17Oct/19Off

Parents have become obsessed with labels, not solutions

fragile-label-1-600x573-600x573Parents have become obsessed with labels, not solutions

 

There is nothing like working on a passion for a decade to give you perspective, mine is literacy. Besides how much I've learnt since those early days, 10 years ago last month, when I got the keys to my own school. I've seen a frightening trend developing over the last five years in particular. I've been trying to chart the reasons as to why I now work with increasingly traumatised souls younger and younger. In the beginning, I felt I was a victim of my own success. I wondered did I attract these situations others had struggled to find solutions for simply as my own reputation grew? Sure, there was an aspect of this as I became known for being an expert in reuniting the world with teens who'd been trapped in their bedrooms for years. But this doesn't explain the 6 and 7-year-olds I am meeting regularly. Why has not being able to read, write or pronounce a few words become such an issue? When did this become the end of the world? Why does this shatter their confidence so much? Why is everything from anxiety to bed wetting or not sleeping now in the mix? Why have they all been for so many assessments or "interventions" before I meet them? Why has so little helped them? They are all in learning support.

 

The answers? I realised that parents have been sucked into a vortex of feeling that a label, not a solution will give their children the "edge" in life, especially in the education system. The only reason we do assessments is to provide schools with a branded identity for our children to have resource time that very often doesn't help them at all. I know this sounds harsh but it's the truth that I've seen on a repeat loop for a decade. A loop that is becoming increasingly more traumatising for the children involved. Now it has become so skewed that parents feel they must label their children before even entering the system in order to provide a survival net. Yet teachers complain to me their classes are filled with excessively labelled students. But often it is the schools insisting on these assessments or even taking the power to do them without the inclusion of the parents. A label means money for a school. Not a solution to the problem or tailor made help for your child to learn differently. It doesn't provide them with coping strategies for life. As a by-product of the label, I listen to parents every day tell me what their child will never be able to do well. As I've done and succeeded at it all despite these claims, I feel qualified to say this is utter rubbish. In fact, I only went to college to do a degree and later a PhD in order to be a qualified voice on what you can achieve with a severe dyslexia label. It's why I'm now a writer too.

 

It's time parents took their power back and stopped feeling forced to label their child as a solution to often very insignificant challenges. So what if they take 6 months longer to talk? So what if they are quiet? So what if they fidget? So what if phonics don't teach them to read? So what if they use their fingers to count? Or mix up their b's and d's. Does it matter if they don't ace the spelling tests? Who cares if you get your pen pass first or last? Who invented the pen pass? Your child's happiness is so much more important than these educational milestones. Life doesn't have to be such a competitive race.

 

In the long run, It's better energy spent If you start to look online for solutions for ways to support rather than brand your child. Your child will not grow up to feel there is something fundamentally wrong with them. We need a change of mindset to readdress the power dynamics currently being played out at younger and younger ages in schools not just across this country but the world. Daily, I deal with the same problems, the same trauma created across 6 countries globally. The same problems in mindset in contrasting cultures with parents all seeking the "edge" for their child. A very important part of being a parent is to be an educator yourself. No one else is going to fix your child's challenges better than you.

 

Parents seem shocked initially when I set them 6 weeks of work for them to do with their child at home. Yes, you can take the power back. Yes, you can help. And yes, in a very short few weeks they are all reading, writing or speaking better. No therapists. No labels. There is a whole world of internet material on various platforms to help you. I personally record a podcast for this very purpose, Purple Psychology. But there are endless resources out there on Pinterest or Youtube and so on to help you.

 

The biggest part of my work is not the help or program to learn differently. It's the rebuilding of confidence of little damaged souls and the encouragement of parents to trust their guts. You do know your child better than anyone else. Don't listen to any therapist or psychologist who tells you differently. You know the days to push. You know the days to back off. The times to hug. You have all the encouragement inside in you. Just stop the labels, please. Stop racing to some universal "average" someone else dreamed up for your child. We need to embrace difference again and parents need to be the ones to decide this shift. Years ago, I wrote, "It doesn't matter what you can't do, only what you can."

 

Naoisé O'Reilly reflections February 2019

 

12Jan/18Off

Dr Naoise O’Reilly Work and Research Areas

Dr Naoise O'Reilly Work and Research Areas 
26Feb/17Off

Dr Naoisé O’Reilly Speaking at the ASPIRE (Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland) conference 2016

29Dec/15Off

Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly’s Areas of Interest, Expertise & Research

Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly’s Areas of Interest, Expertise & Research 

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14Oct/15Off

Purple Learning Project – What we do in 12 slides

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16Jul/15Off

Purple Empathy Creation® – Methods to Develop Empathy from Toddlers Upwards

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.

2Jun/15Off

THE TEAMWORK APPROACH TO HOMEWORK: 7 WAYS IT CAN WORK FOR YOU

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Journalist Fiona McGarry’s Education Article featuring Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly on “The Teamwork Approach to Homework: 7 Ways it Can Work for You"

http://www.herfamily.ie/parenthood/the-teamwork-approach-to-homework-7-ways-it-can-work-for-you/218895

2Apr/15Off

Personality Matters More than Genetic or Environmental Factors in Families & Education

 

personality-crisis

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.

12Mar/15Off

Response to Highly Damaging TEDx “No Learning Styles” Talk

 

I am genuinely horrified at the support this recent TEDx talk has received.  I feel it is the biggest regression in education in 100 years.  As someone who has successfully worked with thousands of students internationally, and got them all to high achieving results and a sense of belonging in academia, I cannot stand the idea that education is becoming elitist again.  I have received Ability Company Status for making education accessible to all.tedx-black-square-simple-315x315

 

Academics make too many assumptions - which I have had my own personal battles with over the years.  Despite it all, I have earned a Ph.D. and a First Class Honours degree.  My students are always heartened by the fact that if I could do it - so can they.

 

TED and TEDx talks generally enhance our World and make everything possible for people.  I am horrified over this talk because it is so small minded and exclusive in its nature.

 

Not everyone can pick up a book and read it to learn.  Not everyone can see the book.  Not everyone can spell to write or hold the pen.  Do not be presumptive in thinking all visual impaired people are not visual learners.  Many of them are!  All of us who work with students on the autism spectrum know that they process the World very differently to other students.  Their visual and auditory processing has marked differences.

 

My success stories with students have been down pure and simply to the fact that I encourage them to work in the learning style that suits them - despite whatever perceived disabilities they might have.

 

I myself am still very much unable to distinguished phonic sound frequencies and never learned to spell in the way it is predominately taught in school.  I have learned to read and write through purely visual techniques.  I have brought this gift to many others who are now avid readers - despite years of torture in school and feeling inadequate.  I get excited when parents tell me their children will not sleep because they are reading too much or now teaching their siblings to read their way.

 

I hate the idea that kinesthetic learners can be great at sports in school and rubbish at everything else.  This is not acceptable and even our most successful sports heroes still anguish over how badly they did in school.

Practical people are great at the practicals in school but only get half the marks in the subject because the theory defeats them.  Our auditory learners are in constant trouble for talking and often labeled as disruptive chatter boxes.  The number of students labelled as ADHD seems to be growing annually as these students struggle to fit into the constraints of school and find it excessively boring. I certainly do not feel we need to blame our parents for our genes or feel that education is unattainable in any way.

 

We have a duty to understand, care and incorporate these learners into our education systems - not blankly dismiss them all as not existing.  These are many of the reasons why students with learning difficulties and impairments have been marginalised for decades.

 

A better outlook for me has always been that if we get it right for these people we get it right for everyone.  I hope people will start to stop and think before they blankly share this very irresponsible TEDx talk.  I have not even touched on the personality factors involved in education. Most enlightened Educationalists agree that one size does not fit all.  TED is supposed to make us think about our fellow people we share the Planet with.

Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly

10Feb/15Off

Strong Views on ADD / ADHD & Questions Answered by Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly:

I have invested the past 6 years researching ADD / ADHD in my custom built multi-Award winning facilities with families from all around the world.  I have some very strong views on medicating ADHD children and always aim to reduce medication levels.

Are Children Being Over Medicated for ADD / ADHD?

Yes.  But the real challenges do not show up until children go through the transition from childhood to teenager.  It is easy to medicate children.  Some parents even tell me they are making their chid safer.  The schools like quieter more containable children.  But they are not looking at the real reasons for ADHD behavior.  The big problem with medicating ADHD people is that they do not build proper emotional benchmarks and strategies.  They very often end up feeling very unfulfilled in life as adults because they do not get into the habit of having lots of activities and interests to absorb their natural excess energy.

Extract of my work/words from ADHD book:

http://www.amazon.com/ADHD-Treatments-Remedies-Experts-Secrets-ebook/dp/B00C90GGOS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422444148&sr=8-1&keywords=Top+ADHD+Experts+Share+Their+Secrets+to+Success

“The classic ADHD student exhibits extreme multiplicity.  This means they have the potential to take in all information around them in four ways simultaneously.  Through visuals, auditory behavior, kinesthetic behavior and practical thinking.  This makes them highly sensitive in any ‘average’ environment.  They are aware of exactly what’s happening outside the school window, of the lighting in the classroom, everything being said in the entire class by the teachers and other students, all other visual stimulation and the atmosphere and emotions in the room which they suck up like a sponge.”

A Blog I wrote this month revealing publicly for the first time my findings re:  ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome diagnoses:

https://www.purplelearning.ie/news/why-a-diagnosis-of-a-s-aspergers-a-d-h-d-doesnt-seem-right/

 Dr. Naoisé O’Reilly,

Expression Developist™.

Introduction

Welcome to the Purple Learning Project.

The aim of the Purple Learning Project Foundation is to create a legacy of the methods which Dr Naoisé O’Reilly has developed since 2009.

The methods in learning and personality theory have been developed while working with people of a variety of ages, backgrounds, and cultures. The methods have been applied to the education, business and sporting environments. The ages are in the spectrum of 4 to 70's. The methods include: Purple Profiling, Purple Processing Scales, The Periodic Table of the Development of Results, Forget Phonics Reading Method, Purple Pre-School Success and so on...

There has always been a clear distinction for Dr Naosié in working with people who currently need help within the system and leaving behind something of integrity for the future generations.

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