Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Hunter-Gatherer / Farmer Model of AD/HD

When I was learning about this years ago, I found this a helpful way to think of the differences between 'normal' people and people with this 'disorder':


This model has been criticized by anthropologists and sociologists but it does fairly accurately summarize the differences and put them in a good useful light for both kinds of people, and it does show how society would benefit over time by having some of both kinds of people.

One of the issues with AD/HD is that last letter of the acronym that stands for 'disorder'. Just because there are so few of us, our way of being is seen as 'abnormal' and Hartmann's idea is that maybe we are just one kind of normal and that our differences might actually be useful.
Yes, they are bothersome in today's school system which is designed for everyone to sit still and do worksheets: A school system designed for the 'farmer' child, that is. But other school formats can work better for the 'hunter-gatherer' child. They just happen to be more difficult to manage and usually require a higher teacher to student ratio. AD/HD kids often suffer self-esteem issues when they do not thrive in school. Is that fair? We might be putting one kind of normal kids in a school designed for a different kind of normal kids. Same with the workplace: The office job or factory job or anything where there is a set time schedule and routine activities is a system that is compatible with the 'farmer' adult but not the 'hunter - gatherer' adult. Are we expecting one kind of normal people to fit into a work world designed for another kind of normal people and punishing them for not succeeding there? Whether your paradigm of AD/HD calls it an abnormal disorder or a disease even or whether your paradigm calls it just a variant on normal, a different kind of people, but valuable, will certainly effect how you value AD/HD people or how you see your own AD/HD self. Is it abnormal, or is it just normal but different?

1 comment:

Chuckles said...

It all makes sense to me (after getting rid of the pair of http's in the link). What are the criticisms? Can't we all just get along?