I know it is years away…and maybe not even in my lifetime, pills but I dream of the day when we will move beyond and say good-bye to the learning disability paradigm and welcome a new order of understanding into our consciousness. See, I believe that the “learning-disabled paradigm,” with its half-baked solutions for helping children who struggle in school, is the epitome of the weakness myth. I think it is important to state up front that I am not suggesting that the students who are labeled LD do not struggle—they clearly do, and suffer as a result. And I am all for helping kids catch up and learn what they need to know to get ahead in life, but the way in which we do that—with a sole focus on the weakness of the students—is only half the equation. If we are going to remediate weaknesses, we must have an equal commitment to building strengths. To do so will require embracing the philosophies related in this book and then backing them in Congress with the same energy that we enforce No Child Left Behind and with the same vigor with which we federally fund the remediation of weaknesses. This is one of the most powerful ways in which we can help struggling students succeed.
Furthermore, we don’t help children succeed when we place all the blame for the learning problems on them. This is how the learning disability paradigm operates. We begin by assuming that the unable to concentrate in school. If early instruction in reading and math was poor, a student who cannot catch up may become so frustrated that he gives up. If ever-increasing numbers of middle and high school students are being diagnosed with LD, then the weaknesses in our antiquated school systems must be reviewed as contributing factors. We cannot keep holding children back when they are intelligent and sometimes even gifted just because they understand and grow in the world differently than the dominant learning paradigm. How are we so sure we even have it right? Many of the most successful people I know are so called disabled. What a hoax.