You can imagine my excitement, a behavioural neurologist by the name of Dr Richard Saul claims to have found the cause for my beautiful boys cravings for constant movement and distraction. The breakthrough I have been waiting for is…my son actually has NDI, Neurochemical Distracability and Impulsivity.
My heart skipped a beat. Quick, let’s research NDI and find out how I can help my son. But wait. There is no such disorder. There are no answers. I can’t actually find any references to this new “cause” for ADHD type behaviour. And according to Dr Saul, the treatment for NDI is Ritalin, the same “band-aid” solution as ADHD! Hang on, what the hell is going on!!!
But wait; according to Dr Saul he might also have Bipolar Disorder, or an anxiety disorder, or depression or perhaps a personality disorder. I wonder which anti-psychotic drugs might help these conditions? Or maybe he can’t hear or see properly? Yes, that the answer, my son with an advanced reading level is blind, I just hadn’t noticed!?!
I have spent thousands of dollars on reports to find the answer to my son’s behavioural issues. He’s been tested for auditory processing disorder, sensory processing disorder, psychological disorders, food allergies and food sensitivities. Doctors, psychologists, dieticians, speech therapists, occupational therapists, pediatricians, behavioural optometrists and a Professor of Neurobiology have all assessed my son. Every one of their assessments lead to the same diagnosis, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder.
How can so many specialists be wrong? Have I wasted all of that time and money for an incorrect diagnosis?
I have come to realize that the title of this book is nothing but a publicity stunt. A marketing tool designed to catch the media’s attention. The existence of ADHD is such a “controversial” topic, but only to those who don’t live with it.
The parents of children with ADHD are already struggling, they don’t deserve to be the at the butt end of conspiracy gossip! There’s no funding to help these children, there’s no financial gain for the families. There is however loads of ill-informed opinions in the community about poor nutrition and parenting skills.
As I have learnt more about mental illness and childhood mental illness one thing I have discovered is that these symptoms don’t go away. Without help, they often exacerbate. The effect of announcing that ADHD does not exist is that there will be many children who have challenging symptoms who will now not be assessed for ADHD or any mental illness because we’ve all been told that it doesn’t exist. That, in my opinion is the tragedy of this book.
I feel sorry for all the parents who will continue to be judged for their poor parenting, but I also feel sorry for Dr Saul. His aim was to raise awareness for better diagnosis of childhood mental illness. Perhaps “Unpacking the Mystery of ADHD” or “ADHD a Early Warning Sign for Mental Illness” would have been more appropriate titles. Unfortunately people do judge a book by its cover and thanks to the misleading title this book, children with ADHD and their parents will only be judged harsher. Nice one Dr Saul.
The symptoms of ADHD are very real and they’re not caused from a poor diet, or bad parenting. ADHD is a neurological disorder with conclusive evidence it’s caused by the slow maturation of the brain and lack of serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter. It’s physical, it’s challenging, and it needs to be diagnosed before you can get help.
If you’re worried about your child, please see a professional and get them the help they need. ADHD is real.