This book challenges the validity of ADHD, learning disabilities, and dyslexia as meaningful special education "categories" and critically examines the misplaced medical model from which they are derived. The presumption that these disabilities cause school-related problems detracts from identifying factors within the classroom that create and maintain a child's underachievement and disruptive behavior. Moreover, when the disability is finally named, it provides no functional information that translates into effective coping strategies. Macht delves into the misunderstood structure of these disabilities, pointing out that they are not verifiable disabilities but weak constructs that poorly describe each child's uniqueness. Finally, he provides an alternative model based on children's strengths rather than their deficiencies, and presents strategies that advance school-related success.
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Joel Macht is a former professor of educational psychology at the University of Denver, USA. He is an author, lecturer, former school psychologist, board certified behavior analyst, and former behavior consultant to school districts in Colorado and Arizona, USA.
1. From Differences to Disabilities.- 2. Disability Identification.- 3. Learning Disabilities.- 4. ADHD.- 5. Active Intervention.- 6. Diversity and the Common Core.
This book challenges the validity of ADHD, learning disabilities, and dyslexia as meaningful special education categories, while it critically examines the misplaced medical model from which they're derived. The book asserts that the presumption that these disabilities cause school-related problems distracts from an active search for identifiable factors within a child's classroom that create and maintain responsibility for a child's underachievement and disruptive behavior. This futile effort to name a disability wastes precious time while the unattended youngster waits for assistance. When ultimately the disability is named, it provides no functional information that translates to effective strategies. The book exposes the school-based medical model's weaknesses, and reveals educational disabilities' altogether misunderstood structure, pointing out that ADHD and LD are not disabilities that a child has, but weak constructs that poorly describe each child's uniqueness. Finally, it provides an alternative model built on a child's strengths not his deficiencies, and it presents strategies that advance those strengths. The book emphasizes the positive outcomes when children experience school-related success, specifically their gained self-assurance. They make better choices, they become self-directed, and they experience the sustaining joy from learning and their own achievement.
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