11.03.2009

Other Ways

I love that mainstreamers are starting to maybe sort-of think of Asperger's and Autism not as "disorders" so much as "other ways." I'm hoping this will open the door to reconsider things like schizophrenia and mania too. Today's New York Times article is worth a glance. Here's how one autistic fella visualizes numbers:

If you're interested, make sure to watch this stunning video which offers (sort of) an inside view of autism.

The other day I asked my students what would happen if we relabeled A.D.H.D. "Surplus Energy/Hypostimulating-Environment Savantism" (SEHES). My students didn't laugh, but I'm sure my blog readers are laughing now... right?

3 comments:

Wishydig said...

calling hyperactivity "surplus energy" is fine. go ahead. call it that. it means the same thing.

but then look back at the strategies to help the kids that are struggling with tasks that take a certain amount of stillness. yes. we do ask kids to sit and do boring meaningless tasks. and a good psychiatrist will talk to both the teachers and the parents and find out what can be done to break up the day, to give the kid a chance to flex those knees and shake those arms.

i've worked with a few adhd kids. the most successful ones were an active part of their environment. they understood that a little bit of sitting still is sometimes a part of the world they value. and a LOT of them developed a great attitude and a took a very responsive role in meeting their needs.

some were sedated with drugs. and when they, their parents or their teachers had a concern and all parties were working together, this approach was evaluated and adjusted. sometimes the pills don't work. sometimes the kid needs a chance to climb a tree. sometimes the kid needs to run a lap.

you seem to think that psychiatry is less open to these things than you are.

some psychiatrists are the idiots you think. but those anchors are being dragged along by the scientists who know that knowledge is a dangerous comfort. and investigation is a fine and productive goal.

on schizophrenia, i get the impression you're choosing to overlook a couple things

1) the severe and crippling nature of schizophrenia. it's not a personality that makes for strange conversations. it's a disorder that often leads to a complete inability to interact and function, even to the point of catatonia.

that might be kinda spiritual and cool to think of, but it's a living death for sufferers.

2) the constant and ongoing investigation into schizophrenia and the absolutely baffling origins that have not been settled on by psychiatric consensus. it is constantly being reconsidered. no true scientist is happy with the view of it as a simple mental state to just throw geodon and risperdal at.

a diagnosis helps focus the many many approaches to the individual's needs. and many of those approaches look to family, to environment, to communication, to cognitive approaches to see what works. and when a schizophrenic is showing no response to the basics, therapy is bound by humane ethics to try those things that have been shown to help schizophrenics connect. as it is, it's not the schism with society that is most debilitating, it's the schism with self.

a schizophrenic will become alienated from all the thoughts, logic, facts, values, behaviors, and faith that they know how to use. with such a disconnected and disjointed mind there is no wisdom to be found through or within someone just because they see things in a "new" way. it's not a strange and fascinating poem.

Casey said...

Blahblahblah. Blogger cannot handle more than 4,096 characters. So this point goes to Wishydig.

Casey said...

(ALSO!: did you notice that when you type a comment you have to fill out a password and then "choose an identity"!?!?)

Awesome.