Daniel Training

Daniel Memorial included us in their newsletter at bottom right.

 March 28, 2018, Stambaugh & Associates presented to Daniel Memorial on the topic of The Case for Special Education. They trained thirty employees who are involved in the educational placement of students.

Why Some Students Fail And Other Students Succeed

What separates students who get straight A’s from students who struggle to pass their classes? Is it a high IQ that pushes students to excel in their classes or is there something else? Angela Lee Duckworth, a teacher turned psychologist, has an answer to that question. After several studies conducted in the military, spelling bees, classrooms, and companies, Angela determined what causes people to excel. Simply put Duckworth says, IQ was not the only difference between my best and my worst students.

In fact, she often saw cases in which students with higher IQ scores performed worse than students with lower IQ scores. So now we are back to our initial question–what separates students who get straight A’s from students who struggle to pass their classes?

Angela says grit is the separating factor. She defines grit as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals”. Contrary to popular belief, grit has a more significant correlation to high school graduation rates than things like family income and social status do. So now you know you do not need to be some inherently intelligent individual to succeed in life, but how do you form grit?

Unfortunately, the answer is not easy and science does not have enough studies showing what actually builds grit, but on the bright side, we do not need to be talented individuals. Angela has observed cases where high talent could be inversely related to grit–in other words, the more talent one possesses, the less grit they may posses.

Additionally, Angela offers some hope from a study called “growth mindset” performed by Stanford’s Dr. Carol Dweck. Angela says the concept of growth mindset is, “the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed and it can change with your effort.” This means that if you failed to show grit in the past, you still have time to develop it.

Illumeably Copyright © 2017


A Psychiatrist Looks at Personal Identity, Family Structure, and Identity Politics

by Richard B. Corradi
within Marriage, Politics, Sexuality
July 14th, 2016
637 91 748
If we ever hope to rid our country’s political discourse of the poison of identity politics, we must
begin by rebuilding the psychological foundations of healthy identity formation in our children.
Over the past several decades, a series of social and political causes—perhaps most prominently,
abortion and same-sex marriage—have polarized the American people. For many adherents of
these causes, passionate political involvement now fills the place more traditionally occupied by
religious belief. Virtually every cause, led by its militant true believers and enlisted activists, has
exploited the tactics of identity politics, vilifying the opposition while proclaiming its aggrieved
righteousness. Identity politics draws people in by appealing to fairness, inducing guilt,
promoting fear, demonizing opponents, and attaching the cause to a political affiliation.
Not all people are equally vulnerable to these tactics. As a psychiatrist, I firmly believe that
people’s susceptibility to identity politics, moral relativism, and situational ethics is determined,
at least in part, by certain key developmental life experiences—both conscious and unconscious.
The field of psychiatry possesses a rich knowledge of human emotional and mental development.
Unfortunately, this knowledge is largely ignored in the climate of biological reductionism that
currently dominates the discipline. Still, the knowledge is there for those who care to make an
honest inquiry, even if the realities of psychological development do not support their preferred
political position. In particular, psychiatry clearly demonstrates the formative influence of the
role models with whom children identify and underscores the importance of the traditional
nuclear family. And understanding the crucial role of identification in personality development
can shed light on why our country has fallen for the polarizing politics of special interest groups.
Fatherlessness and Identity
Certain universal truths govern human nature. Just as surely as an infant reared by Englishspeaking
parents learns to speak English, so too does he or she assimilate parental attitudes and
behaviors. A child’s mental development consists of an amalgam of parental characteristics, with
both mother and father playing crucial roles. Identification—internalization and assimilation of
parental attitudes and characteristics—is the building block of personality. And the most
important constituent of personality is one’s sense of self or personal identity. This is formed not
simply by emulating parental characteristics but by internalizing them.
Consider the role that identification plays in the multi-generational impact that single-parent
households and absent fathers have had in this country. The pathology that results from broken
homes provides a convincing argument for the importance of the married mother-and-father
family structure in shaping children’s personal identities.
The most devastating consequences are borne by young boys without fathers. Without fathers to
model mature and responsible manhood, boys seek other models of identification and other
“families” to feel part of. Fatherless and directionless young men find each other, and the culture
of the streets shapes their sense of self. Strong gang identifications contribute to the tragically
high homicide rate among disaffected youths. Disputes between rival gangs, often in retaliation
over real or imagined offenses against gang “brothers,” violently act out the rage that can
consume young men whose fathers have abandoned them. Their displaced anger is often
internalized as well, manifesting itself in self-damaging behaviors, such as substance abuse, that
reflect their hopelessness and deficient self-esteem.
Nor do the girls reared in fatherless homes escape unscathed. Their experience with rootless men
who abandon children and their mothers profoundly diminishes their full potential as women,
often limiting them to childrearing as single parents in a culture of poverty that perpetuates itself
from generation to generation.
Trust, Relationships, and Conscience
The unfortunate consequences for children raised in broken families can be predicted from what
we know about human development. A consistent, loving, and physically affectionate maternal
relationship during infancy is the emotional bedrock upon which a child’s sense of self is built.
Self-esteem, the nucleus of personal identity, reflects the child’s identification with the loving
attitude of mother. A cherished child will internalize a sense of self-worth. A trustworthy mother
who lovingly satisfies her infant’s physical and emotional needs engenders a sense of trust in her
child. The child learns not only to trust mother but to trust others as well. Mother’s dependability
in meeting her infant’s needs engenders the optimistic expectation that other people, until proven
otherwise, also will generally be upright and forthcoming. Absent a loving mother who is in tune
with her infant’s biological and psychological needs, a child may approach subsequent
relationships with pessimism and distrust.
In the first several years of life, the elements of personal identity—self-worth, trust of oneself
and of others, optimism, and a sense of autonomy—are established via the infant’s relationship
with the mother. When children achieve gender identity—generally, girls know they are girls and
boys know they are boys around age three—the father becomes increasingly influential in his
children’s personality development.
While mothers continue to model for daughters what it means to be a woman, boys learn from
their fathers how to be men. To help their sons master their strong and potentially unruly sexual
drives and tendencies toward physical aggression, fathers need to model self-control and mature
coping skills. In particular, sons identify with how their fathers handle emotions and control
impulses—how they express anger, how they control their temper, and how they express and
control their sexuality. Sons need to learn from their fathers that enduring and loving
relationships depend on a reciprocal and empathic regard for another person and not simply on
sexuality. Just as girls identify with their mother’s role in marriage, boys identify with their
father’s marital role. While sex is biologically determined, how men and women treat each other
is modeled, for better or worse, by their parents, usually leaving an indelible mark.
Finally, children develop a conscience by identification with both parents. Normally, parents
impose constraints on their children’s behavior as soon as they become toddlers. Children
develop a conscience as concepts of right and wrong are progressively internalized, become part
of the self, and automatically govern their behavior. This process of developing a self-governing
system of standards of belief and conduct, another element of one’s personal identity, is crucially
determined by parental models. That is, to a significant extent, children form their conscience by
incorporating the consciences of their parents, particularly the same-sex parent.
Adolescence, Same-Sex Parenting, and Gender Identity
Identification largely finishes its work as the crucial element of the human developmental
process in adolescence. The “identity crisis” of adolescence is the task of integrating the
cumulative identifications of childhood into a stable sense of self. Rapid hormonal and physical
changes produce a tumultuous conflict between the security of childhood attachments and the
threatening but compelling urges of adult sexuality and autonomy. In the process of achieving a
stable personal identity, a young person often will “try on” a number of identities before
achieving a comfortable sense of self. Various identifications with teachers, coaches, public
figures, celebrities, and even social and political causes can be quite intense. However, they tend
to be transient, no longer necessary after aiding in the transition from parental dependence to
self-sufficiency and independence.
Ephemeral same-sex attractions and opposite-gender identifications are not unusual, as
adolescents move from parental dependence to autonomy and achieve a stable self-identity. It is
tragic when children with opposite-gender identifications, the vast majority of which are
transitory developmental phases, are subjected to life-altering hormonal treatments and surgery.
Despite reassurances by political activists, the effects on children reared by same-sex parents will
not be known for years, until these children achieve sexual and social maturation and begin
establishing their own relationships. However, everything we know about human development
suggests that there will be significant problems. Indeed, the studies using the most rigorous
methodologies reveal as much.
The issue of identity confusion for children reared by homosexual couples will likely be
significant. Same-sex parents provide their children very limited models for gender identity,
sexual orientation, and the nature of relationships between the sexes. The conflict between
identification with their parent’s sexual and social proclivities and the gender roles and sexuality
modeled by heterosexual peers and admired extra-familial adults can become intense under the
pressure of the strong sexuality of adolescence.
One would predict more than the usual amount of adolescent turmoil for such children, at the
time when personal identity—the achievement of a stable sense of self—is largely consolidated.
And adopted children, as many in these families are, have additional identity issues related to
questions and fantasies about their biological parents, why they were adopted, and how their life
would be if they had been reared by their birth parents. Clearly, children of same-sex couples
face many more developmental obstacles than those reared in traditional families.
The Psychology of Activists
The role of identification and personal identity is important not only in understanding family
formation but also in analyzing the process whereby activists who espouse special interests gain
popular adherents.
Activists who constitute the driving force behind a special interest have an intense identification
with the cause and its goals. In fact, identification with the cause must be an aspect of their
personal identity, core to their sense of self. It is an important, even defining, feature of their
personality. This might be the case with a gay man with developmental conflicts about his
homosexuality who not only advocates gay rights but is militant in his demands for social
approval. His militancy might well be energized by a desire to force society to grant him the
validation he has been unable to give himself. However, for the cause to gain social traction it
must attract a critical mass of supporters beyond its core stakeholders—in this case, heterosexual
In contrast to activists whose identification with a cause is integral to their personal identity,
many people who rally to their support do not have such a visceral attachment. A variety of
motivations may determine their identification. They may be driven by emotions such as
sympathy, altruism, or guilt, or they might be driven by political correctness, party affiliation, or
perhaps even personal, financial, or political gain. Underlying these conscious motivations, many
people are seeking to replace the loss of transcendent meaning in their lives.
The fact that disagreements about sexuality and gender are particularly divisive and accompanied
by such angry intensity should come as no surprise. After all, the conflict conflates the energies
of basic instinctual drives: sex and aggression. Aggression is mobilized in defense of one’s
practices and beliefs about sex. The role that sexuality plays in one’s self-definition determines
attitudes regarding acceptable sexual practices. And sexuality is an important component of the
system of moral values that make up one’s conscience. Consequently, people with differing
sexual identifications often hold widely divergent views about sexual morality.
Many of the most ardent devotees of these contentious causes are those whose personal identity
does not include religion and who are seeking to derive a transcendent faith from elsewhere.
Devoutly religious people have incorporated their faith into their sense of self; it is an important
aspect of their self-identity. But when people lack a grounded faith with a trust in God that gives
meaning to their lives and to their children’s, they look for meaning elsewhere. Many are
attracted to causes that, in effect, are secular religions.
Religion, Psychology, and Politics
Religion has a much more important role in mental development than simply providing moral
imperatives. Through religion, the faith and trust of believers is imparted to their children. There
is an intergenerational reciprocity between trust in God and trust in people. Trust—a building
block of personality that depends on the quality of mothering in the first several years of life—is
the basis of faith. Religious belief plays such an important role in personality development
because it is not only a generation-to-generation transmitter of the morality of conscience, it also
contributes to the earliest stage of identity formation.
Those whose personal identity does not include any robust form of religious belief or
transcendent faith are easy prey for the tactics of those who equate orthodox sexual morality with
an attack on civil rights. With astute psychological insight, G.K. Chesterton commented, “The
Church is the only thing that frees a man from the degrading slavery of being a child of his age.”
A culture that rejects religion—the institution that embodies trust, faith, and hope and inculcates
it in its young people—produces rudderless individuals who search for causes to believe in.
Just as socioeconomically disadvantaged families without fathers can produce a
multigenerational underclass, so too do parents without a transcendent faith produce children
who lack trust not only in others but in themselves. If we ever hope to rid our country’s political
discourse of the poison of identity politics, we must begin by rebuilding the psychological
foundations of healthy identity formation in our children.
Richard B. Corradi, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School
of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.

Bathroom Fears Fascinate the Media

The sudden media fascination with bathroom bills has been fueled in large part by corporations speaking up. One such company is Target, which recently decided to make sure anybody at all could use the restroom of their choice.

Over at National Review, David French notes right off the bat that he typically doesn’t approve of boycotts. Rather than boycotting, French prefers to “rebut bad speech with better ideas.”

restroomsign_cropBut then this video arrives, and suddenly the issue is safety, not ideology. The video shows an obvious male asking customer service if he will be allowed to use the women’s restroom. Not only does the management tell him that he will be fine to use that restroom, they also say that if any women complain, he can tell them to speak to the management, who will handle their objections.

French is, understandably, upset: “Obviously the odds of any given negative incident are quite low, but if I’m given the choice between a store that opens the women’s room to men and one that doesn’t, why would I choose the store that provides an opening for sexual predators? The kind of people who prey on women and girls can and will exploit every opportunity to do so, and to provide them with additional access to mothers and daughters is madness. Target is doing so for the sake of making a statement on behalf of the extraordinarily small slice of the population that (1) identifies as transgender; and (2) is too stubborn to use either a stall in the restroom for their sex or the increasing number of single-occupancy ‘family restrooms’ that proliferate in newer stores. A man who bypasses a single-occupancy restroom to use the women’s room isn’t simply trying to relieve himself, he’s making a statement.”

One thing to note: Target is within its legal rights to set these sorts of policies. The law in North Carolina wouldn’t remove that option from Target; it simply allows businesses

What Educational Rights Does My Disabled Child Have?

Rights of Primary and Secondary Students

One of the central laws that provides protection from discrimination of school-age children who have a disability is Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This federal law applies to programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

This law requires school districts to provide a free and appropriate public education to disabled students in the jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of their disability. This includes provisions for regular or special education. It also applies to providing individual students’ educational needs by supplying aids and services that allow disabled students to have their needs fulfilled in the same manner as students without disabilities.

504 Disabilities

In order for the 504 protects to be triggered, a student must have an impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity, have a record of such an impairment or be regarded as having an impairment of that nature. An impairment that substantially limits a major life activity can include one that affects walking, seeing, speaking, eating, reading, concentrating, communicating, breathing, learning, working, hearing or grooming. Section 504 does not contain an exhaustive list of each major life activity or all impairments that can trigger its protections.

Services for 504 Students

Students who have disabilities as defined under Section 504 are provided with a number of services and aids to help them have their educational needs met. This may include education in regular classrooms, education with supplementary services in the regular classroom and/or education in special education classrooms.


Section 504 requires school districts to establish procedures to help them evaluate students who need these services. Such evaluation must occur before the classification of a student as one who has a disability. Tests and other evaluative efforts must be tailored to evaluate the areas of educational need for the individual student.

Rights of Post-Secondary Students

Section 504 also concerns post-secondary programs that receive federal funds. Such colleges and universities cannot discriminate against students on the basis of disability. Instead, these entities must ensure that their programs are accessible to students with disabilities.

Methods of Compliance

Colleges and universities can comply with accessibility requirements in a number of ways. One way is to provide architectural access to students. Buildings that were erected before June 3, 1977 do not have to be accessible if the school can ensure that students with disabilities can still enjoy the full range of programs offered by going to a separate, accessible building. However, if the building was constructed or altered after this date, the college or university must comply with accessibility requirements. In any event, programs and services must be provided in an integrated manner.

If housing is provided to students, accessible housing must be provided to students with disabilities. Likewise, if transportation services are provided to students without disabilities, these services must be accessible by students with disabilities.

Other Forms of Compliance

Colleges and universities also comply with accessibility requirements by providing aids and services to students that are necessary for effective communication. Another compliance measure is to modify practices, procedures and policies.

Example Academic Adjustments

Colleges and universities that receive federal assistance must provide academic adjustments that ensure that disabled students have an equal opportunity to participate in classes, programs and extracurricular activities. Some examples of acceptable adjustments include giving students additional time to complete exams, course work or to graduate. Colleges and universities may also substitute nonessential courses for degree requirements.

Tape recording classes, adapting course instruction and modifying test-taking procedures are a few other ways that colleges and universities can make their programs accessible to students with disabilities.

Colleges and universities must also provide auxiliary aids and services to students with disabilities. These aids and services include interpreters, notetakers, written materials, closed caption decoders, taped texts, large print and Brailled materials, audio recordings and modification of equipment.

Colleges or universities are not required to provide tutoring services for disabled students above what they provide for nondisabled students. Additionally, the college or university can choose in what manner auxiliary aids or services will be provided to disabled students as long as the manner is one which provides the student with equal opportunity.

A college or university does not have to provide an academic adjustment or an auxiliary aid or service if doing so would “fundamentally alter the nature of the program” or when doing so would cause a significant difficulty or expense.

Proving Disability

Colleges and universities can request that a disabled student provide documentation to prove that he or she has a disability. This may not be necessary if the disability is apparent. This step allows the college or university to establish the validity of a request for accommodations and to determine which accommodations are required.


Colleges and universities must inform students of the relevant nondiscrimination requirements under law. They must also adopt grievance procedures that provide students with due process and must have a coordinator who handles Section 504 compliance matters.