Sunday, 13 December 2009

Labels, diagnoses...

and pedagogic action

Conductor Judit Szathmáry and I have been discussing 'labels' and 'diagnoses'.

I put it to her that labels and diagnoses are not the same thing, the former being sociological, the latter medical constructs. Neither in themselves, I added, will help any child. For children to progress, what is required is pedagogic action.

This is what she put to me in reply:

I used label as a synonym to diagnoses, as how parents talk about it.

I agree with you about the clarification but they get neither social nor medical help until diagnoses. And we know so well that what is on offer from those resources is a total nonsense. Pedagogical help is still something they don’t know about, hence they don’t even ask for it.

Who to ask? All they want is help but proper help is not coming form either social or medical sources. They are stuck in the middle, so they have a choice to accept one non-adequate illusionary help or the other.

But, if their child is diagnosed it will have a long-term affect on the child’s life. Catch 22, I would say.

You know, sometimes I wonder what is the difference between those Middle East or Far East cultures that hide their children’s disability, so they are not stigmatised, and our ‘cultured’ societies where people pretend to be helpful but do not give what is useful and right, so the child eventually ends up in nearly the same pot anyway.

Nicely put, Judit.

I can blather on about the equal evils of sociological and medical reductionisms, and the equal stupidity of analyses based upon either the social or the medical 'models of disability' alike; I can wax on about the higher-order paradigm that subsumes and integrates the two, in a truly developmental-educational approach.
 
Judit's statement neatly shows who gets dumped on while the long words fly, the families and the children who matter to them.

2 comments:

  1. "I can wax on about the higher-order paradigm that subsumes and integrates the two, in a truly developmental-educational approach."

    I cannot be your only reader who would very much welcome you continuing to do just that, Andrew.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks. For just a little while yet...


    Andrew.

    ReplyDelete