This lieutenant was so positive, in fact, that the king was often annoyed by his practice of constantly finding good in everything. One day while the king and the lieutenant were on a journey through the jungle, the king was chopping a fresh coconut for breakfast, and his machete slipped, cutting off his toe. The aching monarch limped to show his misfortune to the lieutenant, who exclaimed, That's wonderful! What did you say? This is a real blessing! Hearing this response, the king became very angry; Take it from me, the lieutenant exhorted, behind this apparent accident there is some good we do not see. In other words, this physician not only saw ODD in Sam at age four but predicted that Sam would develop ODD as he matured. At the same time the AAP calls for screening all children between six and twelve years old for ADHD, the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society urge a routine developmental surveillance and screening specifically for autism to be performed on all children, preferably during the toddler to preschool years. For children with Asperger's syndrome, a diagnosis, if obtained, is rarely given before age six. Like ADHD experts, autism experts rely upon rating scales and direct observation when assessing a child. The Childhood Autism Rating Scale and the High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Screening Questionnaire rely upon feedback from healthcare professionals, teachers, and parents to diagnose behaviors commonly associated with autism. As Table 3. Involuntary or nervous body movements are listed on all of the rating scales and may be interpreted as hyperactivity. Resistance to change, special routines, and being fearful or quarrelsome are also common symptoms on the scales and are often interpreted as oppositional defiance by ADHD diagnosticians. As you can probably guess by now, professionals in autism recognize that these behaviors are a response to the autistic insistence upon sameness and are not willfully aggressive responses. Likewise, the speech and language issues listed on the checklists may differ in terms of level and degree, but all indicate an underlying communication disorder. He was well-read and well-traveled but didn't tell her any hilarious stories. By the end of the meeting, she didn't really have a handle on him--because he had created an atmosphere of roundness and had not presented jagged edges to create that handle. She wouldn't be able to give him a funny nickname when telling her friends about Amit, unlike her other matches, whom she'd dubbed things like Crocodile Briefcase and Mr Golf.

Her takeaway from the meeting was just a gut feeling: it was the first time she'd met a potential groom who made her feel relaxed after the meeting and not anxious. At her mother's urging to give him a chance, Priti met with Amit several more times. She put aside her initial list of requirements and used her nunchi instead. As soon as she opened her mind, she noticed all kinds of qualities she didn't even realize she wanted: he was patient, considerate without expecting to be applauded for it, and a good listener. Fast forward a few years: married, happy, two amusing kids. Beware of Overruling Your Nunchi Nunchi has three major aspects: one is creating harmony; That was the last straw! Furious, the king picked up the lieutenant and hurled him into a dry well. Then he set out to find his way back to his castle. En route, the potentate was apprehended by a band of headhunters who decided that he would make an excellent sacrifice for this month's offering to the volcano. The warriors took him to the tribal priest, who prepared him for the dubious honor. As the holy man was anointing the reluctant sacrifice, he noticed that the king was missing a toe. I'm sorry, the priest informed the king, we can't use you - the volcano goddess accepts only full-bodied sacrifices; Overjoyed, the king hobbled out of the tribal camp. Suddenly it dawned on him that the lieutenant had been correct - there was indeed a hidden blessing behind this seeming misfortune! As quickly as he could, the king found his way back to the well where he had left the lieutenant. Again, ADHD research attributes speech issues to impulsivity, while the autism field views these behaviors through the lens of impaired reciprocal communications. Thus, it is easy to see how difficult it is to differentiate between these disorders solely upon the basis of observation, opinion, and behaviors. Autism experts recognize that diagnosing a child on the basis of behaviors alone leads to misdiagnosis, especially in the case of Asperger's syndrome.

For one, these children appear more capable than children with classic autism. Also, pediatricians are instructed to look for ADHD rather than consider the symptoms within an autistic framework. Misdiagnosed children lose valuable time and opportunity for early intervention and treatment. Dr Diane Twachtman-Cullen writes that because these children present a somewhat enigmatic picture behaviorally, they are often misdiagnosed. Labels such as `Oppositional Disorder' [and] Conduct Disorder [CD] . More importantly, however, she articulates the essential dilemma with these labels: Because they are emotionally and/or psychiatrically based, they do not recognize the neurological basis for the symptomatology. Worse yet, they often give the impression that the aberrant behavior associated with the disorder is willful and volitional, as opposed to that which results from a neurologically compromised system. I have found that many women are naturally good at the harmony part, and can be skilled at getting their needs met, but all too often women overrule their own nunchi instincts when it comes to the aspect of self-preservation. I've noticed, particularly in the workplace, that women tend to know what's going on; In Korea, nunchi is not considered a uniquely feminine trait, and Korean women are unashamed of trusting their intuition; Many women in the workplace tell themselves, I'm wrong some of the time, therefore I am wrong all of the time. It's perverse. Even the most capable women do it. And sometimes this self-doubt can result in some career- damaging misjudgments. Xenia is a news radio producer. A few years ago, she had to hire a new on-air host. She and two other senior members of staff interviewed one candidate, Sam, who seemed very well qualified for the job: he had a good demo tape, seemed charming, and understood the key millennial demographic. To the ruler's delight, his companion was still sitting in the well, whistling happily. I am terribly sorry I threw you in there! I was taken prisoner by some wild natives who were about to cast me into the volcano.

But when they saw my toe was missing, they let me go. It was actually a miracle, which you foretold - and I so thoughtlessly cast you into this pit! Can you ever forgive me? No apology necessary, replied the lieutenant. It was also a blessing that you left me in the well. Now how are you going to make something positive out of that? Because, the lieutenant explained, if I was with you, they would have taken me for the sacrifice! Clearly, when an area of science relies principally upon subjective data such as observation and opinion, the validity of its findings is questionable. The AAP recognizes the limitations of current ADHD diagnostic methods, especially when the behaviors used in making a DSM-IV diagnosis fall on a spectrum,8 thereby making exact diagnosis quite difficult. However, the fact remains that ADHD as a disorder relies mainly upon behavior as its central underpinning. The DSM-IV-TR criteria are all behaviorally based, the screening and diagnostic process focuses upon behavior, and the treatments are primarily centered around behavior modification. Yet approximately twelve million adults9 and 3 to 7 percent of school-age children are diagnosed with ADHD using these clinically questionable methods. At the bottom line, ADHD as a science is grounded in subjective opinion about people's behaviors rather than having a proven pathological basis like other disorders or diseases. It is this very issue that the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recognized when it convened a group of clinical and research scientists to identify potential areas of collaborative research into ADHD. In particular, the NIMH meeting focused upon how scientists from areas such as neuroscience, biology, cognitive psychology, and genetics could collaborate to help establish the central characteristics, origins, and symptoms of ADHD. The NIMH clearly identified the need for ADHD to be grounded in hard science, saying that while ADHD is conceptualized as a cognitive deficit . GENETIC RESEARCH: WHERE AUTISM EXPERTS LEAD THE WAY But during the interview process, Sam said a few things that raised Xenia's nunchi antennae. For example, he asked out of nowhere, Are your female employees paid the same as your male employees? Gender wage disparities really make me angry.

Then later, unprompted, he told them: My girlfriend is active in the pro-choice movement and so am I. On the surface, it looked as though he was a feminist. But something about Sam rubbed Xenia the wrong way. Sam's comments made her think that he doth protest too much. In addition, something about his body language made her think he was lying: every time he made one of his supposedly feminist statements, he stared fixedly at a spot on the table instead of looking at the interviewers. Xenia didn't trust Sam, but the other interviewers thought she was being unfair for saying that he seemed like a liar, so she convinced herself that she was being unreasonable and they hired him. Less than a year later, Xenia and a dozen others were out of a job due to Sam. When a Minus Becomes a Plus There is a bigger picture to life than the one we see when we judge only by the obvious. Real faith is remembering that there is a beneficent plan behind the events at hand. During times of trial, we must not be fooled by appearances. Love is the only reality, and all else is an error in perception. On the eve of my departure for a lecture tour I bought a portable computer. As soon as I arrived at my hotel en route I unwrapped my new toy and began to program it. Within a few minutes I programmed it so well that it didn't work at all! All I could see on the screen was a blinking cursor; Immediately I began to criticize myself for making such a foolish error. Interestingly, these are the principal areas in which autism research focuses in its search for causes, symptomatology, and treatments for the behaviors associated with autistic spectrum disorders. Major university-based projects such as Stanford's Autism Genetic Research Program12 have been fortified and expanded with collaborative multi-site grants such as Research Units on Pediatric Psychopharmacology (RUPP)13 and the Collaborative Autism Project (CAP). However, they are by no means the only sites now actively doing this kind of research.