Tuesday, June 05, 2012

IEP Meeting -- Attention Deficit

Both times Maggie was evaluated by psychologists regarding her learning disabilities, we were told that she has ADD.  Really?  I'm just not seeing it.  When they told me this in California, I attributed the diagnosis to a screw-up in the evaluation procedure or the scoring of the test.  But they came up with the same findings again this spring.

However, the psychologist informed me of something else this spring -- Maggie's abysmal "processing speed."  I believe this accounts for the so-called problem of attention deficit.

When the kids tried to teach me the game of Munchkins, I couldn't understand.  I couldn't learn.  There was too much unfamiliar to me.  There were no "learning hooks" to which I could connect the new information they were giving me.  It was ALL new.  And it quickly became muddled.

My friend Glenda wrote about her recent trip to Germany, and how she fared during church services where she didn't speak the language.  Yes, she grasped parts of it.  Yes, God was still giving to her even when she was lost.  But given the thoughts swirling in my mind in wake of our IEP meeting, what struck me most was how Glenda (a grown woman who loves to sit through church every Sunday) had the wiggles and had to struggle to pay attention. 

I usually have very good hearing.  But sometimes you're in a room that is particularly noisy and you miss a lot of what the other person is saying.  You grab some of the message by lip reading, by facial expressions and body language, and you catch some of the words.  But it's awfully hard work to pay attention and get it all.  (I don't know how my mom does it!  She's impressive.)  It's hard to think about what the person says when you're expending so much energy just trying to hear it.

So now, if you're a girl whose brain just doesn't go as fast as other people's brains, you need more time.  And if you can't slow 'em down, pretty soon you're just going to quit paying attention.  That's not ADD.  That's a perfectly normal reaction. 

PS:  This is another example of how ADD is being overdiagnosed.


  1. Why yes I do. Even the three (!) hour one in Berlin on Pentecost Sunday due to the 14(!) baptisms at the beginning. It was wonderful, even if I missed understanding most of it. I didnt even realize three hours was gone. Still today I can't believe it was really three hours, it seems like it was only a "normal" time frame.

    And I did learn this and understood it quite well: "Dir sind deine Sünden vergeben." Pastor Martens spoke that over every member who came forward to the altar during the confessional service, even me and my family. Although he was so gracious to speak it on us in English, "Your sins are forgiven you."

  2. Glenda, your experience sounds the same as mine - even the same church. :) I understood some parts, but most of the time just had to go with the flow. But, the confessional service was great; I wish more American churches did it.