Finding RobertPaperback - 2015
Diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiance disorder,
and pervasive developmental disorder in the early 1990s, Robert Stevens was an
exceptionally intelligent child who could not function in a mainstream environment.
Being the "problem child" of every play group, sports league, and extracurricular activity
he joined, Robert had no friends, no internal means of self-control, no "off switch,"
and--as his parents, Robert and Catherine Stevens, were warned--perhaps no real
future. Thinking it for the best, Robert's parents did what the experts told them to do.
Despite having a remarkably high IQ, Robert was placed in a special education program,
under a psychiatrist's care, and on several powerful medications, including Ritalin and
Prozac. Unfortunately, nothing worked quite as intended, and Robert suffered from nearly
every side effect these drugs had to offer.
Robert's parents saw they were losing him. Witnesses to Robert's drastic mood swings
and anxious displays, they did not know whether they were seeing their son or the
results of the medications he was taking. While initially helpful, the special education
class began to create its own world of problems, with Robert taking a step backwards for
each step forward. Desperate, the Stevens family turned to holistic therapies. Amazingly,
Robert began to show improvement. Wondering why their son's doctors had discouraged
such strategies, Robert and Catherine started researching new approaches on their own.
Using nontraditional approaches, Robert was found. By third grade, he was off all
medications, attending a mainstream school, making friends, and simply being himself.
Finding Robert chronicles one family's journey through the world of developmental
disorders. It depicts the struggles faced, examines the decisions made, and offers a
thorough analysis of the therapies utilized. Amid sadness and confusion, with strength
and resolve, Robert and Catherine regained their son and undertook a mission to change
the way we look at these conditions.