Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Four Letters Apart – Children in the Age of ADHD


Lindevangskolen is a special needs school in Denmark, which treats kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Four Letters Apart – Children in the Age of ADHD follows three kids at the school, each with their own different sets of problems; Martino has a habit of acting out violently, Martine regularly has tantrums, and Victor regularly fights with other kids and has low self-esteem.  The film follows these kids over the course of a year, as they learn to cope with their ADHD, without the need for medication like Ritalin.

Just like last year’s film Free the Mind, Four Letters Apart tackles non-medicinal methods for treating the symptoms of ADHD.  For parents, a diagnosis of ADHD can be a simple explanation for the behaviours of a child.  However, at the end of the day, ADHD is just a word and these kids have unique needs, which require individual attention.  The easy answer for ADHD is to prescribe Ritalin, the use of which has increased in the last 15 years.  However, often children’s minds aren’t ready for the effects of this drug, so this program is more about doing exercises to improve senses and self-awareness.

Programs like the one offered at Lindevangskolen are not always available for kids diagnosed with ADHD.  This is a shame, since these kids showed noticeable improvement over the course of the film.  With ADHD almost becoming an excuse for the hyperactive behaviour of kids, Four Letters Apart shows that there are better ways to cope with the condition than potentially harmful drugs.



  • Fri, April 25, 3:45 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2
  • Sun, April 27, 9:30 PM – ROM Theatre
  • Sun, May 4, 6:00 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 4

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).