Everytime a child says ‘I don’t believe in fairies’ there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

Everytime a child says ‘I don’t believe in fairies’ there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead.

The heading is from “Peter Pan“, by J.M. Barrie, and it entices children (and some adults) all over Neverland and London to respond by chanting: “I do, I do, I do believe in fairies!” It is my belief that many people out there wish to join Peter Pan and his Neverland existence by chanting: “I don’t, I don’t, I don’t believe in ADHD!“, believing this will cause the ADHD to fall dead on its face.

The last couple of days have been emotionally draining for me due to reading several posts about ADHD that are just so demeaning!

First, there’s this old “gem” from Psychology Today (who really ought to know better than to publish something so ill-researched): http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/suffer-the-children/201203/why-french-kids-dont-have-adhd The only redeeming factor, as far as I can see, is the wealth of commentators that know better and tell her why.

This post at least tries to balance out the information, but it is deeply disturbing to read a lot of the comments: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2013/11/22/adhd-diagnoses-rise-to-11-of-kids/?hpt=hp_bn13

But what really tipped the scale for me today was reading this: http://www.theonion.com/articles/more-us-children-being-diagnosed-with-youthful-ten,248/. It is supposed to be funny, either ironic or sarcastic, but to me it’s just another example of “I’m so cool, I can poke fun of all the retards” and it legitimizes all those people claiming that ADHD is not real, that all children have ADHD, and that if we just allow children to be children (or indeed, the exact opposite: if only we enforce discipline), the problems will magically disappear.

Although temporarily discouraged, I know I will rise again, and take up my own chant:

I do, I do, I do believe in fairness!

Why Being Smart Doesn’t Help People With ADHD

Why Being Smart Doesn’t Help People With ADHD

“While intelligence and ADHD are intertwined, their relationship is complex and generally misunderstood. For patients suffering from the physical and social impacts of ADHD, extra smarts do not afford them any added perks; in fact, a high IQ may actually make living with ADHD even more challenging.”

Learning Disabilities and The Gifted – Learning disability Syndrome

Learning Disabilities and The Gifted – Learning disability Syndrome

Finally, someone taking the combination of giftedness and learning disabilities seriously!

Watching this video, and the second one that follows it, had me up half the night. I like how they look critically at the bases for what are defined as “learning disorders” and question the assumptions at large, but that makes it quite curious that they hold up their own specialty, psychotherapy, as “fact”.

Both videos are a curious mixture of highly interesting perspectives and insights that could prove very valuable, and a strange confession of faith that makes the hairs on my back stand up in protest.

It seems to me as if they go a bit too far in implying that learning disorders are “just psychological”, denying any neurochemistry/neurobiology, despite freely admitting that there is way too much available research to go through in order to separate the fiction from the facts. I would be very much surprised if they were right in thinking that dyslexia and dyscalculia are not manifestations of physical differences in the brain.

Both speakers, however, talk about the possibility that giftedness in itself could offset behaviours that are not conductive to learning or getting the best possible results in school. This is probably an extremely important observation that warrants more research, as there is hardly any knowledge out there, even in the gifted communities, about the effects of having such a different brain. The psychological pain gifted children and adults go through on account of perceiving the differences yet not understanding or appreciating them, can be very, very detrimental. Like it was said: observing that your brain makes huge leaps of understanding, and allows you to wing your way through what others have to work hard for, and having no idea WHY this happens is hard!

What if it’s not their fault? The myth of free will.

Excellent!

JayMan's Blog

Fresh stuff!  New Blog Post #3!

So in my last blog posts we learned about the role of heredity in determining behavior and the non-affect of parenting and the family environment on behavioral traits.  But most of us feel we are in control of ourselves (I suppose except when it comes to the “scars” parents leave with us that shape our behavior). But it turns out like the effect of parenting, the notion of free will is an illusion.

David Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine has written an article in The Atlantic detailing insights on the brain and behavior:

The Brain on Trial
Advances in brain science are calling into question the volition behind many criminal acts. A leading neuroscientist describes how the foundations of our criminal-justice system are beginning to crumble, and proposes a new way forward for law and order.

As he shows, what has…

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All Human Behavioral Traits are Heritable

JayMan's Blog

EDIT, 5/30/15: [Post updated with results of new meta-analyses of behavioral genetic studies. See below!]

Edit, 1/3/13:[Post updated to reflect additional information provided in the comments. See below and see the comments.]

The time has come for a little reminder of the First Law of behavioral genetics. In my final post of 2012, I will discuss this extremely important law in depth. As we may recall from debates with creationists about the reality of evolution, scientific “laws” are comprehensive facts of nature that have the virtue of being able to be expressed in a few sentences, typically one or two. The three laws of behavioral genetics are no exception:

  1. First Law. All human behavioral traits are heritable.
  2. Second Law. The effect of being raised in the same family is smaller than the effect of genes.
  3. Third Law. A substantial portion of the variation in complex human…

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Psychological comments

Psychological comments

I stumbled upon a blog that I find highly interesting and entertaining, and that is well worth recommending to others. James Thompson writes about “Intelligence, differences, explanations, and other perplexing matters” in a way that makes me want to read more, and more, and more.