One of the many things about which I am passionate is education. Here in the USA we need some serious reform. Most of what I have been yelling for years is summed up by this very smart man. It’s worth twenty minutes. Really.
Ken Robinson: How to escape educations death valley
And because this already raised a few flags on FB, I wrote this little bit of personal background info and opinions in response to concern over the speaker being dismissive of ADHD. I don’t think that he is. At all. But fyi, I am an unmedicated “sufferer” of ADD. I don’t look at myself as suffering. I was taught behavioral management at a young age, my mother encouraged me to be a child, and basically parented me. (Shocking, I know). I am also on the autism spectrum, am a relatively high functioning sociopath who possibly rates as a psychopath, and I DEFINITELY suffer from narcissism. 🙂
I enjoy the speed and variety of my thoughts. I haven’t mastered them, but I’m definitely a brown belt. I can harness all that chaos and build amazingly in depth worlds. I don’t think that I’m “broken” because I sometimes get bored in the middle of listening to someone drone on about things that are meaningless to me. I just smile and say “Sorry, I missed that,” and have them repeat it. I don’t go anywhere without pockets if I can help it, because when I’m fidgety and want to touch things, I still keep my hands in my pockets and fidget with a worry stone like my Mum taught me when I was little. I don’t apologize to people for being able to think faster and about more things than they can per minutes. I am actually offended that children are being made to feel like they need to.
There are, however, many people who were not so lucky as I was in the parental department or in the willpower department, or whatever combination of nature and nurture that has so far allowed me to excel in academics, critical thinking, and kept me from hurting people (I kill them in fiction, thank you very much, because killing is bad. duh). That said:
I am incredibly passionate about ADHD, misdiagnosis, and over-medication. As a child who would have been medicated instead of taught management given the current (and past since it was twenty years ago) trends of medical and sadly many educational professionals, I cannot stand to see a child turned into a zombie for the peace of mind of others. I know far too many children who were medicated to save their parents the hassle of having to actually interact with them.This is not only problematic from a billion different perspectives (not limited to bad parents, intolerance, stifling creativity, thousands of children who become adults who can’t function or manage their own humanness, etc, etc, etc) but also because it is normalizes and homogenizes the experiences of thousands of children who actually suffer from some pretty heartbreaking conditions. People become less sensitive to severe or confusing disorders like autism, Aspergers, and Tourrete’s, and expect individuals who suffer from these disorders to simply “take a pill for it” and be magically “normal.” The fact that there is a “normal” that these individuals are held to is as ridiculous as anything else. For every child who suffers from “childhood” and being medicated because of it, we lose that much more perspective on serious conditions, and in our lovely country (though I’m sure we’ve not the monopoly on it) when we lose perspective we lose any chance of compassion and problem solving.