There is a raging debate about whether ‘disorders’ such as ADD, ADHD, ODD, DYSLEXIA etc, ‘exist’, or are marketing myths designed to sell drugs and therapeutic interventions, or are the result of a tragic attempt to do good unto others without sufficient insight, or …
There is no denying that there is a huge range of human diversity in terms of activity levels, attention spans, strength of will, reactivity, learning styles, etc.
The question is, at what point (if ever) do we label a difference as ‘problem’ that needs a solution whether medical or otherwise.
Self-directed learning initiatives don’t seek to determine on someone else’s behalf whether or not ‘they’ ‘have a problem’. If someone feels that they themselves have a problem of some kind, they will be supported as they figure out what they want to do with it, or not.
There is a growing body of evidence which suggests that these types of ‘problems’, like most human problems, are interactive.
Time and research will tell us:
- Can ‘Hyperactivity’ still be a problem where there is no restriction on activity levels?
- Can ‘ADD’ still be a problem when people are not required to shift their attention away from what matters to them, in favour of somebody elses’ priorities?
- Can ‘ODD’ still be a problem in a situation where everyone else is skilled in and practising flawless NVC(non-violent communication)?
- Can ‘Dyslexia’ still be a problem when people are allowed to learn at their own pace without age-pegged milestones; are free to explore how their own brains work and gain mastery over their own thought processes; happily make use of modern developments such as voice-controlled technology?
- Can any of these ‘disorders’ still be a problem, when external assumptions and expectations are released, allowing the individual to fully develop according to their own uniqueness, and contribute to the world in their most unique way?
- Are some or all of these ‘disorders’ actually critically useful talents that complete our human ‘group intelligence’?
- Could these traditionally suppressed talents (along with autism and possibly other ‘disorders’, too) be part of what makes the difference between a species’ self-extermination trajectory, and the development of a cooperative reality where humans thrive as part of a healthy planet Earth?
Self-led learning environments give us the opportunity to find out.
Do you know of any interesting research or personal experiences that explore this? Please comment so that everyone can benefit.
Here are a few places to start: