© 2017

The Medicalization of America's Schools

Challenging the Concept of Educational Disabilities

  • Provides a non-categorical, non-pathological perspective that counters the traditional medical/disability model in today’s schools

  • Counters the notion that ADHD and LD are responsible for children’s achievement struggles and behavior problems

  • Demonstrates strategies that advance learning strengths, helping children to gain self-assurance, become self-directed, and experience the sustaining joy from learning and their own achievement


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Joel Macht
    Pages 27-80
  3. Joel Macht
    Pages 81-202
  4. Joel Macht
    Pages 203-219
  5. Joel Macht
    Pages 221-234
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 235-243

About this book


This book challenges the validity of ADHD, learning disabilities, and dyslexia as meaningful special education categories, while it critically examines the misplaced medical model from which they’re derived. The book asserts that the presumption that these disabilities cause school-related problems distracts from an active search for identifiable factors within a child’s classroom that create and maintain responsibility for a child’s underachievement and disruptive behavior. This futile effort to name a disability wastes precious time while the unattended youngster waits for assistance. When ultimately the disability is named, it provides no functional information that translates to effective strategies. The book exposes the school-based medical model’s weaknesses, and reveals educational disabilities’ altogether misunderstood structure, pointing out that ADHD and LD are not disabilities that a child has, but weak constructs that poorly describe each child’s uniqueness. Finally, it provides an alternative model built on a child’s strengths not his deficiencies, and it presents strategies that advance those strengths. The book emphasizes the positive outcomes when children experience school-related success, specifically their gained self-assurance. They make better choices, they become self-directed, and they experience the sustaining joy from learning and their own achievement. 


Educational Psychology Adolescent Psychology Medicalization Behavioral Problems ADD ADHD Dyslexia Learning Disabilities Adaptive Behaviors Functional Behaviors Designing Behavioral Programs

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.DavidsonUSA

About the authors

Joel Macht is a former professor of educational psychology at the University of Denver, USA. He is an author, lecturer, former school psychologist, board certified behavior analyst, and former behavior consultant to school districts in Colorado and Arizona, USA.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals