GPs bumped children to the top of waiting lists after being told that the families were applying to be on Channel 4 documentary Born Naughty?, the series producer has said.
The programme follows eight children exhibiting extreme behaviour, who are assessed by experts to establish whether they have a diagnosable medical condition or are simply unruly.
Paul Kittel, producer of Born Naughty?, told RadioTimes.com that programme makers had spoken to many of the families who wanted to be on the show, but that lots of them had later withdrawn their applications because their doctors had made them a priority.
“A lot of people who applied for the programme did so because they’d been on waiting lists and hadn’t had the response they’d hoped for from their local services,” said Kittel.
“We had to be really careful and contact the children’s GPs from the outset so they knew what was going on.
“Often, once the GP got this notification, the kids went to the top of the list and subsequently they got their assessment and the need for the programme disappeared.”
Kittel said that he understood why so many parents wanted a fast diagnosis, whether it came from local services or the Channel 4 documentary’s experts Dr Dawn Harper (Embarrassing Bodies) and paediatrician Dr Ravi Jayaram.
“I can see the benefit of diagnosis in children where appropriate, in terms of getting extra support and understanding.
“My son has Asperger syndrome so I probably had a greater insight into it than other people may have had.
“Families came to us because they wondered whether there was an underlying condition or syndrome or perhaps there was a more simple explanation such as advice about parenting.”