Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

Reason #117 Why ADHD Is a Baloney Disorder

一起旅行 travel together #2

by: Dr. Dathan Paterno

If ADHD is really a mental illness, a neurobehavioral or even neurological disorder, it should not be cured so simply by parents. But it is cured that simply*.

Many clinicians have worked with children diagnosed with all three types of ADHD—Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive, and Combined—by equipping the child’s parents to enact and enforce consistent, strict, fair, and loving limits and boundaries. Dr. David Stein is one psychologist who has gotten astounding success with children formerly diagnosed with ADHD. Howard Glasser has taught scores of schools how to provide appropriate behavioral intervention to radically change children who once seemingly could not behave properly in a classroom.

I have worked with children for 18 years in a variety of settings, including schools, residential homes, inpatient hospitals, and private practices. It is a joy and pleasure to work with parents who want to be the agent of change in their child’s life and who commit to doing so without a diagnosis. Almost every one of those families—when they consistently and properly employ reasonable discipline—have transformed their child from one who “has ADHD” to one who does not. Many of the children had been diagnosed ADHD by professionals who are eminent in the field of child psychiatry.

Heck, if I can train parents to make such fundamental change in their children and cure a “serious neurological disorder” in such a short time and with such simple principles and techniques, I should be up for a Noble Peace Prize. I’m not holding my breath.

*Notice I did not say “easily”, but “simply”. Reasonable discipline is simple. Enacting and enforcing it can be very difficult for parents who do not know how or lack the will or ability to do so. Some parents are so locked into permissive parenting or rely on methods that worked well for one child that they can’t conceive of another way to do things. Others are so overworked, overstressed, and overwhelmed that they simply do not have the will. Yet others are stuck parenting on their own with no support from spouse and other adults. This makes reasonable discipline genuinely difficult, but it does not change the reality that if proper limits are enacted and enforced, the child will respond to them—usually rather quickly.

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Reason #327 Why ADHD Is a Baloney Disorder

by: Dr. Dathan Paterno

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.

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