When I sought permission to use quotes from his papers, Barkley initially refused, implying that I might take him out of context. He eventually relented, allowing me and developmental/behavioral pediatrician Bose Ravenel to compare his position to ours in “The Diseasing of America’s Children” (Thomas Nelson, 2009). To my knowledge, Barkley has never publicly addressed the issues we raise in the book.
Barkley believes ADHD is a disease, probably inherited, that affects brain chemistry and function. After nearly 10 years of research, Dr. Ravenel and I came to the conclusion that no good evidence exists to support Barkley’s disease hypothesis. Barkley is on record saying that although behavior therapy (behavior modification) can be a useful supplementary treatment, no approach to ADHD has ever or is probably ever going to completely replace pharmaceutical therapy. In this regard it is significant to note that Barkley has had ties to Eli Lilly and Co., the developer of the popular ADHD drug Strattera. In our book, Dr. Ravenel and I review the drawbacks of pharmaceutical therapy and lay out an alternative, research-based treatment plan involving a combination of strategic discipline, restricting electronic media and diet. The plain truth is that on numerous occasions we have seen ADHD symptoms completely disappear without medication.