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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

Special Education Consigns Students to "A Treadmill of Failure"

A January 7, 2022 letter in The Wall Street Journal, "The Tragedy of 'Special Ed,'" insisting that these programs consign students "to a treadmill of failure," aroused my long-past memory. While doing psychological research in a Mid-West school, I sensed the similarity between a school and a factory.

Both operate on a rigid timetable where products (widgets or students) must move smoothly along the production line. With students this involves flowing without interruption from classroom to lunchroom to dismissal, with interference being removed. Thus defective widgets, or slowly moving/uncooperative students, are removed, with the latter being sent to Special Education to begin their struggle along the "treadmill of failure." The reason for this is simple: while academic failure can result from several reasons, it usually reflects psychological causation which schools, lacking sophisticated child development knowledge, are ill-equipped to remedy.

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When Children Are Given An Atypical Birthname

This past weekend, an article in The Wall Street Journal ("Harry Potter and the Children Whose Parents Named Them After Wizards" - The Wall Street Journal Article) jogged a personal memory.
In my grade school class were two children with my first name. Being the one with a middle name, I was long addressed as that, later hating it when a laughable TV teenage character was given this name. There were also a famed actor and a government official with this name but I didn't know it and children don't always think logically.

Years later, while walking a beach, I met a grade school friend cavorting with a bikini clad woman. He immediately jumped up, ran toward me, and warmly exclaimed my hated middle name to which I impulsively responded, "Shut up!" Don't ask me the name since I still hate it though I once told it to a young child who vowed to keep it secret.

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