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Friday, December 21, 2007

I thought I already knew my children! Part 2

The Lost FilesPrologue
What a Difference A Year Makes Part 1
Chapter 1: What a Difference A Year Makes Part 2
Chapter 2: Background Influences
Chapter 3: What Am I doing? Part 1
Chapter 3: What Am I doing? Part 2
Chapter 4: Best Laid Plans.... Part 1
Chapter 4: Best Laid Plans.... Part 2
Chapter 5: Socialization? Part 1
Chapter 5: Socialization? Part 2
Chapter 6 : I thought I already knew my children! Part 1
Chapter 6 : I thought I already knew my children! Part 2

After evaluating myself, I then tested my daughter and she scored right sided on several assessments as well. (These tests consisted of me checking off her traits from a list, and then adding the score.) Then I found a site with a visual test had her take, and though she had previously tested right brained, I could see a struggle where she wanted to answer in
a left brained way though the right brained answer was her first inclination. I had the same struggle when I attempted the test. I assume this struggle we both had is from our attempt to conform to everyone around us.

From looking at all of the checklists and considering my son in all tabulations, it was
clear to me that he is left brained like his father. However, I could not figure how his
artistic ability and musical skill figured into the ratio. He flew through the same visual
exercise that my daughter and I took and easily answered as a right brained person! Now
I was confused. Was he right brained, or left brained, or whole brained (using both sides equally). Therefore, I read on until I came upon a new concept I have never heard before
called divergent thinking. Simple put, it means that he is a creative thinker in addition to being logical! Which side of his brain is more dominant, I am not sure, but the kind of questions he normally asks fits the profile perfectly.

What I have since the seminar is while left brained people are described as logical,
sequential, rational, analytical, objective, and tend to look at things in parts, Right brained people are described as random, intuitive, holistic, synthesizing, subjective, and then to see the whole picture. Institutional education works best for those who are left-brain dominant because such that is the easiest way to teach a room full of children. Public schools cannot allow creative spontaneous experiments, and they cannot allow every child to answer questions until they have a "feel" for the subject. To survive in public school children must be able to memorize disjointed facts instead of forming the whole picture. For many children, they simply cannot memorize, they must continue to ask question until a subject makes sense. This is how I know it worked for me and this is how it works for my daughter. My son however would have no problem in public school, as it seems he uses both sides of his brain equally and in the appropriate situations. For more information on Left- brained, vs. right brained learning, I recommend the book Right-
brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child by Jeffrey Freed and Laurie Parsons.

After speaking with Ms Martin, and doing research on Right Brained children, I had to wonder if ADD was not a disorder, but an excuse to make the minority (the creative right brained child) like the majority (the academic left brained child), by drugging children into conforming, thus making teachers’ jobs easier. I now realize, especially after spending this past year at home with my child that ADD is not a myth, though I feel it can be an excuse. There is impulsively in some children that cause them to act before they think. This can be distressing, and even cause chaos in a classroom, but I still do not think it is necessary to drug all of these children with this condition into submission. These kids believe they are defective and are given drugs to prove it. For many children, ADD is controllable with diet, exercise and rest. I have also learned it takes a certain amount of patience, and an awful lot of love to overcome the frustration that dealing with such an overly impulsive child can create. It helps a lot if that child belongs to you. When
the child is yours, somehow, no matter how much you want to yell scream and stand on your head, you often find yourself doing the opposite.

While I believe my child does have some ADD traits (though I have never had her formally tested), I also believe that she has many right brained traits. Instead of focusing on her "disorder., I focus on her abilities. She is energetic, creative, and quite talented as
well. I encourage her to pursue her interests, and I never ever tell her she has something wrong with her. Instead, I tell her that she is special and unique.

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