This would be my reply to Katie Hopkins…
I am rather shocked that someone would write something like this so publically without having the slightest idea of what it is like to live with a child with the conditions you describe.
What is more you are perpetuating the ignorance among the masses who have no understanding, as somehow, in this day and age, there are people who are happy to live in the bliss that this ignorance brings them!
Your eyes may just glaze over, as this reply holds the reality which your article seriously lacks!
First of all my daughter is under assessment for an autism spectrum disorder, on our last 1 hour visit to the paediatrician he also mentioned ADHD.
So to you I am just one of these diagnosis seeking parents trying to make up for my poor parenting, lack of ability to give my daughter a proper diet and exercise. You would say this would give my daughter free reign to behave anyway she likes and absolve both of us from changing her behaviour and rely on the state.
How wrong could you be!
I am seeking a diagnosis so that I can understand how to help my daughter and how to ensure she gets the correct support in her education. I have had my parenting questioned and cleared very quickly. I can quote Supernanny, magic 123, the triple P parenting advice and guess what… none of it works. I have had health visitors and someone from integrated services say that they can not give me any advice as I was doing what they would suggest. I went to these people to get advice, is that the mark of bad parenting? I think not.
It is when I got to this point that the idea that she might not be like her peers that I went to the GP. It has taken a year just to get to this point. 7 minutes! I think a lot of people would agree that you are sorely mistaken on this ‘fact’. I have had meeting after meeting and had lots of people make reports for the paediatrician. Most of the children from the local autism support group have had to have 3 monthly appointments as well as the ADOS (autism diagnostic observation schedule), and it has taken around a year to receive the diagnosis. It is a diagnosis that no-one wants. The implications go well beyond culpability of behaviours.
This is something I am coming to realise. The future is unclear for my daughter.
Also I refute diet and exercise as a cause for the behaviours in ADHD or ASD.
My daughter was on the go from 5-6am until 11pm, until she was prescribed melatonin. She now falls asleep at 7.30pm, this is NOT for my benefit, but for hers. Lack of sleep just made her more grumpy and added to the level of her challenging behaviour, which, cant be easy for her. It also interferes with her learning and the learning of her peers. What would you have me do? Refuse melatonin and allow her to suffer from lack of sleep due to a lack of hormone released in her body?
If I took your way and made ignorant assumptions, I’d say…I’m sure if she was in your child’s class you would just mark me as a bad parent and stop your child from playing with her, you would also be one of those parents that approach the head teacher to complain that your child is in with a wild child.
I try and treat my child as if she did have a diagnosis and guess what? It actually helps REDUCE her behaviours. With the conditions having been outlined, it has given me a signpost as to different handling techniques. I don’t absolve her of the challenging behaviour but I have more of an idea of what drives the behaviour and how to teach her, in a way she learns best, how to better deal with the conditions that result in her challenging behaviour.
What you know about the DSM is questionable, especially seeing as the 2013 revision which has already begun, has removed Asperger’s as a diagnosis. So your lack of research is out for all to see! Also the surge in the new diagnosis is not due to having the extra classification it is due to the fact that many people narrowly missed the criteria for Autism but still had a neurological impairment which impacts on their daily function. These people missed the net for support. The then new category made them eligible. The increase in ADHD and Autism diagnosis is not due to widening criteria, it is due to a better understanding of the conditions and a better prepared state system on recognising these issues in the early years.
I sincerely think you ought to find out more about the conditions before saying such ridiculous things.
I write this as my daughter is with her special needs group and before I have yet another meeting with services about how best to support her.
The article you have written sounds like the exact type of person that the mumsnet campaign -This is my child- is about.
For more information you should try
or just type autism or ADHD into google… you will soon find how mistaken you truly are