Cracking the Code, Losing the Labels and Exiting the Highway
Code: A system of signals, characters, or symbols used in communication.
It’s interesting how many folks became “coded”, classified and labeled, after World War II.
For instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) began a system of tracking medical conditions in 1948, called the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). Its latest version is the ICD-10. It codes for diseases, signs and symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances, and external causes of injury or disease.
The International ICD-10 code set allows for more than 14,400 codes and permits tracking of many new diagnoses. It can be expanded to over 16,000 codes by using sub-classifications, and a simplified multi-axial approach.
The United States ICD-10 CM (Clinical Modification) provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the National Center for Health Statistics, is used for medical coding, reporting, classifying of diagnoses and reasons for visits in all American health care settings. It has over 68,000 codes and is based on the International WHO ICD-10. The United States ICD-10 PCS Procedural Coding System also contains over 76,000 codes.
As you can gather, if you’ve had a healthcare encounter in the last 66 years, you have had codes assigned to you, your diagnoses, your behaviors, and your procedures.
You have been “encoded.”
All doctors and healthcare professionals know they cannot exit the building unless they provide the “codes” for their patient encounters. Codes are required for all Electronic Health Records and all insurance billing, whether it is private or government subsidized insurance. Whether they are considered major medical or non-major medical covered services, procedures, diagnoses, therapies, devices, or routine preventative care, the expectation is that they be “coded”.
It’s like the education system: in order to get funding, there must be metrics, codes to verify the redistribution of moneys and track outcomes.
More codes, usually signifies: more revenue.
We have many who benefit and have access to The Codes, including:
The government bureaucracies of entitlement (126 of them); the Education system: Pre-school, Elementary, Secondary, and “higher education”etc.; Doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, healthcare workers, accountants, actuaries, analysts, consultants, Research firms, Researchers, Databases, Pharmaceutical companies, Vendors, software developers, Behavioral Scientists, Grant writers, Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and a host of governmental and non-governmental folks that live on and feed off of the Highway. Pretty much anyone can access the coding highway.
In fact many parents and patients seem to enjoy placing themselves on the Interstate, more accurately International Coding Highway of Labels.
Some of the most popular coding labels that get propagated these days include:
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Learning Disabled (LD), Dyslexia, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Obesity, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Asperger’s Syndrome,
Pervasive Developmental Delay (PDD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder(ODD), Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD),Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Cancer, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Hypercholesterolemia, Diabetes, Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Dementia and a host of conditions ending in an “-itis” meaning inflammation. Etc.
So folks leave the office with their label diagnosis code in hand, in mind, and entered into The System.
Their codes have become their defining label signifying that they are now:
Disabled, disordered, dysfunctional, diseased, and defective.
Gee how encouraging….
Parents and patients, who know the value of labels and codes for communicating, disperse these token labels to inquisitive family, friends, educators, therapists, counselors, and others, often eager to gain access to the interstate services highway.
Unfortunately, a huge omission of the Coding and Labeling Highway is its lack of Exit Ramps.
When passing out labels, such as those listed above, almost never is there talk of removing the label. Oh, there may be talk of a medication, an intervention or a therapy to live with the label, but almost never is there a clear cut Exit strategy presented upon diagnosis, to remove, and eliminate the label.
You may ask, “Why not?”
Why is there such a pattern of sticking labels on folks, with no intent of removing the labels?
Recall, that the only way to be reimbursed for services is to have a diagnosis code, a label. No label, no money. No job.
This goes for medication, healthcare, therapies, education, grants, disability, entitlement programs, interventions, vendors, social services, housing, food stamps, equipment, aides, respite care, nursing homes, and everything in between.
So folks are placed on the label highway— disordered, dysfunctional, diseased, disabled, and often defined by the Label; A self-fulfilling prophecy.
This works until the funds run dry, the tokens no longer work at the tollbooths, the vehicles are full of debris, the highway is full of stalled vehicles; and the clean up crews, tow trucks and emergency responders are called in to clear the highway of the broken vessels.
With half the nation on welfare, national debt and liabilities exceeding $130 trillion, the UN CRPD (Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities) Committee ready to assume control of the “labeled”; eugenics, euthanasia and human experimentation gaining ground, best to do a reality check.
Pity does not help, it only hinders.
A diagnosis, without a plan to cure the diagnosis, is only a cash cow label for metrics mongers, medicrats, or societal planners.
Granted, not all labels or diagnoses can be eliminated, but many can be shed. Over half of those labels listed above can and should be removed. Many labels are secondary to the lack of underlying basic cognitive functions, knowledge, and skills that can be taught. The brain is neuroplastic. It can be modified. We do it all the time.
The need to remove the label remains the greatest motivator to its removal.
As long as codes and labels provide monetary and behavioral rewards, they will remain stuck.
Which recalls an older time, before International Coding, cloud computing, and Internet database tracking. But, a time when pity still crippled, corrupted, coerced and controlled.
Human nature was, and still is, human nature.
In the movie Heidi, based on the classic novel by Johanna Spyri, orphan Heidi is taken to be a companion to a wheelchair bound girl, Clara, in Frankfurt who is considered to be an invalid by her family.
Clara believed herself to be crippled, because it was financially profitable for others in the household for her to be labeled as “crippled.”
Heidi manages to breath her joy into the household and brings new life to Clara, convincing her to visit her Swiss Alps mountain home. While on the mountain, Heidi slips off a ravine and Clara is challenged to use her strength to help rescue Heidi. And she does. Because of the honesty of Heidi and the goat herder Peter, Clara is able to develop self-sufficiency and shed the pity that had shackled her to her wheelchair and kept her bound.
Cognitive, clinical and developmental psychologist Professor Reuven Feuerstein (1921-2014) has removed the chains that bind and blind and offered hope to thousands by equipping them, their parents and mentors with the cognitive skills to shed the labels, get off the coded, often coddled highway, and out climbing the mountains doing hard things.
Professor Feuerstein’s book title “You Love Me!!…Don’t Accept Me As I Am”, and his life work, and his many students, communicate clearly the mandate to each of us who love someone with a label. For those who want to climb more mountains there is “Beyond Smarter” to climb the next mountain…and don’t stop there, this video will encourage you to shed some presuppositions about “IQ testing”, “potential” and “prognosis” that have held you and yours bound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th9nw99Kw-4
Professor Feuerstein recognized that man was created in the image of God, the brain was and is neuroplastic, and in those truths– labels need never stick, define or disable.*
Coded, coddled, coerced, and corrupted. It’s time to shed the labels, the chains that bind, blind and conform. It’s time to set the captives free. It’s time to pull out the common sense, the face-to-face, person-to-person, eye-to-eye, trust based interventions of family, faith and community.
If you love God, love your family, and love Liberty, it’s time to remove the labels and get folks exiting out of The enslaving System.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
You Love Me!!…Don’t Accept Me as I Am by Reuven Feuerstein, Ph.D. Yaacov Rand Ph. D., Raphael Feuerstein, Ph.D.
The Biblical and Talmudic Antecedents of Mediated Learning Experience by Shmuel Feuerstein, Ph.D.
Beyond Smarter by Reuven Feuerstein, Louis Falk, and Raphael Feuerstein
http://www.icelp.info/ The Feuerstein Institute in Israel
*Feuerstein methods are successfully transforming lives in over 80 nations around the globe.
www.thinkingconnections.org North American Feuerstein Alliance
The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis, Ph.D.