New Disorder Discovered!
Asbridge's Syndrome (AS2)
I discovered an exciting new disorder. Where's my money?
Students with AS2 typically hate homework and often receive poor grades due to low homework completion. Often these students will engage in odd behaviors such as skateboarding, playing video games, watching television, listening to music, playing sports, attending church in the afternoon or evening, or just standing around talking with others their own age.
AS2 students usually possess average or above average intelligence, are active, are social, and may enjoy a variety of interests, hobbies, groups, clubs, teams, sports, organizations, etc. Although some might consider participation in these activities to be strengths, any or all can and do interfere with homework completion. AS2 students make the deliberate choice to live life, enjoy time with family and friends, enjoy sports and recreation, etc. -- instead of completing the expected three hours of homework per night. This is where the problems usually begin. It doesn't help that these students are bright enough to know the homework assignment is usually a pretty bogus activity.
AS2 students are often described by their teachers as possessing low motivation and/or a poor attitude, especially when given a lengthy homework assignment and the student had other plans for the evening, like playing in the league championship game. Students who don't complete their homework may sometimes be misdiagnosed as having a specific learning disability, ADHD, Aspergers, Internet Addiction, or others.
Students afflicted with AS2 are five times more likely to be male (5:1 boy-girl ratio). Up to 50% of the population might have AS2 or be considered to be "at risk" to develop AS2; in effect, there may be millions yet to be diagnosed with AS2.
Research & Observations:
Brain studies have consistently documented many differences in brain structure and functioning between males and females. Observations by Asbridge over a twenty-five year span have consistently documented a lower rate of homework completion by AS2 boys when compared with non-AS2 females.
01) Is almost always male;
02) Often does not complete homework;
03) Receives poor grades due to low rates of homework completion;
04) Deliberately engages in activities other than homework completion;
05) May verbally state he doesn't like homework;
06) May sometimes argue with a parent or teacher regarding homework;
07) Generally acts like a boy or disturbs his female teacher in other ways;
08) Has average or above intelligence.
If at least four of the eight diagnostic criteria are true -- you must follow through!
Take the FREE Screener for AS2
As always, be sure to account for the frequency, intensity, and duration in your diagnosis. AS2 is on the spectrum (i.e., normal curve) from mild to moderate to severe, just like autism and what used to be known as Aspergers before it was disinvented. If and when these students are referred to the mental health system, they are often misdiagnosed with ADHD when the real problem was the student just didn't like homework; AS2 must be ruled out before an ADHD diagnosis. This is sometimes challenging because the mental health field often diagnoses ADHD before any actual assessment occurs.
Effective Interventions and Treatments for AS2 may include, but are not limited to:
01) Quit assigning homework; when school's out, let humans live life;
02) Reduce homework loads from 5 hours to 30 minutes or less per evening;
03) Since the student is probably already on antipsychotics, try taking him off of them;
04) Place the student in an all-male classroom;
05) Instead of grounding him, spend quality time with him;
06) Instead of special education, encourage and empower him;
07) Instead of in-school suspension, try reteaching the assignment;
08) Instead of anger management, let him present to the class about a topic of interest or knowledge;
09) Instead of counseling for the student, enroll the teacher in a sensitivity training course;
10) Instead of yelling at him, ask him if there is anything you can do to help;
11) Instead of expelling him, encourage him to sign up for the basketball team;
12) Throw out the boring state-mandated curriculum you're using (don't tell anyone);
13) Quit expecting him to sit and listen to your three-hour awe-inspiring lectures and then going home and having to spend three awe-inspiring hours summarizing your three-hour awe-inspiring lecture.
This syndrome, like so many others, disappears once the student leaves the educational system, although there may be lifelong lingering feelings of disdain for certain specific teachers and/or the public education system in general.
Certainly at some point in the future, someone will hopefully document this actual [gene anomaly, migration of brain cells, disturbance, disorder, condition, disability, impairment, mutation] syndrome, but in the meantime, please feel free to go ahead and diagnose it just like you seem to feel so free in your diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome -- apparently no one cares if there's any actual research to back up AS2? We all know AS2, just like Aspergers, ADHD, and so many other DSM conditions must actually exist, right? If it does, we can make a lot of money off this one, eh? I mean, we're talking 50% of the population, baby!
Maybe The Human Genome Project could begin studies to see which genes or portion(s) of the brain cause AS2?
I am planning an extensive longitudinal research project to further understand and develop effective interventions for this important and exciting new syndrome. This research project, if approved, will cost the taxpayers approximately $25,000,000 (which is nothing compared to what you're already paying for the important and exciting research related to finding the cause of Aspergers). NIH, where and how do I apply for that grant money?
New Disorder © 2007, 2014-21. Donald J. Asbridge, Ed.S. Bakersfield, CA USA Some rights reserved.