ADHD a disability

SIR – I read your article When illness can be an excuse for poor parenting and I was disgusted. Have you ever actually done any proper research into ADHD and how it affects families? After reading your article I don t think you have. I always thought

SIR - I read your article ''When illness can be an excuse for poor parenting'' and I was disgusted. Have you ever actually done any proper research into ADHD and how it affects families?

After reading your article I don't think you have. I always thought the idea of being a journalist was to investigate stories before publishing them and giving the reader true facts. All you have done is to tell your readers that ADHD is an illness. It is not an illness, it is a disability and it affects many children all over the world. An illness can be cured, a disability is for life. A parent doesn't just get up one morning and think to themselves ''I know what I will do today, I am going to label my child with ADHD, when in fact I am just a lousy parent''. It takes a team of people and a proper diagnosis before anyone can be labelled ADHD. To say ADHD has become a dumping ground for bad behaviour is absolutely disgusting.

It took me 12 years to get my son diagnosed and for those 12 years he was classed as a naughty boy and was always being suspended from school. Once he was diagnosed and put on medication his behaviour changed and he was a lot calmer, not just in school but at home as well. I spent a lot of time communicating with his school and trying to get his teachers to understand his condition. As a parent of a disabled child I am totally offended and disgusted by your article and think you should actually go along to a support group meeting and actually listen to parents of children with ADHD. My son not only has ADHD but also Asperger syndrome and Tourette syndrome. Most parents will tell you that their child has a diagnosis that consists of more then one condition and if you had bothered to do your research properly, you would know this.

AN ANGRY READER


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SIR - ADHD is a recognised medical condition affecting both children and adults, which in the UK is recognised as a life-long disability. Most reasonable minded people would not describe it as an illness, which is understood by most as a disease state from which treatment is likely to elicit a cure.

A parent alone is unable to label their child as having ADHD. This is usually a process undertaken between a group of people, namely GPs, specialist paediatricians and importantly teachers and parents. In order for a school to have access to money for additional teaching support for children who require it for any reason, that child must have a recognised label, be it wheelchair user, sight impaired or ADHD. With that label in place the child can receive what they need in order to avoid the interruption of others which Louise makes reference to.

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What really saddens me about this article is that The Comet finds it acceptable to print a diatribe against the parents of disabled children. Could you explain to me why such vitriol is acceptable. I do not for one moment believe that Ms McEvoy is so ill-read and narrow minded as to hold these views personally. But that only makes it worse, because it means that this is a media manipulation in order to sell newspapers.

I wonder who will be next?

LOUISE SLATER

Hitchin

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