DISABILITY RIGHTS VS. DIAGNOSES Subj: Disability rights versus diagnoses Date: 10/12/00 12:05:33 AM Pacific Daylight Time I've got a bit of part-time work doing research at the university related to ADHD numbers. Some people at the university are becoming anxious about the increasing numbers of students enrolling with diagnoses of ADHD and Learning Disabilities. Under anti-discrimination laws they have the same rights of protection as any other people with disabilities and they are increasingly asserting these rights to have special "accommodations" granted to them in relation to assessment procedures. These involve things like extra time in exams, alternative types of exams, like oral instead of written, people to read and/or write for them in exams, extra tutorial support etc. Some are enrolling for training in sensitive occupations like nursing, when they can't read or write. My job is to see whether there is any argument to make as to whether academic standards are compromised. But I'm not sure about which is the right side to be on. On the one hand these people can be seen as victims who are claiming to be disabled and who therefore should be supported. On the other, they are affirming the reality of these diagnoses and, by exploiting the disabled identity for their own advantage, are encouraging further usage of the diagnoses. I'd be interested to know what others think about this. I'm used to thinking about our issue as a simple dichotomy between pro-psychiatry and anti-psychiatry. But the disability rights movement opens up a third front that quite confuses the issue. At least to me. Richard
Dear (Richard), I tried to shed some light on
“Disability rights versus diagnoses” with the following essay written
9/12/97. Please duplicate, distribute. Sincerely yours, Fred A Baughman
Jr, MD, 10/12/00:
BIOPSYCHIATRYS BIG LIE:
ADHD & LEARNING DISABILITIES ARE REAL DISEASES/DISABILITIES
If we believe the “experts” we would believe that 30-50% of Americans, and a few or
several in your family, are stricken with LD or ADHD or both.
Dale S. Brown of the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities,
writes, that LD and ADHD are “related but different disabilities,” “both neurological in
nature.” By neurological is meant something wrong with the brain. Will you have this said
by school teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists about your son or daughter brought
into the world miraculously “normal,” and “normal” to this day. Believe me the perks,
including the $430 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) “crazy check,” a stipend for
accepting their “label” are not worth it. This is the “mother” of all Faustian bargains.
Brown states, LDs may cause severe difficulty in reading, writing or mathematics. Never
do “experts,” like Brown, from the LD ADHD industry let pass from there lips the
possibility that their problems in reading, writing and arithmetic might be caused by
schools so terrible that no child in the US should be without an alternative. This possibility
is never uttered because it is the same pathetic, unionized, monopolyUS education–
that has commissioned the invention of ADHD/LD. Their contract with the parents of the
country is simple: allow us to call your child abnormal, and he and you get infinite perks,
the monthly “crazy check.” Included. Oh! Sorry! Forgot to mention, we just declared
100,000 not “markedly” or “severely” disabled and stopped their “crazy checks.” “But,
take heart, their “disabilities” might worsenlike when they try to enter the work force or
try to enlist in the Army or Navynot possible for those with an ADHD label having
been on Ritalin. Didnt know that, did you, Mom and Dad.
While Brown speaks of those with ADHD/LD as “often intelligent, creative and
productive,” they are almost always under-educated, not because there is anything really
wrong with their brains, but because all of the adults in their lives have been lead to
believe that there is and have “lowered the bar” of expectations for them at every turn .
This is the reason that, as a group, they have such a poor “prognosis.”(forecast that goes
with a disease). It is not that they have a real abnormality, that needed to establish that
they have a disease. That contention is fraudulent and deceptivea fraud and deception
that Brown, the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the
US Department of Education and the whole of the federal government is a party too.
Let them be labeled and chances rise, infinitely, that beyond high school age or when they
“age out” of special ed, they will be unemployed and dependent upon you, living on with
you, perhaps with a “significant other,” and their children, into your retirement.
And now, increasingly, the perpetrators of the fraud ask that prep schools, such as the
Baldwin School in Puerto Rico, colleges and universities, such as Boston University, and
employers, big and small, “accept” those with ADHD/LD and accommodate themall of
this under the threat of suit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Ironically, only the Department of Defense, the armed forces, part of the federal
government, is exempt and will not accept the liability.
The cost of not educating 30-40% or more of our people (see US Adult Literacy Survey)
and arbitrarily calling them disabledblaming the victims, exonerating public education, is
astronomical and growinggrowing, because their is no limit to the number of
pencil-paper psychodiagnostic tests that can be invented, each with the claim that it
defines a new “disease.” There is nothing like it in the rest of the literate world (from
which we are fast seceding). But then, nowhere else in the world is medicine, including
psychiatry and mental health, so for sale. They say exactly what education want said,
for a price.
And, under ADA, we must accommodate them, prepared or not (but, of course, one
doesnt speak of “prepared or not”) Brown states: “Job applicants who have been
through special education may not be discriminated against based on a school record of a
disability.” “Employers may not discriminate against applicants with LD because of fears
that they cannot read (either they were taught to read or they werent).”
The utter nonsense of all of this and the extent to which it trivializes
the real disease/disabilities movement, that of which I, having had
polio, am a part–that launched following WWII by my one-time
physician, the late Dr. Howard Rusk, is sensed, reading from Brown: “The
inability to take excellent notes of a highly detailed eight-hour
technical discussion would not constitute a substantial impairment.” (a
learning disabilityyes, but a substantial impairmentno!)
Brown speaks again, this time, unwittingly, on the essence of the ADHD/LD fraud: “ an
employee who is unable to read or write because he or she was never taught these skills
and not because of a learning disability, would not be an individual
with a disability, under the ADA. What Brown and none of the deceivers
or deceived in the greater ADHD/LD industry care to acknowledge is that
their is means or technology anywhere that can truly distinguish those
never taught (never taught properly, for virtually all were under the
tutelage of US education for 8-12 years) from those with so-called
“learning disabilites” and “attention deficit hyperactivities”utter
fabrications. Show me an ADHD or LD “expert” and I will show you someone who is an “expert” in nothing.
Arrange it, and I will debate any one of them (I know who most of them are) any time,
preferably in Congress or a court of law where we will all be duly sworn and can be
asked probing questions, like “where in the scientific literature is the proof that either
ADHD or the LDs, are actual diseases having confirmatory, characteristic physical or
chemical abnormalities? This is the question that none of the “experts” will answer and
that none have been asked by Congress before they took to “believing” and wrote into law.
Here, we have Congress, the law and the whole of the federal government validating that
which medicine and science has never been able to validate: ADHD and the LDs (a-z) as
real diseases. First, they victimize the children by calling them them brain damaged and
leaving them illiterate and uneducated. Second, their only means of validating what they
do, they call the victimschildren no longerdisabled, never educable, and insist that all
of the rest of us accommodate them of be blamed and penalized under ADA. There
being no proof, no objectivity, no definitions, it will only stop when all of us are ADHD/LD.