Friday, March 30, 2012

New York Times article on autism

Article on autism in the New York Times

My comment:

First, there was an explosion in the diagnosis of ADHD. Now, there is an explosion in the diagnosis of autism. At the same time, we are increasingly concerned about the success of our schools, and have generally responded to those concerns with greater demands which include more homework. These trends are connected.  Children differ from each other whether or not those differences call for diagnostic labels. In the process of demanding more homework, we actually supplant parental authority and reduce respite in the home. As an adult, I depend on the comfort and flexibility of my home to refuel for the next day. Yet, we expect children to come home and keep doing their “job,” and not just to do it, but to keep doing it until it is all done with no end to the “homework day” in sight. Home life suffers.  Parents get desperate for relief as schools are demanding conformity, and hence, this creates pressure to expand legitimate diagnostic terms to apply to more and more kids. Reduce the demand by putting time limits on homework and increase authority in the hands of the parents, and you will see some reduction in the use of these terms. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D. author of The Homework Trap.

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