97yo child care veteran: "No such thing as ADD"

97yo child care veteran: "No such thing as ADD"

When Story gets an email about the good sorts living in the community, we take those emails seriously.

We received a curious note about an eccentric 97-year-old living in a tiny town north of Whangarei.

Betty Hooper has spent decades observing children, their behaviour and through self-directed research has come up with some pretty out-there-beliefs.

In particular she focuses on additives in food and thinks ADD or ADHD is a myth.

"Lots of them are all ding-donged up on Ritalin. They take symptoms and turn them into new mental disorders."

She has an incredibly soft spot for kids - just no qualifications.

Her story starts all the way back in England.

She applied for a job to teach handicapped children, something that had never been done before.

Children with special needs were locked up in hospitals and kept out of sight, but at the end of WWII, the cot case wards were needed because of all the soldiers coming back from the front.

"We had been bombed out of existence, so something had to go."

That meant the kids went out into the world and this sparked a life-long interest in child development for Ms Hooper.

Even though some may think she's a conspiracy theorist, Ms Hooper has been a huge help in her community, especially in schools.

At 97-years-old, her influence and impact on the children is huge and age hasn't stopped her from being incredibly active.

Watch the video for the full Story report.