Friday, December 19, 2008

The Learning Disability Myth

The Learning Disability Myth
Dr. Robin Pauc with Jacqueline Burns
Nonfiction 213 pages
Virgin Books, 2006

In his book, “The Learning Disability Myth,” Dr. Pauc addresses a number of developmental and behavioral disorders and presents the basics of his treatment methods. These disorders include: learning disabilities, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Childhood Turette’s Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. Each of these conditions share overlapping symptoms, causes and treatments and should therefore be reclassified as aspects of what he calls, Developmental Delay Syndrome.

The cause of Developmental Delay Syndrome is that spindle cells, which appear in the prefrontal cortex four months after birth, fail to properly integrate with other parts of the brain. The treatment involves proper diet and stimulation of these cells.

Dr. Pauc prescribes removing unhealthy foods and food additives from the diet while adding healthy ones. His book includes a two-week eating plan. He is less specific, however, about his therapies for stimulating wayward spindle cells.

Quoting from the letter of a thirty year old patient, these therapies could include, “listening to Mozart, with a view to gain right-ear dominance, looking through a Syntonizer at different lights for an hour a day for two weeks to open the fields of vision, … walking up the stairs with my eyes shut and holding a tray with a glass of water on it to help stimulate the left cerebellum!”

Has Dr. Pauc made revolutionary discoveries, or are his claims exaggerated? Dr. Pauc readily discusses neurology, but never mentions that he is a Chiropractor, not a Neurologist. If the reader wrongly infers his profession, Dr. Pauc can, at worst, be accused of omission, rather than of deception.

Evidence presented in books written for casual readers tends to be anecdotal rather than statistical. Dr. Pauc’s evidence is also anecdotal. If you want statistics, you’ll need to read elsewhere. Based on the evidence offered, I am unable to form conclusions. I invite your opinions, be they based on personal, or professional, experience.
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Dave Loeff (davelef.com) is an author and graphic designer. In addition to fiction, Dave writes about graphics, travel, and other topics. Find him at http://truthandtalltales.com.

Dave worked domestically in the sewn goods industry, before he became a buyer in Taiwan. He subsequently worked as a mental health clinician, technical writer, computer technician, and graphic designer.

His freelance services include conversion of manuscripts into eBooks, photo retouching, book design and illustration,