Is there an epidemic of invisible disabilities?

In This Issue: We have TWO additional freebies available right now, both a Grammar Reference and Quark Chronicles: Bastiat. Also, is there really an “epidemic” of invisible disabilities among school children today?

English Grammar and Composition

Need a curriculum to cover English in your homeschool? Make sure to check out English Lessons Through Literature (ELTL). One program, scheduled three days per week, takes care of all English related topics except actually teaching a child to read. ELTL covers grammar, punctuation, composition, spelling, and handwriting practice as well as scheduling a year’s worth of literature. ELTL uses sentence diagramming for practice and review, and composition is covered through narrations, progymnasmata projects, and beginning literary analysis exercises.

Download our sample package to try out the first two weeks of lessons! Levels A – G are currently available, and I plan to publish Level H before September!

Is there an epidemic of invisible disabilities?

Aloha, y’all! This newsletter is a continuation of last month’s discussion on invisible disabilities, and you can read the first one online here: Labels: What’s in a name? This month, the discussion moves on to discuss why we’re seeing such a rise in the number of people being diagnosed with newly named disorders in modern times.

When you hear statistics about how diagnoses for conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and dyspraxia have increased over recent decades, you have to first remember that the very definition of these conditions have changed. Indeed, the conditions named above have been formal diagnoses for a relatively short time in the history of the planet: dyslexia for less than 150 years, autism and ADHD for less than 100 years, and dyspraxia for less than 50 years.

In the beginning, extreme cases of invisible disabilities were noted, and doctors gave names to the conditions to make it easier to talk about them. Consider that in the early days, a child would have needed to have an intellectual disability, severe communication issues, and/or possibly be completely nonverbal to receive an autism diagnosis. For an ADHD diagnosis, a child would have needed to be extremely disruptive influence in the home or classroom.

Once the condition had a name, however, people in the community–doctors and teachers as well as parents–gradually became aware of the conditions and begin to notice children who had similar, but perhaps less extreme, behaviors. This inclusion of less severe symptoms is reflected in the diagnostic criteria as laid out in books such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Even the formal name of autism–autism spectrum disorder (or condition, depending on the source)–now acknowledges this understanding.

So despite how it sounds, it’s actually a good thing that these conditions are being diagnosed more frequently. It means that people with these issues can receive the support they need to succeed in both school and work. These conditions already existed, but without recognition, it was easy to give a person a different kind of label, ones such as lazy, high-strung, ditzy, clumsy, or slow to learn. And unlike the names of various conditions, these labels come with a definite value judgment attached to them.

In addition, the world we live in is growing more complicated by the year. These complications mean that certain disorders are far more obvious than they once were. The full spectrum of human abilities has not changed, but the world around us certainly has.

Next time, I’ll discuss why having a diagnosis, whether formal or informal, is useful and good.

Mālama pono!

Kathy Jo

NOT an expert on disabilities, invisible or otherwise,

but known to have many opinions and a newsletter

New Freebies

This month, we have two additional freebies. See the descriptions below!

New freebies are available for one month! We also have two permanent freebies. A Walk in the Park discusses our homeschool philosophy, and Daily Devotions for Kids includes four prayers for each day of the week to help children develop a habit of prayer.

Quark Chronicles: Bastiat is a rollicking, fun story which also happens to introduce young children to a variety of government and economics topics. Quark Chronicles: Bastiat hits the high points of Bastiat’s essays “The Law” and “That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Unseen,” also known as “The Broken Window.” It also touches on natural law, supply and demand, and a number of other topics. Quark Chronicles fans will love this romp, and if you haven’t become acquainted with Auntie, Mabdagatrix, and the children yet, this is your chance! PLEASE NOTE: We try to keep Quark Chronicles worldview neutral in the science titles, but this book definitely has a freedom-oriented, libertarian flair! It was unavoidable with the subject matter.

Our Grammar Reference comes directly from our English Lessons Through Literature curriculum. Each book has a number of appendices at the end of the book which includes grammar memory work (definitions and lists), correct use of words, a sentence diagramming reference guide, a chart of common irregular verbs, several charts of verb tenses, an editing protocol for after writing, and a guide to Theon’s six components. The Grammar Reference includes ALL of these reference pages. Take a look!