Transcript: Learning Disabilities and Face Painting | Oct 25, 2000

(music plays)
In animation, the title appears inside the shape of a house: “More to Family.”

The opening sequence shows a wooden table with a small lit candle as several words fly by: Relationships, education, caregivers, home, family.
Fast clips show different sets of hands performing activities on the table such as pulling petals from a daisy, drawing a big red heart, tuning a violin, flipping through the pages of a book, cooking, and pouring a glass of red wine.
In animation, the title appears inside the shape of a house: “More to life.”

Then, Kevin Brosch appears in a studio with yellow walls and a small TV set in the background, which reads “More to life.”

Kevin is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair and a gold hoop earring in his left ear. He’s wearing a beige shirt, black vest and checked brown tie.

He says HI THERE, I'M KEVIN
BROSCH, SITTING IN FOR
MAUREEN TAYLOR AND WELCOME
TO “MORE TO LIFE.”
IT'S A SCENARIO MOST PARENTS
DREAD.
YOUR CHILD IS WELL THROUGH
THE FIRST YEAR OR TWO OF
SCHOOL, PERHAPS EVEN ABOVE
AVERAGE BUT THEN PROBLEMS
START PILING UP.
THEY HAVE TROUBLE READING OR
WRITING, PERHAPS DIFFICULTY
PAYING ATTENTION IN CLASS,
AND NO ONE SEEMS TO KNOW
WHAT ON EARTH IS THE MATTER.
WELL THIS GENTLEMEN MIGHT BE
ABLE TO HELP.
Dr. WILLIAM FELLEDMAN.

William is in his late sixties, bald and clean-shaven. He’s wearing glasses, a brown coat, blue shirt and gray tie.

Kevin continues HE'S THE FORMER HEAD OF
PAEDIATRICS AT TORONTO'S
HOSPITAL FOR SICK CHILDREN
AND ALSO THE AUTHOR OF
“LEARNING AND ATTENTION
DISORDERS” A GUIDE FOR
PARENTS AND TEACHERS.

A picture of the book appears briefly. The cover features a picture of a child’s shadow on a game of hopscotch drawn with chalk on a concrete floor.

Kevin continues IN A FEW MINUTES WE'LL BE TAKING
YOUR CALLS AND TALKING TO
Dr. FELLEDMAN BUT FIRST A
LOOK AT AN ITEM PRODUCED BY
OUR COLLEAGUES AT “STUDIO 2.”
STUDENTS WHO REFUSE TO LET
THEIR LEARNING DISABILITIES
HOLD THEM BACK.

A clip plays in which two young men walk into a room with a sign that reads “Adaptive technology resource centre.”

Then, one of the men sits in an office facing the screen. He’s in his twenties, clean-shaven, with short black hair.

He says MY NAME'S RICHARD Texeira IN
MY FINAL YEAR, DOING A
DOUBLE MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY
AND PSYCHOLOGY AND I HAVE A
LEARNING DISABILITY.

The other man appears. He’s also in his twenties, clean-shaven, with blond hair and glasses.

He says I STUDY COGNITIVE SCIENCE
AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
HERE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO, I'M IN MY SECOND YEAR.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Richard Texeira."

Richard says THE EASIEST WAY TO SEE
HOW A DISABILITY AFFECTS
MYSELF WOULD BE LET'S SAY IN
A LECTURE, TRYING TO WRITE
NOTES WHILE THE PROFESSOR'S
SPEAKING.
THERE ARE TIMES WHERE I'LL
STOP AND I'LL ALMOST FREEZE,
AND MY MIND SEEMS TO GO
BLANK BECAUSE I JUST GET
STUCK ON A WORD.
I DON'T KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT
I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA.

The blond man reappears.
The caption changes to "Chris Serflek."

Chris says TO READ A BOOK, SUCH AS A
NOVEL, DEPENDING ON THE
COMPLEXTY OF THE NOVEL,
COULD TAKE UPWARDS OF 24
HOUR, PERHAPS.
WHEN SOMEONE ELSE THAT I
KNOW COULD READ THE SAME
NOVEL IN MAYBE SIX.

Richard says I DID MAKE IT ALL THE WAY
THROUGH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL,
HIGHSCHOOL AND THEN ENDED UP
IN UNIVERSITY WITHOUT
KNOWING I HAD A LEARNING
DISABILITY.
BUT I CERTAINLY SUFFERED A
LOT OF SCARS ALONG THE WAY.
I WAS HELD BACK IN GRADE TWO
TWO YEARS IN A ROW.

His eyes fill with tears as he continues
IN MY HIGH SCHOOL, I WENT
TO -- I WANTED TO KNOW WHAT
WAS IN MY ACADEMIC FILE SO I
SAT DOWN WITH A COUNSELLOR
TO SEE WHAT WAS IN THE FILE.
WE WENT THROUGH A LIST OF
THINGS THAT WERE IN THERE
AND THEN THERE WAS THIS ONE
NOTE FROM FROM A
PSYCHOLOGIST.
AND THE ACADEMIC COUNSELLOR
EXPLAINED TO ME THE NOTE
BASICALLY SAID THAT I WAS
MENTALLY RETARDED.

Chris says WHEN I FIRST LEARNED THAT
I HAD A LEARNING DISABILITY,
TO SOME DEGREE IT WAS
REFRESHING, “OH, GEEZ, OKAY,
YES, THIS IS DEFINITELY
SOMETHING THAT'S NOT RIGHT.
YOU KNOW, IT'S BEEN
SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN AND
VALIDATED.
THAT'S GOOD.”

Richard says BUT AS SOON AS I
UNDERSTOOD THAT, SOMETHING
ELSE CLICKED IN.
UH-OH.
THESE ARE PROBLEMS THAT I
MAY NEVER BE VERY GOOD AT.

Chris says IF THERE WERE NOT
PROVISIONS PROVIDED BY THE
UNIVERSITY THAT THE
LIKELIHOOD OF ME BEING IN
UNIVERSITY AND BEING ABLE TO
COMPLETE A UNIVERSITY DEGREE
WOULD BE VERY, VERY LOW.

Richard sits at a computer with text on a blue screen and says WHENEVER I WRITE AN
EXAMPLE I USE A COMPUTER
VERY MUCH LIKE THIS ONE WITH
A WORD PROCESSING PROGRAMME
LIKE WORD PERFECT THAT HAS
THE SPELLCHECK AND THE
GRAMMAR CHECK.
BUT ONE OF THE EXTRA
FEATURES THAT I USE IS A
PROGRAMME CALLED
“SOUNDPROOF” TO ACCESS IT I
JUST PRESS TWO KEYS...

He presses two keys and a MECHANICAL-TYPE VOICE reads text on the screen.

Richard continues
AND WHAT SOUNDPROOF DOES
IS IT ALLOWS THE CUTE TER TO
READ THE TEXT BACK TO ME SO
I CAN CATCH ANY MISTAKES.
ALSO IF THERE'S SOMETHING
THAT'S VERY COMPLICATED, IT
WILL READ IT BACK TO ME SO
THAT I CAN ALSO UNDERSTAND
IT BETTER.
I CAN CHANGE THE VOICE PITCH.
AND THE SPEECH SPEED.

A clip shows Chris scanning a sheet of paper.

He says THE TYPE OF EQUIPMENT
THAT I APPLY IS SAY SUCH AS
A SCANNER TO SCAN TEXT, THAT
MAKES AN ELECTRONIC COPY OF
THE PRINTED MATERIAL.
THEN WHAT I DO IS I HAVE THE
COMPUTER READ THE MATERIAL
TO ME AND I CAN COMPREHEND
IT A LOT BETTER AUDITORILY.
I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH THIS
COMPUTER TO TRAIN IT TO MY
VOICE, AND WITH THIS
COMPUTER AND THE SYSTEM I
CAN NOW ENTER ESSAYS.
AND IT'S A LOT BETTER THAN
TRYING TO TYPE IT OUT.

He speaks into a microphone and says
THIS
IS
A
TEST
FOR
STUDIO
TWO.

The words appear on his screen as he speaks.

He continues CHOOSE TWO.
PERIOD.
NEW LINE.
THE REASON WHY I USE THIS
SYSTEM IS THAT I CAN FIND I
CAN EXPRESS MYSELF MUCH
BETTER VERBALLY THAN THROUGH
THE WRITTEN WORD AND THIS
SYSTEM ALLOWS ME TO USE THAT
WAY OF COMMUNICATING MY
IDEAS AND STILL END UP WITH
A WRITTEN PIECE THAT I CAN
HAND OVER TO A PROFESSOR.
WHEN I FIRST TELL MY FELLOW
STUDENTS THAT I WRITE IN A
SEPARATE AREA AND RECEIVE
EXTRA TIME, THERE IS A BIT
OF CONFUSION, MAYBE A BIT OF
CONCERN.

Richard says SOMETIMES TREATING PEOPLE
EQUALLY AMOUNTS TO TREATING
THEM UNFAIRLY.
AND I THINK THAT IF
SOMEBODY'S WILLING TO ACCEPT
THAT IDEA, AND THEN THEY'RE
MORE WILLING TO ACCEPT THE
IDEA THAT GIVING EXTRA TIME
ON EXAMS IS NOT BEING UNFAIR
TO THE OTHER STUDENTS, IT IS
BEING FAIR TO THE PERSON WHO
HAS A LEARNING DISABILITY.

Chris says TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE
PERFORMANCE AND THE
COMPETENCE, OKAY, WHEN THEY
TESTED ME AND THEY GAVE ME A
“WHAT IS THE NORM” TIME
WHICH HAS BEEN QUALIFIED BY
EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE AND SUCH
AND EVALUATION, I RANKED IN
THE 19th PERCENTILE.
WHEN THEY GAVE ME LONGER
AMOUNTS OF TIME TO COMPLETE
THE TASK I RANKED IN THE
99th PERCENTILE.
THAT IS A SUBSTANTIAL
DIFFERENCE.

Richard says THE IDEA OF HAVING
LEARNING DISABLED SORT OF ON
YOUR TRANSCRIPT, WELL WHY
STOP THERE.
WHY NOT HAVE IT AT THAT TIME
TODAY ON MY FOREHEAD?

Chris says I THINK THAT THE PERSON
WITH THE DISABILITY SHOULD
HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE
WHETHER THEY INFORM THEIR
EMPLOYER OR NOT.
PERSONALLY, I WOULD NOT WANT
TO WORK WITH A COMPANY THAT
WAS NOT RECEPTIVE TO THAT.

Richard says THE ISSUE IS REALLY DOES
THE EMPLOYER'S RIGHT TO KNOW
OVERRIDE MY RIGHT TO
PRIVACY?
AND I DON'T BELIEVE IT DOES.

Chris says EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR
PEOPLE THAT CAN PRODUCE
QUALITY.
AND YOU CAN'T PUT A TIME
LIMIT ON QUALITY.

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Kevin says
WELL, THAT'S HOW TWO
STUDENTS COPED AND NOW WE'D
LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU.
IF YOUR CHILD HAS A LEARNING
DISABILITY OR YOU SUSPECT
THERE'S SOME TROUBLE BREWING,
PLEASE GIVE US A CALL.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "416-484-2727. 1-888-411-1234."
Then, it changes to “moretolife@tvo.org”

Kevin continues Dr. FELDMAN, WELCOME.

William says THANK YOU.
THESE CASES DESCRIBED ON
THIS CLIP ARE VERY TYPICAL,
ACTUALLY.

Kevin says THEY ARE, ARE THEY NOT?
WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION TO
WRITE THE BOOK THAT YOU DID?

The caption changes to "Doctor William Feldman. Learning Disabilities Expert."

William says WELL, MY
MOTIVATION TO GET INVOLVED
IN THIS WHOLE FIELD OF
LEARNING PROBLEMS AS AN
ORDINARY PEDIATRICIAN
STARTED WHEN I WAS IN
TRAINING SOME 35 YEARS AGO.
AND IT WAS MAINLY BECAUSE OF
ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO
USED TO WALK AROUND
EVERYWHERE HE WENT IN THE
HOSPITAL WITH A LITTLE
PORTABLE TYPE WRITER.
AND FINALLY I ASKED HIM WHY
DO YOU DO THAT?
WHY DON'T YOU JUST WRITE THE
WAY EVERYBODY ELSE WRITES?
AND HE SAID BECAUSE I CAN'T
WRITE.
AND I SAID WHAT DO YOU MEAN
YOU CAN'T WRITE?
YOU WENT TO UNIVERSITY AND
MEDICAL SCHOOL AND YOU'RE
DOING YOUR POST GRADUATE
TRAINING AS A PEDIATRICIAN.
HE SAID WHEN HE WAS 10 IN
GRADE FIVE HIS TEACHER HAD
RECOGNIZED THAT HE HAD
SOMETHING CALLED DYSGRAPHIA
OR THE ABILITY TO WRITE,
LIKE ONE OF THE PEOPLE WE
SAW IN THE CLIP, AND SAID
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO LEARN
HOW TO WRITE BECAUSE IT'S
VERY DIFFICULT FOR YOU IT TO
WRITE IN THE CONVENTIONAL
WAY, BUT YOU CAN LEARN TO
TYPE.
AND SHE BROUGHT HIS PARENTS
IN THE PARENTS BROUGHT HIM A
SMALL PORTABLE TYPEWRITER IN
THOSE DAYS AND HE TOOK HIS
TYPEWRITER WHEREVER HE WENT
AND TYPED HIS WAY THROUGH
PUBLIC SCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOL,
UNIVERSITY AND MEDICAL
SCHOOL AND WAS BRILLIANT
PHYSICIAN.
AND HAD A BRILLIANT TEACHER
WHO COULD SEE THAT HE WAS
NOT RETARDED, AS WE HEARD
ABOUT ONE OF THE PEOPLE ON
THAT CLIP, BUT A VERY BRIGHT
BOY WHO JUST HAPPENED TO
HAVE A PROBLEM PUTTING
THINGS DOWN ON PAPER.

Kevin says AND IT WAS THE TEACHER
THAT IDENTIFIED THE PROBLEM EARLY.

William says VERY
BRIGHT TEACHER IN A ONE-ROOM
CLASSROOM IN MINNESOTA WHO
35 YEARS AGO HADN'T READ ALL
OF THESE FANCY BOOKS BUT
JUST KNEW HER STUDENT, KNEW
HE WAS BRIGHT, KNEW HE HAD A
PROBLEM AND KNEW HOW TO
SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

Kevin says AND WE'VE SEEN TECHNOLOGY
KIND OF MOVE FORWARD WITH I
GUESS IT WAS CHRIS USING THE
COMPUTER WITH THE VOICE
ACTIVATED SPEECH PATTERN TO
HELP HIS WRITING ABILITY.
AND NOW I GUESS EVEN AS IT
FURTHERS, KIDS WILL BE ABLE
TO USE PALM PILOTS AND SUCH
TO HELP THEM THROUGH THESE
DISABILITIES.

William says YES,
THAT'S RIGHT.
TECHNOLOGY IS GOING TO MAKE
A DIFFERENCE, BUT THERE ARE
FAIRLY OLD-FASHIONED AND
TRADITIONAL WAYS OF HELPING
THESE KIDS AS WELL.
FOR EXAMPLE ONE OF THE
PEOPLE IN THE CLIP HAD
PROBLEMS READING.
IT TOOK HIM A LONG TIME TO
READ AND HE MISSED A LOT OF
THE WORDS HE WAS READING.
WELL THERE'S VERY GOOD
EVIDENCE NOW FROM GOOD
STUDIES THAT THE OLD
FASHIONED WAY OF TEACHING
READING, SUCH AS PHONICS,
HELPS CHILDREN WHO HAVE
WHAT'S CALLED DISALEXIA OR
DIFFICULTY READING.
AND YOU DON'T NEED
TECHNOLOGY FOR THAT.
A GOOD OLD FASHIONED BOOK, A
PARENTS WHO HAS THE TIME, A
TEACHER WHO CAN WORK WITH A
PARENT AND SHOW HOW TO TEACH
PHONIC ALSO MAKE A
TREMENDOUS DIFFERENCE.

Kevin says VERY EARLY IN YOUR BOOK,
YOU USE THE TERMS -- I GUESS
YOU REFERENCE JUNK SCIENCE,
PSEUDO SCIENCE AND
NON-SCIENCE.
AND WITH THE COMING OF THE
INTERNET, THERE'S A LOT OF
MISINFORMATION OUT THERE.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HALLMARKS
WE NEED TO BE AWARE OF IN
LOOKING AT FLAWED THEORIES?

William says THE MEDICAL PROFESSION
OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS OR SO
HAS BECOME VERY INVOLVED IN
SOMETHING CALLED
EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE.
AND IT MEANS THAT IT'S NOT
JUST ONE PERSON GETTING UP
AND SAYING “I'VE USED THIS
TREATMENT ON A THOUSAND
PATIENTS AND THEY ALL GOT
BETTER.”
THAT'S OLD FASHIONED.
AND UNFORTUNATELY YOU STILL
SEE THAT IN A LOT OF THE
EDUCATIONAL LITERATURE SO WE
GO MUCH MORE FOR WHAT'S
CALLED A RANDOMIZED
CONTROLLED TRIAL WHERE HALF
THE PATIENTS WITH THE
PROBLEM HAVE THE NEW
TREATMENT AND THE OTHER HALF
HAVE THE OLD TREATMENT AND
NOBODY KNOWS WHO'S GETTING
WHICH.
AND THEN IT'S ONLY THOSE
PEOPLE WHO GET BETTER.
IF THEY GET BETTER WITH THE
NEW TREATMENT, YOU CAN SAY
THE NEW IS BETTER THAN THE
OIL.
THAT'S CALLED EVIDENCE-BASED
MEDICINE AND IT'S HOPEFULLY
GOING TO START MOVING INTO
THE EDUCATIONAL FIELD AS
WELL.
MOST OF THE STUFF ON THE
INTERNET UNFORTUNATELY IS
LIKE THE OLD FASHIONED
STUFF.
“USE MY TREATMENT AND YOUR
CHILD WILL SUDDENLY LEARN TO
READ” EVEN THOUGH IT COSTS
YOU A LOT OF MONEY IT'S
WORTH IT.
I'VE USED IT ON A HUNDRED
KIDS THEY ALL GOT BETTER.
THAT ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH.

Kevin says HOW DO WE STAY AWAY FROM THAT?
HOW DO WE KIND OF STEER CLEAR?

William says WELL I
ACTUALLY HAVE A SECTION IN
THE BOOK WHICH DESCRIBES
TO PARENTS HOW THEY CAN
EVALUATE THE EVIDENCE THAT
THEY'RE SEEING.
IT DESCRIBES THE RANDOMIZED
CONTROLLED TRIAL, WHICH I
TOLD YOU, OF WHICH
UNFORTUNATELY THERE ARE
PRECIOUS FEW OF THOSE KINDS
OF STUDIES IN THE
EDUCATIONAL AND
PSYCHOLOGICAL LITERATURE,
BUT THEY'RE GETTING TO BE
MORE AND MORE.
AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT
SOMETHING, YOU WANT TO BE
SURE THAT NUMBER ONE THERE
WAS A CONTROL GROUP, THAT IS
A GROUP THAT DIDN'T HAVE THE
INTERVENTION THAT PEOPLE
WERE TRYING TO SEE WHETHER
IT WORKED OR NOT.
AND TO MAKE SURE THAT THE
PEOPLE THAT GOT THE
INTERVENTION DID BETTER THAN
THE PEOPLE WHO WERE IN THE
CONTROL GROUP.
AS I SAY, MOST OF THE STUFF
ON THE INTERNET DOESN'T HAVE
THAT AND YOU CAN PICK THAT
UP VERY QUICKLY.

Kevin says BUT IT'S GOING TO TAKE
SOMETIME TO SORT THROUGH.
WE HAVE A CALL FROM LOUISE
IN NAP KNEE.
HELLO, LOUISE.

The Caller says HELLO.
I HAVE A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY
WHO WAS SPEECH-DELAYED.
DIDN'T START TALKING UNTIL
HE WAS ABOUT THREE YEARS OF
AGE AND HE'S JUST STARTED
GRADE TWO AND HE SEEMS TO
BE -- IT TAKES HIM A LONG
TIME TO READ, TO DO HIS
HOMEWORK.
LIKE YOU KNOW, HOMEWORK FOR
HIM SHOULD BE ABOUT 20
MINUTES.
AND IT TAKES HIM UPWARDS OF
TWO HOURS TO DO HIS HOMEWORK
AND IT'S NOT COMPLICATED
HOMEWORK, READING A SMALL
BOOKLET, MAYBE TEN PAGES
WITH ONE SENTENCE ON EVERY
PAGE, AND THEN HE HAS TO --
HE CAN'T COUNT BY 2s, HE
DOESN'T RECOGNIZE THE
NUMBERS 12 THROUGH 18.
HE JUST CAN'T SAY THOSE
WORDS, AND SO THAT TAKES HIM
ANOTHER TIME AND THEN HE HAS
SPELLING ON TOP OF THAT AND
HE HAS EIGHT WORDS TO SPELL
AND IT TAKES HIM THE WHOLE
WEAK TO LEARN TO SPELL THOSE
WORDS.
IT'S JUST, IT'S VERY
TIME-CONSUMING WITH HIM WHEN
I HAVE TWO OTHER KIDS.
I DON'T KNOW IF HE HAS A
PROBLEM OR IT'S JUST -- I'M
NOT SURE WHERE TO GO WITH
HIM.

William says WELL,
LOUISE, THE PROBLEMS THAT
YOU'VE IDENTIFIED ARE NOT
RARE, AND THIS IS A
REASONABLE AGE WHERE THEY
START PRESENTING, ACTUALLY,
IN GRADE TWO.
IT SOUNDS LIKE ONE OF THE
PROBLEMS HAS TO DO WITH
READING, AND I JUST WONDER,
THE NATURE OF THE READING
PROGRAMME THAT HE'S IN.
FOR EXAMPLE, AS I MENTIONED
A BIT EARLIER, IF HE WERE
GETTING PHONICS, I THINK
YOU'D SEE THAT THE READING
SITUATION WOULD IMPROVE.
SO HE MAY HAVE MORE THAN ONE
PROBLEM.
HE MAY HAVE A PROBLEM AT THE
RECEPTIVE END, THAT IS IN
THE READING AREA, IN WHICH
CASE PHONICS WILL HELP A
LOT.
AND HE MAY HAVE A PROBLEM
PUTTING THINGS DOWN ON PAPER
AS WELL.
AND SOME OF THE TRICKS THAT
CAN BE USED THERE, I THINK
THE TEACHERS SHOULD CONTINUE
TO WORK WITH HIM IN TRYING
TO GET HIM TO LEARN TO READ
AND TO WRITE, BUT THE KINDS
OF TRICKS WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT, IF IT'S NOT TOO
EARLY -- IT MAY BE TOO EARLY
TO SEE AT THIS TIME.
IT MAY BE WORTH WHILE
WAITING A LITTLE BIT LONGER
BUT THINGS LIKE LEARNING HOW
TO TYPE, USING TAPERECORDERS,
GETTING PHOTO COPIES OF
NOTES AND THINGS LIKE THIS
WILL HELP THE PERSON WHO HAS
A PROBLEM PUTTING THINGS
DOWN ON PAPER.
THERE ARE ALSO NEW
APPROACHES AT HELPING KIDS
WITH SPELLING PROBLEMS AS
WELL.
SO IT'S A BIT EARLY IN GRADE
TWO, BUT NEVERTHELESS YOU
MIGHT HAVE PUT YOUR FINGER
ON SOMETHING AND GOOD FOR
YOU FOR KEEPING ON TOP OF
IT.
BECAUSE SOMETIMES TEACHERS
KEEP SAYING “WELL IT'S NOT
REALLY A PROBLEM” AND “HE'LL
GET BETTER” AND IT'S NOT
UNTIL GRADE FIVE WHEN THESE
CHILDREN ARE TEN YEARS OF
AGE AND MADE TO FEEL
TERRIBLE, THEY'RE KEPT BACK
A GRADE OR MADE TO FEEL AS
THOUGH THEY'RE RETARDED, AS
WE HEARD IN THE CLIP, THAT
ACTION GETS TAKEN.
THESE KIDS ARE USUALLY NOT
RETARDED.
THEY'RE USUALLY NOT SLOW IN
OTHER AREA, BUT THEY MAY
HAVE SPECIFIC LEARNING
PROBLEMS, WHICH CERTAINLY
CAN BE HELPED, AND THE
EARLIER THEY'RE PICKED UP
THE BETTER.

Kevin says GOOD LUCK, LOUISE.
IN YOUR BOOK, Dr. FELDMAN,
YOU REFERENCED A YOUNG BOY,
I THINK IT WAS IN TRYING TO
IDENTIFY HIS DISABILITY OF
DYSLEXIA AND IT TALKED TO
NOT GOING AFTER WHAT THE
PROBLEM WAS BUT LOOKING AT
THE STRENGTHS THE YOUNG BOY
POSSESSED AND KIND OF
CROSSING THEM OFF THE LIST,
GOING THROUGH UNTIL IT
FINALLY OUTED ITSELF AS
DYSLEXIA BEING HIS PROBLEM
IS THAT A COMMON APPROACH, A
REVERSE IDENTIFICATION?

William says WELL I
THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT
BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T DO THAT
A RELATIVELY SIMPLE APPROACH
LOOKING AT WHAT THE CHILD'S
STRENGTHS ARE YOU MIGHT GET
INVOLVED IN A WHOLE BUNCH OF
COSTLY, TIME-CONSUMING
TESTS.
FOR EXAMPLE WE HEARD ABOUT
THE PSYCHOLOGIST WHO
LABELLED THIS YOUNG MAN WHO
I THINK IS VERY BRIGHT,
OBVIOUSLY, IN UNIVERSITY,
LABELLED HIM MENTALLY
RETARDED.

Kevin says THAT'S A HORRIBLE LABEL.

William says IT'S
A TERRIBLE LABEL.
ON THE OTHER HAND YOU DON'T
HAVE TO DO THAT IF YOU TAKE
A SIMPLE HISTORY, AND SO
THAT IF THE CHILD WAS
REASONABLE IN TERMS OF THE
AGES AND STAGES AT WHICH HE
OR SHE LEARNED TO WALK, TO
TALK, TO TURN OVER, TO DRESS
HIMSELF OR HERSELF, TO LEARN
HOW TO RIDE A BIKE, TIE
SHOELACES, THINGS LIKE THIS,
IF THESE WERE ALL ON
SCHEDULE, THEN YOU CAN NOT
SAY THAT THAT PERSON IS
RETARDED.
BECAUSE TO BE RETARDED IN
THAT TRADITIONAL SENSE IT
HAS TO BE A GLOBAL PROBLEM,
NOT A SPECIFIC PROBLEM IN
TERMS OF LEARNING ACADEMIC
SUBJECTS AT SCHOOL.
SO FINDING OUT WHAT THE
CHILD'S STRENGTHS ARE, YES.
IF THIS CHILD, LOUISE'S
CHILD IN GRADE TWO CAN DO A
LOT OF THESE OTHER THINGS
THE WAY EVERYBODY ELSE CAN
DO, IT'S JUST IN THE SCHOOL
SITUATION THIS HE'S GOT A
PROBLEM, THEN CERTAINLY HE'S
NOT RETARDED.

Kevin says HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT
FALLBACKS LIKE I.Q. TESTS?
DO THEY HAVE ANY VALIDITY IN
THIS AREA?

William says IT'S
A CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, AND
CERTAINLY WHEN THE BOOK WAS
FIRST PUBLISHED, YOU KNOW, I
HAD AN ANGRY LETTER FROM A
PSYCHOLOGIST WHO HAPPENS TO
MAKE HER LIVING DOING I.Q.
TESTS.
AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY SHE
WOULD BE UPSET.
BECAUSE THE POINT I MAKE IN
THE BOOK IS NOT JUST MY
EXPERIENCE, BUT THERE SEEMS
TO BE GOOD EVIDENCE.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR
EXAMPLE AT READING PROBLEMS,
THERE'S NO CORRELATION
WHATSOEVER WITH I.Q. AND
READING SKILLS.
SO THERE ARE BRILLIANT
PEOPLE, AS WE SAW IN THE
CLIP, WHOSE READING SKILLS
ARE WAY BELOW AVERAGE.
AND THERE ARE PEOPLE WHOSE
“I.Q.” IS BELOW AVERAGE WHO
ARE READING AT NORMAL OR
ABOVE NORMAL LEVELS SO SINCE
THERE'S NO RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN AN I.Q. AND READING
SKILLS, WHAT'S THE POINT OF
MEASURING THE I.Q.?

Kevin says GOOD POINT!
GOOD POINT.
LET'S GO OUT TO MARKHAM NOW
AND ON THE LINE WITH US IS
JONATHAN.
HELLO, JONATHAN.

The Caller says HELLO.

Kevin says WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION FOR
Dr. FELDMAN TODAY.

The Caller says WELL MY QUESTION
WOULD BE THIS.
I'M WONDERING, AS A CHILD I
WAS LABELED WITH A LEARNING
DISABILITY.
I -- MY QUESTION WOULD BE
WOULD HAVING A CREATIVE
THOUGHT PATTERN OR WHAT NOT,
WOULD THAT HAVE SOMETHING TO
DO WITH -- OR WOULD THAT BE
MISDIAGNOSED AS A LEARNING
DISABILITY?
HAS THERE BEEN ANY STUDIES
DONE ON THAT?

William says IF I
UNDERSTAND YOU CORRECTLY,
JONATHAN, YOU'RE ASKING
ABOUT THE CREATIVE SKILLS OF
AN INDIVIDUAL IN TERMS OF
LEARNING DISABILITIES.
CERTAINLY SOME VERY
BRILLIANT CREATIVE, ARTISTIC
PEOPLE HAVE HAD LEARNING
PROBLEMS.
I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY
RELATIONSHIP THERE.
VERY FAMOUS PEOPLE HAVE HAD
LEARNING PROBLEMS.
PEOPLE LIKE ROOSEVELT,
PEOPLE LIKE THOMAS EDISON
HAD LEARNING PROBLEMS.
BRILLIANT, BRILLIANT PEOPLE
IN HISTORY WHO WERE CREATIVE,
WERE BRIGHT, BUT HAD
LEARNING PROBLEMS.
SO I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY
CORRELATION THERE.

Kevin says THANK YOU, JONATHAN.
IN DIAGNOSIS, YOU ALSO
REFERENCED THE FACT THAT
YOU'D LIKE TO -- YOU SHOULD
INCLUDE THE CHILD THAT
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT INTO
THE PROCESS AND DON'T KIND
OF KEEP THEM AT SIDE OR AT
BAY.
IT NEEDS SOME DRAWING OUT
BECAUSE OFTEN WHEN THEY'RE
TALKING ABOUT THIS NEGATIVE
ASPECT OF THEIR PERSONALITY,
THEY'LL COIL INSIDE AND
BECOME VERY SHY.
BUT YOU FEEL IT'S A VALUABLE
PROCESS TO INCLUDE THEM.

William says I THINK IT IS.
I THINK IT TELLS THEM THAT
YOU THINK THEIR OPINION AND
THEIR EXPERIENCE IS AS
IMPORTANT AS THAT OF THE
PARENTS AND OF THE TEACHERS.
AND CERTAINLY IT IS.
AND SOMETIMES THE ONLY WAY
AT GETTING TO THE PROBLEM IS
GETTING THE IMPRESSION OF
THE CHILD.
FOR EXAMPLE, ONE OF THE
PEOPLE WE SAW ON THE CLIP
HAD A SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM
PUTTING THINGS DOWN ON
PAPER.
WHAT HAPPENS SOMETIMES WHEN
KIDS ARE EXPECTED TO DO AN
ASSIGNMENT, TO WRITE EITHER
IN THE CLASSROOM OR DOING
HOMEWORK IS THAT BECAUSE
THEY HAVE SO MUCH TROUBLE
WRITING, THEY BECOME
INATTENTIVE AND PEOPLE THINK
MAYBE THEY HAVE
INATTENTION -- ATTENTION
DEFICIT DISORDER, WHEN YOU
SPEAK WITH THE CHILD AND
THEY SAY THE REASON I'M NOT
CONCENTRATING AT MY WORK IS
BECAUSE I CAN'T PUT THINGS
DOWN ON PAPER.
I CAN CONCENTRATE VERY WELL
WHEN I HAVE TO READ, DURING
ART OR DURING MUSIC OR
DURING PHYS. ED, THE ONLY
TIME I CAN'T CONCENTRATE IS
WHEN I HAVE TO PUT THINGS
DOWN ON PAPER THEN YOU KNOW
THE PROBLEM IS IN PUTTING
THINGS DOWN ON PAPER AND YOU
HAVE TO START WORKING AT
THAT LEVEL.

Kevin says GOING TO NORTH BAY NOW
AND MARGARET'S ON THE LINE.
HI MARGARET.

The Caller says HI, HOW ARE YOU?

Kevin says GOOD, THANK YOU.
WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION.

The Caller says I WAS JUST
WONDERING, I HAVE AN
11-YEAR-OLD SON WHO HAS
A.D.D. AND A.D.H.D.
HIS GRADES ARE ACCEPTABLE TO
ME, HE'S DOING QUITE WELL
AND I WAS JUST WONDERING HOW
CAN I GET HIM TO CONCENTRATE
IN CLASS WITHOUT DISTURBING
THE OTHER STUDENTS WITHOUT
BEING MEDICATED AND HOW CAN
I GET TO THE TEACHERS NOT TO
CONDEMN HIM?

William says MARGARET, YOU'VE PUT YOUR
FINGER ON A DIFFICULT ISSUE.
WHENEVER I THINK OF
SITUATIONS LIKE THE ONE
YOU'RE DESCRIBING I ALWAYS
THINK OF A BALANCE OR A
SCALE AND I ALWAYS WANT THE
BENEFITS TO WEIGH MORE
HEAVILY THAN THE RISKS OR
THE COSTS.
IN OTHER WORDS, THE BENEFITS
TO THE CHILD AS FAR AS THE
ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, THE
ABILITY TO GET ALONG WITH
PEERS, THE ABILITY TO GET
ALONG WITH TEACHERS AND
PARENTS, NOT ONLY IN THE
CLASSROOM, BUT IN THE
PLAYGROUND, AND ON TEAMS, ET
CETERA.
YOU WANT -- IF YOU'RE GOING
TO USE MEDICATION, YOU WANT
THE CHILD TO DO SO WELL IN
THESE AREAS THAT IT'S GOING
TO OUTWEIGH THE RISK OF THE
MEDICATION.
AND FOR YOUR CHILD, IT MAY
NOT.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU SAY HE'S
DOING REASONABLY WELL IN
SCHOOL AND IS DOING OKAY
WITH THE OTHER KIDS IN THE
CLASS SOCIALLY, AND GETTING
ALONG OKAY AS FAR AS
BEHAVIOUR IS CONCERNED WITH
THE TEACHER, HE MAY NOT NEED
MEDICATION.
ON THE OTHER HAND IF AT ANY
POINT THE SCHOOL WORK IS
FALLING DOWN, NOT BECAUSE
HE'S NOT BRIGHT BUT BECAUSE
HE CAN'T CONSTABLE RATE ON
THE SCHOOLWORK, IF HE'S SO
IMPULSIVE AND FIDGETY HE
CAN'T GET ALONG WITH THE
KIDS OR THE TEACHER OR THE
OTHER KIDS AT HOME OR YOU
AND YOUR SPOUSE, THEN IT MAY
BE THAT THE BALANCE COMES
DOWN IN FAVOUR OF TREATING
YOUR CHILD, BECAUSE THE
BENEFITS IN THOSE SITUATIONS
CLEARLY OUTWEIGH THE RISK
AND THE COST OF THE
MEDICATION.

Kevin says GOOD LUCK, MARGARET.
A.D.H.D., ATTENTION DEFICIT
HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER.
LIKE YOU SAID, IT'S GOT SOME
WEIGHT BEHIND IT.
THERE'S A LOT OF SCHOOLS OF
THOUGHT.
HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

William says WELL,
IT'S DIAGNOSED NOW USUALLY BY
TAKING A VERY CAREFUL
HISTORY, BY SOME CHECKLISTS
WHICH HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED,
WHICH CAN BE USED BY THE
TEACHER, AS WELL AS THE
PARENTS, AND THE CHILD
SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST TWO OUT
OF THE THREE AREAS AS
PROBLEMS.
IN OTHER WORDS THE CHILD
SHOULD NOT ONLY BE VERY
ACTIVE BUT SHOULD HAVE
PROBLEMS WITH ATTENTION SPAN,
CONCENTRATING, NOT ONLY IN
THE CLASSROOM BUT IN THE
HOME AS WELL, AND SHOULD
HAVE WHAT'S CALLED IMPULSIVE
BEHAVIOUR OR NOT THINKING
THROUGH TWO STEPS AHEAD OF
WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE
BEHAVIOUR ARE GOING TO BE.
SO THAT THE CHILD DOES WHAT
HE OR SHE FEELS LIKE DOING
AS SOON AS THE IMPULSE
REACHES THEM AND IF THE
CHILD HAS A SIGNIFICANT
PROBLEM, SIGNIFICANT
PROBLEMS IN TWO OUT OF THREE
OF THOSE AREA, THEN MOST OF
US WOULD CONSIDER THAT THE
CHILD HAS A.D.H.D.

Kevin says AND THESE COULD BE SIMPLE,
EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES THE
CHILD MIGHT PERFORM LIKE
PUTTING DISHES OR THEIR TOYS AWAY.

William says ABSOLUTELY AND IN FACT THOSE
KINDS OF THINGS, TASK,
DUTIES IN THE HOME TEND TO
BE A REAL PROBLEM BECAUSE
THE CHILD HAS TO THINK TWO
STEPS AHEAD AND KNOW THAT
HE'S GOT TO PUT THE PLATES
BACK AND GOT TO PUT THE
CUTLERY BACK AND SOMETHING
ELSE BACK, AND BY THE TIME
HE'S FINISHED THE PLATES HE
MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE
OTHER TWO.

Kevin says CAN A STRESSFUL
ENVIRONMENT RING THIS ON OR
TRIGGER A.D.H.D.?

William says THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT
FOR A LONG TIME, AND THERE'S
STILL PART THE WORLD WHERE
PEOPLE THINK THIS.
I THINK MOST OF US NOW
BELIEVE THAT IT'S NOT THE
PARENTS' FAULT, IT'S NOT
BECAUSE OF STRESS WITHIN THE
HOME THAT CHILDREN HAVE
A.D.H.D.
THE EVIDENCE I THINK NOW IS
PRETTY GOOD THAT A.D.H.D. IS
A BIOLOGICAL CONDITION OF
THE NERVOUS HAVE SYSTEM THAT
CHILDREN ARE BORN WITH A
PREDISPOSITION TO HAVE THIS,
TO HAVE DIFFICULTY
CONCENTRATING, TO HAVE
IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOUR, TO BE
MORE ACTIVE THAN OTHER KIDS,
AND IT CLEARLY RUNS IN
FAMILIES.
SO THAT IF YOU HAVE
IDENTICAL TWINS AND ONE OF
THEM HAS THIS PROBLEM THE
CHANCES ARE CLOSE TO 100 percent
THAT THE OTHER ONE WILL, BUT
IF THEY'RE NOT IDENTICAL
TWIN, THE CHANCES'LL ONLY BE
ABOUT 30 percent SO EVEN THOUGH THE
ENVIRONMENT AND THE STRESS
IS VERY SIMILAR, THE FACT
THAT THERE'S THIS 70 percent
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE
IDENTICAL TWINS AND THE
NON-IDENTICAL TWINS IS VERY
HEAVY EVIDENCE THAT THIS IS
AN INHERITED BIOLOGICAL
CONDITION.

Kevin says HOW EARLY IN A CHILD'S
LIFE ARE WE STARTING TO SEE
THE SYMPTOMS OF A.D.H.D. APPEAR?

William says MOST
OF US WOULDN'T TREAT KIDS AT
THE PRE-SCHOOL LEVEL AND
ALTHOUGH IT MAY BE A PROBLEM
AS FAR AS THE PARENT AND
MAYBE THE DAYCARE PEOPLE ARE
CONCERNED, IT USUALLY
DOESN'T REACH A MAJOR
PROBLEM AS FAR AS THE CHILD
IS CONCERNED UNTIL SCHOOL
WHERE THE CHILD REALLY NOW
HAS TO SIT DOWN FOR THREE
HOURS IN KINDERGARTEN OR
FIVE HOURS IN GRADE ONE, AND
SIT AND DO WHAT HE OR SHE IS
ASKED TO DO BY THE TEACHER.
AND THAT MAYBE IMPOSSIBLE
FOR KIDS.
SO IT'S USUALLY AROUND FIVE
OR SIX THAT WE START SEEING
THESE KIDS FOR THE FIRST
TIME.
BUT MANY OF THEM HAVE HAD
THE SYMPTOMS SINCE EARLY
CHILDHOOD.

Kevin says YOU'RE BRINGING UP POINT
WHERE IT'S A SERIOUS
LIFESTYLE CHANGE WHERE
YOU'RE GOING FROM BEING HOME
AND PLAYING EVERYDAY TO
BEING PUT IN THE RIGID
CONFINES OF A SCHOOL.
IN YOUR BOOK YOU TALK ABOUT
A.D.H.D. AND THERE BEING TWO
SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
ONE, IT'S UNDER DIAGNOSED
AND UNTREATED, THE OTHER
BEING IT'S OVER-DIAGNOSED
AND OVER-MEDICATED.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN THAT A BIT MORE?

William says RIGHT.
IN THE UNITED STATES, WHICH
IS THE COUNTRY WHERE
PROBABLY THE LARGEST
PROPORTION OF CHILDREN WITH
A.D.H.D. DO GET TREATED,
IT'S BEEN KNOWN AND BEEN
TREATED FOR MANY YEARS.
IN FACT THE FIRST TREATMENT
FOR A.D.H.D., PEOPLE ARE
PROBABLY IN THE AWARE OF
THIS, WAS IN 1937.
SO PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN ABOUT
THIS CONDITION FOR OVER, YOU
KNOW, 65 YEARS.
IT'S BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG
TIME.
IT'S BEEN TREATED FOR A LONG
TIME.
THE FIRST RANDOMIZED CONTROL
TRIALS OF THE USE OF
MEDICATION WHERE HALF THE
CHILDREN GOT MEDICATION AND
THE OTHER HALF GOT WHAT'S
CALLED A PLACEBO OR PILL
WHICH LOOKED AND TASTED LIKE
IT BUT HAD NO AFFECT, THOSE
STUDIES HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR
ABOUT 25 YEARS NOW AND THERE
ARE OVER A HUNDRED OF THEM
WHICH SHOW THAT KIDS WHO
HAVE A.D.H.D. WHO ARE
TREATED PROPERLY WITH
MEDICATION DO BETTER THAN
KIDS WHO ARE GETTING
PLACEBO.
SO WITH THAT EVIDENCE, AND
THE GENETIC EVIDENCE THAT I
TALKED ABOUT EARLIER, I
DON'T THINK THERE'S AS MUCH
ARGUMENT NOW ABOUT THE TWO
DIFFERENT SCHOOLS OF
THOUGHT.
I THINK MOST PEOPLE
RECOGNIZE THAT IT EXISTS.
IF YOU MAKE THE DIAGNOSIS IT
SHOULD BE TREATED.
YOU SHOULDN'T JUMP AT THE
DIAGNOSIS.
JUST THE OTHER DAY I HAD A
PARENT WHO WANTED ME TO GIVE
MEDICATION TO THEIR CHILD
BECAUSE IN THE HOME SETTING
THE CHILD WAS EXTREMELY
ACTIVE AND IMPULSIVE AND
WHEN I CALLED THE TEACHER
AND SPOKE WITH THE TEACHER
THE TEACHER SAID THE CHILD
DOES NOT HAVE THE BEST
ATTENTION SPAN IN MY CLASS,
BUT CERTAINLY IS NOT
IMPULSIVE AND IS NOT
HYPERACTIVE AND AT THIS
POINT I DID NOT WANT TO
TREAT THE CHILD THERE.
MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOME
PHYSICIANS WHO WOULD HAVE
TREATED THAT CHICHLT I THINK
THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN OVER
TREATMENT.

Kevin says WE'RE GOING TO MOVE TO
SCARBOROUGH NOW AND BEVERLY
IS ON THE LINE WITH A
QUESTION.
HI BEVERLY.
BEVERLY, ARE YOU THERE?
OKAY, WELL WE'LL LEAVE
BEVERLY -- WE'LL LEAVE
BEVERLY FOR NOW AND WE'LL
LOOK AT AN E-MAIL WE HAVE
HERE FOR, YOU Dr. FELDMAN.
“HOW DO YOU ASSESS LEARNING
DISABILITIES IN ADULTS?
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GO
ABOUT IT?”
FROM SANDY.

William says THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT
QUESTION BECAUSE IT USED TO
BE THOUGHT THAT LEARNING
DISABILITIES GOT BETTER AS
CHILDREN GOT OLDER, AND WHEN
THEY BECAME ADULTS THEY WERE
GONE.
THAT'S NOT THE CASE.
SO SOMETHING LIKE DYSLEXIA
OR DIFFICULTY READING,
WITHOUT PROPER TREATMENT IN
CHILDHOOD PERSISTS IN ADULT
LIFE.
AND EVEN ADULTS WHO HAVE
TREATMENT AS CHILDREN MAY
STILL HAVE TROUBLE READING
AS QUICKLY AND AS WELL AS
THEIR COLLEAGUES.
BUT WITH GOOD TREATMENT AS
CHILDREN, THEY CAN READ
ADEQUATELY, AND AS YOU SAW
IN THE CLIP, THEY CAN READ
WELL ENOUGH TO GET INTO
UNIVERSITY AND DO QUITE
WELL.
SO CERTAINLY LEARNING
DISABILITIES CAN EXIST, AND
I THINK THE SAME KINDS OF
QUESTIONS SHOULD BE ASKED AS
ARE ASKED OF CHILDREN.
FOR EXAMPLE, WHAT IS THE
NATURE OF YOUR LEARNING
DIFFICULTY?
IS IT A QUESTION OF READING?
IS IT A QUESTION OF PUTTING
THINGS DOWN ON PAPER?
IS IT A QUESTION OF
CONCENTRATING?
WHEN DID IT START?
IS ANYBODY ELSE IN THE
FAMILY HAVING THIS PROBLEM?
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO TRY
AND MAKE IT BETTER?
THAT'S THE FIRST STEP.
IF YOU HAVE TO GO FURTHER
AFTER THAT, IT MAY BE
NECESSARY TO AT THAT POINT
SEE A PSYCHOLOGIST TO SEE
EXACTLY WHAT THE NATURE OF
THE PROBLEM IS.
BUT THE SAME KIND OF
QUESTIONS WE AND ABOUT
CHILDREN CAN BE ASKED WITH
ADULTS.
AND I THINK CERTAINLY ADULTS
RESPOND VERY WELL TO PHONICS,
IF IT'S A READING PROBLEM,
JUST AS WELL AS CHILDREN DO.

Kevin says AND IT'S A FAIRLY
EASY-TO-FOLLOW CHECKLIST
THAT YOU'VE SET UP HERE AS
TRYING TO IDENTIFY WHAT THE
DISORDERS MAY BE.
WE HAVE PAT ON THE LINE NOW
FROM BRIGHTON.
HELLO, PAT.

The Caller says HELLO, GOOD AFTERNOON.
I HAVE A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY
IN GRADE TWO THIS YEAR, AND
THE TEACHER IS TELLING ME
THAT HE'S AN EXCELLENT
READER FOR GRADE TWO.
HE'S DONE EXCEPTIONALLY WELL
IN SPELLING, BUT HE JUST
CANNOT SEEM TO FOCUS ON --
HE'S HAVING QUITE A BIT OF
TROUBLE IN MATH AND HE CAN'T
SEEM TO FOCUS ON WHAT HE'S
DOING.
AND WHEN IT COMES TO WRITING
DOWN SENTENCES AND MAKING UP
HIS OWN SENTENCE HE JUST
SITS THERE AND KIND OF GETS
LOST IN THE SHUFFLE TYPE OF
THING.
HE CAN'T COMPREHEND WHAT
HE'S SUPPOSED TO DO OR HOW
TO GO ABOUT DOING IT.
AND I WAS WONDERING IF THERE
WAS ANYTHING THAT I COULD BE
DOING TO HELP HIM LEARN TO
FOCUS AND STAY FOCUSED ON
THE PROJECT THAT HE'S
WORKING ON?

William says PAT,
THE QUESTION I HAVE FOR YOU
IS WHETHER HE IN FACT CAN BE
FOCUSED IN OTHER THINGS.
FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN HE'S
READING, CAN HE CONCENTRATE?
WHEN HE'S PLAYING GAMES,
WHEN HE'S PLAYING WITH LEGO,
CAN HE CONCENTRATE?
BECAUSE IF HE CAN
CONCENTRATE ON SOME
ACTIVITIES FOR LONG PERIODS
OF TIME, THEN HE DOESN'T
HAVE A.D.H.D.
THEN HIS PROBLEM IS A
SPECIFIC LEARNING PROBLEM.
AND THE ONE YOU DESCRIBE,
ACTUALLY, IS NOT VERY COMMON
BUT IT DOES EXIST.
I WORKED AT ONE POINT WITH A
PSYCHOLOGIST NAMED LINDA
SEGAL WHO HAS BECOME QUITE
WELL-KNOWN FOR HER WORK IN
LEARNING DISABILITIES, AND
WE DESCRIBED A SERIES OF
BOYS, AS IT TURNS OUT, WHO
HAD A COMBINED PROBLEM WITH
MATH AND WITH WRITING.
THEIR READING WAS EXCELLENT.
THEY COULD CONCENTRATE ON
MOST THINGS, BUT THEY
COULDN'T CONCENTRATE OR
PRODUCE THE WORK REQUIRED TO
GET BY AS FAR AS THEIR MATH
AND THEIR WRITING IS
CONCERNED SO THAT DOES
EXIST.
YOUR CHILD IS FAIRLY YOUNG.
IN GRADE TWO, AND IT'S
ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT WITH
MORE WORK BY THE TEACHER AND
THE REGULAR CLASSROOM,
THINGS WILL IMPROVE.
CERTAINLY ONE OF MY OWN
CHILDREN HAD A SIGNIFICANT
PROBLEM WITH HIS HANDWRITING
WHEN HE WAS AT THAT LEVEL,
AND I REMEMBER DISTINCTLY
MEETING WITH THE TEACHER AND
SUGGESTING TO HER THAT IN
FACT IF SHE JUST HUNG IN
THERE A LITTLE BIT LONGER
HIS WRITING WOULD IMPROVE
AND IT DID.
AND HE CONTINUED TO GO ONTO
UNIVERSITY.
SO YOU'RE DESCRIBING A WHICH
IS NOT AS COMMON AS DYSLEXIA
OR A.D.H.D., BUT IT DOES
EXIST.
THE COMBINED MATH-WRITING
PROBLEM DOES EXIST.
AND THE TREATMENT FOR IT, IF
IT'S, IF IT IS THAT PROBLEM,
IS TO TRY TO BYPASS THE MATH
PROBLEM IF POSSIBLE.
IN OTHER WORDS IF THE
TIMETABLE AND DIVISION IS
REALLY, REALLY DIFFICULT FOR
HIM, THEN EARLIER THAN YOU
WOULD WITH OTHER CHILDREN,
HE SHOULD BE INTRODUCED TO
A HAND CALCULATOR SO THAT HE
CAN DO THE SUMS, THE
DIVISION, THE MULTIPLICATIONS
USING THAT BECAUSE IT MAY BE
EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, EVEN IN
LATER YEARS, FOR HIM TO FOR
ONE REASON OR ANOTHER LEARN
HOW TO DO THOSE TASKS.
AND SIMILARLY WITH PUTTING
THINGS DOWN ON PAPER, THE
EARLY USE OF TYPING, THE USE
OF PHOTOCOPIES, THOSE KINDS
OF THINGS WILL HELP.

Kevin says GREAT, THANKS, PAT.
WE WERE TALKING TO
Dr. WILLIAM FELLEDMAN, THE
FORMER HEAD OF PAEDIATRICS
AT TORONTO'S HOSPITAL FOR
SICK CHILDREN AND ALSO THE
AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK
“LEARNING AND ATTENTION
DISORDERS” AND IF YOU HAVE A
QUESTION FOR THE DOCTOR
ABOUT A LEARNING DISORDER,
PERHAPS IT'S A.D.D.,
A.D.H.D. OR DYSLEXIA, FEEL
FREE TO GIVE US A CALL RIGHT
NOW.
AND WE'RE GOING TO JUMP TO
ANOTHER PHONE CALL TO
FLESHERTON ONTARIO AND KAREN
ON THE LINE WITH US.
HI KAREN.

The Caller says HI HOW ARE YOU
DOING?

Kevin says VERY GOOD.
YOUR QUESTION?

The Caller says I'VE GOT A
SIX-YEAR-OLD BOY, HE'S BEEN
DELAYED IN EVERYTHING, EVER
SINCE HE WAS A NEWBORN.
FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS --
LIKE THE AREA WHERE I'M
REALLY NOTICING IT RIGHT NOW
IS IN SPEECH.
I'VE GOT A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD
WHO CAN UNDERSTAND HIM.
THEY SPEAK THE SAME
LANGUAGE.
HE'S MY INTERPRETER.
NOW I'VE HAD THIS LITTLE BOY
IN SPEECH THERAPY FOR THE
PAST TWO YEARS.
IT'S A VERY, VERY SLOW
PROCESS.
BUT AT LEAST IT'S GETTING
SOMEPLACE.
NOW THE PEDIATRICIAN THAT
I'VE GOT HAS SEEN HIM TWICE.
THE FIRST TIME SHE ORDERED
AN E. MT G..
IT CAME OUT NORMAL.
LIKE HE'S HAD E.E.G.,
CAT SCANS, HE'S GONE FOR TEST
FOR EVERYTHING.
SO FAR NOTHING IS DIAGNOSED.
HIS E. MT G. CAME OUT NORMAL
SO, WHAT SHE SAID WAS, “WELL,
LET'S JUST GIVE UP ON THE
SPEECH THERAPY, WE'LL GET
SOMEBODY INTO THE SCHOOL
SYSTEM TO TEACH HIM SIGN
LANGUAGE INSTEAD SO HE CAN
COMMUNICATE.”
IS THIS THE STANDARD
PROCEDURE FOR SOMETHING LIKE
THIS?
LIKE I'M NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT,
WITH WHAT THIS DOCTOR IS
SAYING ABOUT HIM.
LIKE HE IS CAPABLE OF
TALKING.
IT'S JUST TAKING HIM A LONG
TIME TO LEARN IT.

William says KAREN, IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR
CHILD HAS A NUMBER OF
DIFFERENT PROBLEMS WHICH ARE
REALLY GETTING TO YOU, AND I
CAN SEE THAT.
AND I CAN UNDERSTAND WHY.
NOT KNOWING YOUR CHILD, IT'S
DIFFICULT FOR ME TO MAKE
COMMENTS ON IT.
I WILL SAY THIS, THOUGH, IF
YOU ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY
WITH THE HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS WITH WHOM
YOU'RE DEALING NOW, AND YOU
WANT ANOTHER OPINION, IT'S
ENTIRELY WITHIN YOUR RIGHT
TO AND FOR ANOTHER OPINION.
AND I'M SURE THAT THE
PEDIATRICIAN WITH WHOM YOU
ARE WORKING NOW, IF YOU
MENTIONED TO HIM OR HER THAT
YOU WANT ANOTHER OPINION, HE
OR SHE WILL GET YOU ANOTHER
REFERRAL SO THAT THE CHILD
CAN BE ASSESSED AND
DETERMINE WHAT THE EXACT
NATURE OF THE PROBLEM IS AND
HOW THE PROBLEM SHOULD BE
HELPED.
IT DOESN'T SOUND AS THOUGH
YOU'RE HAPPY WITH THE
APPROACH THAT'S BEEN TAKEN
SO FAR, AND IT'S CERTAINLY
WITHIN YOUR RIGHT TO GET
ANOTHER OPINION.

Kevin says I HOPE Dr. FELDMAN'S
ADVICE HELPS.
THANKS, KAREN.
WE'RE GOING TO GO TO AN
E-MAIL NOW FROM HANA IN PICK
TON, ONTARIO.
“I HAVE A NINE-YEAR-OLD SON
IN GRADE FOUR, TESTING DONE
THROUGH THE SCHOOL LAST YEAR
TO DETERMINE IF HE HAD SOME
TYPE OF LEARNING DISABILITY.
HE HAS HAD A DIFFICULT TIME
LEARNING TO READ USING THE
PHONICS SYSTEM AND
DIFFICULTY WITH ANY WRITTEN
ASSIGN AMS HE'S BEEN GIVEN.
HE HAS AN INCREDIBLE MEMORY,
ESPECIALLY FOR ANYTHING
DEALING WITH SCIENCE, AND
HIS VOCABULARY IS SEVERAL
GRADE LEVELS HIGHER.
HE HAS DIFFICULTY STAYING ON
TASK.
WHEN WE HELP HIM WITH HIS
HOMEWORK, WE FEEL LIKE WE'RE
CONSTANTLY REMINDING HIM TO
TRY AND KEEP HIS MINDS ON
HIS WORK.
THE SCHOOL SAYS THAT THEY
ARE NOT READY TO RECOGNIZE
HIM AS HAVING A DISABILITY,
HOWEVER WE ARE CONCERNED
THAT NOT ENOUGH IS BEING
DONE TO HELP HIM.
IS THIS TYPICAL OF CHILDREN
THIS AGE?
IS THIS SOMETHING HE MAY
OUT-GROW AND SHOULD WE BE
REMINDING HIM OF THE TASK AT
HAND WHILE HE IS DOING HIS
HOMEWORK?
THANK YOU.”

William says TOUGH ONE, BECAUSE IF THE
INATTENTIVENESS IS JUST
WHILE HE'S DOING HIS
HOMEWORK, THEN IT DOESN'T
SOUND AS THOUGH IT'S
A.D.H.D..
IT SOUNDS LIKE HE'S A VERY
BRIGHT LITTLE GUY AND THE
FACT THAT HIS VOCABULARY IS
A FEW GRADE LEVELS AHEAD OF
WHERE HE SHOULD BE MEANS I
DON'T THINK HE NEEDS AN I.Q.
TEST, I DON'T THINK AN I.Q.
TEST IS GOING TO HELP IN
THIS SITUATION.
HE'S BRIGHT IT.
SOUNDS LIKE HE'S GOT A
PROBLEM WITH HIS WRITTEN
WORK AND-OR ATTENDING OR
CONCENTRATING.
NOW IF HE HAS PROBLEMS
CONCENTRATING IN EVERYTHING,
EVEN THINGS HE ENJOYS, SUCH
AS PLAYING WITH LEGO OR
DRAWING PICTURES OR PLAYING
BOARDGAMES WITH HIS PEERS OR
HIS SIBLINGS OR HIS PARENTS,
IF HE HAS TROUBLE
CONCENTRATING ON EVERYTHING,
HE MAY HAVE A FORM OF
A.D.H.D. IN WHICH THERE'S NO
HYPERACTIVITY.
BUT WHERE INATTENTIVENESS IS
THE MAJOR PROBLEM.
AND THESE KIDS ALSO RESPOND
VERY WELL TO MEDICATION.
OWNER, IF HE CAN CONCENTRATE
AND READ A BOOK FOR AN HOUR
WITHOUT MOVING, THEN HE
DOESN'T HAVE A.D.H.D., HE'S
NOT A CANDIDATE FOR
MEDICATION, AND THERE SHOULD
BE SOME SPECIAL HELP FOR HIM
WITH REGARD TO HIS WRITTEN
WORK.
SOME OF THE THINGS THAT I
WAS TALKING ABOUT EARLIER.
MAYBE HE SHOULD LEARN TO
TYPE.

Kevin says YOU BROUGHT UP THE, I
GUESS CONTROVERSIAL TERM “MEDICATE.”
AND I KNOW IT'S PROBABLY --
IT'S AN ISSUE THAT A LOT OF
PARENTS ARE FACED WITH WHEN
DEALING WITH LEARNING
DISORDERS.
AND CAN YOU EXPAND ON SOME
OF THE DECISIONS WHICH MAY
MAKE PEOPLE CHOOSE
MEDICATION VERSUS TRYING TO
GO AT, I GUESS, GO IT NATURAL?

William says WELL
THERE IS ONLY ONE CONDITION
SO FAR FOR WHICH MEDICATION
WORKS, AND IT SHOULD NOT BE
USED FOR ANYTHING ELSE AND
THAT'S ADHD.
SO PEOPLE HAVE TRIED FARES
OTHER THINGS FOR DYSLEXIA
AND DIFFICULTY PUTTING
THINGS DOWN ON PAPER, BUT
UNLESS THERE'S AN ASSOCIATED
ATTENTIONAL DEFICIT, NOTHING
WORKS.
SO CERTAINLY I WOULD NOT USE
MEDICATION FOR ORDINARY
LEARNING PROBLEMS WITHOUT A
SIGNIFICANT ATTENTIONAL
PROBLEM.
THE EVIDENCE IS VERY GOOD
FOR MEDICATION FOR KIDS WHO
HAVE SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS
CONSTABLE RATING.
NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT.
THE EVIDENCE IS NOT
PARTICULARLY GOOD FOR OTHER
THINGS.
SOME OF THE NATURAL
MEDICATIONS, OR REMEDIES, OR
FOODS OR DIETS OR OTHER
APPROACHES WHICH HAVE BEEN
TRIED, IT'S THE KIND OF
EVIDENCE THAT I WAS
DESCRIBING AT THE BEGINNING
OF THIS SESSION WHERE I SAID
ON THE INTERNET YOU'LL SEE
HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF
WEBSITES WHERE PEOPLE WILL
SAY “IF YOU GIVE YOUR CHILD
RUTTABAGA THE LEARNING
DISABILITY WILL DISAPPEAR
GRT THAT JUST HAS NOT BEEN
SHOWN TO BE THE CASE.
IN FACT A NUMBER OF THE
VARIOUS DIETS WHICH HAVE
BEEN AROUND FOR 25 YEARS
HAVE IN FACT BEEN PUT TO THE
GOOD SCIENTIFIC STUDY WHERE
HALF THE CHILDREN WITH A
LEARNING PROBLEM GOT THE
DIET, THE OTHER HALF DIDN'T.
BUT NOBODY KNEW WHICH GROUP
WAS IN WHICH GROUP AND THERE
WAS NO DIFFERENCE IN THE
EFFECTS.
SO UNLESS THE PROPOSED
TREATMENT, WHICH IS A
NATURAL FOOD OR A DIET OR AN
ACTIVITY HAS BEEN SHOWN IN
THE KIND OF STUDY THAT I'M
DESCRIBING TO BE EFFECTIVE,
I WOULDN'T WASTE MY TIME OR
MONEY WITH IT.

Kevin says AND THOUGHTS AROUND
ENVIRONMENTAL FACT TO TOXIN,
POLLUTANTS IN THE AIR?
ANY VALIDITY THERE?

William says GOOD
QUESTION AND IN FACT THAT'S
BEEN LOOKED AT.
PEOPLE HAVE LOOKED AT AIR
QUALITY, PEOPLE HAVE LOOKED
AT THE FLUORESCENT LIGHTS IN
THE CLASSROOM AND WHEREVER
THAT'S BEEN SUBJECTED TO
PROPER STUDY, FOR EXAMPLE
CHANGING THE FLOW OF THE AIR
IN THE -- AND THE NATURE OF
THE AIR AND PUTTING FILTERS
AND STUFF, IT HAD NO AFFECT
ON THE CHILD'S LEARNING
ABILITY.
THE ONLY ONE WE KNOW FOR
SURE THAT HAS HAD A
SIGNIFICANT PROBLEM WITH
KIDS LEARNING IS LEAD
POISONING, WHICH HAS ALMOST
DISAPPEARED NOW THAT WE
DON'T HAVE LEAD PAINT
ANYMORE.
LEAD POISONING PRODUCED A
MAJOR PROBLEM WITH CHILDREN
IN THE PAST BUT IS NOT
SOMETHING TO BE CONCERNED
ABOUT NOW ANYMORE.

Kevin says OKAY.
TO PERTH, ONTARIO AND TERRY
IS ON THE LINE WITH US.
HELLO, TERRY.

The Caller says HELLO.
HI, I HAVE A QUESTION.

Kevin says OKAY.

The Caller says IS THERE A
POSSIBILITY THAT CHILDREN
CAN BE MISDIAGNOSED WITH
A.D.H.D. AND IN FACT BE
EXTREMELY INTELLIGENT BUT
NOT BE ABLE TO SIT DOWN LONG
ENOUGH BECAUSE THEIR
CREATIVENESS IS JUST SO
ABUNDANT?

William says ABSOLUTELY AND IN FACT,
TERRY, I DESCRIBE SUCH A
CASE IN THE BOOK.
AND CERTAINLY I SEE THIS ALL
THE TIME.
CHILDREN WHO ARE BORED, WHEN
THEY HAVE TO READ VERY
MUNDANE THINGS THAT THE
OTHER KIDS HAVE TO READ,
BECAUSE AT HOME THEY'RE
READING GREEK MYTHOLOGY OR
THE HISTORY OF THE SECOND
WORLD WAR, EVEN THOUGH
THEY'RE ONLY SEVEN OR EIGHT
YEARS OF AGE.
SO YES, I SEE BRILLIANT
CHILDREN WHO ARE SUBJECTED
TO THE RELATIVELY ORDINARY
KINDS OF THINGS WHICH THEY
ARE EXPECTED TO DO, WHICH
BORES THEM OUT OF THEIR
HEAD.
AND THESE KIDS BECOME
INATTENTIVE AND HAVE
DIFFICULTY CONCENTRATING ON
THE STUFF THAT BORES THEM
BUT DOESN'T BORE ANYBODY ELSE.
AND IN FACT THESE KIDS
SHOULD GET AN ENRICHED
ENVIRONMENT.
ONCE IT'S RECOGNIZED THAT
THIS CHILD IS SUBSTANTIALLY
AHEAD, THEN THE TEACHER --
EITHER THAT TEACHER OR A
SPECIAL TEACHER COMING INTO
THE CLASSROOM TO GIVE THAT
TEACHER ADVICE AS TO HOW TO
ENRICH THE CHILD'S
ENVIRONMENT IS REQUIRED.
BECAUSE THESE KIDS REALLY
NEED TO BE CHALLENGED AND TO
BE GIVEN WORK THAT THEY'RE
CAPABLE OF DOING, RATHER
THAN WORK WHICH IS SO EASY
FOR THEM THAT IF IT TAKES
SOMEBODY ELSE TEN MINUTES TO
DO IT AND THEY DO IT IN TWO
MINUTES, THEY HAVE EIGHT
MINUTES TO MAKE THEMSELVES
INTO THE CLASS CLOWN.

Kevin says RIGHT.
THANKS, TERRY.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS,
Dr. FELDMAN AROUND BEHAVIOUR
MODIFICATION AND A.D.H.D.?

William says BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION,
WHICH SIMPLY MEANS THAT YOU
REWARD THE DESIRED BEHAVIOUR
AND YOU TRY TO IGNORE
UNDESIRED BEHAVIOUR OR ALLOW
IT TO BE EXTINGUISHED, AND
BY REWARDING THE DESIRED
BEHAVIOUR IT'S CALLED
REINFORCING THAT KIND OF
BEHAVIOUR, CERTAINLY WORKS
FOR MANY CONDITIONS.
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME
RANDOMIZED CONTROL TRIALS
WHERE CHILDREN HAVE RECEIVED
A PLACEBO PILL AND BEHAVIOUR
MODIFICATION, RITALIN AND NO
BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION, OR
RITALIN AND BEHAVIOUR
MODIFICATION.
AND AS IT TURNS OUT, FOR
CHILDREN WHO REALLY HAVE
ATTENTION DISORDER, THE ONLY
THING WHICH HELPS IS THE
MEDICATION.
SO THAT THE BEHAVIOUR
MODIFICATION DOESN'T HELP
KIDS WITH A.D.H.D. UNLESS
THEY'RE ALSO GIVEN
MEDICATION.
AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS
FOR BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION
TO WORK, THE CHILD HAS TO
KNOW THAT IF I PERFORM A
CERTAIN ACTIVITY IN A
CERTAIN WAY, I WILL BE
REWARDED AT THE END OF THAT.
BUT THAT REQUIRES YOU TO
CONCENTRATE.
AND IF THE CHILD DOESN'T
HAVE THE ABILITY TO
CONCENTRATE NO, REWARD IN
THE WORLD IS GOING TO HELP
THAT CHILD.
ON THE OTHER HAND IF THE
CHILD IS GIVEN THE
MEDICATION WHICH WILL ALLOW
THEM TO CONCENTRATE, TO
THINK TWO STEPS AHEAD AND TO
SAY “IF I COMPLETE THIS TASK
I WILL BE REWARDED,” THEN IT
MAY INDEED HELP.

Kevin says OKAY.
JOSEE IN HAMILTON IS ON THE
LINE WITH US.
HELLO, JOSEE.

The Caller says HI.
I HAVE A SON WHO'S GOING TO
BE EIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF
DECEMBER.
HE'S IN GRADE THREE, SO HE'S
THAT EARLIER KIND OF,
INTRODUCED TO SCHOOL IN
GRADE TWO THERE WAS LOTS OF
SUGGESTION THAT HE MAY BE
SUFFERING FROM A.D.H.D.
WE SUFFERED THROUGH THAT
YEAR, HE MADE IT THROUGH
FINE WITH, YOU KNOW,
AVERAGES OF B.s AND Cs.
WE WENT THROUGH THE ATTENDS
CHECKLIST AND I TOOK HIM TO
SEE A PEDIATRICIAN TO GET
HIM DIAGNOSED IF HE DID HAVE
A.D.H.D., BECAUSE A BIT ON
THE HYPER SIDE, TOO.
THE PEDIATRICIAN SAID THAT
HE DIDN'T REALLY SHOW ENOUGH
SIGNS OF IT AND AT LEAST NOT
ENOUGH TO MEDICATE.
SO SHE SAID TO START, YOU
KNOW, THE GRADE THREE YEAR
AND SEE HOW HE KIND OF DOES
FIRST TERM TO BE IN TOUCH
WITH THE TEACHER AND WORK
WITH HER THE BEST WE CAN.
NOW HE'S STILL SHOWING SIGNS
THAT HE'S REALLY STRUGGLING
IN SOME SUBJECTS.
HE DOES WELL IN SPELLING, HE
DOES WELL IN MATH, BUT
COMPREHENSION, FOCUSING AND
GETTING HIS IDEAS DOWN ON
PAPER, HE DOES HAVE TROUBLE
WITH.
HE'S NOT MEAN TO HIS PEERS
OR TO HIS TEACHER, BUT HE'S
STILL VERY FIDGETY AND LACKS
FOCUSING.
SO SHOULD I PURSUE THIS A
LITTLE BIT MORE WITH THE
PEDIATRICIAN OR SHOULD I
STILL HOLD BACK A BIT?

William says I
GUESS, JESSE, IT'S THE SCALE
I WAS TALKING ABOUT BEFORE,
AND THE BALANCE.
AND I ALWAYS LIKE THE
BENEFITS OF ANY TREATMENT OR
INTERVENTION TO OUTWEIGH THE
RISKS OR THE COSTS.
IF YOU WERE TO TELL ME THAT
HE WAS HAVING TROUBLE
CONCENTRATING ON EVERYTHING,
SO THAT EVEN IF HE HAD HIS
FAVOURITE BOOK ON WHATEVER
SUBJECT IT WAS, THAT HE
COULDN'T SIT STILL WITH THAT
BOOK FOR MORE THAN FIVE
MINUTES, WHERE AS OTHER
CHILDREN WITH THEIR
FAVOURITE BOOK COULD READ
FOR AN HOUR, THEN I WOULD
SAY MAYBE HE REALLY DOES
HAVE AN INATTENTION PROBLEM,
WHICH MIGHT BENEFIT
MEDICATION.
ON THE OTHER HAND I SUSPECT
THAT THE PEDIATRICIAN WITH
WHOM HE HAS BEEN INVOLVED
ASKED YOU THOSE QUESTIONS,
AND MAYBE THAT'S ONE OF THE
REASONS THAT HE OR SHE
DIDN'T WANT TO START HIM ON
MEDICATION.
BECAUSE IF HE CAN
CONCENTRATE ON THINGS WHICH
HE REALLY ENJOYS FOR PROLONGED
PERIODS OF TIME HE DOESN'T
REALLY HAVE A.D.H.D. AND IT
MAY BE ANOTHER PROBLEM AND
IF YOU DESCRIBE HIS PROBLEM
MAINLY IN PUTTING THINGS
DOWN ON PAPER MAYBE THAT'S
WHAT HIS PROBLEM IS, RATHER
THAN A.D.H.D.

Kevin says HOPE IT HELPS.
IT'S A BIT OF A HOT BUTTON
FOR US TODAY, BUT SAME TOPIC.
Dr. FELDMAN, ASKING YOU IF
BY YES FEEDBACK TREATMENT OF
A.D.H.D. IS ONE THAT YOU
WOULD RECOMMEND FROM COLLIN.

William says COLLIN, THERE HAVE BEEN SOME
STUDIES WITH REGARD TO
BIOFEEDBACK.
THEY CAN HELP CERTAIN
THINGS.
IF, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE'S A
LITTLE BIT OFINESS OR
INATTENTIVENESS, OVER THE
VERY SHORT TERM IT LOOKS AS
THOUGH BIOFEEDBACK, WHICH IS
A FORM OF LETTING THE CHILD
OR THE ADULT KNOW THAT THERE
ARE CERTAIN CHANGES
OCCURRING IN THE BODY USING
ELECTRONIC MEANS, AND THAT
BY CONCENTRATING THEY CAN
CHANGE THESE CHANGES IN THE
BODY, BIOFEEDBACK APPARENTLY
CAN WORK FOR VERY SHORT
PERIODS OF TIME.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT'S
NEVER BEEN STUDIED TO SEE
WHAT THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS
ARE.
AND IT DOESN'T WORK FOR
EVERYBODY, AND AS A RESULT,
MOST OF US WOULD NOT
RECOMMEND BIOFEEDBACK FOR
CHILDREN WITH A.D.H.D. OR
LEARNING PROBLEMS.
THE EVIDENCE JUST ISN'T GOOD
ENOUGH THAT IT IS EFFECTIVE
FOR PROLONGED PERIOD OF
TIME.

Kevin says OKAY, HOPE THAT HELPS, COLLIN.
AND NOW TO ETOBICOKE AND
BRIAN IS ON THE LINE.
BRIAN.

The Caller says HI, GOOD AFTERNOON.

Kevin says GOOD AFTERNOON.

The Caller says I HAVE TWO ELEVEN
YEAR OLD TWINS, A BOY AND A GIRL.
THE PROBLEM IS BOTH OF THEM
SEEM TO BE HAVING PROBLEMS,
BOTH AT HOME AND AT SCHOOL.
THE BOYS ALWAYS GET INTO
TROUBLE, BUT THE GIRL, SHE'S
A BIT MORE SUBDUED, YOU KNOW?
BUT GENERALLY THEY HAVE THE
SAME PROBLEM, BECAUSE
THEY'VE BEEN IN SPECIAL
CLASSES SINCE GRADE ONE AND
NOW THEY'RE IN GRADE SIX,
AND I HAVEN'T SEEN ANY
IMPROVEMENT IN THEM.
THE SCHOOL KEEPS PUTTING
THEM OVER TO THE NEXT CLASS
AND THE NEXT CLASS, BUT
STILL, HE DOESN'T EVEN READ
AT A GRADE TWO LEVEL.
AND YET SOMETIMES I SAY
THROW OUT THE TRASH, HE
DOESN'T KNOW HOW TO TIE A
KNOT.
HE'S AN ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD, HE
DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO TIE
A SHOELACE.
I'M VERY CONCERNED ABOUT
THAT AND I'M THINKING WHEN
HE BECOMES OLDER IT'S GOING
TO BECOME MORE AND MORE OF A
PROBLEM FOR HIM, SO I'M
REALLY FRUSTRATED.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO
ABOUT IT.

William says WELL,
YOU'VE RAISED AN IMPORTANT
POINT BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH,
AS YOU SAY, THEY SEEM TO BE
IN SOME KIND OF A SPECIAL
CLASS, THEY SEEM TO BE
PROMOTED.
AND WHATEVER THEY'RE DOING
IN THE SPECIAL CLASS DOESN'T
SEEM TO BE HELPING.
IT SEEMS TO ME THAT IT'S
YOUR RIGHT AND YOUR DUTY, IN
FACT, AS A PARENT, TO MEET
WITH THE PEOPLE AT THE
SCHOOL AND TO LET THEM KNOW
WHAT YOUR CONCERNS ARE, AND
TO AND THEM, NUMBER ONE,
WHAT THEIR PERCEPTION IS AS
TO THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM,
BOTH WITH THE BOY AND WITH
YOUR DAUGHTER.
AND ONE WHAT THEY PROPOSE TO
DO ABOUT SOLVING THE
PROBLEM?
AND IT MAY BE THAT FURTHER
CONSULTATIONS AND FURTHER
ASSESS AMS HAVE TO BE DONE,
BUT JUST TO KEEP THEM IN THE
SAME PLACE THEY ARE NOW,
WITHOUT ANY PARTICULAR
INTERVENTION TO HELP THEM
WITH THEIR PROBLEMS DOESN'T
SEEM TO ME TO BE THE RIGHT
SOLUTION, AND IT CLEARLY
ISN'T THE RIGHT SOLUTION
FARCE YOU'RE CONCERNED.
SO THE NEXT STEP I WOULD
TAKE WOULD BE TO MEET WITH
THE PRINCIPAL AND THE
TEACHER AND TO AND THEM WHAT
THEY'RE GOING TO DO ABOUT
THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM
WITH YOUR TWO CHILDREN.

Kevin says GOOD LUCK, BRIAN.
IS IT FAIR TO AND WHO
SUFFERS MORE FROM THIS
DISORDER, BOYS OR GIRLS?

William says IT
DEPENDS WHICH DISORDER
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.
IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT
A.D.H.D., YES, BOYS SEEM
TO -- IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO
BE -- ALL THE CASE SERIES
THAT YOU SEE, AND CERTAINLY
THE KIDS REFERRED TO ME,
THERE ARE MORE BOYS THAN
GIRLS.
BUT THAT'S BECAUSE WE'VE
ALWAYS PUT HYPERACTIVITY
INTO THE DEFINITION OF
A.D.H.D. IT.
TURNS OUT OVER THE LAST TEN
YEARS OR SO THAT PEOPLE HAVE
BECOME AWARE THAT WE'VE BEEN
MISSING A FORM OF A.D.D.,
NOT A.D.H.D., IN GIRL WHOSE
COULDN'T CONCENTRATE, WHO
WERE IMPULSIVE BUT WEREN'T
HYPERACTIVE.
BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T
HYPERACTIVE, THEY WEREN'T
GETTING INTO TROUBLE IN
CLASS ALL THE TIME, BUGGING
THE OTHER KIDS OR TEACHERS
SO THEY DIDN'T COME TO
MEDICAL ATTENTION BUT THEY
STILL COULDN'T CONCENTRATE,
GET THEIR WORK DONE, AND
THESE KIDS ALSO RESPOND
EXTREMELY WELL TO
MEDICATION.
BUT THE TRADITIONAL A.D.H.D.
WHERE HYPERACTIVITY'S A
PROBLEM CERTAINLY SEEMS TO
BE MORE IN BOYS.
ALSO DYSLEXIA SEEMS TO BE
MORE IN BOYS THAN IN GIRL,
ALTHOUGH IT CERTAINLY CAN
OCCUR -- DYSLEXIA, I MEAN
READING DIFFICULTY, IT
CERTAINLY CAN OCCUR IN GIRLS
AS WELL.

Kevin says OKAY, WE'RE SLOWLY
WINDING UP.
WE'RE GOING TO GO TO CHRIS
IN TORONTO.
HELLO, CHRIS.
IS CHRIS THERE?

(DIAL TONE)

Kevin continues NO, CHRIS WAS THERE, NOW HE'S NOT.
IF A PARENT, OR PARENTS MAKE
THE DECISION TO MEDICATE,
HOW LONG A PROCEDURE DOES
THIS GO ON FOR?
IS THIS A LIFE-LONG
DECISION?
IS THIS SOMETHING THAT IS
OVER A COURSE OF A COUPLE OF
MONTHS?

William says WE
USED TO THINK THAT IT WAS A
RELATIVELY SHORT SITUATION,
THAT CERTAINLY BY THE TIME
CHILDREN WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL
THEY WOULDN'T NEED
MEDICATION ANYMORE.
A LOT DEPENDS ON NATURE OF
THE PROBLEM.
FOR EXAMPLE IF THE CHILD IS
HAVING A PROBLEM ONLY IN
SCHOOL AND THE PARENTS CAN
COPE, THE KIDS IN THE
NEIGHBOURHOOD CAN COPE AND
THE CHILD CAN COPE ON THE
TEAMS HE OR SHE PLAYS ON AND
THE MUSIC LESSONS HE OR SHE
GOES TO IT'S MAINLY
CONCENTRATING AT SCHOOL, THE
MEDICATION ONLY NEEDS TO BE
GIVEN MONDAY TO FRIDAY AND
ONLY DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR,
NOT DURING SUMMER MONTHS OR
DURING HOME DAYS.
MANY OF THESE KIDS CAN IN
FACT OUTGROW THE PROBLEM,
AND WE ONLY KNOW THAT BY A
TRIAL WITHOUT MEDICATION AT
ONE POINT IN THE SCHOOL
YEAR.
WHAT I USUALLY DO IS WITHOUT
TELLING THE TEACHER, STOP
THE MEDICATION AFTER THE
TEACHER HAS GOTTEN TO KNOW
THE CHILD IN THE NEW CLASS,
AROUND OCTOBER OR NOVEMBER,
AROUND THIS TIME OF THE
YEAR.
THE CHILD KNOWS WHAT THE --
THE TEACHER KNOWS WHAT THE
CHILD IS LIKE WITH
MEDICATION, AND THEN I
SUGGEST THAT THE PARENT NOT
GIVE THE MEDICATION FOR A
WEEK OR TWO, AND THEN CHECK
WITH THE TEACHER TO SEE, IF
THE TEACHER HAS NOTICED ANY
PERCEPTIBLE DIFFERENCE.
USUALLY IF THE MEDICATION IS
STILL REQUIRED THE TEACHER
NOTICES IT WITHIN THE FIRST
DAY.
OFTEN THE TEACHER WILL CALL
THE PARENT BEFORE THE PARENT
GETS IN TOUCH WITH THE
TEACHER, AND THE TEACHER
WILL SAY, I DON'T KNOW
WHAT'S GOING ON, BUT
JOHNNY'S JUST ALL OVER THE
PLACE.
AND THEN THE PARENT SHOULD
SAY “WELL, WE DID A
SINGLE-BLIND,” THAT IS I
DIDN'T TELL YOU, WE DID A
SINGLE-BLIBD TRIAL OF
WITHHOLDING THE MEDICATION
AND IT'S CLEAR HE OR SHE
STILL NEEDS THE MEDICATION.
AND I DO THIS EVERY SCHOOL
YEAR JUST TO SEE WHAT'S
GOING HAPPEN.
EVENTUALLY SOME OF THE KIDS
DON'T NEED IT ANYMORE, THE
TEACHER CAN'T TELL THE
DIFFERENCE AND THE WORK IS
JUST FINE.
ON THE OTHER HAND WE NOW
KNOW FROM THE ADULT
LITERATURE THAT THERE ARE
QUITE A FEW ADULTS WITH
A.D.H.D. WHO WERE
UNDIAGNOSED AS CHILDREN AND
WHO DIDN'T REACH THEIR FULL
POTENTIAL.
THESE ARE VERY BRIGHT ADULTS
WHO COULDN'T CARRY OUT A JOB
WHICH REQUIRED THEM SITTING
AT A DESK OR CONCENTRATING
FOR ANY LENGTH OF TIME.
MOST OF THEM ARE REASONABLY
SUCCESSFUL DOING ACTIVITIES
WHICH DON'T REQUIRE THE SAME
KIND OF CONCENTRATION, BUT
WOULD BENEFIT FROM
MEDICATION, AND SO THERE ARE
MORE AND MORE PHYSICIANS WHO
LOOK AFTER ADULTS WHO ARE
MAKING THE DIAGNOSIS IN
ADULTS AND SHOWING THAT JUST
AS WITH CHILDREN, THE ADULTS
BENEFIT AS WELL.

Kevin says REGARDLESS OF THE
SITUATION, IT REALLY SEEMS
THAT IT NEEDS TO BE OPEN
LINES OF COMMUNICATION
BETWEEN THE TEACHERS AND THE
PARENTS.
AND IT REALLY HAS TO KIND
OF -- IF THE TEACHERS
RECOGNIZE THAT SOMETHING'S
GOING ON, IT'S THEIR
RESPONSIBILITY TO CONTACT
THE PARENTS AND VICE VERSA,
ESPECIALLY IF MEDICATION'S
INVOLVED.

William says ABSOLUTELY.
IN FACT THE ONLY TIME I
WITHHOLD MEDICATION OR I
SUGGEST THAT THE MEDICATION
ADVICE OR THE -- OR THE ONLY
TIME I SUGGEST THAT THE
PARENTS NOT INFORM THE
TEACHER IS WHEN WE'RE DOING
WHAT WE CALL A SINGLE BLIND
TRIAL.
THE PARENTS CAN USUALLY
TELL.
IF THE CHILD NEEDS
MEDICATION AT HOME AND AT
SCHOOL, WEEKENDS AND SUMMER
HOLIDAY, THE PARENT WILL BE
ABLE TO TELL VERY QUICKLY.
BUT IF, AS I MENTIONED
BEFORE, THE MEDICATION IS
ONLY GOING TO BE USED IN THE
SCHOOL SETTING, THEN THE
PARENT NEVER SEES THE CHILD
ON MEDICATION AND HAS NO
IDEA WHETHER THE CHILD IS
BENEFITING FROM MEDICATION
OR IS DOING BADLY WHEN THE
MEDICATION IS WITHDRAWN.
AND BECAUSE SOME TEACHERS
HAVE A FIXED OPINION ABOUT
MEDICATION, THEY EITHER LOVE
IT OR THEY HATE IT, I THINK
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR THEM
NOT TO KNOW FOR A SHORT
PERIOD OF TIME WHETHER THE
CHILD IS ON IT, SO WE CAN
GET AN OBJECTIVE, AS WE CALL
IT, A SINGLE BLIND RESPONSE.
AND IF THEY DON'T KNOW THAT
THE CHILD IS ON MEDICATION,
HAVE SEEN A DETERIORATION OR
HAVE SEEN THE CHILD IS ON
MEDICATION AND HAVE SEEN AN
IMPROVEMENT WITH MEDICATION,
THAT'S PRETTY GOOD EVIDENCE
THAT IN FACT IT IS WORKING
OR NOT WORKING.

Kevin says GREAT.
Dr. FELDMAN, THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US TODAY.
THE AUTHOR OF “LEARNING AND
ATTENTION DISORDERS” A GUIDE
FOR PARENTS AND TEACHER,
PUBLISHED BY KEY PORTER.
AND FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
REGARDING LEARNING DISORDERS,
PLEASE -- Dr. FELDMAN
RECOMMENDS YOU CONTACT THE
LEARNING DISABILITIES
ASSOCIATION OF CANADA.
THEIR PHONE NUMBER IS AREA
CODE 613-238-5721, OR YOU
CAN CHECK THEM OUT ONLINE AT
www.ldac-taac.ca

A slate reads “More to life.”

Then, Kevin sits alone and says
WITH LESS THAN A WEEK
AWAY, THAT FAMILIAR HOWL IS
PROBABLY HAUNTING HOMES
EVERYWHERE RIGHT NOW AND IT
IS MOM, DAD, WHAT AM I GOING
TO BE FOR HALLOWEEN?
WELL, PATRICIA SILVER IS A
CLOWN WITH SOME CREATIVE
SOLUTIONS TO THIS DILEMMA.
SHE SAYS PULL OUT THE PAINT
BRUSHES.
AND WE FOLLOWED HER AROUND
RECENTLY AS SHE MADE FACES
IN THE CANVASSES.

A clip plays on screen. A woman dressed as a clown is surrounded by a group of children around 7.

They all yell
LET'S MAKE SOME FACES! WOO!

(upbeat music plays)

Fast clips show a girl slightly older than the rest painting the children’s faces.

The clown says SO SHE CLOSES HER EYES
AND JUST GOES STRAIGHT DOWN
ON HER EYES THERE YOU GO.
HI GUYS, YOU WANT TO GET
YOUR FACE PAINTED?

Another kid says OKAY.

The clown says YOU WANT TO DO IT TO EACH OTHER?

Then, she appears in an interview with a caption that reads “Patricia Silver. Professional clown.”

Patricia says IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE.
I'VE HAD GRANDMOTHERS FACE
PAINT.
I'VE HAD KIDS PAINT EACH
OTHER.
TO BE A SUCCESSFUL FACE
PAINTER YOU NEED GOOD
QUALITY PAINTS AND I REALLY
RECOMMEND YOU USE
WATER-BASED PAINTS BECAUSE
THEY'RE THE EASIEST ON THE
SKIN AND THEY COME OFF SO
EASILY.
THE KIDS CAN JUST WASH THE
FACE AND THEY CAN START
AGAIN WITH A NEW CHARACTER.
IT'S GREAT TO HAVE GOOD
BRUSHES AND THEY'RE NOT
EXPENSIVE.
YOU CAN GO TO A STATIONARY
SHOP AND FOR A COUPLE OF
DOLLARS BUY A DECEMBER SEN
BRUSH, AND JUST SOME BASICS
FROM AROUND THE HOUSE, WATER
AND PAPER TOWELS AND GARBAGE
CANS AND THINGS LIKE THAT
FOR CLEAN-UP.
AND IMAGINATION.
IMAGINATION'S THE MOST
IMPORTANT PART OF FACE
PAINTING.

A boy with his face painted in white black and red says I'M GOING TO SUCK YOUR
BLOOD, BECAUSE I AM A
VAMPIRE.
LIKE IT?

A girl with a butterfly painted on her face says I'M A BUTTERFLY.

A boy with a lion face painted on his face roars.

Patricia says SOME KIDS WILL COME TO ME
AND SAY I DON'T THINK I CAN
BE A FACE PAINTER.
I'VE NEVER DONE IT BEFORE.
OR PARENTS SAY “I CAN'T DRAW.”
AND I SAY YOU KNOW WHAT?
YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AN
ARTIST.
STICK THE BRUSH IN THE PAINT
AND GO FOR IT.
AND IF IT'S NOT A PERFECT
LINE DO, IT AGAIN.
JUST GO OVER IT, MAKE IT A
LITTLE BIT BIGGER, MAKE IT A
LITTLE DIFFERENT, ADD SOME
MORE COLOUR, AND I HAVE
NEVER HAD A CHILD OR PARENT
WHO WAS UNSUCCESSFUL.

Now in a clip Patricia teaches a girl how to paint another girl’s face.

As she applies white paint on the girl’s face, Patricia says SO YOU PICKED THE
DALMATIAN DOG.
SO YOU NEED NICE LONG
STROKES WITH THE SPONGE TO
GET A NICE SMOOTH LOOK.
NOW THAT'S PRETTY WHITE.
NORMALLY WE SAY WE WANT YOU
TO WAIT ABOUT THREE MINUTES
FOR IT TO DRY, BECAUSE YOU
WANT IT TO BE REALLY NICE
AND DRY WHEN WE'RE PAINTING.

As she paints black lines on the white paint, she says
A LONG STROKE THAT WAY UP
AND THE CENTRE.
SO NOW WE'VE DONE SORT OF
THE OUTLINE OF THAT
DALMATIAN FACE BUT WHAT WE
NEED TO DO IS FILL IT IN.
WELL YOU NEED SOME LIPS, SO
WE'RE GOING IT PAINT SOME
BLACK LIPS.
AND YOU CAN TURN BACK OVER
THERE WAY.
PERFECT.
AND THE GLITTER WILL STICK
TO THE MAKE UP BECAUSE IT'S WET.

She applies glitter on the girl’s nose and says
THIS ISN'T GOING TO LOOK
BRIGHT PURPLE, IT'S JUST
GOING MAKE YOUR NOSE STAND OUT.
LIKE YOU KNOW HOW A DOG'S
NOSE LOOKS WHEN IT'S WET?
THIS GIVES IT SORTS OF THE
SAME EFFECT WITH THE
GLITTER.
JUST PUT YOUR FACE UP JUST A
LITTLE BIT.
SO I'M GOING TO HAVE A LONG
TONGUE HANGING DOWN HERE
WITH A LITTLE SPLIT IN THE
CENTRE SO WE KNOW IT'S A
TONGUE.
WE'VE OUTLINED IT IN BLACK
AND WE'RE GOING TO PUT A
COUPLE OF BLACK SPOTS ON
YOUR FACE.
DALMATIAN ISN'T IDENTICAL
SPOTS ALL OVER SO, WE'LL
JUST SORT OF DO SOMETHING THERE.
AND I WOULD SAY IF YOU COULD
BARK FOR ME, I'D BELIEVE YOU
WERE A DALMATIAN.
CAN YOU BARK REALLY LOUD?

The girl smiles and barks.

Back in her interview, Patricia says WHEN YOU PURCHASE A MASK,
YOU ARE STUCK WITH THAT
CHARACTER, AND THERE'S NO
CHANGING IT.
THERE'S NO USING
IMAGINATION.
AND WE JUST THINK IT'S A
MUCH BERT EXPERIENCE FOR
KIDS TO LET THEIR
IMAGINATION GO WILD AND
PAINT THEMSELVES.

A girl says SMILE!
BIG BIG SMILE!

A boy around 4 with his face painted as a mime smiles.

Back in the studio, Kevin shows a picture of a boy with his face painted gray.

He says LOOK AT THAT GUY!
Dr. FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR FOR
MORE HELP ON THE DO IT
YOURSELF APPROACH TO
HALLOWEEN, YOU CAN PICK UP
PATRICIA SILVER'S BOOK
CALLED “FACE PAINTING.”
THAT'S EASY ENOUGH,
PUBLISHED BY KIDS CAN DO IT
PRESS.
AS WELL ON INFORMATION ON
PATRICIA'S CLOWN BAND CAN BE
FOUND AT www.echo-on.net/~sphere
That’s it for today’s show.
Join us here at More to Life every Monday through Friday starting at 1 PM.
I’m Kevin Brosch, have a great day.

Watch: Learning Disabilities and Face Painting