Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child

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This looks like an interesting book!

In his new work, the author, a former psychotherapist who has written previously on attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perspective), recommends techniques for raising children diagnosed with this condition. Although many of the specific strategies will be very useful to parents raising ADHD children, too much of the text is devoted to complex genetic and evolutionary theory. According to Hartmann, ADHD is a trait (referred to here as the Edison gene, because the inventor Thomas Edison is believed to have had the trait) rather than a disorder, because it once provided useful skills for functioning in a hunter-gatherer society. The hunter abilities contrasted sharply with the farmer trait, which carried the skills required in farming societies. For example, hunter children have a short attention span, beneficial in a dangerous world where the environment had to be constantly monitored. The innovative but impatient hunter child is usually placed in special ed classes and is looked on as a disciplinary problem; but Hartman believes that ADHD children should be thought of separately. He provides specific guidelines for parents, partly based on the work of Alfred Adler, which encourage mutual respect between parent and child. Hartmann is not an advocate of drug therapy, and he argues for educational reform and alternative schools or home schooling as better learning situations for ADHD children. Hartmann believes that creative outside-the-box thinking, characteristic of those with ADHD, is a real asset to solving many of the world’s serious problems. Amazon USA

Thomas Edison was expelled from school for behaviour that today would label him as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), but his mother understood how to salvage his self-esteem and prepare him for a lifetime of success. In THE EDISON GENE Thom Hartmann shows that the creativity, impulsiveness, and distractibility that are characteristic of ADHD are not signs of a disorder at all, but instead are components of a highly adaptive skill set utilized by our hunting and gathering ancestors. These characteristics have been critical to the survival and development of our modern civilization and will be vital as humanity faces new challenges in the future. Hartmann, creator of the “hunter versus farmer” theory of ADHD, examines the latest discoveries confirming the existence of an ADHD gene and the global catastrophe 40,000 years ago that triggered its development. Citing examples of significant innovators in our modern era, he argues that the children who possess the “Edison gene” have neurology that is wired to give them brilliant success as innovators, inventors, explorers, and entrepreneurs. He offers concrete strategies for helping Edison-gene children reach their full potential and shows that rather than being “problems” such children are a vital gift to our society and the world. Amazon UK

This is an interesting take on the ADHD gene. DRD4 is supposed to have appeared somewhere between 10,000 and 40,000 years ago. Here, this author is suggesting it is a trait that is good for hunting rather than farming, which is the opposite of what DRD4 theorists have suggested – that it caused an innovative leap towards farming.

Whatever the case, the distinction being made between Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD/ADD seems to be paper-thin here.

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Written by alienrobotgirl

9 August, 2007 at 9:57 am

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