Solutions for Learning Disabilities © Martyn Carruthers

Part 2: Solutions for People with Learning Disorders

I wrote this article on solutions for learning disorders because many diagnoses
of attention deficit disorder (ADD & ADHD), made by schoolteachers and psychologists, are later shown to be wrong.

Such errors in opinion (there are no laboratory tests) can devastate the lives
of children who suffer from their parents’ abuse, immaturity, ignorance –
or who are more intelligent than their teachers.

What are Learning Disorders?

A description of hyperactive children by the American Psychiatric Association is: “One who exhibits behavior such as fidgeting, squirming, answering questions before being called on, difficulty playing quietly, engaging in physically dangerous activities such as running into the street without looking, or one who has difficulty following instructions.”

Although that sounds like most normal children to me, children who show a lack of concentration or curiosity, who are a nuisance to teachers, or who are considered lazy, may be labeled learning disabled and drugged.

Children labeled with learning disabilities are expected to be less creative and spontaneous and to have less motivation than normal. Yet many children diagnosed with learning disorders suffer more from disturbed families or poor nutrition.

Few learning disorders can be confirmed by a laboratory; these labels are opinions. Yet some children labeled as learning disabled will seek refuge in alcohol or drugs. Some will become delinquent, perhaps starting lives of crime. Many will enter adulthood with inadequate education. Some will withdraw into isolation or suicide.

Some children labeled as learning disordered show biochemical imbalances and irregularities in medical imaging – although other children with similar imbalances and irregularities learn easily. Some health professionals believe that biochemical imbalances cause learning disabilities – I believe that the factors causing learning disorders also cause biochemical imbalances.

Helping professionals who believe that metabolic imbalances cause learning disorders will likely prescribe psychotropic drugs; while practitioners who believe that learning disorders can cause metabolic imbalances will likely recommend dietary analysis, remedial therapy and/or relationship counseling for the parents.

If family relationships, food sensitivities or allergies are causing
a child’s symptoms, that child does NOT have ADD.

Children of Divorce . Systemic Education . Food Allergies . Eating Disorders

Educational Success

Educational success represents academic success and social success. It reflects the needs of governments, teachers, parents and employers. Children cannot challenge those needs and are pushed and pressured to comply with them.

Significant blocks to successful education include societal beliefs about “What is possible in education?“, parental beliefs about “What can our children accomplish?” and teachers’ beliefs about “What can be done at schools?

Academic success can be assessed with examinations, and tests and social success can be assessed within relationships. Children labeled learning disabled are less likely to relate to other children or to teachers with friendly confidence – instead they may become loners or join gangs. (Their social success may be boosted if friendship skills are taught by teachers or role models who demonstrate friendly behavior).

Parental Alienation . Parent Coaching . Emotional Incest

Diagnosis of Learning Disorders

Guidelines in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) require that children show typical symptoms of learning disabilities for at least six months. However, differences between diagnostic frequencies indicate that these labels may be applied to children who are perceived as nuisances by teachers (that is, many students suffer from teaching disabilities).

We find that learning disorders (and eating disorders) often arise
from negative emotions resulting from relationship problems,
and that people often respond well to our systemic coaching.

Learning Disorders & Nutrition

Many children with learning disorders subsist on sugar and sugar-forming junk foods and/or suffer family relationship chaos, both of which can cause and worsen learning problems. Even so, food sensitivities are rarely explored (and psychiatric drugs are unlikely to manage dietary deficiencies or relationship problems).

Some children with learning disabilities are intolerant of or allergic to common foods such as wheat, potatoes, milk or corn products. These can cause some children to show depressed or hyperactive behavior, and many doctors try to manage such children’s behaviors with amphetamines.

Some symptoms of allergies to common foods may be diagnosed as learning disorders. These emotional symptoms include aggressiveness, anxiety, depression, dizziness, hyperactivity, indifference, insomnia, irritability, sleepiness, slurred speech and stuttering.

Few people are aware that common foods can cause psychological symptoms through hidden allergies and intolerances. Studies of food intolerance tests showed a 70% success rate, while only 20% accuracy with skin allergy testing. (And many people seem to be addicted to foods to which they are allergic or intolerant).

Dietary analysis cannot solve learning disorders, but careful observations and follow-up tests can expose food and nutrition problems. Children’s tolerance of food has a great impact on their lives.

Learning Disorders & Drugs

Health professionals who believe that learning disorders are caused by a biochemical imbalance routinely prescribe mind-altering drugs to manage children. Amphetamines can subdue hyperactive children and reduce the stress of parents and teachers. But children medicated with addictive drugs may show dysfunction into their adult lives.

Ritalin is rather similar to cocaine. Side effects include lost appetite: drugged children are often underweight and grow more slowly than their peers. Other side effects include addiction, high blood pressure, irritability, emotional instability and fatigue.

Adderall is an amphetamine combination that triggers the release of dopamine and noradrenaline. Approved by the FDA in 1996, Adderall is an alternative to Ritalin, and may be prescribed if Ritalin is ineffective.

Excerpts from Essential Guide to Psychiatric Drugs

In most people the effects of stimulant drugs are short-lived and there is often a letdown or crash after they wear off. During this crash the patient can feel very depressed, sleepy and sluggish.

… People who abuse amphetamines and other stimulants – usually in attempts to lose weight or stay awake for prolonged periods – often find that a dose that had worked for a while is suddenly ineffective and they need a higher dose. … Soon, the person is addicted to the drug. Stopping it suddenly leads to severe withdrawal reactions characterized by depression and extreme fatigue. Suicides have been reported amongst people who suddenly stop taking amphetamines.

“Patients must understand that they will probably become addicted to the medication and that they should never stop taking it abruptly.”

Parents who manage their own negative emotions and relationship problems
can reduce any need for their children to disable their own learning.
Contact us for help solving emotional and relationship problems.


More About Learning Disorders

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD or ADHD or ADS) are often described as lazy, inattentive, hyperactive and impulsive, as are most children at times.

Children may be diagnosed with ADD if they become bored quickly, are easily distracted, make careless mistakes, daydream or not complete educational tasks. (Many children diagnosed with ADD can complete tasks that interest them.)

People with ADHD have an elevated risk of psychiatric disorders (Jensen et al. 2001), and of educational and career difficulties (Mannuzza & Klein 2000), as well as about 20% increased use of emergency and outpatient medical services (DeBar et al. 2004).[/pullquote]

Few psychiatrists and doctors give physical exams for suspected ADD; they just fill out checklists. Yet a diagnosis of ADHD cannot be confirmed in a laboratory, like an infection – a label of ADD or ADHD may only indicate that a health professional does not know what is wrong. If family relationships, food sensitivities or allergies are causing a child’s symptoms, then that child does not have ADD.

ADD,  Ritalin & Adderall

3% – 5% of school age children are diagnosed with ADHD, with up to 20% in some schools. About 10 boys are diagnosed with ADHD for each girl. Common treatments are Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall – drugs of convenience for many parents and caretakers.
(Should giving children addictive, psychoactive drugs be a first choice – or a last option?)

Side-Effects associated with Ritalin & Adderall

  • headaches
  • over-stimulation
  • difficulty sleeping
  • decreased appetite
  • raised blood pressure
  • feel tearful and miserable
  • abdominal pain (temporary)
  • growth retardation (temporary)
  • tics (muscle twitches, spasms)
  • (rare) irregular pulse
  • (rare) white cell count drops
  • (rare) hyperactivity reactions

Have you experienced temporary attention deficit during a crisis, or during conversations? Have you experienced temporary attention deficit during internal conversations or self-talk? People with ADD may benefit from coaching that helps them concentrate, manages self-criticism and decreases inner conflict.

Children having difficulty in peer relationships, such as being rejected by other children or not having close friends, may have higher risk for anxiety, behavioral and mood disorders, substance abuse and delinquency as teenagers.
Woodward, Lianne and Ferguson, David; Childhood Peer Relationship Problems and Psychosocial Adjustment in Late Adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 1999

Parents of children diagnosed with ADHD may report that their child do not play with groups of friends nor enjoy in after-school activities, and that their child has few friends, is bullied at school or has trouble cooperating along with other children.
New York University Child Study Center. IMPACT Survey, 2001


You can help children diagnosed with ADHD or ADD by providing dietary analysis for the children and systemic coaching for the parents. Correcting the diet of children with learning disabilities often helps improve their behavior. Testing for food allergies and sensitivities, and providing needed vitamins and minerals may help many “learning disabled” children.

Parents who learn to build or rebuild their own happiness can better help learning disabled children. We help parents identify and manage relationship problems which manifest as immature behavior. Children, especially those under the age of 14, often respond quickly and positively to their parent’s increased happiness.

Adults with ADD may be energetic, creative and spontaneous. They may also interrupt people and be forgetful. If these traits are perceived as a lack of caring for other family members, resentment may follow. Yet many adults with symptoms of ADD or ADHD avoid resolving them.

Help for Dyslexia

Dyslexia is about learning to read. Research suggests that up to 20% of all people show some symptoms of dyslexia. Dyslexia may be diagnosed when a schoolteacher cannot correct a child’s reading difficulties.

Dyslexia is not a diagnosis, it is a prediction that children cannot learn to read. And with that prediction on record – why, strangely enough, none of them ever do. Unless they happen on a teacher who doesn’t believe in educationese witchcraft.
From Inferno by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

If dyslexia can be corrected – it is not dyslexia! I have met many people diagnosed with dyslexia who seemed to have a basic left-right confusion (and dyslexia seems more common if children, as children, their parents had reversed roles, where a mother takes a fatherly role and the father is absent or weak. We can help people correct this).

Mature parents who manage their own relationship conflicts seem to
reduce any need for their children to suffer learning disabilities.
Contact us to solve emotional conflicts and family problems.

Part 3: Solutions for Learning Disorders