Saturday, October 20, 2007

School Board SLAMS ADHD Drugs!! And is Criticzed Please Vote

Below is an email I received from Teen Screen..

A school board in the state of Virginia was brave enough to take a stand for parental rights and informed consent, by sending out the real story about the "Mental disorder" known as ADHD and the drugs prescribed to treat it.

ADHD is not a medical condition and there are no blood tests, brain scans or chemical imbalance tests to prove any child has a "brain condition" requiring the administration of drugs.

ADHD drugs have been documented by the US FDA to cause psychosis, hallucinations, heart attack, stroke and sudden death.

Psychiatric/Pharmaceutically funded front groups like CHADD want to keep parents in the dark, evidenced by their statements in the article below.

Please vote here:

Should the Portsmouth School Board have sent a flier on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to parents?

You can also send a letter to the editor here:

And you can backup the entire school board by sending an e-mail here:

Please note: Below the article is information on CHADD.


Portsmouth School Board's ADHD flier draws fire

By CHERYL ROSS , The Virginian-Pilot

© October 19, 2007

Last month, the School Board sent a warning to parents about the “harmful effects” of drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Much of the flier’s information was taken from the Internet, including from a Web site run by a group founded by the Church of Scientology

This week, six national organizations and eight local groups sent a letter requesting that the School Board retract the flier and send a new one stating that ADHD is a disease that requires treatment.

The groups include the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the Virginia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Tidewater chapter of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

The flier was sent “to instill fear in parents,” said E. Clarke Ross, CEO of the Landover, Md.-based national office of CHADD. “It’s not based on published science, but on propaganda.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of this kind of propaganda being officially disseminated from a school system to its pupils,” Ross said.

In recent years, some parents, doctors and researchers have said that too many children are being misdiagnosed with the disease and, as a result, have been over medicated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, about 4.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD by a health care professional, and about 2.5 million children are being treated with medication.

The Portsmouth School Board began discussing ADHD at the urging of long time member Elizabeth Daniels.

Daniels said she is concerned about the welfare of children.

In the early 1980s, Daniels said she cared for an 11 -year-old girl whom doctors said was hyperactive. She said she believes the child was being treated with Ritalin, which made the girl groggy. When the child was taken off the drug, Daniels said she was alert and happier.

Daniels said she and the Virginia School Boards Association last year turned to the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics for information about ADHD. The organizations did not respond to the board’s questions, Daniels said.

However, Dr. Colleen Kraft, president of the Virginia chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said she answered the association’s questions in November 2006. Kraft sent The Virginian-Pilot a copy of the November-dated e-mail to the state School Boards association.

She said the group is regularly contacted by parents about the disease.

In August, the Virginia School Boards Association sent a flier to every superintendent in the state similar to the one distributed to Portsmouth parents. It was sent as a courtesy to Daniels, a former president of the association, said Frank E. Barham, executive director of the group.

The association suggested that individual superintendents and School Boards consider whether to distribute the information further. Earlier this week, Barham said he thinks that Portsmouth is the only board to send the information to parents.

CHADD has requested that the association send a new flier to school divisions with information stating that ADHD is a disease.

Barham said he doesn’t understand why the flier has caused so much controversy. As far as he’s concerned, the matter is closed. “We will not be distributing any more materials on the issue,” he said.

In September, the Portsmouth School Board voted 6-2 to send the flier to the division’s parents. Board members Jean H. Shackelford and Betty N. Hudgins voted against it. Board member B. Keith Nance Sr. was absent.

“It’s up to doctors to tell parents what to do with their children,” Hudgins said in a recent interview.

Shackelford said, “I do not believe that I, as a School Board member who is not a member of the medical profession, have the knowledge or the right to advise parents about any medical or psychiatric issues associated with their children,” she said.

Superintendent David C. Stuckwisch said in an interview this week that he told board members he had reservations about the flier. The issue should rest between a doctor and a patient, he said.

Chairman James Bridgeford said in a recent interview the School Board does not support or denounce the flier’s contents but simply voted to send it as “an informational letter.” The flier contains a disclaimer that “the school division neither endorses nor denounces” its contents.

Board member Sheri H. Bailey said she approved the flier to “encourage folks to get information pro and con to make a decision to medicate or not to medicate.”

Daniels said she hasn’t received any criticism about the flier from parents. However, she said, she’s heard about concerns that information in the flier was taken from Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a California-based group with ties to the Church of Scientology.

The connection to the church, Daniels said, is irrelevant.

"That is totally and completely unimportant and makes me think that people are not concerned with what the issue is,” she said. She also said that CHADD is biased because it receives money from the pharmaceutical industry.

Bryan Goodman, spokesman for CHADD, which has about 14,000 members nationally, said the organization’s public policy committee works separately from its financial development department. No more than 30 percent of the group’s funding can come from the pharmaceutical industry, he said.

Dr. Jeffrey Katz, local coordinator of Tidewater CHADD, said he is concerned that some parents might take the School Board’s flier “as the gospel” and may be discouraged from seeking treatment or may stop treatment.

Martha Scalf said she was angered by the flier that her 11-year-old son, who suffers from ADHD, brought home from Churchland Elementary.

“The things that were on there were unbelievable,” she said. Scalf said she has no problem with opposing viewpoints but children should not have been given access to the flier’s contents. The flier was folded and not sealed in an envelope, she said.

Scalf said her child’s pediatrician will discuss the flier’s contents with him.

CHADD representatives said in their letter that they want the School Board to “immediately distribute a flier to every household with a school-age child clarifying the facts about ADHD as supported by the research cited in the attached fact sheet.”

The fact sheet states that ADHD is real, that treatment for it is effective, and that failing to treat it can have severe consequences.

Stuckwisch said it is up to the School Board to decide how to respond to the request. Bailey said Wednesday she was unaware of CHADD’s request.

The US FDA has warned that ADHD drugs can cause heart attack, stroke, sudden death, psychosis and hallucinations.

In 1992, CHADD received $50,000 from pharmaceutical interests.

By 1994, this had reached $400,000 and by 2001, $700,000.

In 1995, the DEA issued a Methylphenidate (Ritalin) background paper, stating: "The DEA has concerns that the depth of the financial relationship with the manufacturer was not well known to the public, including CHADD members, that have relied upon CHADD for guidance as it pertains to the diagnosis and treatment of their children."

On September 26, 2002, the CEO of CHADD, E. Clarke Ross, testified before Congress that the group's financial relationship to ADHD drug manufacturers is "on our website. It's in our IRS returns." This information is not obvious on the "National Resource" website; it is in CHADD's annual report. Unless someone knew where to look, it would not be easily found.

CHADD claims that ADHD is a "neurobiological" disorder, despite the fact that there is no science-based evidence to support this. CHADD's website fails to inform people of the considerable difference in medical opinion regarding the validity of ADHD.

Pediatric neurologist, Fred Baughman, who has discovered real physical diseases, says that by claiming ADHD is a "disease" or "neurobiological" it makes it so "real and terrible that the parent who dares not to believe in it, or allow its treatment, is likely to be deemed negligent, and no longer deserving of custody of their child." He adds, "This is a perversion of science and medicine and is a lie."

CHADD defers to the 1999 Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health when citing ADHD as a neurobiological disorder, yet the Surgeon General's report, the DSM-IV, the National Institutes of Health, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Clinical Practice Guideline for ADHD, do not confirm or state that ADHD is a "neurobiological" disorder. In fact, the Surgeon General provided no conclusive evidence to support this theory—a fact CHADD neglects to mention on its website.

When pressed recently by Insight Magazine on the scientific validity of ADHD, E. Clarke Ross finally responded, "It really is a matter of belief."

The DEA warned that most of the material prepared for public consumption by groups like CHADD does not address the potential or actual abuse or Ritalin. It is portrayed as a benign, mild substance that's not associated with abuse or any serious side effects. In fact, Ritalin and several other ADHD drugs are Schedule II drugs in the same category as cocaine and morphine.

In a token gesture to balanced coverage, CHADD devotes about four pages to negating alternative interventions, while using 10 pages to espouse the virtues of psychotropic drugs. The known and documented side effects of these drugs are downplayed as "mild and typically short-term," contradicting medical and scientific reports showing serious side effects, including death

Under the Frequently Asked Questions section of CHADD's website, alternatives are referred to as "controversial interventions." It states that "many people turn to treatments which claim to be useful, but which have not been shown to be truly effective in accord with standards held by the scientific community." Here again CHADD does what it accuses others of, using "a tactic designed to startle and scare the American public," and one motivated by pharmaceutical vested interests.

To counter its critics, CHADD forwards the views of at least one convicted felon with a bent for kidnapping and who happens to also support psychotropic drug treatment of children. His long history of criminality includes convictions for breaking and entering, conspiracy, theft, the use of stolen credit cards, and threatening to detonate a bomb in a jewelry shop unless $100,000 in jewels was handed to him. According to one psychiatric report, this criminal "does not seem to profit from his past experiences and…does not realize he has a responsibility to society to control his behavior." Such is the caliber of opinion that CHADD promotes on its government- and pharmaceutical-funded website in its efforts to silence alternative views about treatment and care of children said to have ADHD.

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