Those of you following this blog for some time know there are some recurring themes.
For others newer to these posts, I will help to bring you up to speed with my top ten list of things that pluck my nerves:
- The LD-Discrepancy Model: Easily the number one issue that gets under my skin is the LD-Discrepancy model used in many states (New Jersey being one) to classify children in special education as learning disabled. If you want a primer on the LD-Discrepancy model, this is a great overview: (https://www.understood.org/en/articles/the-discrepancy-model-what-you-need-to-know).
- Pathologizing Childhood: Not all child problems are neurobiological (“brain-based”) disabilities. Some issues are “out of the head.” (Perhaps the worksheet is poorly written with dreadful comprehension questions.)
- “Diagnosing” ADHD Based on Small Data: Checking a few items (e.g., “Easily distractible”) on something like the Vanderbilt Scales given in the pediatrician’s office is not enough.
- “We can’t diagnose dyslexia – you need to see a neurologist.” Parents are reflexively told this when they raise the issue of dyslexia. Seriously, how many neurologists or pediatricians that you know give a battery of reading, spelling and writing tests necessary to assess dyslexia? I work in a pediatric department with many specialists. I don’t know any.
- “This or That Thinking:” “I just want to get to the bottom of it,” parents will say. “I just don’t know if it’s ADD or laziness.” Truth is it’s almost never, “this or that.” With most kids it’s almost always, “this and that and that.”
- Dyslexia Nation: How did the array of reading problems all come around to dyslexia? A child could have a mild problem with reading that can be helped with good tutoring. This does not a dyslexic make.
- “The Spectrum:” I’m always puzzled when people refer to “The Spectrum,” as in, “He’s on the spectrum.” Which one??? All the issues of concern are on a spectrum. “The Spectrum” suggests there’s one and one only.
- “Hey, Bud” Parenting: I hate to break the news to parents out there, but they are your children. You don’t set limits with your buddies. You set limits with children.
- Overplaying 504 Plans: Listen up, gang. The reality of 504 Plans is that they do not do that much. They are not meant to offer services, but basic accommodations.
- Screen Addicts: I get it. Times change. I don’t get the newspaper delivered any more. I have my phone with me most of the time and am in a froth when I can’t locate it. With that said, kids care about little else than their screen time. They are becoming addicted. We’re not facing it.
OK…once, again, I’ve vented my spleen. Problem is I don’t feel any better.
Well, it’s still cheaper than real therapy!!!
Copyright, Richard Selznick, Ph.D. 2022, www.shutdownlearner.com.
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