Thinking out loud


So for the last two months I’ve been silent on something that has completely broken my heart. Why have I been silent I’m not too sure, my whole life I’ve been proud and unafraid to say how I feel and say it with conviction.


Sometimes there are times for dignified silence and sometimes there are times to stand up for what you believe in.


I try really hard not to blog when I’m mad, it tends to make my writing distorted and rambling (even more so than my regular posts). Sometimes however, I need to acknowledge that when I’m mad it’s when I’m most honest and in honesty comes the words that have the most impact.

It is no secret that my husband and my son have ADHD.

Elijah’s journey is new, rocky and emotional however Ben was diagnosed at 14 and now at 33 is very comfortable with who he is and the life he leads.

19 years ago when Ben was diagnosed there was very little information on ADHD. All but one of his teachers had little to no understanding of his condition and this resulted in him being expelled or politely asked to leave every secondary (he was super clever so they were always full scholarships to private schools) school he ever attended. Ben from nursery school struggled with education due to lack of understanding – he was basically a square peg being jammed into a round hole. It didn’t work for him and therefore the system failed him. He left school with 5 GCSES and went to work in a book shop. Within two years Ben went from working in a small Christian book shop (he took voluntary work until a paid position became available), then moving to their London flag ship store and then to the main secular book store in the uk and to their flagship London store and then to a respected office position within that. Not bad for a hyper active boy who couldn’t concentrate is it?  When Ben moved to Northern Ireland to live with me, he just took any job that was going. Within 24 hours he had two job offers! To give some perspective on this I had just spent 8 months looking for work with 11 gcses and 4 alevels and he walked straight into one.

This ADHD, ASD dude has spent 12 years grafting like crazy, and is now a product and marketing director with a degree in graphic communication and countless business, management and marketing certificates and qualifications and still runs a book shop as a volunteer.

Now I love to say how awesome my husband is but I promise there’s a point to this sentimentality.

This week in 2016, 19 years on from my husbands diagnosis, someone actually stood in front of hundreds of people and said ADHD does not exist.

And people said nothing.

People who know my husband, spend time with him, are happy to accept his help and hard work. Some were blinded by ‘science’ (not science at all), some accepted it because they don’t know what adhd is, some have sheepishly said to me they didn’t agree but sure its over now, and they didn’t want to cause offence and what’s really sad is its very likely that a lot of people who heard that phrase now believe it to be true. Some people have since spoken out.

If your child/family member had a physical illness and I told you it wasn’t real, I just said it to you, not to a crowd of people, you would be horrified that I even suggesting it. So why is it ok to mock and belittle a neurological condition?


Mental illness steals lives. These conditions are part of people and as out of their control as cancer – people fundraise and campaign for cancer research. For mental health people have to campaign for awareness before cure because they can’t even begin to fight a condition when the world around them is tearing them down.

I began by telling you how awesome my husband is, and he really is but his journey hasn’t been an easy one. Can you imagine what if feels like at the age of 4 to be moved classes because you’re different. When your teacher can’t handle you and labels you the ‘bad’ child? How do you stand a chance of making friends when that’s the teachers opinion of you? How does it feel to move school your whole life, to have amazing untapped potential and no outlet because the rest of the class are moving too slowly for your attention span? How unbarable is it when at 14 you have to self harm to the point where your arm is cut from wrist to elbow, because you need some release, some escape… and then your parents are so embarrassed they have it stitched by a friend because even your parent didn’t understand your condition. How when finally as an adult you’ve proved your potential, you’ve showed the world what you can achieve, your son who has the same condition has amazing teachers and parents who understand and praise him and you think people are getting it, things are changing…

then you’re dealt this massive blow.


Your child will face the discrimination you faced, a world that doesn’t see gifted, they see odd. A world that doesn’t see amazing and unique, they see strange. A world that doesn’t understand and for what? to shift a few books? says its doesn’t exist, YOU don’t exist. YOU ARE WRONG, you thoughts are wrong, you caused this, eat better, think better, live better, make this condition go away.

And when its gone (which it wont be cause its this theory that is wrong not you)… everything that makes you who you are is gone. That creative genius that made things happen is gone, the part of you that made you so amazingly different and refreshing and bright is gone.

Thing is, we are ALL made in Gods image. God doesn’t make mistakes, my Husband and Son are beautiful Human beings. They don’t need to preach at me for me for me to see Jesus in their eyes. Their world is so much more beautiful than mine. They are incredibly intelligent, yet never make those less so feel stupid. They are loving and inclusive.

If ADHD doesn’t exist my life my be a figment of my imagination.






Comments are closed.


  • Karen ross

    I do not know who said that Nikita but they are wrong, ADHD does exist . Nothing to be ashamed of . Ben has done extremely well and Eli is a lovely boy .

    02/29/16 – 18:27

  • admin

    Thanks Karen x you’ve always been such an encourager to me x kind words mean so much x

    02/29/16 – 19:46

  • Gillian Whitcombe

    I so get this! I actually left whilst this woman was doing her lecture on Saturday morning and didn’t stay to hear what else she had to say in the evening. Having been recently diagnosed with a silent illness and having a son whose idea of concentrating when he was younger was wrapping his legs round his head, I so get this! This lady is clearly very intelligent, maybe she didn’t have a long enough time slot to explain where she was coming from but what I took from it was I’m ill because I thought myself that way. So how does a child who can’t yet speak think themselves into ADHD? I also suffer from depression and whilst I agree that when depression has you in its grip you can make yourself worse the cause of my depression was an external factor… Bullying, exasperated by loss of a close friendship, while my th out process may have held me down in a deep depression they did not cause it! I got so agitated listening to this lecture and was I fear quite vocal on my thoughts on it. I loved reading your thoughts and I think many felt the same, I suppose it wasn’t the right arena to publically challenge her ‘facts’.

    I’m so thankful Karen shared your thoughts on it! God bless you and your family x

    02/29/16 – 18:38

  • admin

    Hi Gillian, I’m so sorry you where left hurt by this. Unfortunatly regardless of intelligence this teaching is something she stands by and prior to conference I read a lot of her blogs etc and her explanation of things never gets any better.
    Some people are simply wrong and she is one of them and I think its going to take people to speak up so that others don’t blindly accept what she teaches. I wasn’t actually in conference as I refused to sit under her teaching having done some research before hand but on reflection I should never have remained silent, lesson learnt. Thank you for sharing your experience as awful as it is it helps us all I think to know lots of us felt the same way. I do love how us mums can understand leg wrapped round head moments, I have a son who is awesome at that! I hope that I get to see you at an event sometime that has a more reassuring theme x thank you for your comment xx

    02/29/16 – 19:45