Some parents complain they’re being pressured to put their children on medications to control Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and “social anxiety disorder,” reports the Christian Science Monitor.
When Patricia Weathers’s son Michael had problems in his first-grade class, a school psychologist told the New York mother he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, and needed to be medicated with stimulants. If not, he would be sent to a special education facility near his Millbrook, N.Y., school.
The mother agreed to medication, but later decided the side-effects were making her son psychotic. When she stopped medicating, school officals referred the case to Child Protective Services. The mother was charged wtih child abuse, though charges were dropped eventually. Her site, AbleChild.org, promotes Parents for Label and Drug Free Education.
The Monitor reports:
To date, according to activists who track the issue, seven states have laws prohibiting school personnel from recommending psychotropic drugs for children. Over the past few years, 46 bills in 28 states have either passed or are awaiting action.
Currently, one federal bill, the Child Safety Medication Act, prohibits schools from making medication a requirement of attendance and calls on the Government Accounting Office to track how often schools pressure parents to seek ADHD diagnoses. It passed the House in 2003 but is currently stalled in the Senate.
The diagnosis of ADHD has skyrocketed from 150,000 children in 1970 to 6 million in 2000, representing more than 12 percent of students. Surely, not all these kids have a problem that requires medication. But some do. And if they’re not medicated, they may disrupt their classrooms, taking far more than their share of the teacher’s time and energy and making it hard for classmates to learn.
According to a National Institute of Mental Health study: “consistent use of stimulants mildly suppresses children’s growth at an average rate of about an inch over the course of two years, in addition to weight loss in some children.” On the other hand, medications work better than behavioral treatment to control symptoms.
I think parents should be able to refuse medication. But some kids may have to attend special ed classes or schools if their symptoms remain out of control.
Update: Here’s a shrink who thinks George W. Bush has ADHD. Also that he’s a sadistic, paranoid megalomaniac.
If a guy’s president of the United States, how can you tell paranoia from common sense? I mean, people really are out to get him. Megalomania too. He is powerful.