07 May Neurodiversity
Throughout my life I have witnessed hundreds if not thousands of people mostly children being labelled with words that most do not even understand. In my experience, to call a person especially a child by anything but his or her own name is not only unfair and discriminatory but is also very damaging. For example a child diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can very easily have this label attached to them for the rest of their lives but is it really that necessary?
Labels such as ADD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia are some of the labels children today are being issued with. When I meet these children it becomes quite apparent that many of them don’t even know what it means but are quite happy to believe that they have this condition. If these labels simply stood to outline the reasons for why and how a child learned and processed information it would be one thing.
However these labels are the topic of much bullying, they are labels by which people often define and limit themselves in life, they can literally hold a child’s imagination at ransom until they can believe that they are no longer their label and accept themselves as being enough just the way they are.
Outside of a school setting children would be free of these labels as they would be processing their world their own way which is a basic human right. I don’t believe anyone has the right to remove that freedom from anyone.
All children deserves to feel like a gift to those around them and they all deserve to be and feel loved.
When children feel loved, wanted and accepted for being themselves they thrive.
If a child is unable to learn what a person is teaching maybe it’s how that subject is being taught that needs to be revised and not the uniquely developed brain of the child.
If we are all different in our own divinely unique way then it makes sense to accept that we all learn and can choose to learn in our own unique way also. People who are truly interested in being educators must understand this and develop their own methods of recognizing how each individual learns.
It is when we understand how a child learns that we can teach them in the most effective way for them.
Let’s look at it another way – if a child is having difficulty paying attention in school due to being in a hyperactive state does this justify anyone to say that this child has a disorder?
I’m sure we have all had times where we couldn’t or didn’t want to pay attention to what we were doing or being asked to do. I’m sure many of us have been a little hyper when we were trying to study, listening to someone speak or even watching a movie but surely this doesn’t warrant a label stating that we have a disorder does it?
Is it not acceptable anymore to simply be not interested in certain things?
A child may not even be able to pay attention the way it’s teachers, doctors or parents might wish them to but this isn’t always the child’s fault. This is often a “reaction” to something the child is experiencing.
If a child has an unknown allergy to a common food for example the chemical reaction in the child’s brain as a result of this can send a child into a hyperactive state to burn off the excess stress hormones released to fight what the body deems to be a pathogen. If that food happens to be what he/she ate for breakfast then of course the child won’t be able to pay attention as its body is in a state of emergency and hyperactivity is the brain’s natural reaction to that emergency.
So instead of a disorder this child could have an allergy, easily corrected with the application of the correct information.
What I am trying to say is that there are many aspects to people that are not all conscious and observable and to truly understand why something is happening or not happening we must be willing to investigate the unconscious and the unseen.
It has been my experience that no matter what label a man woman or child is given there is a reason for its being. Something so small can have a huge effect and reaction within a person’s body.
There can be any number of causes to a condition or label but we must be willing to go all the way to find them. Labels and medication just aren’t good enough.
The future lies within the children of today so we must look deeper. There is always a reason so there is always a way.