An open letter very critical of DSM 5 was written by several divisions of the American Psychological Association. An article in Psychology Today describes the psychologists’ protest against this latest version.
“The letter summarizes the grave dangers of DSM 5 that for some time have seemed patently apparent to everyone except those who are actually working on it. The short list of the most compelling problems includes: reckless expansion of the diagnostic system (through the inclusion of untested new diagnoses and reduced thresholds for old ones); the lack of scientific rigor and independent review; and dimensional proposals that are too impossibly complex ever to be used by clinicians.”
Even though the American Psychiatric Association has no sovereignty over psychiatric diagnosis, the APA has been preparing the DSM for sixty years, since no other group wanted to do it. 1
Typical of fraudulent “mental disorders” in the DSM 5 include both dyslexia (a term that describes difficulty in learning to read or interpret words, letters, and other symbols) and and dyscalculia (severe difficulty in making arithmetical calculations).
There is no sane reason for their placement in the DSM, as psychiatry does not even pretend to treat or cure these difficulties in learning.
Dyslexia and Dyscalculia Treated Successfully Through Education
Theories abound as to what causes dyslexia and dyscalculia, but by definition they are not “mental disorders.”
A child who has difficulty in mathematics, and even struggles with simple addition may excel in other areas of learning. And these children can be helped in a variety of ways, none of which involve intervention by a psychiatrist.
- “Using concrete examples that connect math to real life, to strengthen your child’s number sense. Examples: sorting buttons or other familiar objects.
- Using visual aids when solving problems, including drawing pictures or moving around physical objects—which teachers refer to as “manipulatives.”
- Assigning manageable amounts of work so your child won’t feel overloaded.
- Reviewing a recently learned skill before moving on to a new one, and explaining how the skills are related.
- Supervising work and encouraging your child to talk through the problem-solving process. This can help make sure he’s using the right math rules and formulas.
- Breaking new lessons into smaller parts that easily show how different skills relate to the new concept. Teachers call this process “chunking.”
- Letting your child use graph paper to help keep numbers lined up.
- Using an extra piece of paper to cover up most of what’s on a math test so your child can focus on one problem at a time.
- Playing math-related games designed to help your child have fun and feel more comfortable with math…” 2
Unfortunately, when a psychiatrist decides that a child with dyscalculia is anxious or depressed, intervention with pharmaceuticals may be suggested. Parents who are unaware of psychiatric drug dangers may unwittingly damage their child through their prescription and use.
Similarly, a child with dyslexia can be diagnosed as “depressed” and prescribed medication by an ignorant psychiatrist.
But dyslexic children are helped every day through education. These are suggestions given to parents by Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities:
- “Surround your child with reading. Read out loud to her, modeling phrasing and intonation. Allow her to read anything and everything, many times if she likes. Have her read out loud, giving corrective feedback. Listen to books on tape in the car. Make reading a positive experience.
- Encourage reading fluency. Have him read a short passage several times while you record the time it takes. Children often enjoy seeing if they can improve their time, and the repetition helps establish fluency.
- Build vocabulary. Ask your child to tell you a new word she has learned every day. Talk about what it means, look it up in a dictionary, and make up sentences with the word. Play a game where each of you uses the word in a sentence at least twice that day, then again that week. Post a “New Vocabulary” word list and add to it daily or weekly.
- Play games. For a young child particularly, playing games is fun and instructive: clap so she can hear how many syllables a word contains; segment word sounds and blend them back together; call attention to alliterations in songs, poems, and nursery rhymes.
- Go high-tech. Use computer resources, including apps, digital learning games, and websites with learning games.” 3
Using DSM 5 to diagnose anything is dangerous and unpredictable, particularly when so many supposed “mental disorders” are either learning difficulties solved by the correct educational tools or actual physical conditions that can be cured by a competent (non psychiatric) medical doctor.