The importance of Trigger Warnings


I expect Universities to be places of enlightened thinking
The University of Chicago flunked the test

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
A Mental Health Awareness Post

A Trigger Warning is no different from a RATING

A Trigger Warning is NOT content censorship – it is a WARNINGPeriod.  It allows for the use of coping strategies by those students who need them.

It is absolutely insane to put forth some black and white argument expressing fear that supporting its use in ANY circumstance will facilitate its application to all situations where some student might take offense.

  • Few thinking individuals are up in arms about impinging on the rights of people who want to watch certain types of films simply because they are rated X to guide those who do not.
  • Rational people do not insist that the ban on guns in schools be lifted, holding up 2nd Amendment Rights  (the right to bear arms, for my non-American readers).

And yet, The University of Chicago sent out a letter to incoming Freshman outlining their [non] logic as they disclose that they will not support the use of Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces on their campus.

Rather than using this issue as a chance to increase Mental Health Awareness, which is to be expected from any institution claiming education as its purpose, The University of Chicago has chosen to issue what amounts to a gag order.

We have a L-O-N-G way to go where educating people about Mental Health is concerned – but for a University to be so blatantly unaware is both frightening and appalling. I’d yank my kid out of that “educational” environment in a heartbeat!

Why all the fuss?

Regular readers are aware of the reasons for my reluctance to use the WordPress reblog function – so I hope you will jump over to the posts below to read the rest of the excellent points surrounding the words quoted below.

In her introduction, Maisha Z. Johnson explains the issue in terms anybody might easily be able to understand, EVEN the decision-makers at The University of Chicago, especially John Ellison, U of C dean of students (who is declining to respond to emails, etc. by the way).

THAT would mean, of course, that they’d bothered to upgrade their egregious lack of education about mental health issues before responding in what I feel strongly is a cruel and ignorant fashion.

Two college students return to campus after both were present for an act of violence.

One of them was physically injured in the incident. In order to return to class, he asks to have space around his desk to allow him to stretch, because sitting still for too long would aggravate his injury.

How would you feel about his request? Would you understand why such an accommodation would help him heal? Expect his professors to oblige?

Now, the other student’s pain isn’t visible – it’s emotional.

He wasn’t physically hurt, but he lost a loved one, and he’s traumatized. Certain reminders have resulted in panic attacks, and he’d rather not experience that again – especially not when he’s trying to move on with his life and get an education.

So he also makes a request, asking his professors if they can give him a warning before covering material that relates to the type of violence that took away his loved one.

How would you feel about this student’s request?

What he’s asking for is a content warning, also commonly called a trigger warning. And it’s a huge source of debate.

. . . when it comes to an able-bodied person experiencing a temporary injury and needing support to heal, there’s usually not much debate about whether or not they should be allowed in class with crutches, a cast, or extra space around their desk.

The sharp contrast between this acceptance and common attitudes towards trigger warnings reveals something disturbing about our society’s approach to trauma and mental illness.

Read more of this post . . .


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Horror in Orlando


What is WRONG with our world today?
And what can we do to turn things around – IMMEDIATELY?

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

Unusual, but necessary

As regular readers know, since the WordPress reblog function is not particularly ADD/EFD-friendly, I rarely reblog. In any case, the WordPress reblog function does not seem to be working at all today — a day when I would otherwise have used it to reblog the post below, put together by the author of the Make Me a Sammich blog.

I usually confine my articles to topics that directly impact individuals struggling with challenges common in what I refer to as the Attentional Spectrum community. I generally avoid “political” posts that do not directly impact the mental health field.

HOWEVER, in response to my horror at the deadly attack in Orlando, I am not able to remain silent about the repulsion I feel for the increase in hate-mongering of ALL types, much of it fomented by the rage that is given expression on Twitter – some by politicians running for office who damned well SHOULD know better!

Hate breeds hate.  STOP ITall of you
and let’s stop supporting ANYONE who spurts venom.

My hand-crafted reblog attempt:

I have copied Rosie’s first few paragraphs below – and encourage you to follow the link provided below her brief introductory paragraphs  to see the entire post. She speaks my mind as well or better than I ever could, and has also included links for anyone who is moved to help – or needs help.

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
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Actions Speak Louder Than Prayers: Be the Helpers

As I struggled to form words to begin this post, a CNN notification just popped up to tell me that—as the world reels from the terror attack on Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, which killed at least 50 people and injured at least 50 more making it the “deadliest mass shooting in US history”—police in Los Angeles have in custody a person who was armed to the teeth and headed to a Pride celebration in the LA area.

So far, the events seem to be unrelated in the strictest sense—i.e., these men likely did not know one another or coordinate in any way—but any attack, or any attempted or planned attack, on a gathering place for LGBTQ people during Pride week can certainly be said to have at least a couple of things in common.

“We know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate.”
~President Obama

In times like this, it’s often difficult to know how best to help. My thoughts—and my prayers, such as they are—do go out to the LGBTQ community today, but I will not pretend my thoughts and prayers are magical and will create change in and of themselves. That takes action.

As a straight, cis woman, I’m focusing my efforts today on amplifying the voices of LGBTQ people on social media and also, with thanks to @PrisonCulture on Twitter for the prompt, I’m shining light on organizations that work to support LGBTQ people and fight for equality and justice in the LGBTQ sphere.

These are the folks who are out there right now doing the work that needs to get done, and the one of the best ways to help in times like this is to support them either financially or by letting others know about the important work they do. I hope you can join me in these efforts to whatever degree you’re able.

Read the entire article by clicking HERE

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IN ANY CASE, do stay tuned.
There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

Want to work directly with me? If you’d like some coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (one-on-one couples or group), click HERE for Brain-based Coaching with mgh, with a contact form at its end (or click the E-me link on the menubar at the top of every page). Fill out the form, submit, and an email SOS is on its way to me; we’ll schedule a call to talk about what you need. I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)
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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

For links in context: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links will turn dark red;
(subtle, so they don’t pull focus while you read, but you can find them to click when you’re ready for them)
— and check out the links to other Related Content in each of the articles themselves —

Related articles right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com
(in case you missed them above or below)

Related Articles ’round the net primarily found in Rosie’s article

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Rarely Proud to be an American Anymore


How did our country become so selfish?
An interaction that left me Grumpy – and it’s not even Monday!

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
in the Monday Grumpy Monday Series

Walkin’ my Dog

As someone who moved around a lot throughout my life, I am currently living a considerably more isolated life than I would prefer because I have landed in a town I can’t really understand – Cincinnati, Ohio.

From my experience, at least, Cincinnati seems to be one of those towns I’ve come to call “passport towns.”

An introduction from somebody who’s grown up here – or lived here for most of his or her life – seems to be a prerequisite for even so much as a welcoming smile many days, and certainly the passport needed to develop a community of true friends. Since my move here several years ago, I have found myself quite lonely as a result.

True friends share each others’ lives, not merely conversations in passing or occasional calls for help or understanding in times of trouble. Most of my friends are scattered across the nation, so I frequently get a hankering for a a bit of face-to-face interaction, even though, since Kate Kelly’s passing, I no longer know anyone in Cincinnati I could count among my true friends.

Enforced isolation is something I have not experienced since, many years ago now, I first moved to New Orleans, Louisiana for grad school – another passport town. That surprised me, by the way. I’ve always made friends easily, and it’s extremely rare to need a passport in the South. But I think I finally figured it out.

Commonalities

I’ve observed that the two towns I mentioned are alike in this way: people who grow up there tend to stay put or move back “home,” perhaps because they finally tire of living in some other passport town where they couldn’t develop a community of friends either. In any case, a great many of the residents of these towns seem disinclined to widen their circles to include a stranger without the requisite introduction from a local.

Taking my own advice (from the Series I have been writing on loneliness and isolation), my little dog TinkerToy and I get out several times a day – and I smile warmly at everyone I pass on our walks around the neighborhood (even if they don’t return my smile). I engage anyone who seems the least bit friendly in a passing conversation.

“Hi, how are you?”
“Don’t you just love (or hate) this weather?”

When I notice an expression on a face that seems to indicate that they are about to bring our little chat to a close, I wave them on and tell them I hope they have a nice day.

Related posts:
The Importance of Community to Health
When You’re Longing for Connection

But passport towns are not the central point of today’s post.
Walking my dog is how I came to meet Staff Sergeant Brown.

Some actual connection

My little Shih Tzu TinkerToy and I frequently pass a small cigarettes-snacks-and-beer store that serves the many college students in this section of the walking neighborhood I currently call home. Staff Sergeant Brown was sitting on a stoop out in front, keeping watch on two large garbage bags bulging with cans.

Do you know what he can get for those cans these days?  A whole thirty cents – per pound.

And that’s how this courageous, 63 year old veteran of FOUR wars is currently supporting himself – because he is too proud to beg.

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Science CONFIRMS what we have always known – again


Let’s Hear It for Confirmation?

WHY are Common Sense & “Anecdotal” Evidence SUSPECT
until scientists obtain funding to “verify” what we already know?

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

Modern Media Headline News?

I really must stop reading the paper!

Anger and frustration grow increasingly stronger, page after page, reading even the headlines. When there is absolutely nothing one can do about what one reads, they are such uncomfortable, unproductive emotions.

I have come to expect various negative emotions whenever I read what passes for political commentary and coverage. I’m never sure which makes me crazier: what most of the politicians say and do or what most of the “news” reporters write about what the politicians say and do.

No longer do I spend hours of my time exploring alternate reportage in a vain attempt at determining the truth beneath a story printed in whatever paper I happen to pick up first.

As cynical as it sounds, I have finally been forced to accept that any political reportage I might read would be little more than another permutation of party SPIN in service of the almighty dollar, crafted primarily to attract a greater readership share than the journalistic competition.

Yet it seems that I have not yet jettisoned my naivety entirely.

Naivety, Hope & Timing

I still believe that research scientists truly mean well and are working to save lives and improve its quality for the next generation.

Nonetheless, it makes me Grumpy to note their lack of urgency as they take careful steps to build their careers and reputations – almost as if their patience with the process indicates that they need to think about the lives of this generation as “acceptable casualties.”

But about those reporters . . .

Science reportage in the majority of articles in the popular press retains the full force of my disdain.

  • “Don’t ANY of them read original sources?” I wail silently, frowning over whatever I’m eating or drinking as I read.
  • “Or is it that they don’t have adequate long-term memories?  What’s been around for decades is not NEWS.”

I had those thoughts again, just last night – as I enjoyed a margarita with a Cactus Pear specialty nacho salad during a solo evening dining out at the restaurant within walking distance of my apartment building.

To keep me company, I picked up one of their copies of the March 23 – 29 issue of Citibeat, Cincinnati’s alternative paper. Hoping to read something brief and not too upsetting so I could enjoy my dinner, I turned to Worst Week Ever! – one of their running features.

There – along with a blurb about the Pope’s brand new Instagram presence and a long paragraph about the GOP’s refusal to consider Obama’s Supreme Court Nominee “or anything else the man wants” – was some “news” about the intelligence of dogs: Scientists Believe Dogs Are More Intelligent Than We Give the Little Bastards Credit For (alternative paper, remember).

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of how links work on this site, they’re subtle (scroll UP for it) ==>

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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
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When did WordPress change?


When you make a mistake,
‘fess up and FIX it

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

As regular readers know, I don’t like (or use) the WordPress reblog function because it doesn’t work for ADD/EFD readership, particularly in the manner in which multiple graphics are handled.

HOWEVER, I am making this exception as a show of support for a blogger who is now prohibited by WordPress from following any new blogs or bloggers – EVEN to the extent of hitting “like.”

None of his many followers can figure out WHY —
and others with similar statistics have recently received similar notices
(disclosed in the comments section of the blog that follows)

The response from the [used-to-be] good folks at WordPress is to dig in and defend, rather than ‘fess up and explain how it happened – OR disclose the specifics of the rules by which they sanction (read the comments on the blog of Opinionated Man – my own responses to the WordPress action are scathing!)

BY THE WAY

You don’t have to agree with what he says on his blog to defend his right to SAY it.

  • There will be many people who won’t agree with what YOU say on your blog.
  • Wouldn’t you want somebody defending your right to say it if WordPress responded to them by shutting you down?

AT THE VERY LEAST, click over to click like to indicate that you are aware of this truly crappy decision on the part of WordPress.com and find it appalling.

Links to more detail, including their missives to him,
available from the link immediately below:

WordPress Account Disabled

Making things EVEN worse

There seems to be NO redress for the original action.

From their response, it seems clear that the policy is that if somebody makes a decision on statistics alone, the folks at WordPress.com refuse to revisit – or even EXPLAIN their [apparently new] “rules” for interaction with other blogs with any specificity.

It’s a “circle the wagons” response designed to provoke fear of “over-stepping” undisclosed boundaries.

Didn’t work with ME

My response is WHITE-HOT FURY at the back-end disclosure sans specifics — AFTER we have spent money and a great many minutes of our lives helping to build usage of the WordPress.com platform.

If WordPress doesn’t have the server space to keep up with the community they’ve actively sought and attracted, then they need to say THAT – not this nonsense!

I hope your response is similar, and that you will (as they say in the theatre)
“Sing out, Louise!”

Most companies become suddenly more reasonable once they become aware of wide-spread disdain.

“An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile
hoping it will eat him LAST.”
~ Winston Churchill

“It takes a village to transform a world!” ~ mgh

What kind of world do YOU want?


FYI – To get to the article, click on the name of the blog (immediately below) or on “View Original” at the bottom.

The longer link goes to a Forum discussion thread that one of the “Happiness Engineers” (their term, btw) has decided to close to additional comments in what appears to be their new black and white manner of avoiding having to comment toward clarification or issue resolution.

Headlines I Want to See in the Upcoming Year


Dream Headlines
What Kind of World do YOU Want?

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

The Upside of the Downside

MediaTreeGotta’ love the media – ONE report of a groundbreaking study and they go wild with their own interpretations — targeted to each of their particular viewers, readers, and branding.

Association blogs and websites join in from a myriad of vantage points, with the individual bloggers in hot pursuit of the same story right behind them.

Social Networks go crazy. We see related posts on Facebook, discussions on LinkedIn, tweets, YouTube videos, TED talks – the entire internet seems abuzz with the news.

Advertisers on the cutting edge target their commercials to catch the wave of increased publicity.  Product development teams are employed to increase sales by tweaking existing products and developing new ones.

MEANWHILE, new funding is approved for new studies to build on the original, further feeding the frenzy as new results are leaked and published.

ULTIMATELY, politicians get into the act as the result of public outcry; caucuses convene to draft new laws based on findings from the original research (that few probably ever read and fewer still understand).

What if it went something like THIS . . .

  • Scientists discover neural-mechanism behind turf building and cognitive competition – possible link to empathy deficiency
  • Collaboration blows competition out of water — recent research
  • Blind Men meet to combine Elephant reportage – New Picture Emerging

Read more of this post

New title sells books – sells OUT lives


AD(H)D does NOT exist?
Give me a BREAK!

©Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, ADD Coach Training Field Founder;
ADD Coaching co-founder; ADD Poster Girl

NotAgainBookHere we go again!

This might turn out to be another of the “shortest articles I’ve ever written.”

Shoot — it might be one of the ONLY short articles I’ve ever written (the list of “related articles” of outrage may well be longer!)

In this instance, it will be a cinch to be brief, since there’s not much to say about this utter nonsense — books on this fallacious point of view seem to crawl out of the woodwork about every seventeen years – like locusts!

And just as big a nuisance.

While more than disheartening, it is no real surprise to see that ANOTHER New York Times best-selling-author-wannabe has decided to make a fortune pandering to soundbite-mongers with a new book brandishing an incredulous title – a book with a cover that looks suspiciously like the one above (albeit with different words).

It’s yet another of the opinion-presented-as-fact books written by unthinking MDs who make the incendiary, controversial and condescending claim that ADHD does not exist.

The sound-bite press will make sure it will make headlines, no doubt, despite the reality that hundreds of expert MDs, scientists, geneticists and respected health organizations can site HUNDREDS of studies to back up their extremely credible and well-respected claims that it most certainly DOES TOO!

Will this NEVER stop?

So how many HUNDREDS MORE children are now going to be left to flounder until they are failing as ADDults because their parents will take this rubbish seriously?

How many HUNDREDS more ADDults will not be able to receive the help they need because their non-expert doctors will believe the popular press around this blather?

How many government officials will read this prattle and ring in to make it even MORE difficult for those of us who rely on medication to remain medicated?

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Processing Efficiency is all about Juggling


Measuring Processing Fluency?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part TWO of the Brain-Based Processing Series

*attribution below

How fast can YOU juggle?

Science is rapidly approaching the level of urgency in its attempt to understand the dynamics of cognition that those of us with processing disorders have lived with 24/7 for some or all of our lives.

Almost everyone in the industrialized world reports being “stressed to the max,” which seems, as many are beginning to point out, to have some connection with productivity effectiveness.

Glory hallelujah!

Since the consequences of chronic stress have come to public awareness, personally affecting almost every individual in industrialized societies, corporate heads and productivity gurus have been searching unsuccessfully for ways to lower stress levels without abandoning their preoccupation with capital and profitability.

  • Only a very small subgroup has connected chronic stress to
    human processing limitations.
  • Only a few of those individual have any idea what might work
    to extend the capacities and work around the limitations
    of the human brain.

So, of course, NOW is a good time to apply for funding for cognition studies.  We’ll hear about more and more of them in the next few years. Read more of this post

RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms INDEED!


Clever but seriously flawed

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,
hoping it will eat him last.”

~ Winston Churchill

So what’s my beef with
Sir Ken Robinson???

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

Royal Society of Art’s figurehead, “world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award,” as it says in the description under at least one of his cleverly animated lectures on education, posted on YouTube.

His content is out of integrity
with what he says he stands for.

Black and white, perhaps, but misinformation in my area of expertise makes me question the sincerity of his quest as well as the validity of the rest of the items in his presentation.

Read more of this post

Transformational Rant


Solar Systems & Paradigms

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

Men may well be from Mars (and women from Venus), but ADDers and non-ADDers are from two different solar systems!!!

Like the futility of attempting to explain perfect pitch to a person who is tone deaf, conveying our experience of the world to another is hardly something they will ever be able to comprehend at levels much beyond conceptual — if that.

  • How could a person who is able to distinguish pitches perfectly
    ever really understand the hearing of the person who can’t?
  • And how can the person with average musical ability
    ever understand just how annoying that out-of tune piano is
    to the person who can hear every overtone?

One More Level

Let’s take this analogy further.  Would the person with perfect pitch leave it to the tone deaf person to supervise the tuning of the piano?  Of course not!  Nor would she expect her tone deaf partner to notice when the piano needed tuning — or to exclaim joyously when the piano had been tuned.

  • Our musical friend would not waste time and energy explaining repeatedly what to listen for to determine whether the piano needed tuning, or why it was important to her that the piano stay tuned.
  • Her tone deaf partner would not wonder secretly if perfect pitch were real or just an excuse used to justify the money spent on the piano tuner.

Neither would think there was something seriously wrong with the other or their relationship because they were not musically attuned, pardon the pun.

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