Quick, think of some neurological disorders. If you’re having trouble, how about these well-known disorders: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Parkinson’s, Lyme disease, Epilepsy, Hydrocephalus, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. All of these are very well-established diseases, with known pathophysiology (that means we can see where the brain or tissue has gone wrong or is adversely affecting the body).
ADHD is completely different. There has never been any pathophysiology evidenced for ADHD. There are theories, of course, but nothing has ever been demonstrated, despite billions of dollars spent over decades. No microscopic or macroscopic differences, no structural or chemical differences have ever been discovered.
Another crucial difference…think of all those neurological disorders. Do any of them get better when someone pays attention to them, when the person has greater discipline, or when there are novel stimuli present? The idea is laughable, isn’t it? Imagine expecting the symptoms of a child with Cerebral Palsy to disappear simply when his or her parents unite in their expectations or a young man with Parkinson’s to stop shaking when he is playing a highly interesting game. It just does not happen. Why? Because those are true neurological disorders.
But the symptoms of ADHD improve dramatically under at least three conditions: when the child is presented with novel stimuli, when the child has strict, consistent limits, and when the child has significant one-on-one attention. If something is that responsive to three things that every child NEEDS, how can that be a neurological disorder? It simply stretches the bounds of credulity beyond what a critical thinking person can tolerate. Neurological disorders do not get better when the person’s environment offers them things that normal people need.
ADHD is not a real disease. It is not a neurological disorder (or what they sometimes call a “neurobehavioral disorder”, which is a nonsense term.) ADHD is simply a description for a list of behaviors that are annoying to parents and teachers and for which they currently do not know how to effect change.