As part of a speaking engagement sponsored by a regional medical center, I was scheduled to address a gathering of pediatricians. Two weeks before the address, my contact called to inform me that the medical center’s behavioral health unit had put up such a fuss over my talk that the center had decided to cancel it.

“Apparently,” she said, by way of explanation, “your views on ADHD and other childhood behavior disorders are fairly controversial.”

Yes, that’s true. But I contend that my views on said subjects reflect the facts, which I further contend are being withheld from both the public and children’s health care providers, by those who have a vested economic interest. Those facts include that ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and bipolar disorder of childhood are not realities; rather, they are constructs.

If a physician tells a patient that he has a tumor growing in his left lung, that can be verified with data obtained from body scans, biopsies and other medical means. The same cannot be done with the behavior disorders in question. A therapist who diagnoses ADHD can’t provide any evidence that the child “has” anything. The child’s behavior is problematic, but that is all that can be factually ascertained.

Therapists who make such diagnoses often tell parents that ADHD, etc. are genetically transmitted from parent to child. Has the gene or genes in question been conclusively identified? No. Do these therapists order genetic testing before making such claims? No. Does the genetic hypothesis make sense? Not in light of the fact that according to reliable reports from now-retired educators, these fantasy genes did not exist in pre-1960s school-age populations. The question, therefore: Where did these genes come from?

These same therapists explain ADHD, etc. in terms of something they call a “biochemical imbalance.” Has said imbalance ever been quantified? No. Can it be? No, for the simple reason that there is no such thing as “biochemical balance.” As a leading psychiatrist has admitted, the term is “nothing but a useful metaphor.”

It is useful in persuading parents to give their children drugs that have not reliably outperformed placebos but, unlike placebos, contain the very real potential of dangerous side effects.

Not agreeing with me is one thing. Not wanting my views to be heard is quite another (but a sign of the times).

Send emails to questions@rosemond.com.