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Madeline Lavine PhD: Education Today Is Causing Learning Disabilities

Posted by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM
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Stress And The Toxic Hormone Cortisol

When we experience stress, it causes an elevated level of the toxic hormone cortosol, and children are less able to deal with stress.

Studies show that the toxic effect of excessive cortisol resulting from stress, has an effect on the brain. The effects can be lasting if stress happens over a long period of time. This hormone was found to be one of the major causes of behavior problems, learning disabilities (ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, hyperactivity, ext), confusion, and impaired thinking in adults and in children. This hormone effects children's ability to learn.

 Madeline Lavine PhD, who is a Psychologist with over 30 years of experience in working with children explains in her book, Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success,  that the  "one size fits all" approach, and the over emphasis on testing is doing more harm than good. She says that it is one of the major causes of learning disabilities.  Children can become stressed simply because they think something is wrong with them if other children are learning faster then they are, or making better grades than they are.  She goes on to say that current methods are preparing our children for academia, but not for life outside of school. 

In conclusion, education needs to be designed around the child's uniqueness rather than putting them in a race that egnores their unique talents, and time schedule.

P.S. Something that I forgot to add is thad Dr. Lavine says not enough play can cause learning disabilities.

by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:05 AM
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KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:21 AM

 Huh, thats an interesting observation. I'm not sure I can make the connection between PS and disabilities, when there are many HS'ers who have disabilities as well. But I'd be interested in reading her research. I completely agree kids, especially those with special needs, needs custom curricula. My eldest has Aspergers and, looking back, I recognized behaviors emerging when he was an infant (and he's never been to a Public School).

mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I can see how PS could be another cause of a learning disablity. I don't think it is *THE* cause, but I do think it can be a toxic enviroment for some children.

BramblePatch
by on Oct. 7, 2012 at 10:30 AM
1 mom liked this
I think the connection is tenuous. I think stress affects performance...but to cause learning disabilities? No...i think that is a crock.
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romacox
by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 10:47 AM

It apparently is not just a mistake that is made in Public Schools, but when we home educators emulate the Public School system  that ignores the need for play, for different talents, unique learning styles,  individual time clocks, and an over emphasis on testing, children experience the very same thing. Dr. Lavine notes that in her practice for over 30 years, children use to site home as their major source of stress, but now it is school. She says  that this overload of  stress is causing an increase in learning disabilities, depression, suicides and even obesity among children and adults.   Prozac is on the increase among teachers who are also experiencing an overload of stress.

You are correct mem82, it is not the only cause, but, as Dr. Lavine says, and something I have also witnessed as a tutor,  it is one of the  leading  causes of the increase in the things mentioned above. 


Medical Research:  The toxic hormone Cortisol's  connection to learning disabilities.

Mayo Clinic also talks about the effect of Cortisol on the body and brain.


mem82
by Platinum Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 11:31 AM

There has to be some cause for some of the issues we are seeing today. I think it's totally plausable that the enviroment that our society has created for kids to grow in can be a big cause.

Quoting romacox:

It apparently is not just a mistake that is made in Public Schools, but when we home educators emulate the Public School system  that ignores the need for play, for different talents, unique learning styles,  individual time clocks, and an over emphasis on testing, children experience the very same thing. Dr. Lavine notes that in her practice for over 30 years, children use to site home as their major source of stress, but now it is school. She says  that this stress is causing an increase in learning disabilities, depression, suicides and even obesity among children and adults.   Prozac is on the increase among teachers who are also experiencing an overload of stress.

You are correct mem82, it is not the only cause, but, as Dr. Lavine says, and something I have also witnessed as a tutor,  it is one of the  leading  causes of the increase in the things mentioned above. 


Medical Research:  The toxic hormone Cortisol's  connection to learning disabilities.

Mayo Clinic also talks about the effect of Cortisol on the body and brain.



usmom3
by BJ on Oct. 7, 2012 at 1:33 PM

 I can see it! I also think that you can correlate the way children are treated by adults & raised as a form of stress. Kids are treated as second class citizens with no opinion or voice for themselves, they are treated as thought they are unintelligent & can't think or make choices for themselves. I know I stressed out a lot as a kid over those things!

Pukalani79
by Kristin on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:03 PM

 I don't know about learning disabilities necessarily but stress can wreak havoc on our bodies.  My husband spent 4 days in the hospital with chest pains which they attributed primarily to stress.  It also attacks our immune systems.  Stress is a part of life unfortunately but I think we can definitely see the effects when we dont make the efforts to de-stress.

romacox
by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

I love and appreciate all your  comments (even those who don't agree).  As a workshop leader, it helps me prepare for my workshops. Please keep them coming.

  Stress is a normal part of life, and we all need to develop the ability to cope with stress, but an overload of it is what is so destructive.

Recently a mother told me that her child, who is a very active hands on learner, was very happy living on a farm.  But moving into an apartment has changed him into a very unhappy child.  She is having trouble finding an outlef for his natural energy.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Oct. 7, 2012 at 4:49 PM
I'd be curious to know if part of her research might have factored in the current level of narcissism in today's children. Stress seems so much more important now than it did, say, during the Great Depression or any of the world wars. I think modern kids have been taught to see themselves as the center of the universe, and they no longer have the tools to handle stress, rejection or struggle. Not necessarily just through PS but the modern environment.
romacox
by Silver Member on Oct. 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM

KickButtMama, you know you are one of my favorites here.  So could you expound on your thoughts  a bit.  Do you mean that long periods of stress (cortisol) doesn't cause learning disabilities, or do you mean that narcissism is also a factor/  Please continue with your thoughts if you don't mind. 


Quoting KickButtMama:


I'd be curious to know if part of her research might have factored in the current level of narcissism in today's children. Stress seems so much more important now than it did, say, during the Great Depression or any of the world wars. I think modern kids have been taught to see themselves as the center of the universe, and they no longer have the tools to handle stress, rejection or struggle. Not necessarily just through PS but the modern environment.


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