What was once called “Spartan education” is nowadays considered “educational abuse. It refers to physical and mental violence perpetrated by parents in the name of education.
When we shine a light on the field of educational abuse, we find that parental developmental disabilities are sometimes the cause of excessive guidance.
In the educational abuse murder case we saw in Part I: Tragic True Story of a Family Lost Their Lives Due to Excessive Examination Enthusiasm, the parents had ASD and their insistence on teaching their child became so rigid that in the end they lost control and stabbed the child to death with a kitchen knife.
Contrary to this case, there is also a tendency for children with developmental characteristics to be more vulnerable to educational abuse.
Such was the case with the “Shiga Prefecture School of Medicine 9-nai Mother Murder Case” introduced at the beginning of this article. This case has been taken as a typical example of “parental mess,” but Nozomi Kiryu, the victim of educational abuse, had a developmental disability.
I introduced the relationship between developmental disabilities and educational abuse, including this case, in detail in “Educational Abuse: ‘Educationally Keen’ Parents Who Destroy Their Children” (Hayakawa Shinsho), and I would like to consider this issue from there.
English Conversation and Intellectual Education from Kindergarten
In the course of researching this book, I have seen many cases of parents educationally abusing their children with developmental disabilities. Let us introduce two typical cases.
0Educational Abuse and ADHD
Takuto Miyao (pseudonym) was born and raised by a strict civil servant father and a former teacher mother.
Both parents graduated from the education department of a national university and had a great passion for education. From kindergarten, Takuto was enrolled in Kumon, English conversation, and intellectual training classes, and from the time he was in the second grade of elementary school, he was made to start studying for the junior high school entrance examination in order to “set himself apart from other children.
Takuto, however, had ADHD characteristics. Although his parents did not recognize it at the time and he was not diagnosed, his behavior had been noticeable since kindergarten: he would go off on his own, could not sit still, and was assertive and did not get along with other children around him.
When he entered elementary school, his parents forced him to study every day to improve his academic ability. Takuto’s characteristics, however, had not changed. Even when told to concentrate on his textbooks, he would quickly do something else or walk around. Even at cram school, he was often warned for doing things unrelated to his studies.
His parents saw him as a “selfish child” and tried to restrain him by force. They locked Takuto in his study room with the door locked from the outside, and made him sit at his desk while his tutor and mother held him from both sides.
The situation came to light when Takuto ran away from his parents, who forced him to study, and ran away from home for two days when he was in the fifth grade. When Takuto was taken into police custody, his parents’ violence came to light when they discovered numerous bruises on his body.
Takuto was placed in the care of a child welfare center, where he was connected to medical care and diagnosed with a developmental disorder.
0Educational Abuse and Learning Disabilities
Misuzu Uchisawa (pseudonym) was born the youngest of three siblings to parents who owned a well-established local company.
Her older brother, who was six years older than her, and her older sister, who was four years older than her, were both very bright. Both excelled in studies and sports, and both took numerous classes from an early age. The elder brother went to a prestigious high school, while the elder sister took the junior high school entrance exam and went on to a well-known school for young ladies.
However, Misuzu, the youngest child, was different. Although she was good at sports, she had trouble remembering things and did not learn at all when it came to her studies. Even with private tutoring as well as cram school, she was unable to master her studies.
I don’t want to think that we share the same blood.”
Since her father was busy with work, her mother was in charge of the child’s education. Her mother was irritated with Misuzu, who was the only one who could take care of her, and she repeatedly cursed her loudly.
She would repeatedly shout abuse at Misuzu, saying, “Why can’t Misuzu do what her older brothers and sisters can do? It’s because she doesn’t try hard enough.
If you can’t do it after all this, you’re no better than a dog. It makes me sick just to think that we live in the same house.
I don’t want to think of you as my child. I am fed up with you. If you’re not going to do it, then get out of my house.”
It is said that she began to make such rude remarks dozens of times a day.
Her mother also imposed various restrictions on Misuzu as if to harass her. She would not give her food until she finished her studies, forbade her to get up from her desk until she had memorized her assignments, and made her eat a large amount of broccoli and walnuts, which are said to be good for her brain, at every three meals. ……
In the midst of such a lifestyle, Misuzu began to show symptoms of depression. And not only was she unable to go to school, she stopped even accepting food. This led her to seek medical attention.
These two cases are common examples of the link between educational abuse and developmental disabilities.
The doctors in this book explain the causal relationship as follows.
The type of disability a child has can affect what a parent says and does. When a parent forces a child to study, a child with ADHD or ASD may not sit still or make assumptions and do things differently. The traits show in their behavior. Therefore, parents try to impose behavioral restrictions on their children by telling them to ‘stop’ or ‘do it right,’ which can easily lead to educational abuse with physical restraint.
This is not the case when parents force their children with learning disabilities to study. The child will sit quietly at the desk, but because of his/her characteristics, it is difficult to see the results in scores. This tends to lead to educational abuse accompanied by psychological abuse, as the parent becomes frustrated, yells abuse and forces the child to study for long periods of time.
If we apply these words to the previous case, we can see why the parents turned to educational abuse.
There are two other important things to consider when looking at the relationship between developmental disabilities and educational abuse. The first is that a child does not necessarily have one disability.
It is not uncommon for some children to have characteristics of learning disabilities in addition to ADHD, or to exhibit intellectual disabilities. Multiple characteristics coexist.
This makes it difficult for parents to accurately understand their child’s developmental characteristics, and the child may not have the ability to channel the parent’s over-education. This magnifies the damage.
Up-to-the-minute learning schedule
Second, parents often have developmental characteristics.
Developmental disabilities have a genetic component, although not an absolute one. Hence, it is not uncommon for children and their parents to have the disorder.
When this happens, it can happen that the parent imposes a learning schedule by the minute, while the child sticks to a different schedule of his or her own choosing, or is more focused on something other than studying. Such things, in some cases, make the abuse worse.
To learn more about these problems in the home, please read my book, “Educational Abuse: “Educated” Parents Destroying Their Children”.
What I can say in this article is that, even if it does not lead to incidents, these situations are more likely to occur within the confines of the home in the current boom of the third junior high school entrance examinations.
As I have mentioned many times in this book, the optimal learning method differs from child to child, and effective study methods backed by science have now been established. What is needed for learning is for parents to assess their children’s intentions and characteristics and suggest suitable methods, rather than uniformly enforcing their own ideas.
Reporting and writing： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. He has reported and written about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "Absolute Poverty," "The Body," "The House of 'Demons'," "43 Killing Intent," "Let's Talk about Real Poverty," "Social Map of Disparity and Division," and "Reporto: Who Kills the Japanese Language?