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Some Disabilities Are Actually Quite Good For Society

It's time to shift our thinking about what constitutes a disability and what doesn't.


When my younger son was diagnosed with ADHD, the school psychologist ticked off a list of symptoms (hyperactivity, impulsivity, distractibility, etc.) and recommended medication. "Why," I asked, "Do you consider his learning issues a disability?" With an air of medical certainty, he responded that "these qualities are inappropriate for his age and will make it hard for him to function in a school setting."

But what if the disability in question actually has value to society? What if our economic well-being demands more people with that disability? It's time that we rethink our concept of disability.

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