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ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Diagnosis, And Labels Oh My!

Posted Jan 07 2009 3:05pm

I am beginning to lose my faith in ADHD as a diagnosis.  Yes!  I just said I am beginning to lose my faith in what ADHD represents, and how we as a society have come to understand the most misunderstood condition of our time.

Earlier today I was reading about ADHD and learning disabilities.  I found an interesting, yet questionable, article that correctly reported that ADHD is NOT a learning disability.  But here’s where the article lost me…  The author described a learning disability as a situation when a student excels in one area, but struggles with another area.  For instance, if someone is really good with Verbal tasks, but struggles with non-verbal tasks.

ADHD was identified as a condition where people struggle across the board - verbal, non-verbal, etc…  EXCUSE ME?!?!?!

It is common knowledge, or so I thought, that ADHD very rarely exists by itself.  In most cases, people are also struggling with anxiety, depression, a “true” learning disability, and the list goes on…  But don’t we all struggle?  Don’t we all learn differently?

At what point are we just going to come up with a label for everyone?

Oh yea, and by the way, doesn’t the above definition also describe what we understand as “giftedness?”  Perhaps we have competing labels for our children (and yes, adults too), and that the condition or label is in the eye of the beholder.

Is that possible?  Have we gone too far?  Have we gone overboard?

Are we so focused on labeling everything that we miss the mark on what an individual truly needs?

What Do You Think?

We’d love to hear from you. Go ahead and give us your thoughts in the comments below.

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