Rod Liddle

Dyslexia is meaningless. But don't worry – so is ADHD

How many illnesses of modern childhood are excuses for bad behaviour, stupidity or parental neurosis?

15 March 2014

9:00 AM

15 March 2014

9:00 AM

There is a beautiful symmetry to all things, I think, and probably related somehow to the concept of karma. Only two weeks ago, a bunch of researchers at Durham University came up with a report which insisted that dyslexia is a meaningless term. You and I know that, of course, but we dare not say so in public. For decades now dyslexia has been the crutch upon which middle-class parents support themselves when they discover that their children — Oliver, eight, and Poppy, ten — are actually denser than a ton of highly enriched uranium, contrary to their expectations. The fact that these kids cannot spell their own names is the consequence not of a magnificent, breathtaking stupidity, but is the result of a disease, or an affliction or an illness — something which does not reflect too badly upon the parents and which the state has a duty to combat and put right. ‘Poppy is such a brilliant, intelligent child,’ they will tell you, ‘it’s just that when it comes to words, she is stricken with this terrible disorder.’

Nope. Afraid not. She’s a dingbat who finds stuff like spelling ‘cat’ a bit on the taxing side; lower your expectations for the child. Given the appropriate parental support, she’ll end up stacking shelves in Waitrose, rather than Aldi (‘Remind me again, how do you spell hummus?’). Anyway, the team from Durham — that most middle-class of all universities, just to rub it in — suggested that the word ‘dyslexia’ be consigned to the history books. It is utterly meaningless. It is a pretentious word for ‘thick’.

[Alt-Text]


And then, this week, as if in the form of a riposte, an American neurologist stuck it to the working class. Dr Richard Saul, who has been investigating this area for many years, has come to the conclusion that ADHD is a meaningless term, too. Again, you and I both knew this instinctively, but even more so — even more than with dyslexia — we dare not say it. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the other crutch, the crutch which has been supporting working-class parents when their offspring — Jayden, ten, and Kayleigh-Anne, 12 — have stabbed several fellow pupils and two members of staff in their ghastly secondary school’s teacher support unit, where they have been placed for being perpetually vile. ‘Sorry about Latifah, she’s got ADHD,’ has become a familiar mantra whenever Latifah has done something truly appalling: not any more, not now. Latifah is just an unpleasant, over-indulged, half-witted brat with a crap diet: sort it out, quickly. Dr Saul believes the expensive and horrible drugs — such as Ritalin — with which these devil-monkeys are chemically restrained are more injurious than helpful. Give the kids a proper diet rather than drugs, he argues, try not to feed them an almost continuous supply of brown, deep-fried, fat-soaked, filth. And look after them properly — read them Auden and Eliot and get them working on Fermat’s last theorem. A refusal to pay attention is not a disease, not a medical condition — it’s a character flaw, and one which could be stamped out given the necessary willpower from the parents.

As I say, we probably knew this, deep inside our nasty little minds. Shall we go a little bit further, without the benefit of scientific research, just a bit of guesswork? Food allergies: balls. If you are over the age of 40, think about this: do you remember any kids being ‘coeliac’? Perhaps back then your classmates were secretly suffering and it’s simply that there was no medical terminology appropriate to their illness. No, I don’t think so. It’s a modern affliction, the consequence of over-indulgence and hyper-sensitivity to what the headstrong and idiotic child tells you it wants. I had a coeliac kid over for one of those unspeakable kiddy birthday parties not so long ago — everything had to be gluten-free, nut-free, lactose-free, according to its neurotic, mimsy halfwit of a parent. I gave it bread and peanut butter and a glass of milk and it was as happy as a sandboy. I’m not absolutely sure what a sandboy is, but either way, the child didn’t die or retch or collapse or erupt in boils. It was perfectly fine when it went home, although it wheezed a bit. Hell, I don’t know, maybe it died later, but I think I would have heard. My guess is that 98 per cent of children whose parents have, with the connivance of incredibly weary GPs, diagnosed some form of food intolerance for their charges, are nothing more than averse to eating proper food.

Shall we continue with this trope? We are getting into dangerous territory, believe me. Asthma? Doctors these days hand out the inhalers in the manner of a paedo with a bag of lemon bonbons. And then there are the multifarious conditions supposedly afflicting adults — such as fibromyalgia and that other thing, yuppie flu, or ME as they like to call it. The last time I wrote about this the police and the Press Complaints Commission got involved, so maybe for safety’s sake I should draw a line in the sand. Leave it for another day. The sufferers alleged that it was a hate crime to suggest — as most medical practitioners do, in private — that both ‘illnesses’ were rooted squarely in the noggin. Uh-oh, let’s draw a veil, I can see my inbox filling up already and the plod calling round.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • Gavin

    This is BULLSHIT, I have ADHD, diagnosed at 21. I am very intelligent rarely aggressive, I just find it very hard to concentrate ESPECIALLY when I am not interested and a few other symptoms like chronic insomnia, my min is constantly running but i take nothing for it. soon I will be starting my own business! It is not just a ‘meaningless’ word, I do agree, however, parents to use the term as a ridiculous excuse for a mis-behaving child. Now that enrages me, have a bloody word with yourself!

    • GraveDave

      Yeah, stop being such a Daily Maily , Rod. It’s something to do with the neurons, and can be related to autism.

      • TCP1960

        Correct!

    • georgeegee

      Like you, I find it hard to concentrate, especially when I’m not interested in a subject. Why would you concentrate on something you’re not interested in? Are you being forced to be interested? If that’s the case, tell them where to go. it doesn’t mean you’ve got ADHD though. It means you’re just like me. By the way, I’m very intelligent too.

      • Gavin

        Might I say, I can’t stand things I do not enjoy, I am a fully fledged engineer, fabricator and I build the odd race car, but when it comes to ANY form of paperwork…. My life is over!! lol. I am definitely ADHD I also suffer Chronic Insomnia!

    • georgeegee

      One other thing; what’s a min?

      • Gavin

        Excuse that ‘typo’ i meant Mind* lol

        • georgeegee

          Thanks Gavin 🙂

  • commenteer

    You are misreporting the conclusions of the Durham University research. Good fun, but hideously inaccurate.

  • chui1996

    Agree with you entirely Rod. I was at school 70 years ago and none of these conditions had been invented.

    • Polly Wog

      perhaps times, foods, vaccinations and pollution have changed?

      • Baron

        Perhaps, the way we’re bringing up kids has changed…..

        • Polly Wog

          oh I’m sure in plenty cases the little tyrants and their offspring could use a kick under the buttox ;D

    • Neil

      Discovery is not invention…

      • georgeegee

        ADHD hasn’t been invented or discovered…

        • Neil

          So where did it come from then?

          • georgeegee

            ‘It’ can’t come from anywhere when ‘it’ hasn’t been invented or discovered. Put it this way, you can give anything a name or a label but that’s all it is, a name or a label. Behaviour isn’t an illness.

          • Neil

            That assumes you believe that it is “just behaviour” rather than a biologically based condition. As most of the real evidence (go look on pubmed) refers to a biological basis then I would say that beliefe is incorrect.

          • georgeegee

            Many fall in to the same trap when trying to convince others of the legitimacy of ADHD. Why use the word believe? You can only believe in it, if you choose to, because that’s all you can do. People generally believe in fantasies, like ADHD, or things they hope might happen one day. By the way, the ‘real evidence’ that you speak of is full of conjecture. I think you’ve been duped.

          • TCP1960

            Having been in the company of children with ADHD, I can say it really does exist. This was 30 years and as recently as now. One little girl was hyperactive from birth and has never stopped. Her family, doctors and school all realised that something was going on. They didn’t have the name and the belief in their heads…it was pretty plain to see that something was going on with her and testing is proving that.

          • GraveDave

            They say it hadn’t been invented then. I’d say acknowledged. Because as anyone who was around in the 50s, 60s and 70s, would tell you, teachers and your dad just thumped it out of you. It still didn’t always cure you though. Though I do think there’s an argument for over use of prescription pills like Ritalin and other stuff that could alter you for the worst.

          • TCP1960

            Horrid to think that kids were maltreated because of a disorder that wasn’t picked up on. I remember my dyslexic friend being verbally abused by teachers and yet she tried so hard at school. She was eventually diagnosed and went to Uni. ADHD children were seen as bad children, too, and they couldn’t help it.

          • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

            Simple. Discovering a disorder is a great way to fame and possible future grants for all sorts of other research. Best of all you can prove it exists by pointing to people who have the traits.

          • Neil

            i.e. it exists and was discovered…

          • georgeegee

            Unruly or bad beahviour has always existed. The labels are the ‘invention’ or the ‘discovery’ that make millions of pounds for unscrupulous entrepreneurs, otherwise known as drug companies.

          • George

            and psychologists and psychiatrists

          • GraveDave

            Big Pharma. But something is still definitely wrong with the way some peoples brain patterns work. You really need to study the brain just to see how many millions of faults can occur if just one circuit lags behind the millions of others.

          • TCP1960

            Exactly!

          • TCP1960

            But they’ve proved the abnormalities in the brain, it’s fact and the genetic link. These are provable.

    • I dont hate you

      So illogical even for a troll. So I assume Aids was invented too?

      • Baron

        No, I dont hate you, Aids’s for real, and more to the point, there is a difference between Aids and ADHD, if the former isn’t treated the one who has it dies, in the latter it’s not the ‘sufferer’ who may snuff it, but those around him.

        • I dont hate you

          You seem to know a lot about it. You must of studied it, what’s your profession ?

          • Baron

            Whether Baron ‘must of studied it’ matters not because he has lived it as a kid, then parent, then grandparent, a university of life, if you like, highly recommended.

          • I dont hate you

            Baron and your other alias, that barely has any context , you are the most unimaginative troll I have come across on the internet.
            But I thank you as you give this drivel of an article the due status it deserves.
            Which is a playground for the pseudo intellectual that likes to project their frustrations on the internet.
            :slowclap:
            Also talking about yourself in the third person isn’t clever or cute , you just sound idiotic.

    • TCP1960

      I was at school back in the 1960’s-’70’s and yes these illnesses were around but no one knew what they were. I had friends with allergies and two girls were very weak and underweight and years later they were found to be coeliac. One friend was very ill after a virus and couldn’t walk for a year and no one knew what it was. My mum knew of three friends who weren’t malnourished but all died mysteriously over a period of three years. It wasn’t polio or any other recognised illness. It’s easy to say these things were about it’s just that people didn’t bother and those who suffered suffered in silence.

      • Sue Sims

        Agreed.

        On my first day at grammar school, in 1963, the headmaster announced sorrowfully in assembly that a sixth-form boy (whom obviously I’d never known) who was supposed to be taking up a place at Oxford that autumn had died of an asthma attack during the summer holidays. (He used the phrase ‘asthma attack’, which I remember clearly as it was the first time I’d ever heard the term, and I had to ask my mother what it meant.)

        As an English teacher, I’ve also taught children who were labelled ‘dyslexic’ (in fact, there are two of them in my Year 9 class at the moment: this is at a girls’ grammar school). In many cases, the children have indeed been less intelligent than their peers, but there’s been a sizeable minority whose performance in other areas (non-verbal reasoning and maths in particular) is very good, putting them on or above the 90th centile. Whatever label you wish to give it, an irregular intellectual profile of that type generally means that the child will benefit from extra teaching, which is the purpose of a diagnosis of dyslexia.

        I also had (the tense, alas, is accurate) who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which many doctors and psychiatrists explained as a psychological condition. Until she died, six months ago now, in her early forties.

        • TCP1960

          Exactly, Sue. I was in school in the ’60’s/70’s and we heard of kids having asthma and being wheezy and dreadfully out of breath. Dyslexia was also an issue, too, with pupils being labelled as stupid and thick and once diagnosed they had more help and many went onto uni. Three of my friends still have problems but have all done well in their lives but it hasn’t been easy for them. I also know of several people who have died young from ME and Fibromyalgia. It’s devastating.

    • Myfanwy56

      Chui 1996 – actually – way before your time – the poet/writer Elizabeth Barrett Browning (19th Century) suffered from a long-term fatiguing illness – now believed to have been ME/CFS. So… the illnesses themselves are hardly inventions, are they? This, I feel at least, illustrates that medical science evolves. Look at the case of ‘Mad King George’, believed, at the time , well, ‘mad’ amongst other causes. Its now accepted he must have been suffering from a now recognised medical condition, Pyphoria. I suffer from ME and I lost my career over it. I have lost out on years of good earnings and live a much reduced lifestyle. Why would anyone do that? The Chief Medical Officer issued a dictate to doctors some years ago, instructing them at this condition is to be taken seriously as a PHYSICAL condition. Some peoples’ stance seems to me to be akin to believing, against all evidence, that the earth is flat. No offence to you. I also suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, a definite immune dysfunction disease. Some quarters think ME may well be an immune dysfunction disease – our bodies let us down badly – not our minds.

      • Fergus Pickering

        And there is the case of Florence Nightingale. Unless you believe she was just a malingerer.

    • George

      70 years ago children were hit on the hand with a ruler for being left-handed! Why? because left-handedness didn’t exist apparently.

      • TCP1960

        Yes I remember left-handed children being forced to use their pencils in their right hands, even back in the 1970’s.

      • Raeven Wood

        OK, so they would have just burned me at the stake. Good to know.

  • Smiffy51

    What a nasty, spite filled life this unimportant little man must be living, his only pleasure winding sick people and their parents up.

    • Baron

      What if parents have to be wind up to realise that the way they treat their little darlings may need tweaking?

      • georgeegee

        With you there. Tough but true.

  • Smiffy51

    Do change the record Rod dear, we’ve heard it all from you so many times you really are becoming incredibly boring…

  • barrydavies

    One would imagine that Ron Liddle doesn’t accept that Dementia Schizophrenia mania and depression are actual conditions because they only reside in the noggin to use his derogatory terminology. Lets just shut down what is left of the Mental health and learning difficulties hospitals and units sack all the mental and learning difficulties nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists they are not needed anymore because Ron Liddle has solved the problem, just deny the condition exists. What next Ron no cancer no CVA’s all breaks are only in the noggin. For you information M.E. has been shown to have a genetic causative agent that isn’t in the mind at all.

  • georgeegee

    ADHD is meaningless. Rod Liddle is right. Gavin – Can’t concentrate? Doesn’t mean you’re ill. Might mean you’re tired. Gravedave – something to do with the neurons – that’s what they all say, and a lot of us lap it up like cats at feeding time. Apparently, likes and dislikes have something to do wuith neurons too. Smiffy51 – Dr Richard Saul, who is qualified in speaking on the subject, said ADHD doesn’t exist. Are you qualified to speak on it? I suspect not. For the record, neither am I.

    • I dont hate you

      Lack of concentration is a defining symptom of a lot of illnesses, not being able consentrate when you are tied is not like the loss of concentration when you are drunk for instance or when you have an illness that restricts blood flow to the brain.
      If you are going to troll , at least make an effort. You are so lazy.

      • georgeegee

        There’s a saying and that is ‘don’t feel the trolls.’ Kettle, pot, black my friend. On this occasion however, I will respond so that you don’t go hungry. You correctly used the word symptom. Tiredness is a symptom of not enough sleep. It may also be a symptom of, as you say, alcohol intoxication. It may also be the symptom of too much sugar intake. It’s a symptom, not the cause. Finding the cause of a condition or problem is the answer. Last point: if you are going to troll, learn how to spell so that those you attempt to engage with can take you seriously.

        • I dont hate you

          It doesn’t surprise me you are more interested in my spelling troll.
          Also , again you talk complete rubbish. Tiredness in illness is normally caused be the energy your immune system needs to correct or, as in some auto immune disease, which M.E for instance isn’t ruled out, is reacting to but isn’t there.
          It may be a symptom, but that doesn’t mean the cause of these illnesses are not biological. In fact there is no real evidence that they are not, and in the case of M.E , a lot of evidence that has been suppressed by psychiatry who have the ear of our government , that it is.
          You may want to ask yourself why ppl with M.E cannot give blood for instance ? What does that tell you ?

          • georgeegee

            I’m actually interested in taking you seriously. I’m not discussing M.E. I’m discussing the stupidity that is ADHD. You’re quick to dismiss but I fear you have not understood the scope of my response.

          • I dont hate you

            I think there is probably a small amount of parents that project illnesses on their child, we have all been around the parent that gives their child no boundaries to the detriment of their child’s behaviour.
            But to suggest most ppl being diagnosed with a specific set of symptoms that are defined by ADHD, are doing this isn’t very logical.
            Why? Because of my experience of an illness. It brings a lot of hassles and work, just to get effective treatment for these poorly understood conditions.
            It is not an easy options to treat a child like it has an illness, it involves trips to specialists, finding the right placement etc etc.
            I suspect far from it being an incorrect diagnosis of behaviour, it is more common than you think and has a biological makeup that can be treated.
            Most researchers I imagine have better things to do than pursue imaginary illnesses.
            Of course some will be the big pharmaceuticals bitches, but the majority of ppl have more confidence in their abilities given the amount of work it takes to end up in these jobs.

    • sarah_13

      Apart from Rod’s poetic licence, which does not offend me though it seems to offend some commentators here, I think Rod does make an interesting point. As I see it the problem is that many of these diagnoses have become almost meaningless because every child now, whatever their problem, appears to be diagnosed with something. My son had a test at school when he was about 9 or 10 and I was told he was very mildly dyslexic. I personally felt the truth was that he didn’t read enough and as my son didn’t want any special treatment we did nothing about it except that he just spent more time reading. He has since been very successful at school and dyslexia was never mentioned again.

      • George

        Actually, sarah, I rather like your point here (mainly because you make your point about your son’s situation rather well). I have seen children ‘drugged’ at school and really didn’t like what I saw. I often felt the child was just displaying its ‘personality’ and in the right conditions would have been absolutely fine.

        But dyslexia does exist, and if thicko liddle hadn’t been so insulting to so many people who are unwell, I would have been happy to discuss the fact that some children suffer because of the lack of discipline at home and in school which results in them not concentrating adequately.

        However, dyslexia does exist for quite a large number of children and should not be confused with what seems to be the situation with your son.

        But, I feel that I must repeat that I hope rod (b)liddle rots in hell because that is where I feel he belongs in my humble (ha) opinion..

  • MTG

    Dear Rod: When your wife gets a cancer diagnosis, I am sure they will be able to trace it back to sleeping with a feckless, uninformed, low class asshole like you. I sure hope your children never have any problems—those poor darlings.

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      What a revolting post.

  • Neil

    I got an M.E. diagnosis abot three years ago after severe pneumonia – after three very disabled years I’ve finally found something that seems to be helping after going through the standard CBT and graded exercise routine (both shown to only help in very mild cases) and that thing is long term antibiotic therapy. So obviously all in the mind. Mr L you are an offensive ignoramus – surely your mindless witterings would be better suited to the sites that the rest of the trolls inhabit rather than somewhere (presumably) trying to look like an intelligent publication?

    Sure there weren’t people diagnosed with dyslexia 40 years ago but you know that’s what science does – progress. You’re argument is no more sensible than saying a few hundred years ago we didn’t have any disease it was all demonic posession so lets scrap all drugs, have a quick exorcism and you’ll be right.

    • Baron

      Neil, if you right, the science carries on as it has done in the last 40 years, it won’t take long we’ll be all sick, ill, diseased, suffering …….

      Baron recalls his schooldays, a gross misbehaviour, a tantrum, ADHD was unheard of. Why do you reckon it was? Did we exterminate kids suffering from any of it or what?

      • Neil

        Rose coloured spectacles mainly – it was a time of much more truancy than now and Borstal schools.

        • Baron

          You reckon then all the kids that displayed AGHD, were prone to tantrums and misbehaving were either truant or at Borstal schools? Hmmm

          Scan Alexander Boot below. It doesn’t address directly what Rod does, but it hints at something that may be relevant.

          http://alexanderboot.com/content/internet-has-no-downside-–-we-do

          • Neil

            No but I’m sure that’s where some of the most extreme cases ended up uch like many of the psychiatrically ill who are failed by services or not diagnosed and up in prisons. What I’m pointing out is that gross misbehavious was anything but unheard of it was just swept under the carpet and not dealt with properly.

          • HenryWood

            Well, gross misbehaviour was most definitly heard of in my schooldays (1948 – 1964) except it used to be called “norty boys” in the first few years and they were eventually thrashed after many warnings. They were rarely “norty boys” again.
            In the latter years at Grammar School there was always the threat of “six of the best” but this was not frequently used. However, there was a system whereby “norty boys” were called out in morning assembly and when they all stood together on stage the Headmaster wolud read out their misdemeanours.
            I remember this happened to me once: I was called out because of “some scurrilous remarks written in the ‘stop press’ column on the front page of the Manchester Guardian, which was one of the daily papers delivered to the school library.
            This had a two-fold effect upon me. I never, ever did such a thing again for fear word of it might reach my parents (who would have been mortified) and I never bought the Guardian in real life.
            I reckon the punishment fitted the crime and had the desired result.

        • Rocksy

          Couldn’t be more truancy than now.

          • Neil

            That rather depends on whether you go by evidence or some distorted golden age thinking that all was well. Hint – the evidence suggests much higher truancy rates in the 1950s/1960s than today.

          • Rocksy

            Is that the same ‘evidence’ that the diagnoses of so called ‘disorders’ relies upon?

          • Neil

            Well obviously not the same evidence – however they both rely on properly gathered and independently verified data rather than the latest screed from Liddle and his muddle headed ilk.

          • Rocksy

            I’ll give you the ‘properly gathered and independently verified data’ for the truancy issue as I can’t claim any specialized knowledge on this topic, only my own experience.
            However I do have many years experience in the mental health field and it is common knowledge that the so called ‘properly gathered and independently verified data’ is funded by and strenuously promoted by the pharmaceutical industry.

            They have a vested interested in creating and increasing the market for their product, (The DSM v is a catalogue for their products.)

            My special favourite is ODD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Which until a few years ago, was thought to be simply disobedience. Fortunately there is medication for this condition …thanks to, you guessed it the drug industry.

          • I dont hate you

            You are joking right ? If you think truancy is an easy option for parents not to parent, then you obviously don’t have children and are unaware of the laws that make it very difficult not to address.

          • Rocksy

            Can you read? I have no idea what your post has to do with what I wrote.

          • I dont hate you

            It was in response to this comment you made ‘Couldn’t be more truancy than now.’
            I was suggesting that the laws today make it less likely truancy can be a hidden statistic and less likely to happen now.

          • Rocksy

            Your post still doesn’t make sense as a response to mine. If you disagree about the rate of truancy now and then, I’m fine with that. But I don’t see how you could translate that into judgement against parents on my part and if you knew anything about me, you would know that I have been an outspoken advocate for parents in the hurdles they face in parenting.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Yes there could. But since children left school at fourteen anyway it would most likely be lower. And lots of the children who left school then could not read or write. Nor was it any more difficult then to buy a child prostitute in the street.

  • V. Thorson

    Did you really give a Celiac child a peanut butter sandwich with a glass of milk? Is that supposed to be funny? I call that recklessly irresponsible child abuse. You are a sick and dangerous man, Mr. Liddle. The rest of your pathetic, uninformed and untrue diatribe will not be dignified with a response by an educated, accomplished, intelligent person like myself.

    • TCP1960

      I agree, that is child abuse and totally irresponsible

    • I dont hate you

      Openly admitting that seems like grounds for investigation into the ethics of this , erm , I’m not sure what this is tbh?

      Looks like it is just trolling for advertising revenue to me. Very unskilled work, if you can call it that ?
      I wonder when these articles are forwarded to the advertisers they can see the implications of being related to such opinions ?

      I guess it depends on the business.

  • Diana Hamilton

    Rod Liddle is just a massive troll, specialising in trolling the sick and disabled. I guess we are an easy target, aren’t we Rod? You can make up your bull s**t and back it up with your ‘science’ as much as you want. Doesn’t mean it’s true. Your viewpoint doesn’t negate all other medical literature on the subject. All the facts and evidence still exist, whether you think they do or not.

    I am completely astounded, firstly that you would refer to a child as ‘it’ (or maybe that’s to save your skin so that the parents of the child in question will never know what you did to their child?) and secondly that you fed the child bread, milk and peanut butter, after being specifically told the child could not eat those things. But obviously you know best. Allergies do not exist. Anaphylaxis does not exist. Auto-immunity does not exist. Rod Liddle knows best. Everyone else is mistaken.

    Alas, I have been sucked into commenting on one of your strings of bile again. Mark of a good troll I suppose. I can only assume that you’ve shoe horned the bit about ME and Fibromyalgia in to casually target another group of people and remind us what a huge trolling success that piece was.

    • georgeegee

      Rod should have stuck to ADHD. Definiltely no ‘science’ or medical literature.

  • Tabby

    You absolute prat, I wish you could live just one day with ME/Fibro to see what it is like. Im a 20 year old student and Ive had both since i was 15, its been a struggle (to put it mildly) but I’ve managed to get to a decent university this year to continue my studies. Every day is a challenge for me, and I don’t get to do any of the active things I enjoyed doing before I got ill. I know my illness is not in the mind, its real, it hurts, I’m living with it- and its made me a better, more understanding individual than you will ever be.

    • Teflon Holborn

      Stop wallowing in your own self pity. Mong

      • Tabby

        Hardly, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and I’m loving every moment of my time here. Take your petty insults elsewhere.

        • TCP1960

          I agree, Tabby!

          • George

            I bet Teflon works for ATOS. Thinking about it Rod Liddle probably does too! It’s ‘bash the disabled’ decade which is why people like these two feel ‘safe’ to mock people who are unwell. Oh, how I wish something really bad upon them…but, of course, that would be wrong of me…well, the urge is eating me up now…rot in hell you two. xx

          • hugo761

            Er, may I point out that in the original article it was stated that
            according to some latest research carried out by respectable scientific
            bodies, terms used such as Dyslexia and ADHD are effectively meaningless? Or aren’t you interested in the latest research and rather stay in your comfort zone of the vague and unprovable?

          • George

            That’s fine, hugo761, if rod had stuck to the facts and not drifted off into his ‘bash the disabled’ tendency, I would have agreed with quite a lot of it. But he and teflon aren’t able to present facts very well. They are both far too interested in their own opinions.

            Look at rod’s stupid comments about coeliac disease. He obviously hasn’t a clue about the fact that it was first linked to wheat the 1940s. I bet he hasn’t a clue what villous atrophy means.

            No, I still think he and teflon should rot in hell.

            But thanks for trying to help.

          • Cymrugel

            ditto – cheap shot Teflon

      • TCP1960

        Disgusting person!

        • Tabby

          I think people with ME/Fibro/CFS get that sort of reaction a lot. I know a lot of people who discover that I suffer from the condition find it hard to believe as it is an ‘invisible’ illness. I am classed as a disabled student at university for example, and I am very conscious of the fact that I do not appear so. As a result narrow minded people can sometimes see it as faking, attention seeking or ‘wallowing in self pity’. However- would any of us really choose to live our lives in pain/exhaustion 24 hours a day? Unlikely I feel..

          • TCP1960

            I know how you feel.I had EBV back 30 years ago and life has not been easy. Take care

          • Tabby

            Im sorry to hear that. Thanks very much- you too.

        • Darnell Jackson

          Bigot

      • TCP1960

        Very unkind and very unnecessary. Teflon…watch out you may get ill one day and you will

    • Rocksy

      We know that stress and anxiety can manifest itself in physiological ways. Isn’t it possible the same might be true of your suffering. Of course the pain is not in your head. There’s no question your suffering is real but if it were possible to treat you without drugs, wouldn’t it be worth investigating?

      • I dont hate you

        No more worth investigating than any other illness. But seeing as the majority of scientific evidence points towards a virus, and the testimonials of patients would seem to back that up, it would be a Nigel McKinley of money not to chase the obvious.
        Yet psychology has had 30 of funding into this type of illness and nothing has improved.
        Perhaps the obvious should be researched and funded by the government rather than charity groups. If you ever ask anybody with this illness how they got it, the vast majority seem to have had glandular fever or a Gastric infection in the past.
        Why ignore the obvious and chase the psychologist insurance funded psychobabble ?
        But hey it’s your tax money, shoot yourself in the foot if you want.

      • TCP1960

        Sorry but your ideas are skewed to say the least. Many autoimmune disorders are triggered by viruses such which have been implicated in MS, diabetes and many neurological conditions but people don’t assert that psychological will cure them. Until we know for definite how to treat such conditions is time the psychs butted out and let the funding continue continue into biomedical research. All longterm conditions effect us psychologically which is natural, but it’s not the cause of our illness. I’ve always been interested in psychology and have studied it. Personally I tried CBT and it helped me cope with life but hasn’t cured my body.

      • Tabby

        I have tried many different forms of treatment, most of which have not been drug related (as there are no available drug to give) I found that the most effective CBT method was mindfulness, offered on the NHS, which helped me with coping techniques. But it has its limitations- my body is not physically improved, just my mind is more positive.

    • Rocksy

      If this is you as a better more understanding individual, I wonder what you were like before.

      • Tabby

        Obviously a less understanding individual… Idiot.

        • Rocksy

          Apparently your disorder has affected your ability to discern irony.
          More name calling from the ……… ‘it isn’t me it’s my disease, ………….camp.

          • Tabby

            I disagree- it’s not my ‘disease’- I genuinely think you are an idiot…

    • lolo

      Order Carbgest by Enzymedica! Foods high in salicylates are linked to fibro. I tried to cut down those foods, but there is just way too many, and if you’re extremely sensitive, even foods moderate in salicylates will leave you with a flare up…feeling like you got hit by a train and aboslutely exhausted. Carbgest was absolutely life changing! I beg you to try it!! I would absolutely hate to see someone suffer day in and day out as i did when there could be a possibility to manage it. Just take it with meals, i take up to 2 or 3. I’m your age and totally understand the struggle, and having no one understand. My family doesn’t get it at all. Some days I really didn’t know if i could go on knowing what each day had in store, which is why I’m so eager for you to try this, because it’s made SUCH a difference in my life. All it is, is digestive enzymes, which everyone could benefit from. It had no additives, and is vegan friendly. I would really like to hear back from you if you try it! Best of luck to you!

  • Shiv

    Is being an ignorant, vicious, meaningless asshole an illness?

    • Baron

      You tell us, Shiv, Baron’s all ears.

      • Shiv

        I’m no doctor but I’d suggest Liddle is most definitely sick.

        ME has been recorded as the official cause of death on death certificates of a number of amazing young women, who died in their thirties after years of horrendous illness. Why people think they can still discuss this condition – and other related illnesses – with such reckless viciousness is astounding.

        • Baron

          That’s marginally better than yourr first posting, shiv. What pi$$es the barbarian from the East is everyone’s kicking the one who offends rather than putting up an argument against what offends, your saying ME was recorded as the official cause of death adds something to the debate of this still mysterious illness, which Baron has no knowledge of, he is, however, a self proclaimed expert on ADHD as parent and grandparent.

          • Shiv

            Thank you for your faint praise, Baron.

            Kicking the one who offends rather than putting up an argument against what offends? Seriously, we have moved on, at least anyone who knows anything about ME/CFS has moved on. You would not expect someone with any other neurological illness to have to put up an argument to defend the illness that has devastated their lives. So why do people with ME time and again come up against the kind of ignorant, vicious bile that comes from the mouths of Liddle and the like. If it wasn’t so reckless, ignorant and cruel, it would be amusingly tedious.

            The condition can be very strongly “defended”, but it simply should not have to be.

            ME has been classified by the WHO as a neurological condition for many, many years. Like his haircut, Liddle is clearly still stuck in the 1980s.

          • TCP1960

            I agree, Shiv. We’ve all had enough of the crap and abuse we get. Learn and move on and stop people from spouting the same rubbish about ME that was in the press 20 years ago. We know ME exists and we know there are many definitive studies into the illness. Not only so we have to battle this illness but we have to also put up with nasty remarks and the psychs stupid groundless theories.

    • georgeegee

      I’m sure it can be arranged Shiv. Ask those who came up with ADHD.

    • Rocksy

      It’s usually called by its scientifically researched and verified name of pseudo expert or Pharmacist in the mood altering drug industry.

    • Myfanwy56

      TCP1960 – very well said.

    • balance_and_reason

      Keep working at it and i’m sure you will improve.

    • Rocksy

      Perhaps being an angry, vulgar and hateful person is.

      • Shiv

        Rocksy, you seem to be the self appointed arbiter of who and what is “angry, vulgar and hateful” on these threads. I apologise if my comments came across as such.

    • George

      Shiv, after two days, I can answer this your question which was:

      ‘Is being an ignorant, vicious, meaningless asshole an illness? ‘

      The answer is:

      ‘YES, Gwangi and Rod Liddle need treatment’.

      I really feel they should step along to a therapy centre and get some CBT and maybe a bit of graded exercise. Gwangi is pretty keen on lithium and if I were Gwangi’s GP I would prescribe a massive dose.

      • Raeven Wood

        =D

  • Kasperlos

    Being over 50 I should recall my primary school days. I recall but the usual
    rambuctious play/behavior which youth affords. Heavens, and to think one escaped the sinister world which today’s youth are confronted. Many back then would have been diagnosed as ‘ill’ and promptly medicated into oblivion whilst big pharma psychopathic execs and their truly sick salesmen/women would tally their year-end bonuses. With untold millions of children so diagnosed and pumping quantities of meds into their bodies no wonder humans today are considered walking bio hazards. Sometimes I wonder if the doping up of the children is more for the relief/benefit of modern parents who are either unable, unwilling, absent, too busy, exhausted, stressed, working, imprisoned, or addicted. The modern world is off its rocker. There’s no doubt that the Post WWII world has truly reshaped parents ability to raise their children. Outside forces, technology and crass advertising for one, have hijacked the process. Back to the basics for holistic health!

  • Ally

    In my experience (as a patient previously diagnosed with ME, now diagnosed – on the basis of immune function tests – with two, known autoimmune illnesses) many doctors DO believe that those with ME are ill – and not with a primary psychiatric or psychological condition. So I don’t really know where Mr Liddle gets this notion from. That said, I am encountering increasing numbers of medics who think that insufficient rigour is applied to investigating what is actually wrong and that some/many with ME may actually have conditions for which treatment exists, if only the correct diagnosis had been made e.g. thyroid dysfunction, Hep C, Lupus, Ehlers-Danlos, etc, etc. Perhaps Mr Liddle is in the lucky position of only rarely having to visit a doctor and so bases his ‘insights’ re ME and Fibromyalgia on the opinion of one or two medics/mates – which he then recycles in his ”hilarious’ grumpy,old twit’ columns. The reality of having ME/Fibro or ME-like symptoms is far from hilarious.

    • TCP1960

      I agree. I have ME and as a consequence have autonomic and peripheral neuropathy. I also have EDS slightly. Most doctors that I know see treat me with a lot of respect as I am very unwell and also all my hospital tests come back as abnormal.

    • Raeven Wood

      Wow… I never hear EDS mentioned in association with the AI, post-viral and endocrine diseases. Actually, I never heard it at all until I went to a geneticist. Even my rheumatologist missed the obvious. It’s not exactly a happy surprise; I’m just pleased to see it written by another hand!

  • Jonathan Cooke

    Reading this uninformed, offensive and woefully inaccurate ‘article’ has made my blood boil… to think this self-promoting, facile little man gets paid to write this rubbish is beyond a joke. I’m guessing that, by his own questionable ‘logic’, the bubonic plague was made up by the Plantagenets to disguise ethnic cleansing and AIDS was dreamed up as a cunning viral by the Durex marketing machine???

  • tjamesjones

    Reading this made me as happy as a sandboy. There are no doubt some genuine medical conditions within this category of “diseases that don’t have any symptoms other than their definition”. But I think the vast majority of suffers (& their parents) are the mimsy, the incompetent and the self-important. it’s a rare pleasure to take it all a bit less seriously for a moment.

    • I dont hate you

      What makes you think that it is the ‘vast majority’ I take it you have some experience as a doctor or maybe a teacher of children with these illnesses.
      Or is it you are just guessing because you have had a small amount of contact with children with these illnesses ?
      I do hope it’s the later.

    • Emilia

      There’s a new condition called Oppositional Defiance Disorder, which means that the little beast says NO every time you ask it to do something. It used to be known as Being A Toddler, and they grew out of it. Now it’s a condition that needs treatment.
      Asthma, ME etc are very real, but some of the other things are just brattishness in the offspring of those who believe that you can always reason with a small child and then can’t cope with being wrong. I am sorry for so many of these children, having a diagnosis rather than firm boundaries and discipline.

  • Rocksy

    It’s understandable that the people who experience these conditions will be very angry at the idea that they aren’t what they seem to be. No one is denying the suffering experienced but it is irresponsible not to question the authenticity of the ‘diagnosis’.
    ‘Diseases’ which have been ‘declared’ and not ‘discovered’ as physiological diseases are and who have been declared at the behest of pharmaceutical companies with a stake in the findings of very questionable ‘tests’.
    Many reputable doctors, psychiatrists and other professional bodies are officially distancing themselves from these ‘diagnoses’.

    • I dont hate you

      What’s not authentic about my night sweats and shaking that come out of the blue.
      What’s not authentic about my arms that feel like somebodies punched them ? Or rather that don’t feel.
      What’s not authentic about about my constant dizziness ?
      What’s not authentic about my sudden intolerance to alcohol?

      Why when. Have any other illness it is assumed I have it, but of you mention M.E you have suddenly taken a leave of your sense ?

      I miss my family, job , friends. I miss holidays , work politics , my independence . All suddenly taken after a virus infection?

      No mental health history, perfectly happy upbringing with no problems !

      Why look at my mental health? Seeing as I had a viral infection why would it be logical to look at my mental health ?

      • Rocksy

        Again I question your reading comprehension level. I did not suggest questioning the manifestations,. I suggested questioning the ‘diagnoses’.
        People with actual physiological and measurable diseases such as cancer or pneumonia or diabetes are encouraged to question the diagnoses and seek a second opinion. Why the outrage when the same is suggested to people with indications which are not so readily measured?
        Given that what happens in these latter situations is ‘interpretation’ and not ‘diagnoses , I know that if it were I who had these indications you describe, I would want as many interpretations as possible.

  • Rocksy

    I’ve read of and heard people who have been misdiagnosed with disease such as cancer and they haven’t been as angry and outraged as the people in some of these posts.
    Usually a sure sign of doubt.

    I’ve also read that people who have dyslexia see letters in a different way. I want to know how anyone knows how anyone else sees anything. And what difference does it make? Maybe we all see letters differently.

  • George

    Have you ever tried to teach a child with dyslexia to read? Do you know what Coeliac Disease actually is and how it damages your body and mind? Do you know that people diagnosed with ME or CFS or Fibromyalgia are diagnosed by the medical professionals (and ridiculed by Rod Liddle) and many of them are later found to be suffering from other diseases which the medical profession hadn’t bothered to investigated for eg coeliac disease,

    It is all very well to joke about giving a child peanut butter etc just because you have decided that they don’t really suffer from adverse (potentially lethal) reactions. But is it OK for you to imply that it is perfectly safe for everyone to do likewise? If anyone as stupid as Rod Liddle is has read his article then I expect there will be a few deaths.

    Anyone ever had to administer an epi-pen to someone who has just collapsed at your feet because someone peeled an orange? Try it Rod. You see how you feel when you know this person is going to die if you don’t do something.

    Why is it so funny to mock people who are not well? Why do newspapers and magazines think it is OK to publish this type of article?

    Pick on someone your own size, Rod.

    • TCP1960

      Yes, agreed this stupid article could lead to deaths. Not a nice man at all

    • TCP1960

      The ME I suffer from has been diagnosed by many doctors and the long-term result is autonomic and peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage and inflammation. This is similar to what happens with long-term uncontrolled diabetes. Both are auto-immune disorders. Each year as a consequence of having ME I have more and more problems and this is because the whole of my nervous system is damaged. The nervous system controls every function of the body.

  • I dont hate you

    Cool so the fact I have heart problems don’t have feeling in my hand. Not to mention there is an ever growing amount of biological evedence showing that ME is caused by a virus attacking the cells that produce energy in an emergency , is all in my mind?
    Not to mention that I was working and totally happy and it ca me out the blue.
    You sir are a troll with this article and it is sick.
    Screened capt so it can come back to haunt you. You clearly have no idea how SARS the condition is, there is a death rate and ppl have been legally declared dead due to this illness, not to mention the fact that life expectancy is known to be shorter.
    You are one disturbed individual picking on ill ppl.

    Thank god I got it as an adult, I’d hate to think what would of happened to me as a child. You disgust me.

  • I dont hate you

    As for the ‘nobody used to be sick’ they did but they were left to suffer, or as in my family shipped off to stay with ‘other ppl’ the fact that we recognised conditions that we can help with is progress!
    Conditions like M.E have been about for decades except you had never heard of them bc you would of been sent to a mental hospital and forgotten about.
    I don’t believe your this stupid, so you are basically profiting from sick children and parents of.
    What kind of a person does that make you?

    • Marie Louise Noonan

      Yes, they did. How many institutions/hospitals for developmentally disordered children and psychiatrically disturbed adults were razed to the ground in the late ’80s/early ’90s.

      To be fair to R.L. though, he is probably suffering from IBS, like a lot of slightly plump middle aged men.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What is IBS? Ignorant Bastard Syndrome?

  • I dont hate you

    Also I highly suggest you watch ‘Voices from the Shadows’ and see how you feel about your comments then. It is not emotive bleeding heart stuff,. It is what happens to sick and ill people when an illness is covered up.
    You don’t help, both MS and Parkinson’s were subject to this sort of press before they found the biology. You are nothing new, sad little Jeremy Clarkeson tactics to make money.

  • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

    I help out with a football club, there are several kids there who are little baskets who cannot concentrate for 30 seconds at a time. The problem lays with the parents not the kids. Back into 80s these kids would get to secondary school where teachers would sort them out. Now they are destined to become big baskets.

  • ChrisTavareIsMyIdol

    I help out with a football club, there are several kids there who are little baskets who cannot concentrate for 30 seconds at a time. The problem lays with the parents not the kids. Back into 80s these kids would get to secondary school where teachers would sort them out. Now they are destined to become big baskets.

  • I dont hate you

    ‘practitioners do, in private — that both ‘illnesses’ were rooted squarely in the noggin. ‘

    So who are they, what sort ? where you getting this info from the 1980s ? Sound like you just made that up for a response…oh wait.
    Your lack of detail and generalisation is childish even at tabloid levels.

    I suggest you read up on the NICE guidelines and update your ignorance. They are not perfect in themselves but they should send a clear message to any GP that needs reminding how disabling the condition can be and the possible related health problems.

    What sickens me most about this article is that your adding to children’s suffering and you probably don’t even realise it.

    There maybe some that fall through the net and don’t need to be on the drugs they are, but guess what ?
    There are lots of great doctors out there with years of experience helping children with these conditions that you are trolling, and that is what it is. This isn’t journalism in any measure, it is guess work at best, but I’m not willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, mainly because the article is so 1980s.

  • Not this again

    “Shall we go a little bit further, without the benefit of scientific research, just a bit of guesswork? Food allergies: balls. If you are over the age of 40, think about this: do you remember any kids being ‘coeliac’? Perhaps back then your classmates were secretly suffering and it’s simply that there was no medical terminology appropriate to their illness. No, I don’t think so. It’s a modern affliction, the consequence of over-indulgence and hyper-sensitivity to what the headstrong and idiotic child tells you it wants.”

    WITH the benefit of scientific research, your hyperbolic ‘guesswork’ is exposed. Heck, Wikipedia doesn’t even mention anyone being foolish enough to deny coeliac disease–ever. It is practically impossible to consider that you actually deny coeliac, so, good job on winding people up. Why you would do something like this–on a relatively well-understood condition, for which denial is akin to denying blindness–and why anybody would pay you to do so, is something, however, that leads me to wonder why you yourself are not being studied in a glass jar in a psychiatric institute.

    • Daniel Maris

      Rod is exposing his ignorance of all these issues here – rather sad really.

      Diet has changed dramatically in the last 40 years. So has the environment.
      Vaccination programmes have increased hugely – there may be a link there with the great increase in incidence of asthma which leads to so many childhood deaths.

      Peanut allergy is not a pretend syndrome – many children die through their allergic reactions.

      Dyslexia is now understood much better than a few decades ago – it relates to an inability to decode the graphic representation of words. It is quite different from poor reading comprehension.

  • I dont hate you

    I don’t know what annoys me more ? This article or the ppl trolling it, prob from the same publisher. Good job there are ways to find out 😉

    Either way their family should be informed about what they get up to. I’ll post it on the usual forums and see what we can come up with. I do love a doxing sesh don’t you ?

    • Baron

      Baron is beginning to agree with you, I dont hate you, you are ill, you should seek help, urgently.

    • Rocksy

      You certainly hate someone and it’s beginning to look like yourself. All your posts are angry and abusive.

      • I dont hate you

        You certainly are a played out troll, infact you’re more of a parody of one, go back to 2005 where your kind belong. It was a novelty then.
        Although this is not pretend, you really are trolling sick people, go over to the mirror and tell yourself that, bc at some point life will hold the mirror up to you anyway.

        • Rocksy

          I don’t believe I have insulted or berated you in any way in my posts. Yet everyone of yours directed at me and others on this site has been vulgar, angry and hateful. You need help certainly.

  • Memememee

    Whenever I read (I was going to say “this Man’s” but I really don’t think It’s human) writing, I have a little laugh at someone unable to read and interpret; science.

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      Aren’t you grand!

      So tell us, oh great scientist, what species do you believe (not scientifically proved) the author to be?

      Do all scientists have a problem with punctuation? I wouldn’t mention it but for you hints at superiority.

  • tartanarse

    I expect this guy tells Downs children to stop pulling funny faces and tells paraplegics to pull their socks up.

    Are the editors on holiday? I honestly can’t believe that this kind of absolute garbage is allowed to be published in what’s meant to be a serious publication.

    I fear all newspapers are turning tabloid.

    A true disgrace.

    • Fergus Pickering

      All garbage must be allowed. It’s called freedom of speech. And we can be amazingly rude in return.

      • tartanarse

        Agreed. However if you talk complete p 1sh then you should also expect people to be able to use their freedom of speech to respond.

        I am not computing your “rude” reference.

        I see from your profile that you are a racist.

  • I dont hate you

    Also to the person who is posting as three different ppl, you may want to do a better job and use a different VPN. You leave more sh17 behind than our local bin men.

  • Right Full Rudder

    In our Victim society, there’s no greater crime than to deny Victimhood. If you said the black community’s social problems were their own fault and not the result of white racism, you’d probably be put in jail.

    I had the symptoms of ADHD growing up. I couldn’t pay attention in school or sit still for long. I was actually expelled from a state primary at age 6 because I caused so much trouble. In hindsight I put my expulsion down to the fact my mother had taught me so much at home that I already knew everything they were teaching me and the school couldn’t be bothered to simply move me up a class, which the private school my parents put me in did immediately. I never grew to like school much, though I did better than average in my exams. However I do recall a few teachers whose classes I did pay attantion in, because they were particularly good at teaching their subject. Most were poor speakers and communicated little interest in what they were teaching. This was true at university as well – I recall one great lecturer and that’s it.

    I have a lot of sympathy for what Mr Liddle is saying. I know if I had gone to school in the last 10 years I would have been drugged, and I don’t see to what end. One of my friend’s kids has issues and he refused to let anyone drug him. He’s now doing well in a school for kids with behavioural problems with no pharmaceutical assistance. I’ve seen what they teach my friends’ kids. I’ve experienced trying to help teach a 6 year old boy to read when the books the school gave him are about (1) a disabled girl learning to make vegetarian pizza and (2) two Indian boys learning to share. You try and persuade a kid that age that reading such PC crap is better than playing FIFA. Our education system is run by social engineers, not teachers, that is the problem.

    • I dont hate you

      You are assuming that every child with ADHD has the symptoms you had. There is no foundation to what you have just said because of it.

      • Emilia

        Should of? Would of? And you read the Spectator?

        • I dont hate you

          Unfortunately yes, but II will know not to bother in future. It looks like it is the pseudo intellectual version of the DM. Which is somehow worse.
          Should of ? Is an arbitrary troll comment. It has no reference to what I said does it.

      • Gwangi

        ADHD does not exist. Why do you think something exists just because a self-interested American Psychological Association gives it a name, because it meets 4 criteria – and the drugs companies encourage that and surprise surprise manufacture pills to ‘help’. (Just look at how much the APA guidebook has expanded in the last 30 years, as these therapists and psychiatrists have conned the whole American world).

        Drugging up children is child abuse and those who do it should be arrested and have their children taken away.

        Or, do you think children should be on powerful psycho medicines?

        Children who are hyperactive do exist – I was one as a small child, because small kids have bags of energy. I got rid of mine running around outside, taking risks, falling over, being exposed to germs. These days, children are kept prisoner by paranoid parents in their sterile bedrooms – that damages them both physically and mentally.
        For young kids, it is worst of all – they can’t get rid of all that energy so they can’t keep still. Then the med teams and psychobabblers come along and put them on Ritalin to keep them quiet and calm. They used to do the same in Victorian London by giving them gin.

    • Baron

      Excellent posting, Right Full Rudder, insightful, too.

  • Suzanne Arena

    Absolute gooblygook!! It’s amazing to read the few that come up with this idiotic ‘explain-it-away” opinion. You can wheedle away as much as you want, the fact of the matter is, many of us who are dyslexic and have children with the same learning difference (which can be as simple as unable to tie shoelaces, tell time, abc’s etc.), and yet we have already tried the dies, notebooking the diet and checked the blood/vitamin levels. So those of you that want to keep heavily invested in Big Pharma and project this nonsense…go right ahead, we won’t be lead by the $#&@$?!!!

    • Fergus Pickering

      Good post. In fact my daughter is not dyslexic but dyspraxic, a conditiion she inherits from me. To a certain extent you grow out of it. Both I and my daughter are far more intelligent than the knuckle-draggers on show here. And we earn more money..

  • wudyermucuss

    Agree with ADHD,but not disleyxah;do you consider my colour blindness to be fake too,my OCD?
    Believe me,they are not.
    But,clearly,itsnotmyproblemsosodititis is rampant chez Liddle.

  • Mark Frost

    The point about dyslexia is complete bollocks However, i completely agree with him regarding the complete nuisances that plague classrooms around the country, who conveniently blame their self-imposed stupidity/bile on a ‘disease’. Nothing but complete morons who are identified from a young age as no-hopers, destined for a life reliant on the taxpayer.

    • TCP1960

      I have known several people with severe dyslexia who are all highly intelligent. Sill Sod Rod!

  • Graeme Phillips

    I agree that many conditions are exaggerated by silly middle-class parents. However, I find myself in a position where I have two “trendy” conditions: – Asperger’s syndrome (diagnosed) and coeliac disease (seeking a full diagnosis). Unfortunately, the stupid middle-class parents who think their children have these trendy conditions mean that people who really have them are not taken as seriously and their difficulties are made a mockery of. As discussed, coeliac disease is a trendy condition amongst middle-class parents and autism spectrum conditions are often middle-class for badly behaved. Ditto dyslexia: – it is often middle-class for thick. ADHD is also middle-class for badly-behaved in many cases.

    However, the danger of this article is that people will read it and think, ah, Mr. Liddle must know what he is talking about, he’s a journalist. Duh! This article exposes his extreme ignorance of various things, notably coeliac disease.

    He said he fed a supposedly coeliac child some bread and the child was fine. Me personally, when I consume gluten, it is not normally until the following morning that I have problems (painful stools, feeling like I have a hangover etc). Given Mr. Liddle’s dereliction of his duties as a father (running off with a receptionist), I cannot expect he will understand what it must be like for a mother dealing with a child with coeliac disease. But hey, so long as someone else deals with the problem, it doesn’t matter.

    Why did the older generation not know coeliacs in school? I can think of a very good reason: – improvements in diagnostic technology. Coeliac disease can only be properly confirmed by sending a capsule down to the lower intensine (where the antibodies resulting from coeliac disease is produced), pulling it up again and analysing the contents via a biopsy. My guess is that in the past, people with coeliac disease just felt ill and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

  • PJH1610

    “If you are over the age of 40, think about this: do you remember any kids being ‘coeliac’? ”

    Yes actually. My next door neighbour.

    • Emilia

      Mine too, and I’m over 40 and so is she.

  • I dont hate you

    I’m enjoying all the trolls, really adds to the ridiculousness of the article. I guess this is the kind of scum articles like this attract huh ?
    Childish frustrated boys that like to project on the internet.

    A status symbol for the average reader of Liddles pathetic rants if you will.

  • post_x_it

    ADHD is meaningless? Depends who you are. Shareholders in Novartis might not agree with you, for example.

    • Rocksy

      Of course it isn’t meaningless to shareholders in any drug company.

  • Jam

    I genuinely don’t understand the glee some people seem to feel by deliberately trampling on other people’s experiences. Rod puts so much stock in his own opinions it’s breathtaking. He’s the very definition of “I’m alright Jack, so everyone else must be faking it”. These illnesses are real and, while they may well be over-diagnosed it’s insanity to suggest that they aren’t actual medical conditions. It’s like saying AIDS isn’t real because it wasn’t diagnoses before the 80s.The knowing, jokey, “aren’t I such a wag” tone is enough to turn your stomach. Damn, maybe I have some kind of twit intolerance?

    Why would you be proud to be ignorant, let alone foghorn that ignorance in a national publication? It baffles me.

    • I dont hate you

      Some ppl will money before their character. I wonder what his family think ?

  • ME Sufferer

    Don’t buy The Spectator – it is the only way these ignorant, unkind, hurtful comments will stop.

    • ME Sufferer

      “And then there are the multifarious conditions supposedly afflicting adults — such as fibromyalgia and that other thing, yuppie flu, or ME as they like to call it” No, they do not just affect adults. My son has had ME since he was 6. It is not in his head. There is a lot of scientific evidence showing that ME is a bio-medial illness. These articles are disgusting and do not help the many genuine sufferers by causing others to belittle the suffering that many have.

      • Gwangi

        ‘My son has had ME since he was 6. It is not in his head.’
        No, it is in yours.

  • FrankS2

    Deslyxia lures, ko!

  • http://researchity.net/ Dominik Lukes

    The big paradox behind this diatribe is that Mr Liddle did not bother to use his own extensive literacy skills to actually read the research he opines about.

    If he did, he would find out that the “report” on dyslexia was not a report at all but a book called The Dyslexia Debate and that, of the two authors, only one is from the University of Durham whereas the other is from Yale (not nearly as middle-class).

    Also, just skimming the book flyer (the book itself has not been released yet) will make it abundantly clear that the authors don’t say “dyslexia does not exists”. Rather they say that it’s a far too restrictive label and we should use our resources to help more children who struggle with reading.

    Moreover, the authors are emphatic that the ability to read and spell is not in any way linked to intelligence. One of their criticisms is that dyslexia is still too often identified as a disparity between IQ and performance on literacy tests (so called “discrepancy model”).

    Perhaps the “middle class” parents of children who struggle with reading are able to use the support resources available better than others. There may even be some who use the label defensively.

    But this does not diminish the real struggles of hundreds of thousands of children who can’t access the content of the school curriculum purely because they don’t receive the proper support with their literacy.

    That Mr Liddle refused to access readily available information that would remove any basis for his vicious and hateful attack not only speaks badly about his own personal honesty and journalistic integrity but also adds insult to injury. He is surely entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts.

  • TCP1960

    You really are an ignorant man and it’s time you gave up your job (which is basically involves spreading loathsome venom about subjects you know nothing about). I know people who have all of the conditions that you have denigrated and every single person have genuine physiological issues. All have been thoroughly tested, scanned and examined and show abnormalities which are very apparent. I also have one of the conditions that you refer to and I have abnormalities in scans, X-rays and blood tests and don’t tell me that’s all in my mind! People with dyslexia have brains that are wired differently and people with ADHD are also shown to have marked brain functioning issues. People with ME & Fibromyalgia are found to have pronounced problems with their nervous and immune systems. Thousands of research papers support these findings scientifically. Genetics, exposure to toxins and viruses and even our diets also have a lot to answer for where health is concerned and it’s so easy for idiots like you to say it’s all psycho-babble, when you don’t know anything about it. Spend a week with someone who has real health issues, like me, and then see if you can still spew out your vitriolic bile.

    • Gwangi

      ‘My great niece is hospitalised several times a year with severe asthma and allergies’
      Probably because her parents kept her too clean as a child – that is what happens when kids are not exposed to germs.
      Also, evidence is emerging that natural birth will give babies protection. I bet her mum was too posh to push eh and had a C section? Am I right?

      • TCP1960

        No you’re incorrect in that assumption and no nothing about our family! We have longstanding family histories of bronchial issues and allergies. Some of the family dust daily, some weekly and some rarely so that doesn’t apply. The little girl gets plenty of fresh air and loves to get outside and mucky. We are a working class family so no posh. Her mum had a natural birth. See get your facts right before you spout off

        • Gwangi

          That’s why I used the word ‘probably’ – because MOST cases of allergies and asthma are caused by the things I mention. I didn’t say all.
          Also, it is diagnostic. 30 years ago a sneeze would not be labelled a reaction to an allergy.
          15 years ago some young African doctor tried to prescribe me one of those asthma inhalers because I had a chest infection – you see now how what doctors are trained to do leades to certain diagnoses and the prescribing of unnecessary medicines.

          • TCP1960

            All of the people in my family who have allergies displayed more than just a sneeze before they got diagnosed. Proper allergy testing was done to figure out what was going on. It took years in some cases to get a diagnosis after extreme skin problems, red sore eyes, sickness, abdominal bloating, wheeziness, congestion and other breathing issues. Lots of different types of allergies. If my gt niece goes near dogs she gets very sick and cannot breathe and often ends up in HDU at hospital with low oxygen levels and fights hard to survive this. My mum has had bronchiectasis since she was five months old and has poor functioning lungs and terrible allergies. So many people with so many problems. We haven’t had anyone diagnose unnecessarily in our family, we all had to suffer for a log time before things changed with proper testing and diagnoses

          • Gwangi

            And what caused the allergies? I would suggest being in a house that was too clean and sterile, and not being exposed to germs inside and out.
            Also, lots of evidence emerging that C-section babies do not get exposed to enough germs through natural childbirth.
            Some allergies are real; many fake them though – I too sneeze at dust and in early summer – I would never claim I have an allergy (though many like me do, and many as exhausted as I am after working so hard claim to have ME too).

          • TCP1960

            You are ignorant…pure and simple. You know nothing and yet speak as though you do. Until you have walked in the shoes of a person who truly sufferers you will never learn. One day you will get sick and how your thinking will change then.

  • Bill Thomas

    Well done, Rod – got ’em going!

  • CaptainAngry

    As someone who has a family member suffering from CFS/ME, I feel a strong compulsion to come down to your place and turn you into a paraplegic. I won’t but I shall spend an hour or two fantasising about it. You ignorant c@nt.

    • Marie Louise Noonan

      You could always arrange a duel.

      I think he is playing you like a grand piano.

    • post_x_it

      He’d be ok with that. He’d convince himself that the paraplegy is imaginary.

    • Gwangi

      Why don’t you give your bone idle family member with ME a slap instead? Then they might grow up and get out of bed for once and DO something. A bit of exercise wouldn’t hurt.

      • Fergus Pickering

        My, you are a cross little one, aren’t you? If the wind changes your face will stay like that, you know.

        • Kitty MLB

          Why do you suppose the largest amount of lunatic asylums are
          in the US ? ( I believe the loud oaf comes from Uncle Sam)
          They let one our with ‘ care in the community’.

          • Gwangi

            Kitty – I think you need to take your meds.
            Nurse!

          • Fergus Pickering

            Yup. Many Americans are invincibly ignorant. And the more ignorant they are the more they like to lay down the law.

        • Gwangi

          Mental case Fergus.

          • Kitty MLB

            That’s you, they should lock you away and if you
            get bored you can always play with the buckles of the straight jacket.

      • TCP1960

        Such an evil person you are. Exercise and exertion can kill people with ME because of the effect it has on their hearts. You know nothing

        • Gwangi

          Oh so now I am evil because I state my opinion – which is the same one as respected and highly educated researchers from Durham University.
          Not me who’s the bigot or the ignoramus, is it? Your posts consist of abuse, insults and rants because someone has dared to challenge your Faith (and that is what a belief in ME is).
          Anyone can die of over-exertion if they stay in bed for a year then overdo it. You build up exercise gradually.
          I know exactly what you malingerers with ME are like. A family member is like you. She is a liar and a lazy self-obsessed attention-seeker too, and loves all the sympathy and the fact no-one tells her what she is (an unemployable waster). Most with ME have depression and anxiety (or schizophrenia), and should be told to get up and do something. This ME industry is encouraging their fantasies of being ill.
          YOU know nothing.

  • Fergus Pickering

    No i isn’t. My daughter was dyslexic. Don’t pontificate where you are ignorant.

    • Gwangi

      Everyone is dyslexic – (that is, we all mix up our words) – it’s just most of us don’t crave a label that gives pride and advantage to those who seek it.
      The entire dyslexia industry is very profitable and very fake too.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Nonsense, Gwangi. There are lots of people who fake illnesses for reasons of their own. That doesn’t mean that illness doesn’t exist. My daughter was dyslexic. Do you spell ‘the’ ‘hte’? Thought not. Do you habitually mis-spell your own name? Thought not. She is thirty now and manages pretty well, earning lots of money in the NHS looking after deaf children. Of course deafness does not really exist. Everybody’s a bit hard of hearing, don’t you know?.

        • Gwangi

          Dumb analogy. Deafness can be problem because of REAL physicl reasons which can be shown – as a broken leg can be shown. WITH EVIDENCE.
          Making errors with words is something ALL PEOPLE DO. There is no ‘special case’ or disorder called dyslexia – though kids’ brains may not develop properly because of lack of parental attention, being dumped in nurseries or with foreign au pairs etc. But even then, some close 1 to 1 tutoring can improve the reading and writing of those who are slow in that area.
          If someone is bad at sport, is that a disease too? What about people who are rubbish at cooking? Have you got a disorder label for that as well? Or for those who have a bad sense of direction? Or for those who struggle to make technology work?

          • Kitty MLB

            You are such a dim-witted oaf.
            Ears look the same with a deaf person ( inside and out)
            You only know because they cannot respond to you and their surroundings. If people have issues with responding, writing
            and reading then there is a physical reason.
            Which is not the same as a ignorant loud mouthed moron,
            trying to get attention. ‘ lack of parental attention’ that remark
            is beneath contempt and obviously shows how you were
            dragged up.

          • Gwangi

            Kitty. Fcku off.

          • TCP1960

            Gwangi have you thought about having some therapy for bigotry?

          • Fergus Pickering

            lalalalalalala, Gwangi. You don’t beieve in answering inconvenient questons, do you?

          • Gwangi

            OK here is an answer to your dumb questions (from Fergus who thinks deafness is an equivalent of a fake disorder to do with spelling! DOH!)
            Yes, I do spell the and teh – and other variables, That is because EVERYONE does that, which is my point:
            WE ARE ALL DYSLEXIC because we all get words mixed up, because reading and writing is hard and a coding mechanism that naturally leads to errors. So-called ‘dyslexia’ is just an invented name for ordinary human behaviour.
            Some of us are better at reading and writing than others – but these days, every uneducated person who is rubbish at reading and writing claims to have dyslexia. Sorry, chum, but I don’t buy that at all.

          • TCP1960

            I have physical evidence of having ME!! What more do you want, you fool!

          • Gwangi

            ME does not exist – but the name is fitting.
            You are clearly suffering from a bad case of self-obsession.

          • Gwangi

            No you do not. You have physical symptoms caused by a psychiatric condition, which is very common. You clearly have no idea what the word EVIDENCE means.
            A great number of those in the medical profession agree with me – do you want to insult and fling vile abuse at them too? I think they know more than poor old pity party you.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Nonsense, Gwangi. Are you saying that because some people fake illnesses that illness doesn’t exist? Don’t parade your ignorance.

        • Gwangi

          I am saying that people invent illnesses and labels for them. It has happened throughout history (remember attacks of the vapours? Remember all the ailments caused by miasma?) These days, there is a huge psychobabble industry ready to offer help (for a price) and big pharma makes little pills to treat these new non-diseases.
          The best new one is shyness – yep, that has been medicalised too, and there are pills advertised on US TV.
          The APA is utterly discredited.
          Yes, some people do fake them. I know someone who does – she claims to have ME. Utterly nonsense. She is a just a lazy waster who prefers to claim that to get sympathy and so she is not called what she is by others – a lazy work-shy sponger, who has dossed around travelling for 20 years and is now unemployable probably. She may well have mental problems. As do many who claim to have these new convenient ‘illnesses’.
          What we have seen is the medicalisation of normal human behaviour (which has a large range). I find that wrong and offensive.
          And giving children psychotropic medications is child abuse.

          • Kitty MLB

            Your from the US, that somewhat explains rather a lot,
            gun happy and the biggest lunatic asylums in the world.
            The country that created the word ‘ fake’ because you are
            fake. The trouble is because you wallow in your little bubble
            you cannot except the intelligent realities that others are trying to explain to you. Because you like life around the insincere you cannot see what is real.
            Shyness, I can tell you is very real, I always struggle to have a conversation with the majority of people , its real and not part of my imagination and not serious like the other issues mentioned.

          • Gwangi

            Kitty, love – shyness is NOT a disease. It has now been turned into one by the APA – something anxiety disorder. Rather too conveniently, the drugs companies had millions of pills waiting for its acceptance by the APA as a disorder, so now on US TV there are loads of ads for these pills – which will surely come here soon.
            Do not assume I am in the USA because I know what is on their TV. You prove yourself rather uneducated and ignorant actually by stating that without evidence. What you need is an education; not a bottle of pills.
            Americans these days take so make meds and pills that they almost rattle – everyone is on Xanax or other happy pills. The effect is to make the whole place a giant pity party of victimhood, where everyone is seen as unwell and in need of medication and counselling. That is why David Hockney stated he found everything had slowed down – into slo-mo – in the USA. All on prescription drugs.

          • Kitty MLB

            That is the problem, uneducated and ignorant people
            like myself do not watch enough high- brow American TV
            clearly I need to rectify that. I will get straight to the matter
            Professor.

          • Fergus Pickering

            He’s an American who is in denial. He certainly isn’t English. He’s far too stupid.

          • Gwangi

            Oh dear. What a thicko sheep you are. I mention that anti-shyness pills are advertised on US TV. The abusive idiot then claims I am American. And they you parrot that too. Just goes to show you don’t bother to do research and gather evidence. That is why you believe your Faith in the great gods of fake disorders like dyslexia.

          • TCP1960

            The vapours were caused by wearing tight corsets!!

            You really haven’t a clue about ME at all. SO IGNORANT!

          • Gwangi

            No – there WERE no vapours. That is the point. People behave how they think they are expected to behave – THAT is the point, and we see that now a lot with children behaving to fulfil adults’ expectations. You even get little children parroting the nonsense ‘I have dyslexia’ or ‘I have ADHD’ so am special and need special treatment and pills, SO SAD. There is NOTHING wrong with the vast majority of these children. They just need to be brought up properly and allowed to go outside and take risks.

            Read a history of medicine to see how many fake diseases and disorders get invented, become fashionable, then fall out of fashion.

            Ask a grown-up to help you if you find reading a struggle.

    • Baron

      Quote: “Dyslexic students are the biggest single group of disabled students in higher education. The report quotes one academic saying: “Some varieties of dyslexia seem to shade into difficulties that are not just in a sense lexical … one does get a little suspicious at the margins … there are some grey areas, and the growing numbers make me a bit anxious.”

      (The research, led by Sheila Riddell, director of the Centre for Research in Education Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Edinburgh, highlighted “major anxieties about conferring unfair advantage on disabled students in comparison with other students having difficulty”).

      This doesn’t invalidate your daughter’s condition, Fergus, avoid kicking the barbarian, plaese.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Thank you, Baron. The barbarian I am kicking needs kicking. It will do him good.

      • Gwangi

        Yes, loads of research from biased academics whose careers and funding depends on maintaining the lie that dyslexia is a disease. It’s a Faith, basically, and those such as I demand real evidence – and that drives them nuts. But the earth is not flat and the earth goes round the sun, no matter what your Faith says.

        I refused to be bullied and silenced. Dyslexia is an industry and creates lucrative careers for many in our shameful education system – didn’t you know?

        Funny how there is no epidemic of dyslexic students in China, isn’t it? Despite their having a writing system infinitely more complex than ours…

  • Tracey Lucas

    This is frankly the most offensive article that I have ever had the misfortune to read . I am the mother of a coeliac little girl who was diagnosed aged 2 . I also work as a GP and to say that this article is medically incorrect is understating the point. I did not imagine the height loss, failure to thrive , faecal
    Impaction and loss of skin on her bottom aged 2 until the diagnosis was made and nor did I chose to put her through a general anaesthetic for an endoscopy for diagnosis at the same age unless it was medically necessary. I thankfully have understanding and open minded friends that can adapt to her dietary needs as without this we could look forward to her growth being restricted and the risk of osteoporosis and a small chance of intestinal lymphoma later in life. As for your asthma comments , try telling them to someone who has lost someone through an acute fatal asthma attack. Free speech is to be applauded but your comment a are dangerous and prejudiced in this article. I would at the least expect a full written apology in the spectator if not from you , from the editor who allowed this incorrect and appalling piece to be published . Disgraceful . Your sincerely, dr Tracey Lucas

    • George

      Thank you for saying all of this. Coeliac disease is dreadful. And I had a family member who died of an acute asthma attack. I also know people who are diagnosed with ME, CFS and fibromyalgia and know how ill some of these people are. Rod Liddle disgusts me. So does the Spectator.

      • Gwangi

        Yes, and I know some people who clearly fake ME because it sounds far better to say you are suffering from some awful disease than admit you are a useless, lazy, unemployable failure.
        I am exhausted most of the time, by the way. That is because I work my skollobs off. Try it one day maybe? It creates an enormously warm feeling of satisfaction to achieve something in life, despite all the tiredness, obstacles, and struggles.

        • George

          But have these people you refer to been diagnosed by a medical professional who has followed the NICE guidelines?

          And what does your comment ‘try it maybe’ mean? I hope you are not suggesting that I am a useless, lazy, unemployable failure when you mention your own exhaustion due to having worn your skollobs off.

          You may mix with a bunch of self-diagnosed no-hopers, but I certainly don’t.

          Very rude.

          • Gwangi

            I could go to the doctor next week and get all those diagnoses for myself: are you tired a lot of the time, sometimes utterly exhausted (YES); do you find concentraing hard sometimes (YES); do you sleep badly (YES< often); do you eat or drink too much to cope (YES); Do you get your words mixed up? (YES).
            So I too have ME and dyslexia, and I claim my five pounds!

          • TCP1960

            Ignorant prat!

          • Gwangi

            Another one talking to itself.
            Some lithium wouldn’t go amiss for many abusive, intolerant and hateful hysterics posting here.

          • TCP1960

            LOL! You are the hateful and ignorant person who knows nothing at all about these conditions but spouts absolute groundless rubbish. It’s OK for you to be abusive and unkind to unwell people!? Your mode of attack is to make it look like we are all imagining are illnesses when we have direct proof from out hospital tests and consultants that something is going on. I used to be healthy and never thought I would get ill, but now I am…so don’t be too sure that you are immune to illness. Lithium wouldn’t benefit me and far from being hysterical about my condition etc…I am angry at the likes of you who haven’t even bothered to learn anything about illnesses like ME which you put down to ‘tiredness’….Get real!

          • Gwangi

            Many ‘unwell’ people do so enjoy their bad health, don’t they? Well, why not? They get special treatment, sympathy, extra funding, and no-one puts pressure on them to work.

            You do not have ‘proof’ at all. ME is fake. Completely, And I know people who fake it – who are probably schizophrenic. But ME sounds so much better eh – and it’s so fashionable these days…

            Usually just anxiety and depression.

          • TCP1960

            I do not enjoy bad health…I hate it. I don’t get all the treatments I need. I rarely get sympathy. Very little extra funding is available. I have pressure put on me at times where work is concerned and crass comments from the likes of you. I have proof of my illness and what it has done to my body. Speak to any of the consultants who treat me. I have explained this in full to you and you cannot take it in. How sad for you. I do not have depression at all. I shall leave it there as your ignorance despite what I have in medical results showing clear evidence of organic illness you choose to ignore because your mind is so entrenched in your groundless theory and you stick to it. I genuinely feel sorry for you. You lack the decency to learn and understand in full what is going on. Your mind is closed and it’s a shame your mouth isn’t. Amen.

          • TCP1960

            So EBV was all in the mind? The nervous system damage is all in the mind? Get real.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Well you certainly sound anxious. All that stuff about how hard youwork. Does your work do anyone any good?

          • George

            I have a feeling you may benefit. Ask your GP if you could have a trial run.

            Just to be sure you know what I am referring to. This is what you wrote’:

            ‘Some lithium wouldn’t go amiss for many abusive, intolerant and hateful hysterics posting here.’

            You get along to your doctor’s surgery tomorrow. Good luck.

          • George

            I really think you need to read the guidelines for CFS/ME. You won’t get a diagnosis based on that. You can say you suffer chronic fatigue if you really feel the need. Anyone can legitimately say that if they keep feeling tired.

            Maybe you have confused the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with chronic fatigue. There’s a big difference.

            And if you are really so chronically fatigued you should go to your GP because you may be suffering from something like cancer, coeliac disease, anaemia, hypothyroidism etc etc.

            Get yourself checked out by a medical professional.

          • Gwangi

            Oh yes I would, I am often more tired and exhausted than the wasters I have known who claim they have ME or CFS. Lazy, attention-seeking, weak fakers, the lot of em.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Tired and exhausted. There you go again!

          • Fergus Pickering

            I think you suffer from self-pity. Is that a disease, I wonder. Stop moaning for God’s sake.

          • Gwangi

            Talking to yourself again, Fergie?
            I rightly identify self-pitying fakers and liars – those who cling to labels for fake diseases because of their own vanity, dishonesty, cowardice and selfishness.
            I pity the children really. No wonder they’re mental with parents like that.

          • TCP1960

            So all my abnormal test results and brain scans are fake and I lie about my illness?

          • Gwangi

            Yes, psychologists love to help ‘sufferers’ fake things. I too could go to one and get myself diagnosed with anything I chose.
            If your brain is undeveloped in parts then that can be because you were not brought up properly with parental contact at a young age. The good news, is that 1 to 1 teaching can teach self-declared dyslexics like you how to read and write – and actually grow that brain area.
            Dyslexia is NOT a disease or an illness like cancer or anything real, It is a psychological condition – and like all of those, is something anyone can claim – it’s just normal human behaviour given a label.

          • TCP1960

            Excuse me, I am talking about abnormal blood tests, abnormal nerve and muscle function, abnormal heart rhythmn, abnormal MRI scans, abnormal breathing tests, abnormal liver function, abnormal joints etc. Abnormalities have been found in the brain function of many conditions such as dyslexia. Dyslexia is a condition of abnormal brain function not of thinking. You seem to have the brain and mind/behaviour mixed up.

          • Gwangi

            Oh come on – doctors will tell you anything you want to hear. I am sure I could get myself diagnosed with ME and dyslexia within a week if I wanted to.
            And HOW DARE an ignoramus like you compare your FAKE invented illnesses with REAL physical illnesses like MS and Parkinsons.
            ME is a psychiatric condition – usually anxiety and depression. You need meds for that. It is NOT a physical disease like MS< you utterly self-obsessed and ignorant twaat,

          • Shiv

            Gwangi, I wondered if you could explain this, from a 2013 Parliamentary Question regarding care services for ME/CFS:

            “The World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) classifies chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) under neurological disorders at Reference 93.3 and uses the terms post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVS) and benign myalgic encephalomyelitis. The Department accepts this classification and recognises CFS/ME as a neurological condition of unknown origin.”

          • Not this again

            Interesting post. You are obviously well-researched on the topics you are posting about.

            Perhaps you could actually give it a try and see exactly how easy it is to be diagnosed with ME. Bearing in mind that excluding the types of psychiatric conditions is required prior to proper diagnosis, of course. Then perhaps you could explain why it is that ME patients are currently being treated–successfully–with a chemotherapy drug.

            Why would anyone give a drug like that to a malingerer or someone suffering from a psychiatric condition, do you suppose?

          • Gwangi

            ‘Then perhaps you could explain why it is that ME patients are currently being treated–successfully–with a chemotherapy drug.’
            That is NOT true and you know it. Lots of lies like that on the internet. Of course, the placebo effect can be very real. But ME is a psychiatric condition, craved by those who crave victimhood and sympathy – most of whom have suffered anxiety and depression.
            I could easily get a diagnosis for ME and CFS. But I work hard DESPITE being tired all the time, That is because I am a grown-up. Try it, maybe?

          • Not this again

            No, Rituximab IS being used to treat ME after the publication of a successful pilot study. That’s true no matter how much you want it to not be, regardless of your uninformed, ignorant ‘opinion’ of what ME based is on your dearth of factual information.

            Moreover, again, psychiatric conditions must be ruled out to begin with for this diagnosis in the first place. So, you still want to give being diagnosed with it a try if it’s so simple?

          • Fergus Pickering

            You keep saying you work hard. What do you work at? Why does it make you so tired? Ordinary work shouldn’t do that. You may have a medical condition and be in denial..

          • Justin Reilly

            Yes, there are many anecdotal reports of Rituximab chemotherapy putting ME into remission. And a well-done, though small study, wherein a high percentage of ME patients were cured or significantly improved by this chemotherapy was published and several more are being done.

            The charlatan psychiatrists who promote the idea that ME is psychological (at the behest of insurance companies- who save many $Billions every year by refusing proper medical treatment of ME) wrote that this could be a placebo effect. The author of the study, the chief of oncology at Norway’s top teaching hospital, responded in the journal that it is obviously impossible that chemotherapy such as Rituximab which literally destroys half of one’s immune system could cure a disease by means of the placebo effect.

            If you think that a drug that literally destroys every last B cell in your body is a placebo, why don’t you go on it for a year like the patients in the study? Maybe the chemo will relieve some of your tiredness by placebo.

            I really shouldn’t feed a troll who enjoys baiting the severely disabled. I accept there are mentally ill people out there like you and Rod Liddle who enjoy that type of thing, so I try to take it is stride. What perplexes me is that a newspaper would print such garbage. Obviously manufactured controversy like this draws readership, but I would hope the editors and publishers would value not kicking the disabled when they’re down over raking in some more cash.

            Justin Reilly, esq.
            NY, NY

          • Transcend

            ME/CFS patients are finding improvement from many drugs that are administered. Chemotherapy along with others such as LDN are showing promising results.

            No one I have seen in my clinic with ME/CFS play the victim and few suffer from anxiety or depression. When further tests are ordered many have malfunctioning nervous systems. One man was a very successful businessman and owned several factories and was struck down with a virus that left him with ME/CFS. This hardly fits your theory.

          • Christopher Suiters

            So because you know a few people that are faking their Problem (or at least you think they are.) So then that proves everybody is faking? ROFL that is the most retarded thing I have ever heard. You have zero proof to back up anything you have said. You just look like a fool online to 99% of the people that read this horse crap. So tell me where you got your medical degree that allows you to be so knowledgable on the subject.

          • Chris

            Go on then. Do it and stop talking about it. Let’s see the results.
            ME does have a physical test, though it’s not been used much as it’s difficult to get hold of a treadmill and oxygen measurer normally – http://ptjournal.apta.org/content/early/2013/06/26/ptj.20110368.abstract is the appropriate paper, if you have the education level to understand it, or there’s a summary at http://phoenixrising.me/archives/17902 .
            Basically, ME sufferers get far more tired the day after physical effort – and their VO2max (which can’t be faked) is far lower on the second day, i.e. they are capable of much less exertion physically before becoming exhausted. For sedentary controls, it remains the same day-to-day – they can recover in a few hours.

          • Transcend

            So you discount all medical evidence in the form of scans, biopsy and test results? Your hypothesis has no ground and the previous comments by TCP were in fact correct, as MS and Parkinson’s disease were also much maligned many years ago.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            You’re the sort of person who would shoot shell-shocked soldiers for cowardice.

          • Gwangi

            No, I am not. I am the sort of person who knows BS when I see it. WWI soldiers were not weak liars like you. They had guts, Try it – and grow up.

          • Samuel Kaine Wheeler

            Lots of those lads never got the chance to grow up because people like you shot them.

          • Fergus Pickering

            WW1 soldiers were much the same as we are. Many ran away. A very sensible course of action if you ask me.

          • Christopher Suiters

            ROFL all you are doing is spouting hatefulness with nothing to back your words. You are using no logic at all. How can a single person take you seriously. I to agree that people fake certain things that are easy to fake. But these are not easy to fake. You just know absolutely nothing about them. You are a fucking loser. Why don’t you go off yourself and make the world a little bit better of a place.

          • Katherine

            I am being honest when I say you are a sad, stupid excuse for a human being.
            Oh, wait. I’m so sorry for calling you stupid because frankly, I thought you knew.

          • Rocksy

            Good post. Unfortunately, it makes sense which is not permitted and you may have to be given the bum’s rush.
            The brain is a muscle. Like all muscles it benefits from exercise to make it stronger and able to do more.

          • George

            Rocksy! I can’t believe that you wrote that! Do you really believe it?

            You wrote to Gwangi (whom I personally have sentenced to rotting in hell along with b. little and a few of his mates):

            ‘The brain is a muscle. Like all muscles it benefits from exercise to make it stronger and able to do more.’

            Hahaha…you’d better do a bit of googling. I am not going to send you off to hell yet because I think you need a bit more time to reflect …and research. You idiot.

          • Smiffy51

            The brain is not a muscle, you idiot!

          • statechaos

            Dyslexia is a disorder of phonological decoding and processing which leads to ‘word blindness’ and typically features reversal of letters and symbols. It is NOT a psychological condition nor is it normal human behaviour given a label. Perhaps you should read more about it before sharing your prejudice and contempt with everyone else and the same goes for Mr. Liddle.

          • Transcend

            Gwangi – Your information is incorrect and not only are you doing people who suffer from conditions such as ME/CFS a great disservice, you are also maligning my profession.

          • Christopher Suiters

            wow you are a tool. ROFL. I have a feeling you don’t work hard. I have a feeling you are a lazy SOB and you are taking your self pity out on others. You are a sad excuse for a human.

          • Transcend

            As a Psychologist, I can attest that ME/CFS is not a psychiatric disorder, but very much a physical one. As with all long-term chronic illness some psychological support can help, but it far from cures the sufferer. Not all Psychologists support the ‘notion’ that ME/CFS is psychological in origin and the condition certainly presents itself in many varied ways with extreme fatigue being only one of the myriad symptoms. Many very hard working, successful people have been cut down by this illness and it by no means effects lazy people.

          • Katherine

            Stop being so mean. If you think you’re better than everyone else, you’re stupid. You aren’t, so stop acting it.

          • I dont hate you

            If you think that list is all it takes to get diagnosed with M.E then you are srsly out of touch!

        • TCP1960

          You no nothing about ME there is more to it than about ‘tiredness’! The correct term is fatigue and this means that you are too weak and unwell to do anything. I remember what normal tiredness was like and fatigue in ME is nothing like it. That is only a fraction of what ME is about…what about the effect on the autonomic nervous system effecting the heart, lungs, bowel, bladder, BP, and circulation? What about the digestive issues, constant nausea, vomiting, all over muscle and joint pain? The constant neuropathy all over the body as the nerves are inflammed and damaged. What about the brain not functioning properly. Yes I worked for years and even when I had ME for a few years and finally was too weak to stand. I was heartbroken. I have tried to work self-employed but had to give that up and I have tried believe me. I now see a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, pain, eye and respiratory doctors. All are treating me for the severe problems related to having ME. It’s not about a ickle bit of tiredness….Oh deary me…..If your life is so satisfying why are you victimising people who are ill? Ignoramous!

          • Gwangi

            ME is all in the mind. You have a psychological disorder, which is a great excuse for all the failures in your life. It is not a real physical disease but, like so many mental disorders, can cause physical symptoms.
            I am regularly more exhausted than the wasters I know who claim to have ME – who seem to get so much energy when the sun is shining to get up and go out for walks! I could EASILY get a diagnosis of ME and CFS – and Dyslexia. People are proud of these labels now and get rewarded for them – a free laptop anyone? On uni courses those with such labels (and psychologists tick their boxes and give those diagnoses to anyone) get free laptops and more time in exams! Maybe if you got less time in exams you wouldn’t crave victimhood so much eh?.

          • Shiv

            Gwangi, you seem to bypass questions you cannot answer. Please can you explain why ME/CFS has long been classified by the WHO as a neurological condition? Do you know something the WHO has missed?

        • GraveDave

          You sound like you need a medal and a pat on the head.
          I know what I’d like to give you a -kick up the arse.
          So you would work even harder. Wanker.

          • Gwangi

            You seem very energetic (in you vile insulting and abusive rants) for someone who is supposedly suffering from a disease that makes you as weak as a kitten…

          • Fergus Pickering

            A bit short for a rant, I would have thought. And he suggests a therapy for you viz. a kick up the arse.

          • Christopher Suiters

            I kind of hope you get this disease and then people treat you like you are treating them. It would be what you deserve

        • Fergus Pickering

          I gather you are not only a prat, but an American prat. There is no hope for you.

        • I dont hate you

          I used to work an 80 hour week before I got M.E and that was child’s play compared to this illness.
          If you knew anything about it you would know that fatigue is only about 50% of the illness. The damage to the nervous system and brain can be far more disabling.
          You sound way out of date with you knowledge.

        • Phillip S. Beck

          No I don’t think you work all day and that’s why you are tired. I think it’s because the disease you suffer from called Assholeidis is making you tired and so is the fact that you’re an idiot because it can’t be easy going through life being as stupid and ignorant as you are.

      • Phillip S. Beck

        George ,Don’t let Rod Liddle bother you too much he can’t help it since he has untreated stupidity. Which we know is real because everything in this article is evidence of it’s existence. And so is Rod Liddle.

    • Jane Kyriacou

      Thank you for your comments Tracey Lucas. Apart from the utter offensiveness of RL’s article, I am astonished by his ignorance and more astonished that, as you state, the editor allowed it to be published. I have coeliac disease too and also sadly had a schoolfriend die at age 18 from an asthma attack.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      You should have read the fibromyalgia one, it was a doozy. But Rod quite rightly pricks other people’s sanctimonies, and it’s a good job somebody does.

      By the way, I know that doctors love this sort of stuff but the disgusting details of your patient were a bit nauseating for me over a glass of wine this time of the evening…. I bet you’re a riot at parties, though.

      • Justin Reilly

        She was talking about her daughter.

        Sorry our responding to the abuse heaped upon us severely disabled people is ruining your enjoying your glass of wine. I suggest you, Rod Liddle, Gwangi and anyone else who wants to whine about the fact that people with devastating organic diseases are being taken seriously by some clinicians, mind your own business and stop kicking the disabled when they are down- you might spill some of your wine.

        Justin Reilly, esq.

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          I’m sorry, I’m dyslexic I think. Are you saying you’re an equestrian?

          • Kitty MLB

            Come on Swanky, you went into great details about a smear test and some odd doctor a while ago! because you rightly needed to explain, and this lady needed to explain about her child., and the teats for a dreadful disease.
            Please try to understand dyslexia, imagine your own child suffering because from it and being teased. A doctor further up on this thread
            as explained the medical facts involving dyslexia, others also have
            and you can listen to the experienced words of O Wise One
            ( dear Fergus, please explain again, I beseech thee )

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

            No Kitty, I did not go into ‘great details’ or indeed any details except to say that it was done to me without my consent.

          • Kitty MLB

            I am sure your wise teacher husband can tell the difference between a intelligent child who has issues with phonological decoding
            and processing which leads to word blindness and reversal of letters and symbols, and a badly behaved ignorant brat.
            As for the rest, dear lady, I shall maintain a dignified
            and graceful silence- do have an excellent weekend.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

            Mm, I should if I were you.

          • Kitty MLB

            At least I haven’t been alone. My fellow colourful
            academics understand me. I can assure you dear Swanky,
            we all are very well behaved usually- this thread was the exception to the rule. We are model Spectator posters 😉

          • Kitty MLB

            I am glad you deleted the other post and changed the wording.

        • Kitty MLB

          Roddy and others such the ghastly and un English nincompoop Gwangi are practically throwing stones at poorly children for having real medically proven disorders.. ( Also a doctor
          higher up in this thread has explained the issue with phonological decoding and processing within the brain that leads to word blindness and muddled letters)
          A lot of children with Dyslexia are very much bullied, even by
          some teachers who are ignorant, it is really quite disgraceful.

    • ted hagan

      I guess this is the reaction Liddle looks for unfortunately. He justs sits there and writes this stuff, without any research, then lights the touch paper. It’s shoddy, cheap, sniggering journalism. Under Liddle rules we obviously don’t classify anything. Simple. Schizophrenia? Nutcase more like; autism? ah sure they’re imagining it. Pity, because he can write well. In the meantime I have met very many very clever successful people who have battle dyslexia. But I’m sure Rod doesn’t give a damn about that.

    • Phillip S. Beck

      Just ignore the haters like Gwangi. He or she is just an idiot who suffers from a very debilitating illness called Assholeidis as well as the same one that Rod Liddle is suffering from called ignorance and stupidity which I know for a fact is a real illness since he and Gwangi are living proof of it.

  • Harriet McGregor

    You might want to do a bit more research for your next article. Perhaps if you had done so for this one you might have discovered that coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease diagnosed by blood test, biopsy and histology. I hope you never have a kid with an autoimmune condition you sanctimonious prick.

    • Kitty MLB

      I cannot believe the sheer ignorance of this man, a relative of mine
      had Coeliac disease and it was totally wretched. I also cannot
      believe how someone can mock and be so insensitive about Dyslexia
      and ME…I second your last two words, he is that and a utter miscreant.
      Its obvious how badly he was brought up and educated.

  • Carole Bennett

    I’m not a spoiled child… I am a 41 year old coeliac. My children (thankfully) do not have this disease, and I know that for sure as they have passed their blood tests. It is an immune disorder you can positively identify this way. I also had two unpleasant endoscopies which demonstrated the significant damage to my intestines. My disease can be clearly seen if you are medically trained and perform the right medical examinations. I hate being coeliac, but unless I want cancer in the longer term I have no choice to be gluten free, and have children to consider. Your article has demonstrated how easy it can be for skilled journalists to descend into online trolls, spouting nonsense for attention. What a shame. And how dangerous.
    On the other hand, I only speak of things that I research or understand, so shall refrain from comment on the other conditions you refer to. But as your article demonstrates a complete lack of evidence based journalism, I must sadly ignore all your columns from now on.
    If you ever do research your piece and understand the long term damage coeliac disease does to a child’s gut and health I do hope you can look at their mother in the face. I wouldn’t be able to.

  • Smiffy51

    Don’t let the inconvenient fact that coeliac disease can be diagnosed by biopsy spoil your repetitive, illogical little rant , Rod dear.

  • Kitty MLB

    You are a total buffoon Rod, I have had coeliac in the family
    a very serious disease which eventually took the life
    of the relative , so i find your remarks offensive and ignorant
    In the extreme.Also you fool .Also dyslexia is real you utter moron
    I believe words appear different to what they are, but do not
    allow your ignorance to get in the way.You have also offended
    a lot of people here. An apology must come next from you.

    • Gwangi

      ‘I believe words appear different to what they are’
      So do I sometimes – then I read the sentence again and it makes sense.
      Try getting an education and perhaps some 1 2 1 help regarding close reading. You haven’t got a disorder. You just have a lack of technique – which some learn quickly and others slowly, and some, never, because of low intelligence.
      But you can write clearly in your post, so your claims of suffering some awful lexical disorder do seem to have been disproved – by you!

      • Kitty MLB

        I do not have any of these issues myself, can people not defend others just because it is right? how quickly you judge. How ignorant, the brain controls when you think and what you see
        and sends out signals that are difficult to understand.
        Nothing to do with making mistakes or intelligence, as Fergus
        pointed out to you, how often do you spell your own name wrong?
        perhaps you should listen to the gentleman, idiot.

        • Gwangi

          Your default setting is shouting abuse at people who do not share your prejudice and ignorance, so I don’t think you have the right to tell others not to be rude when you are doing a pretty good job at being intolerant and obnoxious yourself.
          EVERYONE finds reading and writing tricky -because it is very difficult, coding and decoding. Some learn more quickly than others, because some have aptitudes for academic work and other do not.
          BUT any child who struggles with reading/writing can, with intense 1 to 1 help, lose the ‘disease’ of dyslexia.
          People these days get rewarded for claiming to have dyslexia, ADHD or other fake disorders – and that is why they crave them so and are so public and proud about being rubbish at reading and writing.
          I am rubbish at sport and car mechanics – do I have a disorder too then?

          • Kitty MLB

            You need a good whack around the chops with
            a pair of kid leather gloves made from a Highland sheep.
            Dyslexia, is a neurological disorder and not a intellectual
            or attention seeking disability.
            Albert Einstein , Agatha Christie and Leonardo Da Vinci
            all had it and need no lectures from you moron Yankee.

          • Gwangi

            Kitty, you really are a vile and nasty abuser, aren’t you?
            No – Einstein, Christia and Da Vinci did NOT have dyslexia; you claim they did – they never claimed anything. You are making it up as you go along, aren’t you?
            No evidence at all for the existence of any disease or disorder called dyslexia – as the academic team at Durham have shown. They show that some kids need more 1 to 1 help with the difficult task of reading and writing than others – and these kids may well have not had adequate parental contact time or language exposure as babies and young children. THAT may affect the brain – because these kids have been neglected really. That does not mean they were bor with it – though we all have brains that give us each strengths and weaknesses. The difference is that I do not claim victimhood as a sufferer of any disorder because I am rubbish at sport and at dealing with technology!
            Now Kitty – go away and read some research. Then you may see what we who do not have vested interests in proving dyslexia exists are debating. Your abuse shows you as a vile and aggressive bully – a real mob member. I only hope you are childless really.

          • GraveDave

            Your abuse shows you as a vile and aggressive bully – a real mob member.
            Lol, talk about projection and reverse psychology. That’s YOU mate. Got a mirror in your house have you?

          • Gwangi

            Errr I state an opinion and get showered with abuse and insults from the dyslexia/ME/ADHD mob.

            Because you see I am the heretic that is exposing the whole scam of the disorder industry and daring to say the unsayable to people who are not challenged nearly enough and whose Faith in imaginary illnesses is a huge part of their identity.

            I also suffer from olfactory-faeces-recognition syndrome – which means I can smell the stench of sanctimonious BS a mile off!

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

            I think you should address his argument instead of thinking that calling him a bully and a mob member — whatever *that’s* supposed to mean — dispenses with it. Instead you have no arguments so you just say he’s mean and stamp your feet. It’s pathetic.

          • Kitty MLB

            Swanky, this person is telling people with difficult medical conditions
            such as coeliac disease, dyslexia, ME and many others that
            its all in their mind and complains when others find it offensive
            and lose their tempers, admittedly some have been very rude
            but he does try the patience of a saint and very patronising to boot.

          • Kitty MLB

            You really are an annoying troll, diseases have been around
            forever but we did not always know what they were.
            Da Vinci and Einstein both suffered what was called ‘ word blindness’ both had atrocious handwriting, considered backward at school. Einstein could not spell his name but had
            a gift for numbers. They both struggled with reading and wrote
            backwards, failed exams as well as struggling with tying their laces.
            Yet as this has nothing to do with intelligence their brilliance shone through.
            I am now placing the ‘ DO NOT FEED THE TROLL ‘ notice up!
            by the way you have antagonised every single person here,
            maybe you are a plant, put here by Roddy.

          • Gwangi

            Kitty. I can see that you are a rather uneducated and ignorant person; you clearly have no idea what the word TROLL means in an internet context. Ask a grown-up, there’s a dear…
            You cannot trawl history claiming certain figures suffered from your favourite new disorder.
            Dyslexia does not exist. Some kids struggle with reading – because some have no aptitude for it, are slow learners, have not been properly exposed to language when babies/toddlers (very common these days with so many working women and babies dumped with foreign au pairs) or have been taught badly at school. Evidence shows some intense 1 to 1 teaching can make them read and write to a perfectly OK level, though many are just not good at it – in the same way, I have no aptitude for sport, having a sense of direction or technology. I must have a disorder too then!
            Excuses excuses.

          • Fergus Pickering

            What are you NOT rubbish at?

  • lifelongcoeliac

    ***Mr Liddle on Coeliac Disease: ‘It’s a modern affliction, the consequence of over-indulgence and hyper-sensitivity to what the headstrong and idiotic child tells you it wants.’***

    No, coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack itself when gluten is ingested. This is extremely painful, and if you don’t stick to a strictly gluten-free diet you are at risk of malnourishment, infertility, osteoporosis and bowel cancer. Coeliac disease is medically diagnosed via biopsy – there is no fad about it. I was diagnosed at the age of 2, before I was able to form the words to tell my assumedly middle-class parents to feed me gluten-free food. They went through a year of hell trying to get their severely malnourished child diagnosed – coeliac disease may not have been well-known 20, 40 years ago, but it certainly existed.

    ***Mr Liddle again: ‘I had a coeliac kid over for one of those unspeakable kiddy birthday parties not so long ago — everything had to be gluten-free, nut-free, lactose-free, according to its neurotic, mimsy halfwit of a parent. I gave it bread and peanut butter and a glass of milk and it was as happy as a sandboy. ‘***

    Wow. Mr Liddle a) confuses the needs of a coeliac child with a nut and lactose allergy b) calls a child ‘it’ c) admits to an act of child abuse and b) *advocates* giving coeliacs gluten, because he couldn’t see any harm therefore it’s fine.

    This is a disgusting, ignorant article. I am sure there is an element of baiting – I bet Mr Liddle and the Spectator advertisers are loving all the page views. It will not be so fun though when readers take his idiotic opinion as fact and do serious damage to people with coeliac disease, or any of the other illnesses mentioned.

    It irresponsible of The Spectator to print this. I will be complaining to the Press Complaints Commission, because it is frankly dangerous to dismiss genuine chronic illnesses such as coeliac disease, ME and asthma as fake in a national publication.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think Mr Liddle should be allowed to air his absurd opinions and we should be allowed to say he is an ignorant prat. And I really do doubt that any parent would go to him for advice about how to bring up a child.He is an entertaining fellow excpt when he takes himself seriously. Like the chap who drives the cars, what’s his name, Jeremy something.

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

        They’re not absurd opinions, actually. Have you met large classes over many years of high-school age students — and their parents? Thought not.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Well of course I haven’t. And neither has Mr Liddle. We are talking about England.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

            England and America — it’s all the same thing for the most part (my husband has interviewed for jobs over there and probably would have got one if he hadn’t accepted the Houston job first).

    • George

      Only just read this, lifelongcoeliac
      . Well said.

  • Kathryn Iddon

    What a dingbat. ME/CFS, coeliac disease and the other ‘invisible’ diseases you’ve mentioned above are a lot more real than your imaginary medical knowledge.

  • balance_and_reason

    My daughter is taking GCSE’s and it is astounding how many perfectly healthy girls have got themselves an extra time boost to their exam….little bit of parental lobbying and hey presto, an unfair advantage, leg up, one over the oppo……who wouldn’t make it up.

    • Gwangi

      Indeed. You can even get a helper to write it for you, improving on the drivel you mumble at her side.
      Try and have your pets die around exam time too. You get about 5 exam minutes extra per pet.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Rod, you are a prat. You are an ignorant prat. You are a ignorant, loudmouthed prat. This is a disease and alas it is incurable. I blame your education, your parents, your genes..

    • Kitty MLB

      Is this thread actually real, Fergus ? Did he mean to antagonise every single person, perhaps , he was drunk or having psychotic moment.
      How can anyone produce such ill- informed , contumelious, ignorant,
      insulting mockery taking rubbish about real diseases that people have to bravely live with. If this article was written in a few weeks time I would
      have thought it just an appalling Aprils Fool joke.
      He and the Spectator should apologise.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Ah but everybody reponds. Don’t you remember the boy in lass, it’s always a boy, who had to show off by shouting ‘Fuck!’ or waving his tool about. Rod to the life.

        • Kitty MLB

          Yes, unfortunately I remember the inane caterwauling
          of little Rod’s. Thinks
          he’s amusing instead of embarrassing, belittles others because
          he thinks it makes him look clever, parents probably ignored
          him and poor teachers have to spend far too much time
          controlling the little runt, instead of teaching others.
          Rod clearly came from the shallow end of the gene pool.

          • tastemylogos

            More nastiness and bile. Have you a medical condition too? Which one have you been ‘branded’ with? You sound very angry.

  • Rocksy

    I’ve been looking over the posts and the ones from the pro illness camp are the most vicious I’ve seen. Name calling and wishing misfortune on people who disagree with them is certainly indicative of something very wrong, but not with the body, with the soul.

    • Not this again

      Find me a sane person who denies a disease like coeliac and then maybe I’ll consider adjusting my comment. Until then, the problem is the article, not the people angered by it.

      • Rocksy

        Would insanity be a biological / biochemical condition?
        If someone disagrees with another person, how do we know which one is insane?
        Do people who disagree with us deserve to be subjected to vitriol?
        Does blaming other people for one’s own behaviour qualify as a ‘disorder’?
        Just wondering.

        • Not this again

          Brilliant post. This is not a disagreement over religion, favorite color, politics, tastebuds, sports teams, or music. So what’s the difference between denying coeliac and denying cancer? Not the difference in the diseases, the difference in the denial. Denialism of medical fact (I don’t think he’s serious, he’s just awful at satire, but his reasoning is basically on the basis of his own annoyance) is not a reason to be subject to vitriol?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Yes it is. Being an ignorant arsehole is a very good reason.

          • Gwangi

            Cancer is a real disease. To compare you fake disorders to that is an insult to all those who suffer REAL diseases like cancer.
            ME is all in the mind.

          • Not this again

            For those with extremely limited reading comprehension–that would be the person I am replying directly to–the comparison was with coeliac, not ME. However, if I were so foolish as to want to compare cancer with ME, I would simply point out, once again, that ME is actually being treated successfully with a cancer drug. After pointing this out, you said it wasn’t true, but it is. So, again, why would anyone treat a ‘disease of the mind’ with chemotherapy?

          • balance_and_reason

            I think the problem Mr Liddle has brought upon himself with this article is that rather more documented, believable conditions , such as coeliac, were mentioned in the same space as Dyslexia and ADHD…..the last two have been used by all the guilty parties mentioned to get special treatment and advantage in schooling ( ie the usual fight for resources) and as a way to make money, ( largely started by the American medical/psychologist fraternity (&sorority!). Further….the industry of allergy is a very broad church and anyone a little bit averse to work, looking for excuses for failure/idleness, looking for extra attention etc etc are magnetised to these types of ‘illnesses’ which furnish a lifelong sore to parade/ extract sympathy/justify their general inaction. I work alongside someone who clearly suffers from intolerance to wheat and milk…she doesn’t raise the issue, gets on with her job, is careful about what she eats and generally would be my model to anyone who has these issues…we all react to certain foods/chemicals/products at some stage in our lives….the trick is not to make it the tax payers issue or bore the living arse of everyone around you on the subject.

    • GraveDave

      Diddum’s.

    • Gwangi

      Indeed Rocksy – they remind me of religious radicals who refuse to even listen to anyone who disagrees with their Faith.
      Funny how all these very ill people find so much energy to viciously attack those who dare challenge their prejudices too. But the thing is, their entire identity relies on their diagnoses; and these fake disorders are a great excuse too – far better to say your child has Dyslexia or ADHD than to admit they are a bit thick or just badly brought up and do not know how to behave (though judging by the vicious and abusive pro camp here, one can see why their children are as they are).

  • Cosmo

    Light blue touch-paper………..

  • Gwangi

    OMG wonderful wonderful WONDERFUL!
    I have been saying this for years and have had abuse flung at me by the outraged parents/teachers whose careers and abdication of responsibility rely on the constant labelling of children with fake disorders.
    In a way, we ALL have dyslexia because we all get our words mixed up all the time. Reading and writing is essentially a code – cracking it and using it – and that is so highly complex it did not develop until 5-6000 years ago. So for most of human history, speaking and listening – what I call the primitive skills – were enough.
    Dyslexia does not exist. Yes, some kids struggle with language. That can be for many reasons: they may just be ‘slow learners’ (what used to be called ‘thick’); they may have had little close parental contact or been dumped with a non-English speaking au pair while mummy was at lunch for 10 years; they may have been taught very badly at school and not received the intense 1 to 1 language tuition that parents should be providing anyway.
    ADHD also does not exist. All children have bags of energy, These days, due to paranoid parenting, kids are never allowed out (the most endangered species in the countryside is a child), so no wonder they have pent up energy! And many just need a good smack too (as my old mum would say).
    These are all fake disorders and labels – which people WANT. Why? Because then there can be an excuse for their bad parenting where they have neglected their children – all just an abdication of parental responsibility. Then they can argue their children are not thick but ‘special’. Then they can get more funds from schools, and schools can get them from government (free laptops anyone).
    But oh, how angry parents get whenever anyone speaks this truth. How outraged, how offended how self-righteously and pompously piqued. But the truth is the truth, no matter how much abuse is flung at the little boys who point out that the emperor is stark jeepers naked.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think a good smack is what you need. In the mouth, don’t you know. I blame your mother.

      • Gwangi

        Oh dear… Rude and violent, as well as a bullsheeter.

        • GraveDave

          Well that’s three of us wanting to kick your arse. We cant all be wrong – can we?

          • Kitty MLB

            We should all become a giant boot and
            kick him where the sun does not shine.

          • tastemylogos

            Wow. You are an incredibly angry person. Post after post of bile.

            I don’t know whether Rod is correct. I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid, but in retrospect I’m sure my hyperactivity had more to do with eating copious amounts of sugar ,hanging around with cretins and a lack of discipline at home. Always did think it was bullsheet. At the age of 28 I have an MA, run my own business and can read a book without pictures and everything…. did my ‘disease’ miraculously disappear, or did I just grow up?

            If you do reply, try your best to refrain from nastiness and threats of violencce. It’s pathetic.

            Cheers.

          • GraveDave

            Or did you just make all that up as well?

          • tastemylogos

            No I didn’t make it up. My story is identical to that of the thousands lucky enough to escape from the poverty they were brought up in. Useless schools and no discipline at home accounted for my bad behaviour no matter the labels bestowed upon me by middle class idiots who have a guilt complex. You have posted 12 comments here and not one answers any question put to you. The undecided who read this will be unpersuaded.

          • Gwangi

            Interesting post. If I were a child these days, I’d probably get that diagnosis too.
            Kids – esp boys – like doing and running around – like clockwork toys: just aim them and off they go! Of course they can’t sit still all day long and discuss issues in circle time with the girls in our feminised anti-boy school system today! Paranoid parenting makes this worse – they have so much energy and need to be allowed to express it!

            ADHD is a made-up things, entirely diagnostic, and it medicalises ordinary human behaviour. A few kids have serious special needs and should be in special schools so as not to disrupt others’ education (the religion of ‘inclusion’ has done so much damage). A huge industry relies on these diagnoses – and parents want the diagnosis too (far better to say your child has a disorder than admit s/he is a spoint badly-brought up oik because you are a bad parent: it is pure abdication of personal responsibility).

            But giving Ritalin and other mind-altering drugs to children is child abuse, and should not be happening. I would like to see arrests in drug companies and medical schools because of this scandal.

          • georgeegee

            tastemylogos – I agree with you on the reasons why you were diagnosed; sugar, cretins and discipline. Get rid of the first two and increase the last one, and we might get somewhere with all the precious litte darlings who hang on to the label for dear life to excuse their behaviour. Your ‘disease’ didn’t miraculously disappear because you didn’t have one in the first place.

          • tastemylogos

            > Your ‘disease’ didn’t miraculously disappear because you didn’t have one in the first place.

            Exactly my thinking. It must be bollox. I was even utterly absorbed throughout the whole of Lord of the Rings yesterday. This was after a 9 hour shift in the office submerged in paperwork that I needed to forensically cross-check. So what the hell happened to this ‘disease’?

          • georgeegee

            Respect.

          • Gwangi

            Indeed. But parents crave labels like this. Far easier to say their child is suffering dyslexia than admit they are just really thick and slow – or ‘simple’ as was; far better to blame the way little Johnny/Chantelle/Mohammed/Winston has just stuck a pencil in another child’s bare leg on some fake disorder like ADHD instead of admitting that you, the parent, are to blame for creating a spoilt, undisciplined brat as self-centred and unpleasant as you are…

          • Fergus Pickering

            You have an MA? And so does everyone else. Good to give up on the sugar, though.

          • tastemylogos

            More ad hominem.

            Only 6% of the population has an MA Fergus. Maybe you and all your middle class friends have on though, agreed. The rest of population struggles for a decent education and only a lucky few (me included) permeate the education ceiling in this country.

            You really must try harder. Again, did my ADHD miraculously disappear? You incapable of answering a question? What happened to this ‘disease’?

          • Fergus Pickering

            It went away as diseases often do without treatment. Like athlete’s foot, don’t you know. I know nothing about ADHD. It’s dyslexia I know about and you don’t.

          • tastemylogos

            Right. Funny how I have never met an adult with ADHD though. Met plenty with athletes foot (probably). It’s bulsheet isn’t it.

          • tastemylogos

            Waiting to kick his arse? Ha. Hiding behind your keyboard making threats makes you look silly.

          • GraveDave

            Listen mate if it’s what I believe then I would say it to that persons face. And I’m not making threats but he’s an arrogant prick. And you’re just an arse licker.

          • tastemylogos

            haha where I come from, ‘mate’, threats are useless. Actions speak louder. And resorting to threats of ‘kicking his arse’ whilst hiding behind your keyboard is pathetic. You say, you would say it to his face but it is highly doubtful. People who are capable of doing such things usually don’t bong around behind a computer screen advertising it under a flippin’ pseudonym. Again, laughable.

            I aint an arse licker, I just think you and Kitty are morons.

          • Fergus Pickering

            tastemylogos is your name, is it?

          • tastemylogos

            No but I don’t threaten people hiding behind it. Paul West by the way. It would be a lie to say it’s a pleasure.

            Clever cloggs, you

      • Kitty MLB

        Yes his mother should have taken better contraceptive advice,
        and his head placed up the backside of a highland bull with bowel issues.

        • Gwangi

          Kitty – you may not have any real disease, but you certain have bad manners, and all of your posts should a vile intolerance to anyone who disagrees with your prejudices. I can only assume you have mental issues and claim they are physical for your own convenience and self-affirmation.
          You and Fergus and others have a vested interest in defending your FAITH – for that is what it is – in the existence of these newly named diseases and disorders. That makes you biased and your opinion subjective.
          I have no vested interest and am objective. I look at the evidence or lack of it, and also remember my own experience of the education system past and present.

          • Kitty MLB

            Profoundly object to that, why shoul
            reasonable people tolerate those who
            make ignorant claims.
            I Shall not apologise for the lack of manners,
            notice how you provoke, others respond,
            somewhat out of character and then they
            are the bad guy and your the victim even
            after all your comments-clearly a leftie.

          • Gwangi

            Gosh, So now you can not only tell how I vote, as well as which country I live in (got that wrong), just because I dare to challenge your ignorance and pomposity.
            Yes, I am the victim of bullying by the pro-disorder mob. I am big enough to take that. I once stood firm against a bullying witch of a teacher trainer (and the sheep in my class who baa-ed her views back to her) who was a specialist in promoting the dyslexia myth, and had written books on it. I know I am right, so will not back down when vile little people like you spit your vitriol at me.
            So I am to blame for the abuse others have aimed at me? Great logic. So those people who are victims of crimes – perhaps women who are attacked – are responsible for those assaults are they, because they provoke? Eejit!

          • TCP1960

            You really are the most offensive troll I have ever met, Gwangi.

          • Gwangi

            That’s odd – I thought you and Kitty and Fergus were the ones flinging vile insults and abuse at me because I dare to challenge your dearly held prejudices?

            You three little disorder-addled victim-hood-craving darlings need to learn some manners and some tolerance too.

            My opinion is a minority opinion – because right opinions often are. I demand real evidence; I do not accept anyone’s claim that they are suffering from some newly named disorder or illness, especially when they have a vested interest and a clear motive to prove the existence of such things. For this, I get attacked by the mob – whose members, despite apparently being seriously exhausted and suffering terrible illnesses, always seem to be able to find masses of energy when it comes to insulting and abusing anyone who dares to challenge their cosy little world view.

            The Durham research is well done and timely. It is essentially behaviourist and aims to stop the huge dyslexia industry (which must enrich and employ 100,000 in the UK) and instead to focus on how to teach those who struggle with reading and writing how to do it better. I agree with this absolutely:

            https://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=20285

          • tastemylogos

            Well said, laddo.

          • tastemylogos

            And you just ignore the comment made by ‘Fergus’? Are you really that shallow?

        • Fergus Pickering

          You speak truth, O wise one!

      • tastemylogos

        Whose to blame for your atrocious manners? Nastiness and personal ad-hominem whilst hiding behind your keyboard. Tough guy. Real tough.

        • GraveDave

          Whose to blame for your atrocious manners? Nastiness and personal ad-hominem whilst hiding behind your keyboard. Tough guy. Real tough.

          So what why doesn’t that apply to Gwangi too?

          • Gwangi

            Because my posts are not abusive – they argue a point intelligently, which gets an abusive response from you and those like you. I then respond in kind.

          • tastemylogos

            You are a serial contributor of nastiness, and on this occasion, to be fair to him, he is merely responding to it. Fair play. You’re unprovoked ad hominem attacks on him evoked his reaction. You need to grow up, pal and tackle the points he initially made before you descended the conversation into a cesspool of bile.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Rod, you are an attention seeker. I bet you were like that at school. A verse for you with al my love.

    There’s a boy who stands out from the ruck
    By constantly bellowing, ‘Fuck!’
    Or sitting in school,
    He whips out his tool
    And asks you to give it a suck..

  • edward

    Rod you deliberately confuse people who have real problems with those who do not. I don’t have a problem with bashing parents looking for excuses for their children but you are pulling the two together.

    My wife is dyslexic. She didn’t realise until the last year of her degree after which she received a pair of blue tinted glasses to help her read. It may seem bizarre but since getting the glasses she has become able to read significantly faster which certainly helped when she was doing her MSc. She worked very hard and didn’t want to admit she found reading difficult because of the stigma attached to it (yes I’m blaming you personally Rod).

  • Elizabeth Crawshaw

    If you fed a child with coeliac disease gluten then you’re the thick one. Clearly you’re too stupid (or lazy) to find out what this autoimmune disease is and what you did to the poor kids insides. Faddy diets are stupid but don’t confuse them with a lifelong medical condition.

    • Mithrandius

      As it is a physically harming disease, and this article admits he knowingly gave a child a substance that will harm, then call in the police, this is termed poisoning.

  • allymax bruce

    Rod, interesting article, as always; even if sometimes only to spike our social consciences. You should write an article on what ‘offensive behavour’ is; I’d really like to see what you would say.
    This article reminds me of a juxtapose argument I thought of to explain The Meaning of Life; ‘there is no meaning of life, only the meaning we afford ‘to’ life, through Art, History, Politics, etc’. The theme carrying on from my reading of Freud’s Civilisation and it’s Discontents.

  • Mithrandius

    Well mister idiot, coeliac has been around since greek times, first reported in 400BC. a large population of dutch were deprived of wheat in a ghetto in the second world war, and the coeliac symptoms of the group disappeared. If “coeliac disease” does not exist then what is it that damages the villi in the stomach, as shown by biopsy, that stops when you remove gluten from the diet. Such a stupid report from an obviously intellectually challenged inadequate ( posh new made up name for idiot).

    • Gwangi

      Yes, my mum used to call it ‘the collywobbles’.
      Easy to cure: eat and drink well, and get some exercise. Little by little. A bad diet and a poor upbringing can take years to overcome though.

  • Ali Barnes

    Wow… I’ve got coeliac disease and can assure you that it is real… the tiniest amount of gluten and I am vomitting within hours and ill for days afterwards with stomach cramps, a migraine and a rash. You’re lucky not to suffer from these conditions, but don’t put other people’s problems down out of pure ignorance.

  • Gwangi

    The ignorant and abusive posters here who refuse to even debate the issue of dyslexia and whether it exists should watch the little video available on this page and wipe the scales from their eyes:

    https://www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem/?itemno=20285

  • TCP1960

    Trolls just love to hit out at the people who threaten their conditioned identity. This often comes from fear that their beliefs may be wrong, so they lash out to re-affirm themselves. Trying to reason with these people is unlikely to create change, as they are already coming from an antagonistic stance. They thrive on attention and upsetting others – so being ignored is the worst punishment you can give them. As from now I shall ignore the ignorant and bigoted. I have better things to do.

  • therealguyfaux

    It could very well be that these maladies are real but overblown. Liddle is apparently sold on the idea that they are completely overblown. It may well be that cases are on a continuum of almost unnoticeable to clearly apparent, and many of the diagnoses are made where the most equivocal of symptoms are present, “just to be on the safe side.” That position to take has its own consequences, as well as the position that it’s all just so much hot air.

    Perhaps cases that are mild enough should NOT be diagnosed, as they tend in the main to train the person with them, in this current environment, play victim all too readily if there is a support system for doing so. And good God almighty, there certainly is that, for enough of these diagnoses. Too many people in too many professions have a stake in medicalizing just about everything. Perhaps that’s what Liddle, in the most ham-fisted of manners, is saying— or he’s being an assclown. The evidence here is equivocal– so I will err on the side of “assclown,” till I shall have more evidence that warrants an intervention in the matter to rescue him and to attempt to treat his suspected foot-in-mouth syndrome.

  • Annamaria

    I think the whole article is a pile of shit

    • goldushapple

      You mad, hon?

      • Liz

        You condescending, sweety?

  • rtj1211

    Unless things have changed since my own schooldays, you will find that there are genuine sufferers of dyslexia and some unprincipled schemers who see it as an excuse to get extra time in exams.

    I’ve met several true dyslexics and all were well behaved at school. All had severe handwriting difficulties and all had first rate minds.

    The increase in ADHD is arguably due to an increased lack of exercise, an increased consumption of sugary foods and drinks and lack of suitable outlets for childhood energy. It’s not a disease, it’s a manifestation of poor parenting, schooling and societal discipline. Just because drug companies see it as an excuse to put children on pills doesn’t mean society shouldn’t address the issues at hand. Perish the thought that pharma profits might drop as a result…….

    • GraveDave

      It’s not a disease, it’s a manifestation of poor parenting, schooling and societal discipline. Just because drug companies see it as an excuse to put children on pills doesn’t mean society shouldn’t address the issues at hand.

      Curse it is dear…

  • Sean L

    Isn’t what Rod writes supposed to be satire, ie not to be taken literally? I find him hilarious myself. And even if coeliac, ME etc are genuine medical conditions, it doesn’t invalidate his point that an effective conspiracy of interests between malingering parents, big pharma, the Welfare State, spoilt brats and Dail Mail science correspondents has given succour to every brand of hypocondriac and attention seeker.

    Otherwise it’s remarkable how cynical Rod is about these people while taking ascetic working class hero Anthony Wedgewood-Benn at face value! The only sense I can make of it is as a kind of compensatory attention seeking itself. “Ha! with my scorn for fashionable opinion you’d assumed I was all right wing, old school conservatve. But look, I’m also a Labour Party member and even adore Tony Benn – I’m just totally unclassifiable, me!”

    • GraveDave

      Contrarian – maybe. Like Brendan O Neil.

      • Sean L

        Bremdan O’Neil isn’t funny. The only other one I can think of who’s made me laugh, apart from Rod Liddle, is Lloyd Evans.

  • Nick Booth

    In my professional opinion you are wrong, Mr Liddle. And I happen to be in the DNA (the national dyslexic’s association)

    • GraveDave

      I like Rod though. He talks like the man down the pub but is clever and amusing enough to get paid for it. I’m sure he’s not such a bad bloke really.

      • Liz

        But the man down the pub is invariably wrong about many many things.

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          That’s where Rod is different. He isn’t invariably right but that would make him god so I don’t mind that. He does have a large organ that used to be called ‘sense’, though.

      • George

        Hitler was popular too.

  • Scott Souter

    Rod, instead of staring a necessary conversation about the use of these conditions as an excuse for bad behaviour you have chosen a triumphant, self righteous rant.
    I can think of “sufferers” of all the conditions you list who seem to use this diagnosis as an excuse for different standards of behaviour to apply to their child. But for everyone of these there are many who genuinely suffer (although I do wonder about ADHD).

    To suggest dyslexia is code for thick is just plain silly. 20% of engineers and 30% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. I have 2 good friends who are dyslexic who are a doctor and teacher respectively. Lastly my own child who was unable to read even the simplest words 3 years ago now is working his way through The Hobbit after a change in the teaching style and extra effort from him, his teachers and his mother and I.

    By all means start a discussion about the trend to over diagnosis, but you would be more effective if that discussion followed a grown up middle road, rather than the polarising tripe you have written. But then I guess you could write a well considered, well researched piece or whatever rubbish comes into your head and the pays the same.

  • Michael Barnes

    Very offensive article as expected by Mr Liddle..!! Rather funny in parts, with a few kernels of truth. However, clearly Liddle is ignorant of the facts and does not understand that ME/CFS does exist. Furthermore he would be horrified to discover that ‘Coeliacs’ have a pathological diagnosis which can be demonstrated microscopically. The big issue that he alludes to is that in industrialised nations we have ‘medicalised’ many aspects of normal life (and death). It is convenient for the metropolitan elite to explain away their slightly dim and lazy children by labelling them with a disease. Furthermore it is politically expedient and kinder to the underclass to say that they and their children are truly ‘sick’ as opposed to being criminals. It probably seems cheaper to fall back on ‘Big Pharma’ rather than deal with deep, ingrained social problems. Raising the working wage dramatically and making living on benefits intolerable would probably do far more in the long term than ‘diagnosing’ more people and increasing access to drugs of dubious efficacy. That would require a huge re-wiring of the whole economy and enforced collection of billions of avoided/evaded taxes..! Sadly that utopia remains a pipe dream.

  • Liz

    I can’t read the whole article because you have to subscribe to do so, and I’m not paying money to read (the whole of) a male chauvinists’ fanzine.

    But, I suspect if you looked up the medical definition of “syndrome”, your interpretation of the scientific charge of “meaningless” would change from “must be made up hokum and snake oil” to “currently seem like a group of medically unrelated symptoms that cluster in significant ways we don’t understand yet”.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      Your loss, then.

  • Josh Andrews

    This really is a horrible article. I know you’re not supposed to wish illness on people, but if Rod Liddle came down with ME….

  • F. Hugh Eveleigh

    Inevitably there are comments on this week’s amusing and entertaining column from Mr Liddle. I am sure there is much truth in much of it but would say that coeliac syndrome is something which cannot be signed away quite so dismissively. My Mother acquired the problem in her sixties and it took over 10 months to diagnose. As soon as it was and the diet changed to suit, she was a new person – as far as one can be ‘new’ at 66. But yes we do, perhaps too readily, apply labels to ‘conditions’ where in fact a certain amount of discipline and effort would sort them. Mr Liddle is just a bit too sweeping in his desire to keep the journalism flowing and some comments below need to be considered. One cannot put all of the problems he mentioned down to the mental state of the person involved.

  • zoid

    As the father of a dyslexic (and not being one myself) it tears me apart watching my son struggle with homework, not because he’s thick or lazy and makes me ‘a little defensive’ when I hear or read tosh like the above.

    If dyslexia really is about laziness or being thick as you suggest, then it is obviously attributable to a ‘thick and lazy gene’, as my son’s cousin, grandfather and his mum are /were all sufferers.

    I was hoping my son would be in a climate where his condition was accepted and understood, and not like his mum’s experience of being told for 30 years that she was thick until she was diagnosed (and then went on to post-grad study).

    Rod, this week you’re talking a load of big, fat hairy shadow chancellor and look a bit of a Tristram.

  • PC249

    ME is cured at http://www.ngcenergyhealing.com in a ady or two, without drugs. Just sit in a room and absorb Rife Frequencies.

    • Gwangi

      Oh so sound waves can cure cancer?
      You are one dangerous piece of work.

  • PC249

    July 27, 2013

    Courts quietly confirm MMR Vaccine causes Autism (and what else).

    July 27, 2013. Austin. After decades of passionate debate, parents
    probably missed the repeated admissions by drug companies and
    governments alike that vaccines do in fact cause autism. For concerned
    parents seeking the truth, it’s worth remembering that the exact same
    people who own the world’s drug companies also own America’s news
    outlets. Finding propaganda-free information has been difficult, until
    now.

    http://www.whiteoutpress.com/timeless/courts-quietly-confirm-mmr-vaccine-causes-autism/

    • Gwangi

      Utter UTTER nonsense! Stupid, ignorant and dangerous. Medical opinion is that all babies should have the MMR – because it may save their lives.

      And even if some vaccines do damage a tiny number of children and babies, the risk is worth it.

      I know of five children’s graves locally after the measles outbreak we had here in 2013. Death is worse than supposed autism (which many believe is largely caused by a lack of contact with the mother as well as diagnostic fashions).

  • Dyspraxia sufferer

    you sicken me

  • MC73

    It occurs to me that I don’t know anyone dyslexic and that the only person I can think of that suffers, off the top of my head, is AA Gill. Which does back up the stupid and posh theory.
    ADHD I have no knowedge of, but anyone who reckons it is offensive to suggest that it is a load of old trousers designed to enrich pharma companies is either a pharma exec or needs to try thrashing their naughty little bleeders.

    BTW – fibro/CFS sufferers: I sympathise with your pain but it is not going to go away until you realise that it is entirely down to your mentalism and inadequacy. Throw away the pills and dismiss the consultants. Man (or woman) the fuck up.

  • jo

    tragically a boy died of an asthma attack in my sons class. Im over 40 & remember people with asthma & yes even coeliac disease at school. These are medical conditions no more no less than any other medical condition. Ignorance is clearly an affliction you suffer from…do try & educate yourself.

  • Glendon Rhoades

    Pendulum swing argument

  • Adam Maguire

    Sand boy…was a collector and purveyor of sand, this was then sold on to pubs and butchers and the like by the sand boys presumably for a very good profit during the Victorian and I suppose probably early periods of our nations history…according to the appendix in my cheapo oxford edition of The Old Curiosity Shop…Curious eh (:

  • Dr John

    As always – even with nutters like David Icke – there are elements of truth in what is written in this article. In addition – the ‘latest’ research is not necessarily the best. It is true that drugs are handed out willy nilly by Doctors who don’t really understand the socio-political system and media conditioning that forces them down the ‘drug’ channel. It is also true that personal choices are involved and that children need to learn how to make worthwhile and productive choices in their lives. But the slightly amusing rhetoric of the article serves as a smokescreen to hide the fact that Rod Liddle has very little understanding of dyslexia for a start, or the complexity of the problems all lumped under the ADHD banner (yes- in a way it is a meaningless homage to an oppressive medical model and big Pharma). Rather than attacking the individuals concerned (which is the coward’s way), he should take a look at the education and social systems that produce these kinds of monstrous outcomes. Professionals who need to preserve their own professional status and support systems, an education system that focuses on useless knowledge of exams and a competitive socio-political system that keeps people in ignorance about these things… for a start! He has no inkling of what it is like to have epilepsy with the side effect of severe problems in spelling, writing and certain areas of memory but have other amazing talents that are highly suppressed by an attitude towards education and learning that Mr Liddle espouses. His writing is not helpful – nor does it give any positive suggestions to change the situation it is simply an attack on people who are not there to defend themselves!

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      You forgot bullying and arm-twisting by parents, who — in this country at least (America) — also pay the bills.

      As for ‘an education system that focuses on useless knowledge of exams’: I sure you’re no real doctor, doctor! Jaysus H. in Bimini shorts! Rod’s blogs really bring ’em out!

      • http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/dr-john-cornwall-frsa/6/2bb/5a8/ Dr John

        I’ll ignore the doctor comment – not really an kind of discussion – more exposing your lack of argument with a shot in the dark. I have worked with and taught – for many years – young people who have learning disabilities of all kinds. They are penalised by our current education system. I can see you ‘buy into’ the education ‘competition’ which is fine if you want to be in a society that subscribes to survival of the fittest and fastest and the devil take the hindmost…To me education and learning should not be about ‘bullying’ and ‘arm-twisting’. Paying the bills…yes, we all have to survive in some way or other. I see you subscribe to Rod Liddle’s philosophy of attacking individuals as some form of rational discussion.

      • http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/dr-john-cornwall-frsa/6/2bb/5a8/ Dr John

        I’ll ignore the doctor comment – not really an kind of discussion – more exposing your lack of argument with a shot in the dark. I have worked with and taught – for many years – young people who have learning disabilities of all kinds. They are penalised by our current education system. I can see you ‘buy into’ the education ‘competition’ which is fine if you want to be in a society that subscribes to survival of the fittest and fastest and the devil take the hindmost…To me education and learning should not be about ‘bullying’ and ‘arm-twisting’. Paying the bills…yes, we all have to survive in some way or other. I see you subscribe to Rod Liddle’s philosophy of attacking individuals as some form of rational discussion.

  • Cymrugel

    I agree that these diagnoses are probably overused, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater Rod.
    My nephew while at primary school was exceptional at maths. Yet he sat and completely failed a test to the teachers great surprise. She sat him down and asked him the questions verbally and he got every one right just working in his head. She correctly realised he was dyslexic, had him tested and started a training/treatment regime.
    He is now in his 20s, got six Highers – all As – has a 2.1 in computing science and an MSC in animation and film and is now happily doing very nicely working in N America. If this good lady had not been so on the ball, or dismissed him as lazy I hate to think what might have happened
    Dyslexia is real – not a fabrication.
    A neighbours child is allergic to peanuts. While on holiday he suddenly took a very violent reaction and was rushed to hospital,. The doctor could not figure out why he was reacting as his parents keep him well away from peanuts. He finally realised that the mother had been putting moisturiser on his skin that had kiwi fruit in it – these are related to peanuts apparently; who knew.
    The boy came quite close to death and his parents live in fear whenever he is out of their control, as just being a wee laddie he wants to eat sweets and treats like his friends.
    Allergies do exist Rod – we’re not just making it up, honest.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      Allergies no doubt precipitated or made worse by a metabolism thrown completely out of whack by over-consumption of sugar. These are postmodern diseases of civilization. The permutations of such seem to be endless, yet no one ever seems to learn the lesson….

      • Quercus

        So there’s ‘no doubt’ that the over-consumption of sugar causes or worsens allergies? Perhaps you would like to cite some research there?

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          It seems to cause or worsen just about any major affliction among those eating Western foods. Read Gary Taubes, Good Calories, Bad Calories (that’s one book) and Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It; also see the authors of The New Atkins For A New You.

    • Gwangi

      No, dyslexia is not real at all. It is a label invented to create a highly profitable industry. A child who did badly at a test would not, at a good school, have been written off as lazy in the past – he would have been given extra attention to address his probably inability to write (which is damage done by poor teaching in early years). That was clearly the issue here. And it is one that affects boys more because their language skills develop later than girls (who are being prepared by evolution for motherhood and talking to baby); I too was excellent at maths at primary school.

      ‘She correctly realised he was dyslexic, had him tested and started a training/treatment regime.’
      NO – she just fixed a label to him, because that is what she had been trained to do – a label that would get more cash for the school. Ironically, the same silly teacher training is what has caused the mess in the first place – if teachers had stuck to traditional methods, instead of mucho silliness of ‘progressive’ child-centred nonsense, then I doubt your nepohew would have had problems with readinga nd writing in the first place. Do look at the Durham University video on the link given – no-one is claiming kids do hot struggle with the very hard task of learning to code and ecode (reading and writing). We all do. Those who are slow should get more 1 to 1 help. But there is NO disease called dyslexia – that is just a convenient label and used wrongly for dodgy reasons.
      Re allergies, Yes, some are real and have increased because silly yummy mummies keep their children too clean and free from germs and stop them going outside to get dirty and play because 1) these mothers don’t know how to bring up a child properly; 2) the media encourages them to be paranoid. There is also some evidence rthat the ‘too posh to push’ brigade which means a quarter of births are now C-sections means babies are not exposed to germs and bacteria which protect them through natural childbirth.

  • http://www.whatallergy.com Ruth Holroyd

    What a nasty man. Surely the Spectator can commission a better researched article than this? As someone who lives with multiple life threatening allergies and asthma I would really love to meet this uneducated, ignorant man and explain where he goes so wrong in this article. I really don’t know where to start? It is a pointless article which just aims to insult various people who are unfortunate to have allergies, asthma, ME, whatever this guy turns his ugly, bullying nose up at. To give a kid with allergies a bread sandwich and glass of milk and then comment it was wheezy… jeez you could have killed that kid. And you think it’s funny that you might have done? Idiot. Not worth wasting any more words on. Shame on Spectator for encouraging rubbish like this.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      They rely on you, Ruthie baby: gullible, and moral indignation well ahead of your knowledge of the world — never mind a proper concern for actual justice for actual children. Do us a favour and give it a rest.

      • http://www.whatallergy.com Ruth Holroyd

        Hi Swanky. Who relys on me? And am I really gullible? Not sure where you get that idea from. And to suggest I don’t have concern for kids is a nonsense. I don’t have any of my own but I do care how kids are treated. How you can glean this bit of insight from my comments above I fail to see. I wasn’t actually adressing the point about kids with ADHD who are given drugs, I actually kind of agree with Rod on this one, behavioural problems may somtimes stem eating a poor diet of processed food high in sugar etc with little goodness and nourishment. However this kind of article which makes sweeping statements about conditions I doubt either you or Rod have researched into don’t really help much do they? Do you know any more about Dyslexia, ME, ADHD or allergies and asthma after reading this? Except that you and Rod who clearly have little or no experience of any of the conditions above can make your assumptions that it is all in our heads. I hope that you, your kids of family do not ever have to struggle with any of these conditions because it is a bitter pill and hard lesson when you are not open minded to consider what could be making you or someone else ill.

        For your information I do have a deep understanding of allergies and asthma, conditions which affect both children and adults. I work and write regularly about these subjects. They are not new, but they are a growing problem and in the news more these days. And No I won’t give it a rest, I will continue to try to raise awareness about what living with multiple allergies is like. I was merely responding in the same tone Rod used in his article.

  • Gregory Mason

    Care to provide a link to the article that got the PCC involved? I’d be interested to give it a read.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      It was a great fun. The fibromalygics were absolutely vicouis (see my post abeov).

  • baboulie

    Liddle better hurry up and invent a disease which will excuse the inane reactionary bile which he spews without relent. I also wonder why evidence for the existence of ‘karma’ is so much more compelling to him than is the evidence for any one of the conditions he lists in his mindless rant. This is not journalism its a platform, for the irrelevent opinions of an ignorant egoist who courts controversy in a feeble attempt to mask the fact he has nothing of any real value to contribute.

  • Chris

    So how do you explain the people with dyslexia for whom wearing the correctly coloured glasses makes words suddenly legible? At least two of my close friends can’t read normally – but put yellow glasses on (or a yellow transparent sheet over the paper, but glasses are easier once you’ve found the right colour) and suddenly the words stop moving around. These are intelligent people who are studying for (useful) university degrees, there’s no way they’re faking it.

  • Mark Horler

    Oh look, I can use google. So I typed in ‘Durham university dyslexia research’. Amazingly enough, the very first thing that came up was an article about that research from… uhhh… Durham university itself. Here’s a handy quote from that article:

    “Although the researchers do not question the existence of the very real
    underlying problems that those with complex reading difficulties
    typically experience, they are critical of dyslexia as a term often used
    to describe a wide range of problems, of varying degrees of severity,
    in a haphazard and imprecise fashion.”

    Astonishing! It turns out that the study takes issue with the term dyslexia, but not with the symptoms. So this entire article by Mr Liddle, is in reality a load of complete codswallop, written by a completely brainless ballsack who wouldn’t know a fact if it jumped up and bit him in his journalistically imcompetent backside.

    Who’da thunk it eh? -_-

    • Mark Horler

      …and look! Here’s the other one too…

      “In this groundbreaking and controversial book, behavioral neurologist
      Dr. Richard Saul draws on five decades of experience treating thousands
      of patients labeled with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity
      Disorder—one of the fastest growing and widely diagnosed conditions
      today—to argue that ADHD is actually a cluster of symptoms stemming from
      over 20 other conditions and disorders.

      http://www.harpercollins.com/books/Adhd-Does-Not-Exist-Richard-Saul/?isbn=9780062266736

      …also noting that the symptoms are real. I really am in the wrong job. I could do better journalism than this halfwit without even trying. Ugh.

    • Gwangi

      Yes, because reading and writing are highly complex coding and decoding activities, and ALL people find these things difficult.
      To label this ‘dyslexia; has spawned a monster – a religion really and an industry which makes great profits for many. No wonder they defend their god so angrily! He pays their way!
      Some people are rubbish at reading and writing because they have no aptitude for it of are just not very bright., Now, I know we live in a dumbed down age where EVERYONE is encouraged to call themselves intelligent (that silly Howard Flowers has a lot of answer for with his absurd multiple intelligences mash up), but the fact of the matter is, some people are just dim. Stop pretending we are all equal. Some people are bad at sport – do they have a disorder too then, or are they just rubbish at sport?

  • chris fyson

    Just read this piece and it’s worth a whole year’s subscription to the Spectator. As a retired Primary School Head Teacher I fully empathise with all of Rod’s comments.
    Over the 25 years I was an HT in two schools I became very tired of having to be politically correct and empathise with parents of ‘dyslexic’ children and those with ADHD. Had I not done this, no doubt quite a few parents would have complained to County Hall and they would have got back to me to tell me that Lessons Have to be Learned.
    No doubt your other commentators will be glad that their children did not attend my school. The feeling is mutual.
    One of the best things about the Spectator is that in this celebrity obsessed culture we endure today, not forgetting the culture of ‘Me Me Me’ quite a number of the contributors set things to rights. This is EXACTlY what Rod Liddle has done here.
    Thank you very much. You cheered me up no end.
    Best wishes, Chris Fyson.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      Dyslexia is a very strange condition for those of us not afflicted to understand. I’ll just have to take their word for it: as my husband says, claiming to have ADHD ‘gives you tremendous privilege’ — in the loosening of expectations, in extra exam time, and so on — but dyslexia doesn’t in the same way, according to him. Also, he sees a lot of claimed ADHDs but has never had to teach a dyslexic student.

      I find dyslexia — what little I admittedly know about it — puzzling on its face, because msot rderaes of Eglnsih cna uerdntnsad pnirted wdors eevn wehn jbmmueld, as lnog as teh fsirt and lsat lertets ramein teh seam.

      • Gwangi

        Yes, and we all mix up our words, even those who are highly educated and literate. This is because reading and writing are complex decoding and coding activities, which facilitate errors really. But the more you do, the better you get. Can’t stop those typos though – all the ‘teh’s etc or writing words twice twice…

        • Kitty MLB

          Still around you, creating havoc and patronising unwell people,
          put a sock in it old chap !

          • Gwangi

            For someone who claims to ‘suffer’ (and OH MY how people adore their suffering these days) from a range of conditions, including dyslexia, and ME, you seem rather energetic and manic on your keyboard! No-one asked you to respond to me with your usual vile insults. Maybe you just have a terrible disorder from which so many suffer so bravely – RAG – rude and arrogant git syndrome – a rare form of Asperger’s which used to be called being a rude and arrogant git.
            If your nephew is as rude and self-obsessed as you, no wonder he has a diagnosis of whatever fake disorder is doing the rounds these days.
            You say he’s a very bright young man. Well, all children are – according to their parents. But I can say that around a third of children are as thick as gravy actually, maybe even your little Oliver (and it’s funny, innit, how those with middle class names and pushy parents who refuse to even countenance the concept that their parenting might be at fault or that their little darling is a but dim, always demand and get diagnoses of dyslexia, ADHD et al).

          • Kitty MLB

            I have never claimed to suffer from no such things- thankfully, making things up are we?
            You really need to concentrate on what all these people are telling you instead of your own prejudices against children.
            As for the rest of your rant- Blah Blah Blah Blah !!!!

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          Don’t I know it! Tyops r us!

      • Kitty MLB

        My nephew Swanky suffers from dyslexia and my husbands
        nephew unfortunately has mild Asperger’s which no one is actually speaking about here.
        Dyslexia is indeed difficult to explain, and Oliver would do it far better then I, I sees words as a jumble even simple tasks like tying shoelaces
        were quite difficult, also he has managed the dyslexia ( left handed dyslexia) don’t ask me to explain the difference, he writes words back to front and it seems to help. He is brilliant with numbers though
        and a very bright young man.

  • Keated

    Ah, so the Spectator’s like the British version of The Onion then?

    Hilarious – you almost had me going for a moment before the vile vitriol and classism, not to mention barely concealed racism surfaced. A masterpiece – I actually thought you were a Neanderthal who’d been dragged through time and had only just adjusted to life in the 1820s before his condition acted up again and he was flung a couple more hundred years into the future.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      This is a parody, right?

  • abgood

    Mr. Liddle’s argument appears to be with diagnostics, not with the actual syndromes. I know from very intense, familial experience that dyslexia and ADHD do exist. That some diagnosticians and educators are lazy and some parents ignorant is indisputable. But to condemn individuals like my uncle, to whom English orthography was like hieroglyphics, to the scrap heap because someone else makes bad diagnoses is . . . well, stupid.

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

    Hubby’s a teacher — suspects that dyslexia is in fact a real disability, but believes that ADHD is not a spontaneously existing natural condition but an acquired one. It something that originates in the development of the person, rather than something that was always there and waiting to express itself. In short, it’s the fault of the child’s environment. And guess whose fault *that* is?

    • pedestrianblogger

      I couldn’t agree more. The environment of the child (in the western world) has never been more controlled and at the mercy of well-intentioned, scientifically-informed and theory-driven guidance and the results seem to be no better than in the past. The answer of the professionals when things go wrong is to say that it is the consequence of some sort of concocted medical condition instead of any failure of their doctrines.

      • Gwangi

        Indeed. Get all children to do spelling tests and writing exercises every single morning at school for an hour, and to repeat and repeat until correct, and this terrible dyslexia affliction, from which some many poor little vulnerable kidlings suffer so terribly, will magically just vanish into thin air…
        Repetition repetition repetition. Plus close 1 to 1 tutoring for the slow learners. Problem solved (and it would be far better for the government to spend money on that – on specialist maths and English teachers to catch em young and give tuition to those falling behind – than to bribe the electorate will wasteful and undeserved subsidised childcare giveaways to the rich).

    • Gwangi

      But surely, difficulty with reading/writing (which is a difficult de-coding exercise for everyone!) is also acquired? If your parents do not read to you; if you then start school having not had that close attention, or even been shown how to read – then you are likely to be labelled dyslexic by the huge industry that supports that diagnosis these days.
      Research has shown that those who struggle and are now labelled ‘dyslexic’ can be made better by close 1 to 1 teaching. That is what we should be funding in the UK – not giving away billions in cash to rich families with free childcare and maternity pay linked to income.
      Funny how no Chinese kids seem to suffer so terribly with dyslexia, isn’t it? Yet their writing system is way more complex than ours.

      • Kitty MLB

        Still here are you like a lingering miasma,your mind is utterly closed, you show no compassion to the suffering
        of others. Do you know how sick someone with coeliac disease ( a issue with the intestines) would be if you gave them sugar.
        Still patronising to people with dyslexia I see. There is absolutely
        trying to have a conversation with you, its bashing your head against a brick wall- pointless.

        • Gwangi

          I wish you’d bash your pointless head against a wall – then maybe you’d start thinking clearly.
          Everyone has dyslexia according to the diagnosis. It is an invented condition to describe a wide range of problems and issues people have with the very difficult, unnatural and learned task of reading and writing. I object to the label – one that people like you crave 1) for the sympathy; 2) for the freebies and cash; 3) for the abdication of personal responsibility it hands to parents and others.
          Some close 1 to 1 teaching can solve reading/writing issues quickly, even in the slowest learner – and frankly, some who claim to be dyslexia are just plain Hackney Wick.
          I know we live in a dumb age where all children are overpraised constantly and told how wonderful and intelligent they are (which gives them such a bad attitude and such an inflated sense of their own importance that many are unemployable; meanwhile, Poles with a good attitude some to the UK and get work within days). But really, some children (about a third) are just academically dim. Far better to get a label like dyslexia than ever admit that though eh?
          And remember: the Chinese have a writing system far more complex than ours, yet their country seems remarkably free of the terrible dyslexia that has infected Western countries in recent years. It’s all diagnostic, baby, and there are strong motivations to label ordinary human behaviour – from parents, teachers, the drugs industry, counsellors etc. That is why you worship a false god called dyslexia.

          • Kitty MLB

            Did you not read the post that a doctor sent you, here,
            explaining the REAL medical facts behind dyslexia.
            and why would I want to bang my head against a wall,
            would end up with the most frightful sore head.

    • Kitty MLB

      That nephew I told you about further down this thread will tell your husband that its real. I am glad he believes that, especially as a teacher.
      Your husband will notice when a bright child who excels and is probably very good with numbers has issues with the written word.

  • David Prentice

    I’m with you except for the allergies bit.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      You don’t find that ‘allergies’ have proliferated even more in recent years than ‘human rights’?

      • Quercus

        In respect to dietary problems, I think it’s medical knowledge and public awareness that have proliferated.

        • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

          Yes and no. Gary Taubes’s books are tremendous eye-openers. Much of science is two steps forward, three steps back — and the best knowers are often the least heard. Doctors get on bandwagons. In physical anthropology, a more accurate picture of human evolution was held back by at least three decades because scientists leaned on their modelling computer toys and ignored the soft-tissue evidence that was there all along. With the finding of Ardipithecus ramidus, the soft-tissue evidence was vindicated and could no longer be ignored. People put far too much faith in scientists these days, whatever the field — medicine, anything that claims to be ‘climate science’. People in lab coats are fallible, they have blind spots, and very often they have agendas that have nothing to do with the truth.

  • farah3

    I am indeed over the age of 45. I spent my school years being told I was imagining the stomach pain, joint pain, and migraines. Doctors told me it was anxiety, my mother was causing it, it was because I was a virgin (not kidding), because I was gay, the litany goes on. At 30 when I dropped several stone I was told this was because I was eating healthily.. I weighed 6.5st. I was lucky, a friend spotted what was wrong at a time when coeliac was still considered super rare, and I was tested and diagnosed. As a consequence so was about half my dad’s family, none of whom had such serious symptoms but all of whom feel a lot better. If you were to feed me a slice of bread no, I wouldn’t get sick in front of you. That’s because coeliac isn’t an allergy you ignorant piece of crap. It’s an autoimmune disease.
    As for your racist – classicist diatribe on dyslexia and ADHD, I’ve seen the difference when people get help and its dramatic: nor are either of these syndromes focused in any particular group.

  • Stacy

    Mate….I am coeliac and awaiting tests for my son. If this was me and you gave him or me gluten you would be seeing us in court. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about so how about you just zip it. That poor kid probably spent the night puking and sh**ting his guts out and exhausted for days. Hope that makes you feel proud of yourself.

  • Bridget Wilson Hall

    Coeliac disease can be shown in blood tests and biopsies so how can it be imaginary. That child will have suffered symptoms such as vomiting and pain and more to the point further damage to the lining of the gut leading in long term cases to malnourishment. Being diagnosed in my 40s has led to my also being diagnosed with osteoporosis in some vertebrae due to a failure to absorb calcium.
    Really an imaginary disease – not!

  • http://batman-news.com Shona

    Dear Rod Liddle, please before putting pen to paper again become more informed on your topic. Reading how you knowlingly gave a child who has coeliac disease bread makes me sick to my stomach. I myself have coeliac disease and therefore write from a point of knowledge. Of course the child did not complain or become ill at the time – it is an autoimmune disease that requires the food to get to the small intestine and the body to start attacking itself before you show symptoms which would have not happened in that time period. I myself find it incredibly difficult at times to ensure I stay gluten-free when out and about due to small minded people like yourself writing rubbish like this. If I had a choice I would not choose to be gluten-free as it means I can’t eat a lot of things I would like to, my food is expensive, it’s very difficult to eat out, which as a result can be socially isolating. I would love to eat a normal sandwich but I can’t. Why?? Because if I did I would become ill for at least a week which would involve constant pain and may even result in me being hospitalised. And in the long-term this could mean I develop osteoporosis at a young age and be infertile. You may think that this article is great as it is causing so much controversy, but please think about the people’s health that you may be affecting.

  • Quercus

    Very disappointed in this article. About a year and a half ago I finally found out what was causing me to become more and more ill: gluten. Now, on a very strict gluten-free diet, I can actually function normally, without digestive problems, extreme fatigue, constant headaches, and the other numerous symptoms that were affecting every aspect of my life. If I eat even so much as a crumb containing gluten, I am ill for around four days starting on the day after ingestion. Living gluten free is difficult (gluten turns up in a surprising number of foods) and I would never choose to do it on a whim or because it’s fashionable.

  • Quercus

    Reading through the comments I find it interesting to see various people posting such comments as ‘I agree with you, except the bit about […] because [insert personal experience here]’. In other words, some people can’t accept that what others are going through might be genuine unless they themselves have experienced it. What a very smallminded view.

    • pedestrianblogger

      I agree with you except for the bit about “smallmindedness”.

      • Quercus

        So you believe it’s a broadminded, intelligent view to dismiss other people’s problems as non-existent unless you yourself have also experienced the same?

  • Rachael Webster

    You have willfully misunderstood the dyslexia research and linked symptomatic diagnoses with conditions identified by specific tests. In your childhood children with coeliac disease failed to thrive and many would have just died in infancy. Why is it so important to you to make other people’s health your issue? It seems you have your own hangups firmly routed in your head. Don’t expect any support for this neurosis under the current administration- bashing the ill and disabled is acceptable sport. For the spectator I suggest you consider the risks of the behaviour being advocated in this article and move to distance yourself from the author before something serious occurs. The action he describes here is asult.

  • Dianne Nockels

    What an obnoxious and uninformed piece of tosh. I hope the story of feeding a sandwich to a coeliac child was fiction, for the sake of shock-factor. As a coeliac adult, a single sandwich would not cause me to die on the spot, but it would lead to stomach cramps and nausea which would probably last for about 3 days. Don’t be surprised, Mr Liddle, when no-one shows up to your kids’ parties next year.

  • HY

    When I was young, at Bash St. Junior, we were all too poor and hungry to have any food fads. Allergies were unheard of. ADHD didn’t exist because any attention seeking misbehaviour was quelled with painful blows from a cane, or the edge of ruler across the knuckles. Kids were either OK or they were “ESN”. The latter group was virtually non-existent because, in those days, “learning difficulties” didn’t exist either.

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

    Okay everybody, I’ve got ADHD on this topic so let’s do a pop survey: If you had to have a wig, would you go for the Leo Sayer in any colour, or would you choose the Rod Liddle?

    • Kitty MLB

      Come to England to help your ADHD, Swanky! There is only an ocean
      between us nothing more..
      At least you are no longer misunderstanding Dyslexia, dear.
      This thread is becoming a stuffy miasma…Shall float off like a scented breeze
      into the twilight and watch the sun set over the terracotta buildings.

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

        Can we die from a miasma? And if we come over all funny from the miasma, does that make us miasmic? Sounds almost as fun as orgasmic… I wonder if we can get a tax break for that.

        • Kitty MLB

          Well we could have at the time of the plague
          and through poison and germs through the atmosphere.
          And probably the reason why everyone swooned in Victorian
          England and not those tight corsets.
          I generally think we are safe now..unless some dictator
          losses the plot, and then we are all doomed.

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

    The other thing that Rod hasn’t touched on is that parents often SEEK these sorts of diagnoses because it’s part of their calculation about getting son/daughter into the university of their choice. If they can’t make the child smarter or a better student, they’ll get special privileges — more exam time, different deadlines etc. — to give the youth an unfair advantage. Happens all the time.

  • Dr Lawrence Youlten

    Dr Lucas has dealt very effectively with Ros Liddle’s scepticism about
    coeliac disease. It is a big step to go from the suggestion that some
    parents are misdiagnosing their children as gluten-intolerant to saying
    that coeliac disease is not a real entity. A letter in the 22 March
    issue points out the dangers to health of wheat challenges to the health
    of true coeliac patients. The description by Rod Liddle of his
    unsupervised food challenge in a child with suspected food allergies is
    even more alarming.Every year several children in the UK, often those
    with asthma, have fatal reactions to nuts or other foods. Deaths have
    even occurred in a supervised medical environment from food challenge,
    carried out with informed consent from patient and/or parents. Two
    characteristic of anaphylactic, (acute allergic) reactions is that they
    can be triggerd by very small amounts of the food concerned and that the
    severity is quite unpredictable, some patients have had
    life-threatening reactions when earlier reactions have been quite mild.
    It would be a tragedy, not to mention very expensive for The Spectator,
    if a reader were to “try this at home” with their own or anyone else’s
    childrren, particularly if they are asthmatic. The wheezing induced by
    Rod Liddle’s ill advised experiment would be classed as a moderately
    severe response to a food challenge. Asthmatic children and teenagers
    are particularly at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions to
    foods.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      Has it ever occurred to you that he might have been kidding/exaggerating/juicing the story up? This isn’t a piece of reportage as such; it’s an opinion piece, a social commentary. I thought the quip about how he doubtless would have heard of any death rather funny. But then, I have a sense of humour.

  • Raeven Wood

    Ronnie, the results are in, and I’ve got good news- you don’t have a disorder. You’re just a generic jerk who can’t write.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

      I’m afraid that’s where you make your bloomer. His name is Rod, to begin with (Roderick not Rodney, which I like because an Agatha Christie murder victim I think was called Roderick, so it’s been close to my heart from a young age). He never suspected that he had a disorder, but believed on the evidence that he thinks quite clearly. He isn’t generic, being something of a standout personality; and if he’s a jerk he sure has a lot of charm and he certainly can write.

      • Raeven Wood

        Cool story…

  • Sarah Hinton

    Sorry to say I disagree with this artical, the author is greatly miss informed and I do hope they never have a child with any of the conditions discussed as the poor child wouldn’t stand a chance

  • Kristy Pollard

    What a great pity your parents failed to educate you. This is the single most ignorant thing I ever had the displeasure of reading. I diagnose you with `Ignorance`. May your ears turn into arse holes and s**t all over your shoulders.

  • Old guy

    Oh Rod Liddle! You’ve done it again! Said what needed to be said in a way that no-one else could. I retired three years ago after spending 51 years in public education with specialisation in reading and literacy. Always the battle was:trained the teachers properly (see:Teaching’s war on science in the same issue) then be sure they are teaching the children properly. Teach the CHILD not the LABEL. Dyslexia became a communicable disease in suburban enclaves to explain why daddy (who was thick) wasn’t being promoted as fast as the Jonses, so the son (most often) had to be diagnosed with dyslexia, inherited from daddy, of course, never from mummy’s side. A disease of hysteria. My observations after 51 years in the field of literacy, upon which I was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Literacy Leadership (a vetted honour). You have said it well and truly.

  • Jenny Worstall

    Presumably Rod Liddle intended this for the 1st April edition but possibly has trouble with numbers (there’s a name for this, isn’t there?) so it was printed too early…seriously though, this has to be one of the most ignorant articles I have ever read. I can think of several other names for it but am too polite to say them.

  • timworstall

    Umm, might I just say that I disagree with my sister here. Not unusual as we both know but now we’re doing it in public……

  • nigel soames

    Rod, love the article, I have quoted it on a Which article and opened a veritable can of worms. It’s good to get this out in the open and being discussed. See http://conversation.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/nut-dairy-food-allergy-eating-out/#comments

  • http://not-a-website.com Kristian Dalland

    I am dyslexic. So is my father.

    I was diagnosed when I was in first or second grade by Diana King at Kildonan. She told my therapist and my mother that I was one of the most dyslexic kids she had ever seen. My father’s teachers thought he was mildly retarded in high school and gave him passing grades in an attempt to motivate him. By the way he is a structural engineer and graduated from Columbia on a full scholarship(Masters). I myself am about to finish up my BFA in sculpture and my BS in mechanical engineering.

    I have been incredibly fortunate that my father made enough money to send me to the schools that allowed me to progress academically. Without that privately funded remediation my life would have been a great deal more difficult. I was given the environment to succeed, all I had to do was work hard.

    You do not have to believe anything I am saying and I know you won’t if you buy into this article. I only read the first paragraph which prompted me to make this comment. Dyslexia is not at all understood , although the effects are. It is a neurological disorder but more effectively a neurological difference. If you go on Wikipedia you’ll see that specialists estimate dyslexia to be between 1% and 33% prevalent in society. You can take that information however you want. What it means to me is that we really have no idea beside the effects.

    Don’t live your life assuming things “are” or “aren’t” based on how you feel. Who you are, as a person, is incredible simple compared to the workings of your body. Your comprehension is limited and you should treat it as such. I am speaking in general terms here and not singling out the author.

    After finishing this article just now I have come to the conclusion that the author has the emotional capacity of a walnut based on observation.

    “I gave it”

    The author referred to a kid as it. I know there are some monsters out there. I used to be one. As a child with ADHD I was by no means easy to take care of. Like a machine of destruction that never stopped. My parents also know how to cook real food fyi. I have made it this far because of people who do not refer to children as “it”.

    On a final more general note,

    We as a species have made it this far because we can sometimes predict what will happen when we put two things together. We observe, study and then recreate or modify to our own benefit. Many of the tools we have developed in the past century are as a result of accident and/or coincidence. For example Penicillin from mold growing in a lab(wiki Alexander Fleming). What gives you the right to paint the world black and white. Your life is easy and thus you have no empathy.

    For physical strength one must put the body under stress.
    For knowledge one must put the mind under stress.

    The path of most resistance leads to the most growth in all aspects of life as long as you make progress.

    “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – MLK

    Hard work and the paths we end up taking are the only things that differentiate us.

    sincerely yours
    -fuck you
    from the states, obviously.

  • Chris

    Perhaps you should spell check this utter bile before publishing it into the public arena.

    “Percent” is one word, whereas “per cent” has an entirely different meaning altogether.

    As you seem so against the idea of dyslexia being real, I will put this rather
    basic error down to you being a ridiculously stupid moron.

  • Bobby

    Dyslexia and ADHD i agree that there is probably a large population who claim to have it but infact are either just taking advantage of the educational benefits or making excuses and ADHD even more so, however i still do think there may be individuals that do really have these conditions or something similar at least.

    Food allergies aren’t fake at all, but again there is evidence to suggest that many people claim to have certain allergies when they simply don’t such as gluten sensitivity (however gluten allergies do exist obviously).

    Asthma does exist obviously, however against likely that some people over amplify whatever symptoms they may have leading to a large portion of the population being misdiagnosed.

  • Jessus

    Fraud Almighty?
    Regarding Rod Liddell’s entertaining article on us dyslexics just being old fashioned ‘dense’ and stupid; (March 15th). Yeah and we’ve not asked for much either:- only for the curricula in audio and text, noting that audio has been available since 1900.

    But it’s still not happening because once The Curriculum is accessible in an audio and text format, then who needs teachers? So The Academy obfuscates The Curriculum to provide a necessity to intercede, which is a vast fraud system.

    Moreover The State colludes, because in return The Academy allows it to control The Childs’ Curriculum for indoctrination purposes:- so just ‘The 3Rs incl. IT and Sport’, since all that The State needs is a passive, dumbed-down Public, capable only of being bureaucrats and soldiers, which is a still more malign fraud system.

    Furthermore the UK Public has had to endure these twinned UK Academy Fraud Systems since 1870 and the cost which is about £110 billion p.a.; whereas UK Education should be virtually free via video downloads, and via home and community education, supervised by the parents and students themselves.

    We the dense people have known about this Fraud Almighty since Saint Clerical Fraud System 1 got his visa and entered Britain in 597AD; and this is how things are likely to remain until the present Fraud State destabilises the UK entirely; to the contrary we the dense people, have been recommending since 598AD that an informed consensus would be a very good thing, rather than the Fraud State).

    Failing adopting The Dense Idea, the entire destabilisation of the UK is already scheduled by Global Banksters for when you Bright Things via The UK Party Political Election Fraud System have global corporately expropriated all the UK’s worthwhile assets, and which is well nigh, is it not, and you’ve heard it from a dense person have you not?

    Jessus ♀ (disciple posts welcome)

  • Anonymous

    I wonder why, if ADHD is a made-up condition, there is evidence that the prefrontal cortex activity in the brain decreases in a person with ADHD, rather than increase (as in a person without ADHD). And was the ‘dyslexia gene’ in the brain made up too? Do doctors or scientists really just jump to conclusions? I certainly hope not.

    I understand that over-diagnosis is all too common. Misdiagnosis may be accidental or incidental. Even with the irony, it is true that under-diagnosis is also too common – it could be in the same clinic, or in a place where such problems are not recognised enough, or only with girls.

    And everyone CAN learn to read and pay attention, and teachers should have high expectations, be strict but also kind in the way a teacher should be, etc, etc..

    But, relating to this article – about how both ‘dyslexia’ and ‘ADHD’ are both meaningless terms. This article does not convince me. Sadly, many schools have virtually zero support, and some students may try very hard indeed, but not achieve good grades. And this is due to poor teaching, or lack of support, and sometimes teachers are not putting recommendations into practice. Even if the student does achieve good grades, his or her disability may have an emotional downside, making him or her thinking ‘I’m dumb’ or ‘I’m stupid’ or ‘I’ll never amount to anything, so I give up trying altogether’. Given how essential willpower and determination is, this is an extremely dangerous situation to get into.

    I agree with the others who commented that this article is quite offensive. I also find it unnecessarily biased. There are some professionals who would never have achieved what they have if they hadn’t received any support. There are children who could be thinking of suicide because of what they have gone through – their own difficulties, bullying, alienation, and anger from teachers and parents. There are secondary school students who might drop out of school because they just find it too difficult, despite having had incredible work ethic and discipline.

    This article does have a very important message – it mentions giving kids a balanced diet and parent involvement. A proper diet is essential for concentration, and good parenting is crucial for the child’s learning and development. Doing these things may indeed decrease the number of children who are misdiagnosed, and will certainly improve or maintain the behaviour of all children.

    Instead of insisting that ADHD is a ‘fake’ disorder, perhaps you should borrow books about the topic from your local library. Especially if you happen to be a parent of such a child.

    And if you have access to Youtube, then you may want to watch this video, which emphasizes the importance of visual aids when teaching spelling:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CpZAH6elIc

  • Bee Swiss

    My husband and daughter are dyslexic and ADHD. My son and I are not. Indeed, our brains are wired differently. Medications do greatly reduce distractibility and impulsivity in my husband and daughter. My daughter just earned college credit in art and yet she is still in high school. My husband has a masters degree and is a successful head of school. However, neither my husband nor my daughter read as fluently my son and I read. You cannot fake this brain structure if you are examined by a qualified psychologist. I can walk into a classroom and within a week, I can tell you who is dyslexic and who is not. There are many subtle indicators that cannot be faked. Children receiving assistance in school would not be able to consistently fake a dyslexic or ADHD condition. No adult could do so. Many highly successful entrepreneurs are dyslexic. They don’t spell well but they do problem solve very well. Dr. Sally Shaywitz at Harvard is one of a number of physicians who have emperically proven brain scan research proving the difference in brain structures for dyslexics. The debate, professional egos really, is not if there brain structures that where a high IQ is hindered by a reading inefficiency, but what to call this type of brain structure. You could not fake the condition. Not for long. You would find it much too frustrating, especially since writing and reading are something you do with ease. Have you created your own successful business with a new and innovative approach. This is what Richard Branson did and yet he cannot spell, nor easily pick up vocabulary nor quickly find the right word when verbalizing his ideas; nonetheless, his ideas are top notched. Your writing is provocative and well crafted. If you were to do some research or actually dialogue with dyslexics and then write a follow up piece, that could be truly interesting. I have seen very little evidence of empathy or real assistance towards my daughter in school. She daily takes a beating and keeps on ticking. She would rather not have a dyslexic brain and give up what few accommodations she receives. In fact, most recommended accommodations would prove frustrating or non helpful for those with non-dyslexic brains. Surely your life experiences have shown that life is not as black and white as you propose in this article nor are humans as simplistic and easily categorized as this article proposes nor do we even begin to really understand the human mind. We are a bit more complex, mysterious, and intriguing than this article urges us to consider.

  • Terry Le Dactyl

    The author of this article is a troll….a complete ignorant a$$hole. He has written this article to anger people, to attract visitors and comments.

    I am 52 yrs old, still have an IQ of 169 and have recently discovered that I definitely had ADHD in the late 60’s, early 70’s. It was a nightmare and I still have difficulties. We also now suspect dyslexia. I can look at a set of numbers and still see them swapped. It is amazing…still baffles me. No big deal, I work around it, I just proof read my work a couple times.

    I wish we had been more aware of ADHD at that time. I would have spent less time in special classes and psychiatrists offices. My poor parents could never figure out the problem. Was I hyperactive? Did I have hearing problems? Is she gifted and but extremely bored? What the hell is wrong with this child? I grew up thinking that I was at fault, that I was stupid and a no-good troublemaker.

    Today, these brilliant children with ADHD now have answers to their behavior patterns. I wish I had known back then, my life would have turned out extremely different.

    – Ignore the uneducated fool who wrote this article. Remember his goal…

  • Anthony Woods

    Mr Liddle

    Don’t know where to start you clearly have no idea what you are
    talking about. As a severe dyslexic myself I can tell you it is real. And I can
    provide several psychologists reports to prove it. Your article says nothing
    about all the researchers, doctors, academics teachers etc. who for the last
    100 plus years have been studying, understanding, looking at ways to help dyslexics, look for a cure etc. How dare you right such crap!

    The scary thing is, you have got to a high level of
    Journalism, when you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Please
    stop there are children, adults struggling all over the world with dyslexia,
    writing crap like the above just brings so much pain to so many.

    Anthony Woods

  • Carmela

    This a very offensive article written by a individual who does bother to back his rather offensive opinions with sources other than “everyone knows” sort of nonsense. That this drivel makes it to print does not say much for the Spectator

    • Damn-Deal-Done

      The article is about two scientific studies which have shown both ADHD and Dyslexia to be meaningless terms. So your analysis of this articles is completely wrong. As someone who was diagnosed with dyslexia when very young and then went on to be one of the most fluid readers in middle school, I can confirm that dyslexia is not real. Being labelled dyslexia did however give me about 6 years of ridicule from far thicker people who were never labelled as such because the quota had been filled already.

  • Phillip S. Beck

    The person who wrote this article has no idea what they are talking about. I am sick of people like him who obviously have no medical or Psychological training writing stupid articles in which they discuss things in which they have no clue about what they are talking about. What is so disgusting about this article is that he is basically telling parents they should just tell their kids that they are lazy and stupid and are behaving badly. In other words he is promoting Psychological child abuse. Does he realize the Psychological harm he is causing to children who have parents who are going to buy into his nonsense? And then he writes about Asthma being a hoax also. Well tell me asshole why is it that after I do exercising I have a problem breathing and could have died if I hadn’t used my inhaler? What gives you the right to make false claims about legitimate medical conditions? Frankly you sound like a mental patient who believes that all things are conspiracies to scam the public. If I knew who you were and saw you somewhere I would like to punch you in the nose and while you’re bleeding on the sidewalk and then I would tell you that the blood coming out of your nose is just a hoax and see how you like that while you’re bleeding to death. You’re an asshole who has not one clue about what you are talking about. Your article is totally a bunch of bunk and is totally irresponsible. I want you to go and tell the parents of children who died from an asthma attack that what they died from doesn’t really exist. You claim that the people who say their children have dyslexia are just not accepting that their children are just stupid well maybe you need to take a look at yourself because guess what you’re the one who is stupid. You’re obviously are brain damaged.

  • Phillip S. Beck

    I just hope that Rod Liddle doesn’t have any children of his own because someone with his beliefs should not be allowed to be around children. He obviously believes that Psychologically abusing children by telling them they are stupid and lazy is the way to treat children. And what if his children or child has asthma they’ll end up dead because he will refuse to get them the needed medications to treat their asthma. Since it sounds like to me he doesn’t believe in any illness that any children that he may have could end up dead or at least suffering since according to him whatever illness they have is just a hoax. Maybe it will take him getting an illness himself or having a child that has ADD or ADHD to prove to him it is real when he finds out that his children are not lazy or stupid. Except since he suffers from two illnesses that is obvious he’s had for a long time which are terminal called ignorance and stupidity he probably wouldn’t notice that his children that he calls stupid and lazy are actually working hard but also suffering. I wouldn’t wish any child to have him for a father if he really believes the nonsense in this article he wrote.

  • Anna

    I cannot believe what I have just read. I am a seventeen-year-old student that had been diagnosed with ADHD. You don’t understand the hours of tutoring, the sleepless nights (staying up doing homework), the amount of effort I put in to keep an all-A average at school. It is not “all in my head”; even now, after I have just finished a word search that took my classmates about 10 minutes to do, and me over an hour, because I can’t just “turn off my brain” and find the damn words. Seriously, I keep finding words that aren’t even in the word bank. The idea that this is all made up, or that it is my parents fault is wrong. My sister got a scholarship to go to college for Political Science and Social Justice. My brother has one of the highest GPA’s in his class and is currently taking 4 AP classes (as a sophomore in high school). It’s not my parent’s fault. It’s not my fault. It’s just the way I am. You could say that I don’t fit the mold of the “normal” high school student, but that’s not my fault. It’s just the way it is. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really need to stop getting distracted by opinionated idiots and finish this stupid word search.

  • antred

    I agree 100% with everything you said in this article, at least with what you said about dyslexia and ADHD.

  • Adhdwontstopmeh

    I have adhd and i get good grades and i dont take the drug i use a different sort of treatment and adhd is usually genetic and in my case it is now urrgghhh im furious

  • Robert

    I am Dyslexic,

    When I was in 1st grade I was making no progress in reading. Fortunately I was at an excellent public school that had a teacher trained to teach dyslexics how to read, In 2nd and 3rd grade I went from a pre-k reading level, to a 6th grade reading level in two years to the astonishment of the school.

    Today I am 20 years old, president and co-founder of a start-up that now has 12 employees, has won numerous business plan and pitch competitions, and recently received venture capital funding……. also my SAT scores are in the 99th percentile.

    My lack of humility is to illustrate a point…That point being that you Rod Liddle are an ignoramus of the highest order.

    Are there children who struggle to read because they are of less than average intelligence who claim to be dyslexics, yes. But dyslexia is a well documented phenomenon, and obviously a misunderstood phenomenon.

    *a note to the editor

    This articles gross fallacies are a disgrace to publishing, and journalism. You are incompetent.

  • Alex

    Rod Liddle. Not only are you wrong but you’re a deluded self-righteous speculative hateful piece of shit. Eat a dick.

  • Jan

    Dyslexia is very real. It has nothing to do with ones status or class.
    Normally a teacher would spot the disparity between the child’s obvious
    intelligence and their inability to spell and read. Other things are
    also affected like, telling the time, co-ordination, fine and gross
    motor are sometimes affected. It can be tested by an educational
    psychologist, who will be able to tell you where someones i.q. strengths
    and weaknesses are, invariably a dyslexic will struggle in the area of
    symbolic understanding but will have strengths in other areas,
    sometimes creative thinking.
    Richard Branson is dyslexic. Sometimes a dyslexic can have a low i.q., but it’s more obvious in those with a high i.q.

  • http://www.Improve-Education.org Bruce Deitrick Price

    Re: “It is utterly meaningless. It is a pretentious word for ‘thick’.” Close but still wrong.
    Dyslexia is a term that means having trouble with reading – more exactly it means having the bad luck to be taught by misguided teachers. Whole Word, Whole Language, etc. ( i.e., any method that uses sight-words) will invariably produce crippled children. Instead of admitting this or changing their methods, the Education Establishment puts the label “dyslexic” on these deliberately crippled children. A reading expert just told me a few weeks ago that “dyslexia is a cash cow” for the school system. They have all these so-called dyslexic children that require years of extra training, teaching, and tutoring. My God, how the money rolls in.

    (For related article, Google “Education as a cause of mental health issues” on American Thinker.)

  • Sam Scanlon

    Regarding one of your replys to the comment below that you could go to the G.P and get all diagnosed in the morning, It has taken me 2003-2012 to get my sons adhd diagnosed and I would suggest you do some research on the condition before shouting to the world your uneducated moronic comments like ” Jayden, ten, and Kayleigh-Anne, 12 — have stabbed several fellow pupils and two members of staff in their ghastly secondary school’s teacher support unit,” ADHD does NOT = rude offensive out of control violent children and it is comments like yours that help to hold these children back ”
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – or ADHD – is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain that affects attention, concentration and impulsivity. Someone with ADHD might have significant attention problems, appear restless, fidgety, overactive and impulsive. They can act before thinking and often speak before thinking by blurting out and interrupting others. (mentalhealth.org.uk)
    I see no mention of stabbing anyone !!!

    My son was also diagnosed with DCD/Dyspraxia in early 2014 (just before his 13th birthday) and also Sever receptive & expressive language disorder ( I will assume that’s two more conditions that dont exist ) oh and he has asthma, but reading your drivel above its probably more that he is to thick or lazy to breath properly !!!

    He works harder in school than anyone (teachers parents evening not my own fluffy opinion) but he struggles to grasp the context and when the light bulb does turn on there is a power out this is due to Short Term Memory (lack of) my sons conditions does mean he is not academically brighter than the average bear does this mean I should be ashamed of him and lock him in a cupboard ? Or should I as a loving parent ensure he gets the correct implementation of the correct provision to enable him to at least have a fighting chance in a world full of opinionated uneducated judgemental loud mouths like yourself ? The fact it is such a fight to get the kids diagnosed and supported 2003-2014 (and still going) = 11 years , not quite the quick hop to the GP you claim is it ?

    I would suggest the next time your well worn & exhausted skollobs have the time to write such damaging, misinformed & offensive pieces they divert to getting some facts first !!!! or are they that arrogant that they believe research is beneath them ?? and I dont mean googling is adhd fake, try what parts of the brain are effected etc etc get some correct information. The world is very often a scary place for these children as more often then not there is at least one or two co-morbidities with neurological conditions(I am assuming from a well researched point) the reason for this is the brain as a huge electronic organizer, signal sender, translator …………etc etc ……. if one of the signals is down it has knock on effects to the rest . If you have a infected file on your computer is it ONLY that file that’s effected NO, its very similar to the workings of the brain like a car engine.

    I can not believe I have just read this Gwangi, I hope you do not have to deal with a close loved one with a “lets pretend” condition, although Karmically you should have ten children all with different imaginary conditions to get a real feel for your stupidity and a large does of humble pie, but I would have to get social service to remove the poor mites from your for their own safety

  • Håkan Smedja

    This is frankly the most offensive article that I have ever had the misfortune to read . Yes absolut te most stupid and mean rubbich.

  • John Torr

    I hope you die horribly in a freak yachting accident, Rod Liddle brain…

  • Jack Greenhalgh

    Wow I didn’t know my grandad knew how to write online articles.

  • Iliana Stratidaki

    I have been diagnosed with dyslexia it is not a disease or a type of illness its not an excuse to be lazy and it certainly does not mean you are a failure or less capable i’m currently in school doing my gcse’s and came across this writing about my mental condition/learning difficulty,I’m not a lazy student i work hard as any other person would and so does the majority of any other dyslexics, what you get a couple of misbehaved kids that cant be bothered to learn and you think its okay to say its because of the dyslexia, people like this are the reason people that have a learning difficulty or disability start to play up you make people feel worthless and incapable they will not have a reason to fight for if you make them feel like they are nothing and not going to go anywhere, being dyslexic to me is a gift i can think outside the box and explore only things people could imagine its ignorance and small minded people that would say something like that you would never judge anyone else for any condition so why judge for this one? what because its not like some of the greatest people that ever lived weren’t dyslexic, no of course not they were attention seeking what is going through your head- Rod Liddle

  • D M

    Let me suggest to the author that the reality is quite simple. We haven’t evolved to sit in front of desks. Yes, let me repeat that shocking statement, desks and office work did not exist until recently on the human scale.
    In the framework of what humans have evolved for, hyperactivity and dyslexia are productive traits. Nature in its wisdom creates a nice spread from the cautious to the daring, from those accentuating long memory to the short. If you try to sit such a wide spread of nature’s productive qualities in front of desks you will find many of them won’t be able to fit the mold
    It’s not the children that are wrong, it’s the mold modern society is trying to buckle them to fit them into that’s mistaken.
    d

  • http://www.adhdrollercoaster.org Gina Pera

    How many vile screeds of modern “news outlets” are excuses for bad behaviour, stupidity, sociopathy, and hits-hungry attention-getting?

  • Eva Lindsay

    This author really is very ignorant, isn’t he?

  • Kate Papageorgiou

    I can see that this person is totally neuro typical and has not friends or relatives who have any difficulties with life what so every. I pity the paucity of this person’s experience with the world. This artical manages to insult just ablut everyone with any kind of life experience.

    I actually feel sorry for you Rod Liddle. You even manage to totally misunderstand the book which ws published by Durham University experts, who did not say what you quote them as having said here and have actually, thanks to you, had to spend important time in their lecures and presentations on the topic of Specific Learning Difficulties distanceing themselfve for you and your story here.
    I know as I have seen Prof Julian lecture.

    His attitude is not that dyslexia does not exsist and those who claim their children have it are deluded, no. What he actually says is that to lable those who can manage to get the diagnosis as dyslexic excludes those who should get help to read and write but don’t as they; either fail to match certain criteria which are a moveable feast or because they can’t aford to get one or thier school can’t aford to get them one.

    What he says is that all children who can’t read should get a lot of extra help and that there are those who can’t read but are still very bright. In addition I currently tutor a child in maths who was diagnosed by him as being dyslexic.
    In other words; the man who you champion here because you think he agrees with your warped view, that all children who fail to learn to read are thick, actually diagnoses such children as dyslexic himself!!

  • Sam

    Wow, i’ve never read an article so wrong off. I am dyslexic myself being diagnosed in year three at primary school. In year two my teacher labelled me stupid.

    I’m now at a highly regarded university in the third year.

    • Sylvia Rosa Dean

      you have just grown up. …plain and simple .
      dont live with labels.. you have done well. be yourself..

      • Rachel Louise Wright

        Ignorant! I am dyslexic. Diagnosed at age 16. I am a successful nurse, very good at my job but the frustration I feel at comments like yours and the author of this article is astronomical. Part of my dyslexia symptoms is written self expression so unfortunately I am unlike to phrase this as well as I would in person.

        People with dyslexia are not stupid, we are usually clever but unfortunately our brains have black holes. We can be excellent at one aspect of a task but suddenly fall into a hole and cant do or process the other aspect of a task.
        Really sorry I cant seem to phrase that any clearer.

        Please think twice before propagating disingenuous, research absent, waffle.

        • Sylvia Rosa Dean

          I am sure you are successful. you just like being labelled. Nothing wrong with your written word or expression. !!.
          I think there has been extensive research done. If you care to look.
          If you fall into a black hole…… as you put it. how can you be a nurse ?? does the task your doing not get completed then ?now I am confused !! as would most people be ??
          what utter tosh. !! You have grown up ..but not out of wanting the unnessary crutch of a
          a middle class labelling for principally…… ( and not totally ) less academic children .. and now ….as a mature and successful adult you do not need this title !! Because you know you get a reaction…. of either pity …or well mannered people will not challenge you.It is without doubt an immotive and often controlling label and especially on a mature person that had issues as a child or teenager.
          Move on and just continue to be a good nurse.Which I am sure you are.
          Encourage children too.. and do not put the seed of uncertainty in …..what at times is a crutch for a child ..who feels they are not acheiving. Many many many I worked with just simply had very poor help or often no help at home and were never in any way academic.
          Again. dont get on your high horse and say this wasnt me.. that a generlisation which having worked in the education sector can substantiate !! Therefore a reason has to be contrived and often in a well meaning way to encourage the child. nothing wrong with encouragement… as long as it is informed and relevant.
          So why is Dysexia soooo prevalent in the 21st century ??? it is a melting pot of all of the above..

          • Rachel Louise Wright

            It is very sad that you are so ignorant on this subject. I wish you all the best in the future and hope that one day you finally learn to revise your misguided views.

            Just as a side not. I am good at my job, I also thought I had grown out of my issues with learning, however when I went back into education as a student to do a degree in a different subject they all came back. all the issues I had were still there. However as I found out dyslexics learn to compensate as they get older, they find ways around their problems but they dont go away.

            Dyslexia is rooted in physical brain issues, It is a disability.

            And NO I DONT LIKE BEING LABELLED. how dare you insinuate this. You dont know me. no-one knew I was dyslexic at work as I managed by doing things in a different way. You have no right to judge me or anyone else who knows they have dyslexia.

          • sylviarosadean

            Functional analysis is needed. So say …. eminent educational psychologists…. professors of education… and from prestigious universities such as Durham and Yale to name but two.. I am well educated on the subject , my viewpoint experience and knowledge will substantiate my reasoned argument. You have merely blanked this and become agressive without any articulation… and merely put across your personal viewpoint which you are entitled too and I respect . But you do not respect others views.
            NO MORE to be said.

            “it is difficult winning a reasoned debate with an intelligent person…. but impossible, with a stupid person ”
            Subject: Re: Comment on Dyslexia is meaningless. But don’t worry – so is ADHD

          • John

            I have partial read the research you are trying to quote however you have severely misunderstood the meaning of what it is trying to say. The author which I have also listened to does believe there is a learning condition called dyslexia but it needs too be defined better so instead of insult the dyslexia community. please actually do your research properly.

  • Joan

    Please don’t procreate. But if you do, may Karma come bite you in the a$$ 🙂

  • LJ

    Do you even have a single days experience working in education? As a 30 year-old teacher with six years experience in classrooms and private tuition, I can assure you that dyslexia is an absolutely real disability.
    Some of the brightest students I have met have such difficulty with written English that it’s almost unbelievable to read an essay by a highly articulate teenage student with the written expression of a child. If you had bothered to do any real research into the topic you would have seen that there has been so much research done into dyslexia confirming the reality of the condition that it’s truly laughable to question the condition at this point.
    Obviously your style is intended to provoke and the actual knowledge and expertise you bring to the table regarding this issue is zero. This piece, like so much journalism, is merely articulate nonsense with no scientific or social merit.

    • techtalk101

      Those students probably just have vision problems. Clearly YOU are the person who hasn’t done any real research.

      • LJ

        I’ve done quite a bit of research TechTalk as my job requires me to do so. There is an enormous body of research into dyslexia and ADHD. What field do you work in?

    • Sylvia Rosa Dean

      well I too have worked for years with ADHD and dyslexia… I TOTALLY agree with the article. 100%..

      • LJ

        So what has your experience with dyslexic and ADHD students been? In my experience, I’m not even a specialist assessor, but you can tell within a single lesson if a student is affected by dyslexia. Have you read any of the vast body educational and neurological literature on both conditions?

        • Lindum

          Have you? They are suggesting these terms should be abolished.

          • LJ

            The research – which is extensive does not remotely suggest that the terms should be abolished. There has been a huge amount of research done into dyslexia both from a neurological standpoint and in relation to phonics and their acquisition. Beyond this, as a teacher their identification is extremely useful.
            ADHD in my experience as a teacher is something that parents worry about if their child is simply easily distracted. I believe it may be being over-diagnnosed – but real ADHD does exist and it’s presence is always extremely obvious. When a pupil has true ADHD you can tell within minutes – they are far, far outside the normal range for attention levels. Even when they make a concerted effort to concentrate – it’s clear they are not a regular student.

  • Benny

    What a kunt

  • Rose Kawira

    I am surprised and still shocked with the great miracle that happened in
    my family, my husband and I have been to various hospitals and I have
    been tested HIV positive last year in June and my husband was HIV
    negative I was so surprised because i was still ill at that time and
    that lead us to the hospital, but the doctor confirmed that he had
    kidney/ Cancer problems. since we spent money around to get drugs from
    different hospital, I was looking through the internet for help when
    I saw a comment of people talking about how Dr.Ogoni on how he heal
    them of HIV disease and other diseases, I did not believe at first but I
    just choose to try the herbs and I contacted him by email
    (dr.ogonisolutiontemple@gmail.com) he told me what to do even if mine
    was more stressful than my husband different herbs was sent to us. To my
    surprise, my husband and I waited patiently for the treatment and the
    instruction given to us by this man called Ogoni and we went for a
    medical test and the result was negative and my husband reconfirmed and
    it was quite correct, even our doctor was confused he said he has never
    seen this kind of miracle before. Dr.Ogoni thank you very much for the
    good work in our lives and God will bless you for the good work you did.
    you can also contact that great and powerful man, if you have a problem
    with
    • Cancer(All Types)
    • Arthritis
    • Diabetes
    • Leukemia
    Contact him and be free forever, if you need CANNABIS OIL to cure your cancer, via email dr.ogonisolutiontemple@gmail.com

    • techtalk101

      And you’re saying this is relevant?!

  • TechTalk 101

    Don’t make blatant judgments without any evidence to back them up. (Looking at your food allergies crap.) Food allergies are 100% real, but the only reason Gen Z has them is because of Gen X’s carelessness and unhealthy habits.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here