It was a great surprise recently for me to count up the number of countries I have students living in and to find there are now 12 across the globe. These include: Australia, Belgium, China, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States. What technology truly brings to education is accessibility.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly on Newstalk’s The Right Hook interviewed live in studio by Shane Coleman this evening renewing call for homework to be banned in schools.
Most Educationists take the summer off. We use this time to refine and develop what we have learned in the last few Academic years. Like our students, we are always moving forward and learning. I will talk about this new Method in more detail over the coming weeks. But needless to say, I'm excited! I think the results we have had contradict everything that has been understood about empathy. In particular, I see this as a way for students to grow and develop their personalities without social anxieties and labels such as Asperger's Syndrome. I would predict that cases will never in future be given a diagnosis of Asperger's. I never set out to "fix" people. It has always been about creating the best versions of themselves but in recent years I have seen that our results mean that students no longer exhibit classically labeled conditions such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome or a whole host of other challenges. They move beyond these labels and recognizable challenges.
Over the last few months I have been working hard to develop and refine methods to help with speech difficulties from the ages of 18 months upwards. It has become obvious to me that this is a difficulty that is far more widespread that recognized and leads to a whole array of challenges behaviorally. Without communication we can often exhibit anger issues, frustration, tantrums, lack of confidence and don't form proper social bonds within and outside of the family.
If the way we are was purely genetic or environmental - kids in the same family would be the same. They would react to situations and challenges in the same way. Your birth order wouldn't matter. Children from abusive or alcoholic families would act out their challenges in the same ways. Kids from highly nurturing environments would all turn out perfect. Issues such as self-harm and eating disorders would not exist. All kids in all families would feel identical to their siblings and parents. No-one would ever feel like a misfit.
So, our personalities determine how we react and what we do. They determine an integral part of who we are. The most important part. For example: No two dyslexics from the same family in the same school with the same challenges will be the same. They won't get the same results. They won't be good or bad at the same subjects.
The family and school environments are the same. The dyslexia is genetic and inherited with that same family. But their coping strategies, reactions and lives will be completely different.
This is why personality matters so much in education. It is why one size doesn't fit all and why just because we focus on the dyslexia that education has not appeared to change for the better. When we focus on personality needs - everything changes. Then we can help anyone to be successful regardless of any issues, difficulties or differences.
This is at the crux of what’s different about the Psychology of Success because you’re looking at not just what makes up people or what their challenges are - you’re looking at what they need in their personality to succeed. Plus, looking at the effects generationally that have been built up environmentally but concentrating on their reaction to it because of who they are.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly.
Myers-Briggs to Fit Our Expectations & Needs – Not Just Understanding Who You Are But What You Need to Succeed
The founder of personality understanding was Carl Jung who first wrote about his findings in 1921. However, his work had one serious limitation. As he was a trained psychologist he mainly had access to people that were perceived to have serious psychosis problems. His work was based on finding a new balance for these people rather than a balance for the everyday person who doesn’t find their way to a psychotherapist.
Isabel Myers took up the challenge in 1942 to help “ordinary, healthy, normal people understand that it is alright to be unique individuals.” She could see the implications in everyday life, careers and relationships with those around you. Her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, wrote in 1980 - “I hope parents, teachers, students, counsellors, clinicians, clergy - and all others who are concerned with the realization of human potential - may find a rationale for many of the personality differences they encounter in their work or must deal with in their private lives.”
Nowadays, the test is used by a vast array of big corporations to fit you into a box and try to predict how well you will do a particular job. This was not the purpose of the empowerment and awareness test. It was not to determine your path in life or what box you go into. In the same way Alfred Binet created the I.Q. Test to help see how to better accommodate students - not to determine their capabilities for life.
We have gone beyond the simple factors that people have obsessed over who you should be but rather than the factors that help people to be the most balanced form of themselves. Which, ironically, is what Jung was striving for when he first worked with his patients in the 1920‘s. This balanced form of yourself allows you to be successful at everything in record breaking times.
We firstly started off applying our new methods to students with learning difficulties - why are no two dyslexic children able to get the same results? Why does one find the whole school experience so difficult and not the other? Why are so many people of a particular personality type diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome? Why do some people with written expression issues bully others? Why do some students need all the steps explained while others find their own ways?
We now have a more extensive profiling method, Purple Profiling, that takes more factors into account including the ways in which we process information. Another area that Katherine Briggs was keen for people to have an understanding and realization of. We understand the developmental time scale and how generational factors affect long term patterns. We have ended up with a system that is like psychoanalysis and counselling on speed. The results are not only rapid, but more importantly, sustainable. They have been described as ‘flicking a switch.’ We are not changing people. I don’t need anyone to be less dyslexic or more sociable for success.
The methods have now been applied to all areas of life, business and sports as well as education. Across a span of ages, backgrounds, sports and industry sectors.
It has been so important to continue to build on the foundations of this work, especially as we have been continually written off by people in life. My own psychologist report at 16 told me that “it was beyond my status to go to college” because of my severe dyslexia. Interestingly, all of the people who have seriously added to this method, and not in a way to just be used by corporations to fit people into boxes, have themselves all been INFJ. The rarest MBTI personality type. It is as if in being so different from others that they have strove to add to the understanding of that difference in the world around them.
Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,
February 3rd 2015.
This is why when I now do Psychological Assessments of young children I am very focused on a fun enjoyable experience - a trauma free zone if you like.
I was 8 when I had my second Psychological Assessment and 16 when I had my third. I have lived with hereditary Profound Dyslexic Spectrum Disorder since birth and it still impacts of every aspect of my daily life - but I developed ways to cope.
I remember there were pages and pages of how I did not measure up to other children my age. There was never help given to my parents and I to assist me in working the way I needed to work. The only focus was on what I could not do.
Hence, this is why I started to develop my own methods of learning from 4. I was also acutely aware at 4 that I was completely incapable of doing what the School and Government Shrinks wanted me to so.
These days, I set children and families up for success no matter how “behind” the rest of the world perceives a child’s cognitive development and behaviors.
Every family I have dealt with personally, and that is thousands of people at this stage, are set up to succeed in the precise ways that their child is capable of learning and developing.
Personality is a massive factor in development. Some people are more independent that others. They may walk faster, they may be quieter. Some people are born chatterboxes and others do not speak until much later on. Some will not play by themselves others are loners. No one can be put on a scale and expected to fit.
Even children who have hearing impairments and a great big long list of conditions I deal with can develop better and learn faster with the right interventions. It does not matter what it is - no two children can rise to their challenges in the same ways.
How can a professional determine if a 4-year is up to task with cognitive development?
Most professionals rely on standardized test. Personally, I do a session with the child using my “toolbox.” This involves a whole series of games with everything from Playdoh to magnets. This allows me and my Team to test abilities across a whole spectrum without the child even being aware of it. All the testing is completed without the child feeling like they are being examined.
What if the 4-year old cannot do all the cognitive skills for his/her age?
Should a parent worry?
I do not deem tasks age appropriate. I strongly believe development is a little bit more complex and I think it is unfortunate that a lot of learning difficulties are determined on an age scale. This ends up making parents feel very bad about their child’s development. During my initial assessments, yes sure it is always very obvious to me what people cannot do, but it is equally obvious if they have fantastic visual pattern recognition or memory association skills. These can be used to develop the areas that are lacking. Just the same ways I achieved a First Class Honors Degree followed by a Doctorate when told as a teenager that University was “beyond my status.”
I think the system sets up parents to worry. But one of my key tasks in taking on any new case is to put everyone’s mind at ease and make everything doable. Families always walk out the door with a way, structure, plan an if necessary Team support to do everything.
How can a parent help a child develop these skills?
I set up programs for parents to use the everyday in their own home to help their children. I think one of the disadvantages of our technological world is that it is very removed from other people and parents. Yes, I do like to use some Apps but I like to develop skills using less remote games. Child cookery, for example, builds time management skills and the use of a radio in the background helps children filter information.
Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly Expression Developist™