June 2023
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Autism, ADHD or just useless parents?

(Friday/Saturday blog)

I’m afraid my website was down most of Friday. In my paranoia, I imagined the Thought Police had erased me from the Internet. But it was just the company which hosts my website which had a cable cut by a digger. Of course, the company isn’t stupid. They had a back-up cable. Unfortunately that was in the same trench as the regular cable. Duh!

Anyway, today’s blog:

I had quite an unpleasant experience on Bank Holiday Monday. We were enjoying lunch sitting outside a local pub when suddenly a child at a table near us started screaming “I want an ice cream. I WANT an ICE CREAM! I WANT AN ICE CREAM!!!!! I WANT AN ICE CREAM!!!!!

This went on for some considerable time. Being an idiot, I eventually suggested to the parents that they get control of their child. Bad move. The father rushed over at me pushed me against a wall and probably would have started hitting me if other customers hadn’t intervened. And all the time the father was shouting “He’s f*ck*n autistic, he’s f*ck*n autistic”.

So, I started wondering about supposed autism and supposed ADHD and other supposed psychological problems suffered by today’s unruly, self-centered, often uncontrollable, spoilt children.

My father was a violent bully who would lash out at the slightest sign of us behaving badly. .

I don’t recommend my father’s approach as a parenting style. But at least we quickly learnt what behaviour was acceptable and what wasn’t.

However, I do wonder how much of today’s supposed autism and supposed ADHD is real and how much is due to incompetent parenting, a lack of discipline and a need for useless, self-obsessed, thicko parents to find a ‘medical’ reason for their children’s appalling behaviour.

I looked at a few studies on the level of false diagnoses of autism and ADHD. Some suggested suggested that about 25% of diagnoses were due to parents and schools exploiting diagnoses of supposed autism and ADHD to get extra government funding and extra services. This chart (with illegible numbers underneath) shows the massive increase in medication for children with supposed ADHD in the UK from 1994 to 2014:

Several studies proposed that there was massive over prescribing of Ritalin for supposed ADHD – mainly for boys – across the developed world.

And we shouldn’t forget the possibility, probability or even certainty that many tens of thousands of child psychologists and psychotherapists and cognitive behaviour counsellors and other well-qualified, well-paid, Guardian-reading supposed ‘experts’ are being ‘somewhat liberal’ when diagnosing various supposed psychological conditions in children in order to justify their continued employment and continued income.

Personally, without any real basis for my assumption, I suspect that less than half of those 500,000+ UK children diagnosed with psychological problems actually have them. I believe most are just behavioural problems that a bit of proper parenting and a bit of discipline in school could sort out.

Of course, the “we’re all victims, we’re all autistic/ADHD” brigade and the BBC and C4 News and other mainstream media would claim that increased diagnosis is due to increased awareness of these ‘terrible’ psychological conditions. But here’s a study which suggests that would be triple, unadulterated, progressive, liberal, libtard bollox. The study looked at rates of diagnosis of ADHD in 400,000 boys based on their month of birth:

Looking at this, it seems blindingly obvious that most of the diagnoses of ADHD actually have nothing to do with real ADHD. Instead they are just a result of the younger children in each class being slightly more immature than those who were a few months older.


Of course, there are genuine cases of both autism and ADHD. And children who really suffer from these conditions should receive proper treatment. Though why these conditions have become so much more common – while parenting styles have changed from the more disciplinarian approach of the 1950s and early 1960s to the self-indulgent absence of any boundaries experienced by many of today’s children – will remain forever a mystery

As for the gentleman in the pub – his complete lack of any self-control rather suggested that it was him, rather than his repulsive howling brat, who had the psychological problems.

14 comments to Autism, ADHD or just useless parents?

  • saffron

    Good to see you back David. I thought the same as you – I feared that the thought police had finally got to you as well (the 3am knock on the door!). Glad that I was wrong on this occasion.

  • A Thorpe

    I did watch a programme on TV recently about autism and I could not see what was wrong with the people, except they were gobby. There was a programme about Chris Packham who has Asperger’s and I’m pleased he came to the conclusion that he was OK, didn’t need any treatment, had a brilliant memory and a good career.

    Perhaps the autism scale is too wide and with government policies these days everybody has to have a condition that needs treating. How will the NHS rule the country unless we all depend on them?

  • twi5ted

    Larry David had an episode on autism in the latest series of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Very funny series if you like that sort of thing.

    If you want an excuse for any bad behaviour just add you are “on the spectrum” and everyone is so understanding bending over backwards to accommodate you. Can get away with anything.

  • daveh

    Phew, there you are …. i was wondering !

    David, read Peter Hitchings on his take on ADHD…there is no clinical diagnosis for it, it doesn’t exsist.

    Interesting times times ahead with the E.U me thinks.


  • Stillreading

    Great blog! Couldn’t agree more. Interestingly, the BBC showed a programme only last week in which Dr. Chris Van Tuleken demonstrated conclusively that with the correct approach children with alleged ADHD could be taught to control their behaviour and actually become acceptable junior members of the human race. Rather than yell at them or make excuses for their abominable behaviour and treat them with kid gloves, he spoke quietly but firmly to them and trained them to sit still for specified lengths of time and THINK about keeping quiet. Normal parenting, where children were disciplined and constrained within acceptable behavioural and physical parameters, seems largely to have disappeared. While I don’t for a moment endorse violent or damaging corporal punishment, a quick tap across the back of the hand or leg in instances of direct defiance of authority isn’t always a totally bad thing. It hurts the pride rather than the body. After all, it’s what every bitch does to keep her puppies in order, what every cat does to her kittens, or lioness to her cubs!
    We have an entire generation of appallingly over-medicated youngsters. The BBC showed another of Dr. Van Tuleken’s programmes earlier this week on just this subject. Teenagers going through no more than the normal mood swings attributable to fluctuating adolescent hormone levels are being put on ever larger doses of uppers or downers, until they become either zombie-like or manic. The drug companies have much to answer for of course, since it is in their financial interests to medicate the entire world.
    And one of the consequences of today’s absence of authority at home and, therefore, in schools is that a large proportion of newly qualified teachers leave the profession within six years, being unable mentally or physically any longer to confront hoards of feral youngsters on a daily basis.
    The true Autistic Savant is a rarity, an extraordinary individual the function of whose brain remains a mystery. “Normal” people certainly can’t look at a cathedral or other massive, intricate building for the first time for just a few minutes, then draw it from memory, accurate down to the smallest detail, or play a difficult piece of piano music from memory, having heard it just once. Severe autism without the “savant” advantage is a true mental handicap (is one still permitted to say that?) about which almost nothing can be done. The vast majority of casually diagnosed “autistic” or “Asperger’s” children are unlikely to be any such thing!
    And yes – pleased you are still with us. I too felt just a bit anxious for you this morning.

  • william boreham

    By coincidence, this was headline in the Mail today.
    (Viewing many of the parents, I’m not surprised, they are barely functioning as adults themselves)

    “Children who have fallen behind by the age of four: They can’t even talk properly, dress themselves, or even use a toilet, warns Ofsted chief.”

  • Jan

    Saffron thought the same, “mmm they’d finally taken him down” David you actually disappeared of my favs list as well, been trying all day, I don’t give up, lol. Keep up the good work.

  • Stillreading

    Someone I know deals with the logistics of GCSE and A Level exams in a sizeable secondary school. A given exam paper must of course be commenced on the same day and at exactly the same time by every student throughout the UK who is taking it. In some schools there may be dozens taking a specific exam, in others just a few.
    Nowadays not only do schools need to ensure availability of adequate space for given exam candidates at given times, but there are a host of additional requirements, namely:
    1.Candidates whose hands become too tired to write consistently for 2 or 3 hours must be provided with laptops if they so request – hard disks wiped clean of course.
    2.Exam papers must be provided in a variety of colours for alleged dyslexic candidates who cannot read black print on white paper.
    3.Candidates who feel disturbed by the presence of others may request and must be given a room to themselves – with an invigilator of course.
    4. “Stressed” candidates must be permitted to take a break(s) during the exam, time and duration of said break(s) to be at the candidates spontaneous request. With an invigilator present of course at all times.
    5. Ditto toilet breaks

    “Snowflakes” doesn’t even begin to describe many of the young generation. Even if they, by some miracle, manage to pass the various exams, how on earth are they ever going to be fit to go into the big, cruel world and earn a crust?

  • Julia Green

    I tried that with a woman in a restaurant and her screaming brat sometime ago, she didn’t take it well but I think I won. Of course we are spoon feeding children all sorts of neuroses. I had this crap with one of my kids, I said ‘snap out of it or I’ll give you something to whine about’. That worked, it was years ago, he’s now an exceptionally competent young man. If he’d gone off for counselling with some wacko socialist nutjob, goodness knows how he would have turned out. Like Nick Clegg perhaps.

  • NoBorders

    Libya after David Cameron Freed It? The future Cities of Europe because of open borders .

  • Stillreading

    I’ve only now fully realised what a condemnation it is of a nation which once valued democracy and free speech, that the first thought of many of your readers, myself included, when your blog was inaccessible yesterday, was that the Thought Police had carried you off. Our second thought was to ask those of us who sometimes respond whether our identities and locations were discoverable and whether we would be next to hear a bang at the door. Just what has our erstwhile proud nation come to? Incidentally, how many readers heard the deplorable David Milliband – yes, he who having failed to take over leadership of the labour Party, has subsequently gone on to earn mega-bucks heading some dubious “charity” in the USA – hold forth on how many more “refugees” the UK should be accepting? How DARE he!!

  • Paul

    My 3 year old son has suspected high functioning autism. Unfortunatly although he’s verbal he still has many of the symptoms that set him appart from his peers.

    Im not offended by your comments (not really easily offended anyway) just wish what you said was true, being autism is just poor parenting rather than an incurable disability unfortunatly the weight of international medical evidence says your wrong.

  • David Craig

    Thanks for your comment. But I did NOT say that autism and ADHD are a “result of poor parenting”. I said that many cases are genuine and need the appropriate treatment but also that many cases are just exaggeration, poor parenting and abuse of the system by those riding the ‘child psychological problems’ gravy train.

    My blogs are usually short and (I hope) clear therefore I’m surprised that they get misinterpreted so easily

  • Gloria

    I too was concerned that your page wasn’t available and my thoughts turned to something sinister ‘going-on’. The fact that so many of us were concerned for your welfare would be funny if it all wasn’t so serious… for kids with ‘problems’. If it wasn’t for the special payments handed out to the parents there wouldn’t be half as many….I have distant family members that were ‘over the moon’ to find their 2nd child was also afflicted with some special needs condition that merited more monies from the social services.

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