On the Subject of ADHD, ASD, SCHIZO EFFECT, BIPOLAR, AUTISM and Alternative ways of seeing, being & believing
On the Subject of ADHD, ASD, SCHIZO EFFECT, NUTS and other alternative ways of seeing, being & believing
Concerning ADHD & ASD – there are no clear boundaries with this and many other conditions and the approach taken by any professionals can be good, bad or indifferent (in the kids terms), whether these ‘condition’ exist for that child or not. That is also true of serious adult conditions like; ASD (Spectrum Disorder), Schizophrenia, Autism and others, which are describe as incurable. And yet, I have frequently helped people overcome some of these. This is achieve by ‘Reframing’ the problems; asking new questions and genuinely seeing new solutions, which fit with the person’s experiences and their conceptualisations.
Reframing is actually quite a simple technique, but a challenging discipline. I use what is call ‘Cognitive Reframing’ which doesn’t say it all. However, this does allow us to focus upon and addresses how we ‘think’ about a problem. It is often the ‘thinking’ that has gone wrong, or gotten out of step. Reframing is simply a process of opening up and looking through a new window (or many windows); opening the doors, letting in some fresh air, sweeping out the rubbish and boxing up the junk (that may be helpful later). It is akin to rearrange the mental furniture in a way that better aides understanding; allowing people to communicate their position & perspective more effectively.
There are an infinite number of possible refamings and combinations. Good science uses reframing of a problem so that it may be possible to come up with new questions, alternative answers and novel solutions. Sometimes these are not really ‘new’ but novel for the situation in which they are being considered. The simple case is that described by “Seeing from the other person’s point of view”. Even better is “walking a mile in their shoes”, and so on. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity did not trash Newton’s theories, just shone a new, wider perspective on them.
Reframing in this way is a creative process, but it must involve the person being engaged. The novel solutions have to fit them mostly, whatever our initial opinions. In the end, communication is about ‘shared experience’ but it is non-the-less and empowering for that fact. Changing perspective allows us to see the range of mountains hiding behind the small hill that otherwise dominated our perceptions, or the small, important hill, hidden behind a range of mountains.
Before any professionals, politicians and know-it-all ‘normals’ start to insist that the expertise in these respects lies in the Mental Health Services and ‘psychiatry’ especially, I would point out that the real advancing experts in this field are those people who suffered at the hands of many outdated, outmoded ways of thinking and cations; more in keeping with Paternalistic Victorian Values and Judgements, than serious scientific and human understanding.
Most psychiatric thinking is speculative and can be proven such very easily. Media Interviewers have great fun trying to tie Classical Psychiatrists down to the ‘material facts’. Thankfully there is a new brand of professional growing out of the likes of RD Laing, Cooper and myself; People with integrity, ethics, intelligent insight, open minds and affectionate approach to a ‘human’ social science. An approach that has proven to work in reparation and the better acceptance of ‘alternative perspectives.
(The following part of Article Remains Under Construction – Please add your comments)
That said, some seem to be very resistant to advancement. The classifications of psychiatry are very crude and based upon very old scientific system of classifications. It is improving slowly with the evolution of social psychiatry. Once a diagnosis is made by a psychiatrist, many people tend to trust it and work on the basis that it is a ‘condition’.
That reinforces the person’s expectations for themselves and the ‘symptoms persist or worsen and drugs may be used, The Parents, Teachers and other professions then trust the diagnosis was correct. When the meet the next case you naturally assume the same and proceed accordingly. This I describe as the ‘Self Fulfilling Prophesy’.
The problems arise when someone like me comes along and dose a bit of chatting and ‘reframing’ of what looks to be the problem and the ‘symptoms’ sometimes disappear. Other times they remain, but those working with them and the child, manage them and understand them differently and there is no longer a problem (new understanding).
The thing is, that I have found with all these ‘conditions’ is that the basic features (the uncomplicated behaviours when no one is affected) often cause no problem for the child or person. It is only when others find in uncomfortable in meeting ‘objectives’ that it is identified as a ‘problem’ and then ‘diagnosed’ and often treated medically.
In my work I take a different approach & perspective (reframing) and look for what it is in a person’s thinking and behaviour that is beneficial to them and may give advantages over others ways of thinking and doing. There is a very strong association between schizophrenia ‘symptoms’ and creative ways of thinking, doing and understanding.
With ASD ADHD and other similar ‘conditions’ (sometimes including Dyslexia and the like) there is a very strong association of these ‘behaviours’ with the tendency to take in information from many sources, a kind of multi-tasking of the senses. These are also associated with some high level technical talents and creative problems solving.
The ‘Focus’ or The ‘Blinkers’:
The thing being presented as the ‘required focus’ in teaching, appears to be inadequate compared with its relationship with the world that surrounds it. It is only one bit of this ‘bigger thing’ and sometime perhaps the least important bit. Such people, like my son, are able to focus and attend very well to things that naturally get their attention, but also when things are presented in that wider context, thereby making it feel more relevant.
Teachers (and parent) often do that quite naturally, in trying to meet the wider and differing need of kids. The problems come when time pressures and imposed ‘none learning’ criteria distract and force us to concentrate on the prescribed object in the prescribed way. That way many people are going to fail (relatively speaking) not just the child ‘diagnosed’.
I found with my son, like with so many, it was the expectation of a problem that was the problem. When the negative expectation was removed (in some way) communication improved and attention increased. This is usually by modifying the tasks or presentation enough to include the ‘context’ of the thing, or provide a stimulating ‘hook’ to get the attention and associating it with other interesting topics / items / or methods.
In my Son’s case we could be a distraction and loose focus, but this was because he was dead keen to learn everything that interested him. He would sit at home producing theories to explain just about anything that caught his attention that day, sometimes even the lessons 🙂 There did not always hold water, but he was happy to chat this over with me or his brother and adjust his ‘theory’ in the light of that new perspective.
Once the teacher understood this and looked at him and his relationship with the class, the topic and presentation, it was very easy to get him settled in, without the need of an assistant. The teacher regained the relationship, unhindered by the distortion that ‘diagnosis’ had misinformation had produced. In fact, that kind of process is the kind of process that teachers went through before the experts came up with their fancy concepts.
He was also being treated as if he had asthma. I knew it was anxiety attacks and when I was eventually in a position to demonstrate to him what it was, he stopped using his ‘meds’ and told his PE teacher he did not have Asthma. The problem (including the symptoms of stress reaction) went away completely and never returned. These problems were associated, they were ‘induced’ symptoms and did not reside ‘within him’ as a problem.
Frankly this is more often the case with these and many more serious conditions. Expectation of a problem continuing is called a ‘self fulfilling prophesy’. It becomes everyone’s expectation, including the child / adults and becomes the new standard for judging the person, one they are then rewarded for, if they continue to qualifying (attention, special treatment, good excuse, sympathy and lots more negative stuff).
I have found that the vast majority can overcome these problems, or their symptoms entirely. Others can only moderate them to a tolerable level, by using these ‘reframing’ methods. Who knows why that is; probably lots of things. Some may have an organic problem, some may be resistant to any approach, some may enjoy the situations it creates and some may just not want to alter things or can’t be bothered.
The point is none of these diagnosed conditions are pure, when they are real at all. It s relatively rare that Psychiatry, Neurology and Genetics finds any ‘clean’ biological, physiological, neurological, psychological or social cause. Like all thing it is usually a combination of all things and nothing at all. More often though, I have seen a clear relationship between these ‘conditions’ and the alternative positive attributes and outcomes.
High intelligence (including emotional intelligence); creative; enhanced ability to formulate theories and test them; good problem solving abilities; ability to see the whole and understand th relationship between its part, develop talents and skill without significant input from others (criminal ones if their needs are not met otherwise) and lastly; an improved ability to be independent, take personal initiatives and survive under harsh conditions, using what is available (survival traits)
If they are drugged, or otherwise treated in restrictive ways these potentials are mostly lost (perhaps sometimes for ever), or become corrupted toward delinquent or other destructive purpose. I would say 90% come into the ‘can cure, seriously resolve, or didn’t exist’ at all category and 10% may have an intractable condition (for whatever reasons, that may benefit from treatment more than they suffer the consequences of the side effects. To be continued. . .
From what I have seen also, it is a wonderful excuse for justifying or covering up for just being naught 🙂 and I am serious LoL