A thorn in the side of ADD/EFD-ignorance

The logic behind the language

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated – seeing “a world that works for everyone” in my lifetime. ~ from my gravatar profile

Below the radar make-wrong?

Well, probably.

I’m working on clearing all judgments before I die, but intractable ignorance may well turn out to be the last to go.

Intractible Ignorance

Although I understand intellectually that intractable ignorance is a fear-based reaction, I simply do not GET a refusal to check things out to test one’s assumptions.

It seems intellectually cowardly to me (another judgment I need to clear?)

What’s more, what they tend to say and do in response to their intractable ignorance are clear examples of BULLY behavior, I don’t care who you are!

SEE: What’s my beef with Sir Ken Robinson

Not on my watch

And so I strive to remain “a thorn in the side” of neurodiversity ignorance: bigger than a splinter – fairly impossible to ignore – and begging for removal.

Thorns scream, TAKE A LOOK!

It’s not that I’m hoping to, in the words of Thomas Campbell, “force a corn plant to become a potato.”

It’s because I sincerely believe that ALL human beings strive to live life according to their understanding of what’s right and good.

My stand for humanity is that we will continually expand our understanding on the way to reframing our ideas of what’s “right” and “good.”  In other words:

we grow UP!

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

I want to repeat a section from an earlier article, Lessons from the TBI Community.

*thanks Patrick!

Broken Brains

I doubt that anyone who reads or watches television is unaware of the behavioral and cognitive changes that accompany dementias, strokes, and brain-injuries due to accidents of one sort or another.

Most sensible individuals readily accept that those changes are a direct result of brain damage, leaving areas of the brain incapable of performing their role in the neural relay race, or doing so inefficiently or incompletely.

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE that that someone might be be born with parts of the brain that function inefficiently, or that brain development might not proceed in that so-called neurotypical fashion in ALL individuals, and that there might be similar behavioral and cognitive differences as a result?



I continue to read, hear, and hear from clients, that many too many people continue to opine that productivity, affect management, decision-making – and more – are “simply” a matter of mind over matter – available to anyone in equal measure.

Those “experts” seem to believe that “all” it takes is sufficient “motivation” and drive – or the reframing of a “limiting belief.”

Unfortunately, far too many of those who hold those illogical ideas are parents, educators, bosses, partners, doctors, therapists – and COACHES!

Interacting with children, students, employees, loved ones, patients – and clients – from that wrong-headed paradigm shuts down potential, in a manner that is probably the opposite of what they are hoping to inspire.

MORE than “unloving” – it is actually abusive.

So what does that mean?

https://i0.wp.com/sifoundation.webs.com/LOGO.jpgThink about it.

When we can SEE an individual’s disability, we immediately understand that no attempts at motivation or threats of punishment would “inspire” that individual to do what he or she obviously cannot.

To get the job done, we have to think beyond our customary techniques and figure out a different way to do it — a way that does NOT intersect areas of dis-ability.

To do anything else would clearly be abusive.

Acknowledging Invisible Disabilities

When people refuse to learn about – and BELIEVE IN – cognitive disabilities that they cannot see, they continue to be frustrated at their own lack of success with their championed techniques, and continue to “blame the victim” for their failure.

So I will continue to be a thorn in their sides — because I simply cannot stand by and witness continued abuse without standing up to be counted. (check out my response in the comment below for a bit of detail that better explains what I continue to see)

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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com


A few related Coaching Articles:

A Few LinkLists by Category
(to articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com)

 ’round the ‘net

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

6 Responses to A thorn in the side of ADD/EFD-ignorance

  1. Glen Hogard says:

    The problem gets worse sometimes when “we” complain, with evidence, and all of it is ignored and the abusive behavior gets worse, as if they were trying harder to prove they were/are right. I know as it’s happened and is happening right now; one of many times in my life when my fight for the “right” is reflected back to me by rejection and blaming the victim or metaphorically “killing the messenger.” They don’t want to hear it as belief would cause them to question their world view and “correctness.”


  2. I’m really surprised to find educators on your list. They should have been schooled on the “multiple intelligence” theory.
    When I taught special ed classes, I noticed that those students had different abilities and made me a “multiple intelligence” advocate.


    • I know – sad, isn’t it? Your school was so lucky to have YOU as an advocate! I hope they realized that.

      Not only are many educators still unaware – some still REFUSE to believe. I don’t know how prevalent it is, but when it lands on MY doorstep I always assume “above the stats prevalent” unless the stats are high enough to predict what I’m seeing via law of averages.

      One of the students in my coach training was a teacher who had to go to bat for one of her students (who came to her in tears) with an intractable teacher who did “not believe in that garbage – she is not working up to capacity, PERIOD.”

      AFTER speaking with the teacher directly got nowhere new, the coach-trainee went to the administration. Things got ugly, the girl was NOT moved out of the class with the problem “teach”er, and *did* have an IEP in place that the one teacher was allowed to ignore.

      My student still needed the income, so she was afraid to “bump up” and turn in the administrator (already unhappy with HER for “making waves”) — so all she felt she could do was coach/tutor the kid pro-bono and pray. Many teachers wouldn’t be brave enough to do even that much, even if they did understand what my trainee knew about the brain, neurodiversity, etc.

      Need I say more?

      I have similar stories about each category I included (did I remember to add therapists – they tend to respond from their “therapeutic” frame, using techniques that sometimes exacerbate struggles that mandate a neurological lens to dx and shift.)

      It’s a huge problem for those with “hidden” disabilities. My biggest hope, besides inspiring more step-up advocacy, is to reach the parents – you would be STUNNED at what some of them do and say to, about and around their ADD/EFD kids, bordering on abusive (and UP!) I was on the phone with a youngish client once and HEARD how his father spoke to him (they probably heard him in Europe!).

      All I could do was say, in as charge-neutral a fashion as I could manage, was, “You know that wasn’t about YOU, right? Your Dad has an anger problem – hang tight, you won’t live at home forever. Follow the rules as best you can, but don’t take in the make-wrong.” – and pray – but it broke my heart for this kid and it made me FURIOUS! (only one of the many reasons I no longer coach kids by policy – I’ll only coach their parents)

      btw – I hear this most often from Moms who report that their husbands undo the coaching by what they say and do – no surprise that those Dads refuse to come to a coaching session for some info, huh? It is SO sad when a kid is raised in that environment – affects them for the rest of their lives.

      Thanks for reading and ringing in.


  3. cindy knoke says:

    You are doing such important education here! Thank you~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Cindy. Unfortunately, I’m frequently “preaching to the choir” — but bit by bit, perhaps, things will change. I would really like to reach all the doctors and therapists – that would be HUGE, since there are many who don’t know what they don’t know (or even THAT they don’t know).

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.


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