Educators educating Educators

Sep 26

Sam Goldstein

Sam Goldstein, Ph. D.

Faculty Member, University of Utah Medical School, and George Mason University


Learning and Behavior Center in Salt Lake City; Staff University Neuropsychiatric Institute

Co-author of Raising a Self-Discipline Child (2007)

Understanding and Managing Children’s Classroom Behavior (2007) and Seven Steps for Building Social Skills in Your Child (2006)

Co-editor of Handbook of Resilience in Children (2006)


AD/HD is defined as behavioral phenomena and not as a cognitive pneumonia

AD/HD is a failure of the control of attention

AD/HD is a failure of self-control, not a failure of attention



People with AD/HD can tell you what to do but in the heat of the moment, their limited capacity for self-control is quickly overwhelmed by what Richard Levoie calls …

OTM-OTM, on the mind, out the mouth phenomenon

People with AD/HD have problems doing what they know, either socially or academically

If a person does not know what to do, it is not AD/HD


They are cue-less, not clueless

Children with AD/HD are cue-less, not clueless

Clueless is when a child doesn’t know what to do

Cue-less is when they miss the cue of what to do

They miss the cue that drives the behavior

A discussion with them of missing the cues does not work

For example, “I didn’t you see the light? I didn’t you see the car coming?”


AD/HD & Regulation

AD/HD results from inefficiency in interaction with the environment

A person with AD/HD does not quite regulate their actions

Leads to doing the first thing they think of

In other words, a failure to use strategies and …

Trouble with planning


AD/HD is a failure to constantly and predictable and independently do what they know how to do

A failure to pick up clues in the environment that allows a person to interact with the environment in a functional way

Difficulties tracking in the environment and difficulties responding when one needs to respond

Represents problems with self-regulation and self-discipline

Problems with doing what one knows either academically or socially


AD/HD is defined as behavioral phenomena and not as a cognitive pneumonia

Diagnosis is based on behavior across settings, not cognitive functioning

AD/HD is a condition defined by behavior

AD/HD is diagnosis by history and observation, not cognitive testing




Welcome back to another school year. I hope your summer was relaxing and invigorating and you are looking forward to the approaching school year and the opportunity to stimulate and challenge your students’ minds.

This summer I was able to study Sir Ken Robinson, a British author, speaker and international advisor on education to governments, non-profits, and education organizations

I, like many people, find his writings and Ted Talks not only witty and inspiring but also thought-provoking and challenging. Much of his work deals with the diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities. He posits that the noticeable lack of them in our schools negatively affect students’ learning and teachers’ productivity and the absence of them is triggered by the demands of standardized testing.

I hope you find Sir Ken Robinson’s words inspiriting and challenging as I do and be mindful of them as you plan for the new year. Here is to a great 2017-2018 school year!