The convenience of labeling your child ADHD or ASD: Incompetent parents excuse their failings AND rake in sympathy
03/05/2018 // Tracey Watson // Views

There is absolutely no doubt that there has been a surge in kids who genuinely have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or who exhibit the symptoms commonly labeled as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). There is a clear link between the increase in the number of vaccines that children are mandated to receive within a short space of time and the correspondingly dramatic increase in the number of kids diagnosed with ASD. Likewise, the modern use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and fluoridated water, along with the American diet of processed junk food filled with colorants and preservatives has led to a spike in the number of hyperactive kids who have trouble focusing and are classified ADHD.

While these children and their parents arguably have an incredibly tough time coping, it is also true that many kids are prematurely and often mistakenly labeled in a way that allows some parents to excuse inexcusable behavior and to explain why their children behave in a certain way.

The problem is that at least some of these kids could be helped with behavioral counseling or with a dramatic change in their diet if they do not genuinely have one of these conditions. Labeling these kids and putting them in a permanent ADHD or ASD “box,” however, means they are not likely to receive the help they desperately need and will continue to exhibit behavioral and other problems. This can leave the parents incredibly frustrated and can cause social and other problems for the kids themselves, which could leave them depressed or even suicidal.


Surely no parent would want their child to be wrongly labeled in this way, though?

Well, Dr. Mike Shooter, child psychiatrist and former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the U.K., believes that some parents are complicit in the incorrect diagnoses of their children, even though they might not be aware of it.

Dr. Shooter, writing for the Daily Mail, noted:

Of course, autism and ADHD can wreck the lives of children and their families. And I have seen many genuinely heartbreaking cases of children struck down with these conditions.

But, very often, the children I see with these diagnoses plainly have not got these conditions at all. Instead, they happen to be troublesome children reacting to awful situations in their families.

To put it bluntly, they are heartily sick of being tossed around on a sea of adult wishes. But, instead of being listened to, they get labelled with a disorder. These incorrect diagnoses are deeply damaging. Yet, I am one of the very few child specialists who are fighting against this trend.

Dr. Shooter notes that parents “love a diagnosis” because it allows them to believe that their children’s behavior cannot be blamed in any way on their parenting:

They do not have to address their own role in their children’s unhappiness.

Dr. Shooter’s experience has also taught him that for some parents, a diagnosis is almost like a “badge of honor,” something to make their child stand out or a way to explain why they’re different:

In some cases boasting of these diagnoses can be a middle-class parent’s way of dodging responsibility for how their child has turned out. I won’t be popular for saying it, but a diagnosis can be a guaranteed way of reducing the stigma of their child’s awful and embarrassing behaviour among family, friends and teachers. (Related: Manage ADHD naturally - 5 things you can do to help your child be healthy and focused.)

Of course, each child is different and every situation needs to be evaluated on its own merit. But Dr. Shooter’s article is certainly food for thought and emphasizes the need for parents to really examine their own motives, their family’s diet and what’s going on in the family before putting a label on a child that they will have to wear for the rest of their lives. (Related: Visit to learn about natural ways to heal.)

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