely impaired that drugs are the answer but it is only a short term solution. What I see are far too many children on drugs and far too many short term solutions.

BTW - Do you know how many kids are actually using Ritalin in North America? Far too many from my observation.