Every year, more and more children are being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The typical treatment for ADHD usually entails a prescription. In the Danish documentary, Four Letters Apart – Children in the Age of ADHD, we follow three children who have all been diagnosed with ADHD. Martine, Victor, and Marino all struggle in school and socially because of their diagnosis, but over the course of a year, and with support from their parents and teachers, typical drug therapy is replaced with interdisciplinary therapy – which utilizes massage, physiotherapy, and sensory motor development to improve their concentration and calmness.
Four Letters Apart is a raw look at what children with ADHD deal with and go through daily. The film follows the children in their homes and at school. We’re shown the up and downs of the children’s lives, from the tantrums and outbursts to family parties and field trips. Much of the film is eye-opening and heartbreaking, with the children speaking very candidly about their self-image and diagnosis.
The message of Four Letters Apart is very clear. Drug therapy, especially Ritalin, is not right for every child with ADHD, but the film and children in it speak for themselves. The results and changes in these children is enough to bring a tear to your eye. Just through interdisciplinary treatment, the kids seem happier, concentrate better during class, and most importantly feel better about themselves.
Not the most visually stunning or creatively put together doc, but Martine, Victor, and Marino’s stories and struggles will change the way you think about ADHD and drug therapy in particular.