Claire 16 years – “Misdiagnosed as ADHD.”

Name Claire
Age 16 Years
Located Western Australia
Problem Areas Unable to tell the time & time management issues, lacked understanding, high anxiety, low self-esteem, short concentratin span, spelling issues
Finished Program November 2009

Claire was really battling. She was diagnosed in Year 3 as having ADHD by the Educational Psych. Since that time she’d been under the appropriate doctors and medication and over many years received extra tutorial help. Only to be assessed again at the end of Year 10 with comments descriptive of Dyslexia.


Client Background: Despite Claire’s diagnosis of ADHD and being on meds and under doctors, none of this seemed to bring any change and schoolwork just didn’t have any meaning for Claire. The basic building blocks of all subjects were missed and there was no cumulative learning. In her classes, she would sit still and not cause any trouble. However the teaching was all going over her head. By Year 12, not only was schoolwork meaningless, but her whole life was losing focus.


One small example is that she still could not tell the time, after every frustrating effort of help! This meant:

  • she would not wear a watch through fear of someone asking her the time
  • being ‘on time’ didn’t have a meaning
  • she had no idea of how long she was taking to do something
  • this and other learning problems, caused a huge inferiority complex
  • the fact that she wouldn’t admit it, caused further inward turmoil and so it goes on.

Multiply this example by the amount of missed matters, both learning and common-life, to get some insight into the frustration and tension that accumulates in the life of these cases. She had to find another way of fitting in wither peers who have these qualities as normal. This developed a very introspective view leading to intense self-consciousness, with a resultant inability to converse. The problem is self-accumulating and effectively isolates the child from the life around them.



At the end of Year 10, she was again assessed by the School Psych and some of the comments were descriptive of Dyslexia. This was picked up by a doctor well known to us and he believed Claire had been misdiagnosed as ADHD. He said to purse investigating Dyslexia treatments. It was very confirming to hear the therapist at the ALC echo the same sentiments. She explained that they see it all the time where dyslexic patients have been under ADHD treatment with no real gain. ADHD is an easy way out for doctors. They can put your case into a box and set you under prescribed treatment for life. We believe that at least 10% of the population has dyslexia of some kind.



One form of dyslexia treatment that came to our attention was the Visual Dyslexia Therapy offered by the ALC. It is unobtrusive and requires eye exercises and eye activities on their machine. ALC has been involved in eye studies for many years and is highly respected in international circles. In her studies she noticed that the macula in some people was shimmering. (The macula is the focal point of the eye lens at the rear of the eye and in the centre of the retina. It is the reception point of all images through the eye and is connected with the brain by the optic nerve.)


The result of her following this up was that she established a shimmering macula had a direct link with dyslexia. In each confirmed case, only one macula moved. This meant that the message from each eye to the brain was different. Where this is the case, the brain rejects the image (like a computer). Result – the brain doesn’t process (learning) the image and therefore doesn’t store (memory) the image.


The purpose of the therapy is to stabilize the macula. Once this is accomplished, it remains permanent and needs no further treatment. For the patient to qualify, the initial tests must prove that one macula is shimmering.


 CHANGES NOTICED IN CLAIRE: After the fourth day of the ten day treatment, she started asking us questions and listening to what we were saying. This was a new experience. In a general sense she seemed more settled and restful. Since that time we have noticed, apart from the teenage ups and downs, a number of very clear pointers to something changing in Claire.


  • In her final report from the tests at the end of the treatment her results showed:
  • The macula was steady, allowing for strong fixation at all levels
  • Depth of perception improved from ‘a complete lack’ to an ‘excellent’ rating.
  • Distance and near reading tests dramatically improved from 10 (poor) to 5. Normal is 6.


The following points need to be taken in the overall context of changes in other circumstances. She finished school at the same time and has since taken up employment. Nevertheless, we feel assured that the treatment was effective. We are noticing changes that, at the beginning were small, are developing as time goes on.


  • Not so tense or agitated
  • She enters into conversation
  • She can hold a conversation and tell a story
  • We can talk to her and she will stop and listen
  • Takes notice of what you say
  • Easier to get along with
  • She has taken on answering the phone at work – with confidence!
  • Gaining confidence – even in walking and attitude
  • Wants to take on responsibility
  • Wears different clothes every day – used to have favourites
  • Wants to finish something she has started
  • Wants to try
  • Starting to sing
  • Bounces a ball


Two little examples – a) she said to her sister “I am finding I can spell names now.” This shows there is a process of thought happening to work out firstly she has to spell them rightly and secondly how to do it. b) she has taken up the suggestion of her mother to learn some of the basics – English & Maths. This was anathema previously and doubly so after leaving school!


Please don’t let this be taken as ‘we now have the perfect child’! It probably really requires someone who has lived with this type of situation to understand. However small the progress is in any of these points it is not only very noticeable, but also a very great thrill to witness. All of the above points are in the light of them having been absent previously.


We would fully recommend the treatment to any who recognise these symptoms.