The people's voice of reason

What deficit?

We should take exception to the use of the term: Attention Deficit Disorder,especially so, those of us who have been blessed with it.

The noun attention is acceptable since a major portion of this psychological difference does tend to focus on the concentration of mental powers. The phrase: Short attention span, was much more accurate and had less of a negative connotation about it. But the education community does like to invent new titles for things.

Now the word deficit presents a lot of problems. This noun has a very negative connotation to it. It suggests that something is lacking in the person to whom it is directed.

And disorder suggests confusion or upset. People with ADD aren’t confused. Well, maybe they’re confused as to why they’re labeled the way they are, and they may well be upset over being singled out as some sort of freak in need of special attention. But let's take a look at some who have been so afflicted. Do we see them as deficient? One would think not.

The antics of Sir Winston Churchill, whose behavior as a young student reflected much of what afflicts students with attention deficit disorder: hyper-activity. Young Winston, for all his deviations from what was considered the classroom norm, loved to study the English language, and all its rules. Noted Sir Winston: whose behavior as a young student reflect much of that of modern day students with attention deficit disorder, hyperactive. Sir. Winston once observed: the rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition, is “an imposition up with which I shall not put.

As a few educators, who took the time to study the matter soon learned When the right side of the brain is dominant a person tends to be more creative, and more spontaneous. When the left side of a person's brain dominates, that person is likely to be more plodding, less spontaneous, or perhaps not spontaneous at all. Lawyers, bookkeepers, accountants, teachers, are usually left brained, and right handed.

ADD people, like Sir Winston, are right brain dominant. They’re more spontaneous, more creative, and less tolerant of people and eschew occasions that are mundane to the point of being boring.

People with ADD are usually discovered in elementary school when they tend to act up in class. They’re bored. As a rule, when the topic of instruction is presented for the first time, they grasp the idea at first telling. “O.K. Got it. Let’s get on with the lesson,” are the thoughts going through their minds at the time. But in the standard classroom, instruction must be reduced to the lowest common denominator, the teacher must contend with “Old Ned in the First Reader,” and slog on repeatedly until he comprehends the matter at hand. In the meanwhile the ADD person has nothing to occupy or challenge his intellect, so he, or she, finds diversions—such as cutting up.

Unfortunately, the penal, lock step mentality that prevails in the education community is generally unprepared to cope with the ADD person, so he or she is labeled as disruptive, willful or just plain bad, and is punished for his or her classroom transgressions; usually with a stern letter to the parents.

If the goal of education is imparting knowledge and skills on young minds, why punish those who are eager and willing to learn beyond the scope of the normal classroom? Why must they be ostracized and criticized for possessing the skills and talents one should hope for in a young person: an eagerness and willingness to enhance his or her knowledge?

A half century and more ago, before ADD was discovered, young people with this talent earned the enmity of their tutors when their minds wandered beyond the subject at hand. Either a generous application of the rod or a stern letter home received a temporary return of the youngster to the path of righteousness, but usually not for long.

Some years ago the pharmaceutical industry gave us a narcotic that would turn otherwise overactive youth into docile zombies less inclined to disrupt the hum drum of the classroom. And ADD and ADHD became the afflictions du jour and eager marketers soon convinced the older population that they probably had Adult ADD. Puhleeez! There’s no adult, adolescent, or juvenile ADD. In fact, it’s all just a product of an overactive imagination on the part of psychologists and educators to label an otherwise normal trait that they’re incapable of addressing.

So, let's not punish students with ADHD; let's encourage them. Some of us are red headed, some of us blonde. It's unnatural to think that we should all have the same color hair. Why, then, should we all be right handed? But our society is built on this erroneous assumption. That's deficient thinking.

If your child is left-handed and is in trouble with his or her teacher, you might want to consider this deficit.

82 years ago

In the cornucopia of trivia, here's another item: What happened 82 years ago in January, and might happen again; this time in the U.S.A.?

As the New Year got underway in Germany – back then – the Parliament Building was torched, supposedly by a Communist.

A day later, Adolph Hitler set forth a decree that stripped the German people of all their constitutional rights and liberties; since he felt that his government could do a better job of looking out for the citizens than they, themselves.

Is this refrain starting to sound unpleasantly familiar?

Hitler's party quickly put into law the Enabling Act, which placed total and absolute power in the hands of Der Fuehrer, and gave his party total control of the German government.

Their next step in July of that year was to make it against the law for the people to establish any political parties of their own, under penalty of at least three years in prison.

And the rest, they say, is history.

And, history, it has often been said, repeats itself.

Merry Christmas—or is that now against the law to extend this wish? It's beginning to look as if it is.

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas...


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