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Stepford Children

Your children belong to the state welfare agencies, they're just on loan to you. From ABC NEWS:

When Chad Taylor noticed his son was apparently experiencing serious side effects from Ritalin prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he decided to take the boy off the medication. Now, he says he may be accused of child abuse.

In February, 12-year-old Daniel began displaying some symptoms that his father suspected were related to the use of Ritalin.

"He was losing weight, wasn't sleeping, wasn't eating," Taylor told ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV in New Mexico. "[He] just wasn't Daniel."

So Taylor took Daniel off Ritalin, against his doctor's wishes. And though Taylor noticed Daniel was sleeping better and his appetite had returned, his teachers complained about the return of his disruptive behavior. Daniel seemed unable to sit still and was inattentive. His teachers ultimately learned that he was no longer taking Ritalin.

School officials reported Daniel's parents to New Mexico's Department of Children, Youth and Families.Then a detective and social worker made a home visit.

"The detective told me if I did not medicate my son, I would be arrested for child abuse and neglect," Taylor said.

There's an old saying that when your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. It's no different with Ritalin. ADD, ADHD, and behavior problems are all multifaceted problems that require individually created and diligently applied solutions. Ritalin is the "magic pill" that the system is rigged to prefer, because it's easy not because it's the best solution.

Mandating that parents drug their children with Ritalin is not a new phenomenon - Overlawyered noted a similar case in July 2000 - it's just an ominous one...


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stepford Children:

» Say Anything linked with Child Abuse

» Caerdroia linked with It Takes a Village to Drug Your Child

» Zero Intelligence linked with School knows best.

» Overlawyered linked with Parents yes, governments no

Comments (11)

The irony of this is, if th... (Below threshold)
Jon:

The irony of this is, if this were a Zero Tolerance policy school and he needed to take the Ritalin there, he'd probably be suspended or even arrested.
I'd say "damned if you do", but that would imply religious bias. /sarcasm

"The detective told me if I... (Below threshold)

"The detective told me if I did not medicate my son, I would be arrested for child abuse and neglect."

Translation: If I don't drug my son into a sheeplike state that makes life easier on the school's teachers, they'll arrest me for child abuse and neglect.

And my wife wonders why I'm so dead set against sending our son to public school.

Yeah- It takes a Village to... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Yeah- It takes a Village to raise a kid.. really it does.

Well I am with you all on t... (Below threshold)

Well I am with you all on this one. And it is even worse here in Costa Rica where there is a National Ministry for the Protection of Children. Believe it or not you can be put in jail for raising your voice at your kids. I kid you not. I am all for protecting the children. There have been enough articles written recently about Parents abusing their kids to the point of murder while authorities ignored the situation, but some of these things go way too far, and this is one of them.
And while I never bought into the Takes a Village, thing. I do recall a time when I was growing up, that any adult in my nieghborhood who saw us doing somthing wrong would send our asses home and call our Mothers or fathers to let them know what we were up to. Today, many parents are more likely to tell the person to mind their own business, and that is sad.

Unbelievable. Since when d... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Unbelievable. Since when do teachers and doctors decide what is best for someone's children? It's not like the kid is being kept off of some life-saving drug here. It's not as if the child is being hurt in anyway by not taking the drug, so how is this child abuse?

This pisses me off. I was ... (Below threshold)

This pisses me off. I was on Ritalin (legitimately back in the early 70s). I was HYPERACTIVE. Think poster-child. But, Ritalin turned me into a zombie. My parents decided the side effects far outweighed the benefits and pulled me off it - in their words - "We wanted you to be able to act like a child again - the Ritalin turned you into a lifeless kid". Instead, my parents experimented around with various diets - finally figuring out that artificial colors and flavors were the main culprit for my hyperactivity (true for many children). They made EVERYTHING from scratch and my hyperactivity became far less a problem. To force a parent to medicate their child is pure bullshit - way over the line and seriously stretches the role of what government should be capable of doing. Declaring the good intentions of the parents child abuse, no less.

If the kid is disrupting class - that is one thing - but making medication the forced solution is outrageous.

My daughter was prescribed ... (Below threshold)

My daughter was prescribed Ritalin when she was five. Yes, FIVE. I balked at first, but was pressured into giving it to her. Two days later, she came to me and said "Mom, I don't feel like Natalie anymore." I immediately stopped medicating her.

I had to face reprimands and lectures from school officials, her nuerologist and her teacher, all of whom thought I was being a bad parent for not giving my child a medication that I believed was doing more harm than good.

Turns out she wasn't ADD, anyhow. Go figure.

I'm sure Ritalin has benefi... (Below threshold)

I'm sure Ritalin has benefits. But, I agree with the general sentiment here. We use it as a crutch to homogenize and solve challenges and issues with our young that demand unique solutions.

But, no. In our current environment, we see the manifestation of symptoms that could result from any of a hundred psychological or physical issues and we prescribe Ritalin-like solutions.

David's comments are on the money. It DOES take a village to raise a child. But, today, try scolding a child for something... you'll very likely get an earful from that child's parents.

Tim

Ah, the three 'Rs of ADHD t... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Ah, the three 'Rs of ADHD trailer trash, "Racin' 'Rasslin and Ritalin" ;-)

A year or two ago, there wa... (Below threshold)
cj:

A year or two ago, there was an article in the mainstream press about parents that "kidnapped" their own child from "the state" because the state demanded that they "subject" that child to medical cancer treatment.

At the time, the mainstream press (and I daresay, some bloggers) came down hard on the family (who were religious) for being backward and not assenting to to the proscribed cancer treatment methodology.

I remember then thinking the following: What if, given your (you being the parent) experience and best judgement, you decided that "further treatment" wasn't worth the cost to your child, even if that meant that the child was likely to die? I thought at the time of the "joke" -- coffins are nailed closed so oncologists will stop treating the patient. I.E. -- what, if you as a parent, decided that that rigorous cancer treatment wasn't worth the physical/mental cost, and that you, as a parent, had decided that the likelihood of success wasn't worth it, that you'd rather take your child home, and have him live out his life in relative comfort rather than undertaking further treatment? But so many people denounced this -- buttressed by the excuse that this family was "religious" and thus their "reasoning" was "deficient."

But, in this instance, nobody seemed to want to address the issue of family sovereignty. And it was ok, because these were "fundamentalists" -- and apparently it was accepted that the "state" needed to step in and make decisions on behalf of their children, because obviously they were too stupid to realize the supremacy of modern medicine.

But I thought -- ughh, how horrible, to take away the parents' right to decide the medical treatment of their own child. Because, being a parent, I could readily imagine coming to terms with my own child's death (which the medical community often cannot) on my own terms. At home, with loved ones, maximizing the best of what is left.

If the parent in question in Wizbang's post provided, from this point on, homeschooling/private tuition for his child, would he still be considered as "abusing" his child? Or is it only because the lack of medication doesn't "mix" with public education?

I recently saw an ad in the local newspaper from a local academic university hospital "trolling"(?) for clinical participants -- "Does your child exhibit impulsiveness? easily destracted? short attention span? Sign them up for our clinical trial!" But the thought occurred --

Isn't that the *definition* of childhood?

It certainly applies to two of my children (certainly, the ones under 8, and the boy, who is 5). Quite frankly, if anyone recommended to me that they be put on medication, I would immediately know that they are super-ignorant of children-as-they-are, AND I would do everything in my power to home school them -- including cleaning toilets at night, if that what it took economically.

But, as my children wend their way through the public schools, I see greater pressure for them to adhere to the constraints of a burgeoning, but less capable, educational system. Especially as it applies to boys -- because after rearing two girls, I can affirm that my son is a *totally* different beast. Not worse, not bad. But different -- and less and less "tolerated" by the public education system.

Also, I would just like to ... (Below threshold)
cj:

Also, I would just like to add -- IF it is correct, that so many of our children *suddenly* (i.e., in the last 15-20 years) require "medication" to function -- shouldn't we all be up in arms demanding scientific investigation into what has changed in our environment to require this wholescale modification of childhood behavior?

Are we being poisoned by Teflon? Is there a hidden poison in Flintstone Vitamins?

If this is truly a medical/scientific phenomenon, why isn't it being investigated as such?

If childhood lukemia increased in the last decade as fast as Attention Deficit, wouldn't we be looking to the CAUSE?




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