“A fidget spinner is a toy that consists of a bearing in the center of a multi-lobed flat structure made from metal or plastic designed to spin along its axis with little effort. The toy has been advertised as helping people who have trouble with focusing or fidgeting by relieving nervous energy or psychological stress. As on May 2017, there is no scientific evidence that they are effective as a treatment for autism or ADHD.”
In his 2008 book, “The Diseasing of America’s Children: Exposing the ADHD Fiasco and Empowering Parents to Take Back Control,” John Rosemond collaborates with Dr. Bose Ravenel to challenge pretty much everything you have ever known, heard or been taught about ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and EOBD (Early Onset Bipolar Disorder).
Rosemond begins by challenging the diagnosis itself—a diagnosis he says comes far too quickly and too easily from family doctors, teachers and other professionals but that, like the above Fidget Spinner example, lacks any real scientific evidence to back it up.
Rosemond does not deny the reality that children have trouble focusing and paying attention. He and Dr. Ravenel simply believe (and demonstrate) that the problem is developmental, not medical. In other words, these behaviors characterize all of us early in life and must be grown out of as we mature. The number one job of parents, teachers and others who work with children is to help this happen.
Medication is not the answer. In fact, the authors are alarmed that so many parents have been misled by professionals they trust into believing they can “manage” their children through the use of powerful, potentially hazardous psychotropic drugs (p. xvii).
In Rosemond’s own words, “Our approach is not rocket science. It’s a commonsense combination of good, old-fashioned discipline, removing electronic media (or minimizing their significance), and restoring a healthy lifestyle in terms of good nutrition and exercise” (p. 190).
Rosemond had a lot of trouble getting this book published. He and Ravenel are definitely swimming upstream against a powerful current of professional and popular opinion. The book begins with two pages titled “Read This First!” that explain their motivation:
“We’ve written this book to expose what we feel is a travesty of science that is causing harm to children. We’ve written this book to empower parents to take back control of their children by recognizing the misinformation they have been given and disentangling themselves from a medical-mental health-pharmaceutical behemoth that is selling diseases that have no objective reality” (p. xii).
I challenge you to read this book! If you will, your thinking on this critical issue facing so many families may change.