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Learning Disabilities: Swept Under The Carpet Too Long! By: Steven E. Whiting PhD

Learning disabilities make up the most prevalent and urgent medical-related problem of children in the developed countries of the world. Note we said 'developed'. The incidence of learning disabilities is consistently higher in so-called 'civilized' nations. This is a very important point, and will shortly form the basis of our discussion.

In the United States alone, there may be as many as 14 million children, or more, whose learning functions are impaired and whose degree of disorder might range from mild or almost undetectable, to completely devastating.

If we are to properly address and help these children, we cannot simply resign ourselves to a short cut management of the problem through the use of powerful drugs with dozens of side effects.
If not addressed and corrected, these disorders will follow the individual throughout their entire life. Many of these children will enter their adolescent years and turn to alcohol or drugs. Many will become juvenile delinquents, forming habits that will, again, follow them into adulthood, leading them to a life long affair with crime. They will enter the working world with a less than adequate education. The antisocial and withdrawn behavior they developed as a result of their learning disabilities, will make it difficult for them to interact with others, both personally and professionally. No matter what you may have been told, these children will not outgrow their handicap, only their clothing!

It is difficult for parents to understand that their child's behavior is not deliberate. The bursts of emotion, the periods of withdrawal, the lack of performance at school and the difficulty in interacting socially, put strains on even the most loving families. Yet, if we are to properly address and help these children, we cannot simply resign ourselves to a short cut management of the problem through the use of powerful drugs with dozens of side effects. In fact, it is directly through the use of drug therapy that the child is conditioned, both physically and emotionally, for a lifelong relationship with drugs, often dangerous drugs, that can destroy their lives.

Is it true that children with learning disabilities will never be able to overcome their handicap? Not at all. Long before the advent of today's most powerful drugs men like Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Hands Christina Anderson, Thomas Edison, Nelson A Rockefeller and General George Patton accomplished greatness in their own field, yet each of these men were moderately to severely learning handicapped!

Every year the rate of school drop outs continues to rise. When you interview these kids, they all say that they 'have better things to do.' Turning to a life which involves accepting a second rate job, the use of street drugs, criminal behavior, and other socially unacceptable behavior, are all products of either necessity or the child's desperate need for attention.

As the child's needs go unnoticed in the classroom, failures in school become worse. At some point in time, the child begins to lose his desire to even try. The school either ignores, or eventually expels him, and he becomes one more statistical dropout. In our work with children who have one or more of a variety of learning disabilities, we have found that delinquent children are often underachievers who, at some point, never learned to read or to write. This was not because they did not want to learn these skills, but rather because they couldn't!

These children, who grow up and attend school without receiving the attention they need, will be destroyed as individuals and will likely never be able to achieve their full potential. They will go through life being improperly judged by their parents, teachers and classmates. Ultimately, it will be the other children who will deal the final blow to their self esteem by making fun of them and calling them a 'retard'.

As hard as it might be to believe, many parents do not even recognize hyperactivity, a frequent factor in the learning disabled child, when they are faced with it every day. They see their child running uncontrollably through the house, destroying things in the process. They notice that he may not be able to sleep at night, or concentrate during the day. They notice that he is not very coordinated and has difficulty with both visual and muscular coordination. Yet, in spite of these obvious symptoms, many parents will write it all off as 'just a phase', not wanting to admit that there is a specific underlying cause. All too often it is these same parents who allow their child to run rampant, giving him his way in order to control him. This permissiveness includes meals as well. All too often these children subsist on a diet of sugar and sugar forming foods, the very substances that will further propel them into the shadows of their own disabilities.

All too often these children subsist on a diet of sugar and sugar-forming foods, the very substances that will further propel them into the shadows of their own disabilities.
Yet, in spite of this common yet devastating problem, the only method of treatment sanctioned and offered by educators and the medical community, remains dangerous pharmaceuticals, all of which carry potentially terrible side effects. There is no doubt that drugs do subdue the hyperactive child and take away the problem for parents and teachers, but at what price. While the drugged child appears to be concentrating and learning, is he? How much is the child actually absorbing and retaining in his drugged stuperous state?

The use of powerful drugs in the case of our children is becoming more and more promiscuous. In this age of quick fixes, it would be good to consider some facts. One third to one half of all learning disabled children are not helped at all, not even temporarily, by treatment with drugs! Further these drugs produce a plethora of side effects that we would not wish on anyone, most especially our children.

These ampthetamine drugs cause a loss of appetite, meaning that these children are frequently underweight and have a much slower rate of growth. Other side effects of these drugs include accelerated heartbeats, elevated blood pressure, irritability, emotional instability, sluggishness and fatigue.

Instead of looking for a quick fix, in order to sweep the problem under the proverbial carpet, we must consider the real causes of learning disabilities. When we address the causes of this condition, we will be looking squarely at the solutions as well.

Poor diet is a greater problem in children with learning disabilities than any other single factor.
Poor diet is a greater problem in children with learning disabilities than any other single factor. It has been said that we are what we eat. A child who is subsisting on a diet loaded with dead, lifeless, junk foods, filled with sugar and refined carbohydrates, runs a great risk of impaired mental faculties. We have seen, time and time again, that when you correct the diet of children with learning disabilities, you almost immediately, modify their behavior. Once that is accomplished, you have set the stage for building a program which will alleviate the child's learning problems altogether.

Supplementation, specific supplementation with specific nutrients, together with a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, can make the difference between success and failure for the learning disabled child. Our institute has worked with hundreds of children, and has had great success in managing their learning handicaps and behavioral problems through the use of diet and specific supplementation exclusively.

Next month we will outline the protocol for both diet and supplementation as used here at The Institute in the management of learning disorders (Click here for Learning Disabilities: Swept Under the Carpet Too Long! Part Two: Nutritional Protocols). We urge you to put this information in the hands of as many people as you can. It is one thing to turn the other way when adults choose to destroy their lives through drugs. It is inexcusable when we condone and even administer the same fate to our children, especially when there is an alternative.


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