Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Looking for Positive Sides from ADHD - Affliction or Blessing ?

Our group have never really touched in any depth or involvement upon the concept that ADHD is actually a positive force in enabling creativity. As one author recently described, perhaps we should look to extenuate the positive sides of hyper activity and question our education systems for not embracing the symptoms or offering alternative appraoches to teaching kids who are diagnosed ADHD. Once again it is a contention that there is mass over diagnosis too, and this is largely attributable to classroom 'misbehaviour'. Are we actually denying all children enough opportunities for creative outlet, and more captivating methods of teaching as we rush towards aligning our western school systems to a 'Three R's' teach and test system in order to score higher on PISA tests, and to marketise the public education system?

Some authors and commentators point to ADHD being purely a facit of modern conformity in an increasingly economically conservative education system, a good review here at collective-evolution, that is to say a system which the New Right have laden with testing in the 3 Rs which uses up more time and focus, to the cost of more creative and abstract activities in the classroom - teaching having become increasingly aimed at making and rewarding sqaure pegs in square holes. The trouble with all the New Right's (neo conservative's) agenda in using the PISA test as a benchmark for the relative success of schooling is that Finland leads the way, and does most all things in a very different way than that which the New Right would like. Much of the neo conservative agenda is driven by ideology as vehemntly as Stalinism, blind to opposition and running rough shod over educational bodies, pedagogical experts and the teachning profession.

It is ironic of course that much of the new wealth creation in the west then which has fuelled the rise of the neo conservative nouveau super riche and affluent "MBA middle class", have come from highly creative and entrepreneurial sources. The perfect example being Steve Jobs, whose legacy is now one of the world's biggest five Stock Market listed companies and employers. He certainly seemed to be very selective in what he chose to focus on, and what advice or criticism he allowed to penetrate his armadillo like ego -skin. You could  look at all the stock market stars of the post internet bubble, Google, Facebook, Amazon and many small to medium size Gazelle companies, and consider that the key force in establishing their critical mass in the market has been creativity and not conforming to conventions and rigid ways of practicing business development. The companies may have become sqaure in their need to go to IPO and report quarterly accounts and strategy to the "Street" but their fundamental value propositions were forged by highly creative individuals and often their R&D is stil true to this, so as not to kill the golden-goose as so  many take overs and floatations have done before.

Also the Leadership of for example the UK, come from an academic 'Elite' who had their self confidence, vision and social abilities forged at the most exclusive schools, namely Eaton and Harrow etc, where there pupils are offered a very diverse approach to building society's future leaders - in sports and arts in particular, and in pupils being ecouraged to be confident in self expression and self determination. Not so popular a theme perhaps in Tory circles,  of what state schools could do in order to create more success oriented individuals and see the individuals amongst the PISA orientated testing and statistics.

Politics aside, the opposite proposition is that ADHD for the vast majority is more an affliction than a gift, and that the disruptive patterns of brain activity and resulting behaviour are more destructive for the majority of individuals. just as very very few autistic children become world leading arcitechts or musicians, a small number of ADHD diagnosed kids go on to have truly exdceptionally successful lives. You can argue that of course, education fails them. And that is the crux of the matter which we will blog on again after som further discussion at our next group meeting.