Dear Dr. Baughman,
I can’t think of one doctor who is opposed to the idea of drugging children at the request of a teacher. [[[[[[[[[[[FB: Linda, this has been my experience, for some years, in trying to advise parents. Of course I have more potential resources in trying to help parents around the country and you worth in any individual parent as in trying protect their own children and themselves. What a ghastly state of affairs has been visited upon all of us in this country with the full ongoing collaboration of all of our elected officials including the house ]]]]]]]]]] to contact me We tried to find one years ago when the drug destroying our son, and were unsuccessful. After taking him off Rit, I LIED to the school in a letter and claimed that we found two doctors to support our decision. the original diagnoses had come from a non-medical teacher, and the school social worker had bullied the doctor into writing the prescription, after 6 months of his insisting that there was nothing wrong with our son. After we took him off, we were investigated by child protective services claiming to be acting on a anonymous tip that we as parents were “abusive and neglectful.” All these charges were found to be incorrect, of course, we are caring parents.
My advice is proceed carefully, and Steve’s idea of getting the child to reject the drug is great. I would add to that a story that I was involved in where I tried to help a teen-child to get off a drug by rejecting it, and he was done in, I’m afraid, by his intense fear of displeasing his mother. I will attach this story if anyone is interested.[[[[[[[[[[[[ FB:please attach this story. Undoubtedly we are growing better acquainted all the time. I have immense respect for you just as I do for Maryanne Godboldo, the Detroit mother who blocked the door against police and their armored vehicles who had been sent by big Pharma and psychiatry to drug her young daughter no matter what it would take. More specifically it was to drug her with anti-psychotic drugs Maryanne demonstrated the very truest of parental instincts, no question about it, and fortunately she found a one in 1 million attorney in Allison Folmar and together they saved Maryanne's daughter from certain poisoning. When will US parents wake up to this Holocaust? Instead they view what is being done to them as state-of-the-art science and medicine only waking up when their children have been addicted, maimed or dead, far too late in the day.....all the best friend]]]]]]]
What Coked Up Kids Look Like – Sammy
( human being, writer, mother with love in her heart and all the right maternal instincts—Fred Baughman, MD)
Sammy is a friend of my son’s. He is nervous around people he doesn’t know. At first I wasn’t that interested in Sammy because when I first met him, he seemed very self-involved and inwardly-focused. Then I looked more closely and I noticed that Sammy carried himself in a way that revealed his history of physical abuse, and that’s when I started to love Sammy.
When my son met him, he had just started a new school, and Sammy was the kid that the other kids loved to tease because they could make him cry. The boys that teased him had their own problems - they are the ones that can’t feel good about themselves until they feel superior to someone. Of course they picked Sammy to vent their frustrations on; Sammy is an easy and satisfying target. Boys who abuse are usually abused people themselves. They choose to identify with their abuser rather than the helpless abused, and they end up acting like their abuser, a choice they made by default.
Sammy was abused by his birth parents when he was very young. His parents were both harsh disciplinarians, and they weren’t happy with what they got for a son. So they beat him. He told me this on the night he slept over.
I tried to imagine why two people would beat a child for being himself but I was unable to imagine why anyone would do that. It just made me feel so sad that they wasted their opportunity to have a relationship with their son, and they damaged his life. He was just a kid needing love and finding... violence? My G-d, why? Some things I don’t understand. They must be damaged people themselves.
The longer I knew him, the more protective I grew of Sammy. The abuse he had suffered at the hands of his parents made him incredibly insecure, withdrawn, shy, unsure of himself, and unsure of his value to the world. Thinking about the inexplicable nature of such things, Sammy became precious to me.
Sammy had been over to our apartment a bunch of times. Then Sammy’s family moved away and we didn’t see him for awhile. The boys missed each other so one day when his mother called me to ask if Sammy could spend the weekend with us, I jumped at the chance for my son to see his friend again.
I asked Sammy’s mother what Sammy’s favorite foods were, and if he had any special needs. She told me his favorite salad dressing and that he was on “medication.”
When she said that, I knew that the medication was Ritalin. Don’t ask me how I knew - I just did. After ten years of researching this, I know how it sounds when people use the language.
I asked her to leave the Ritalin at home for the weekend because I was not comfortable having a kid on it in my home. She said she would see what she could do. I couldn’t bridge the gulf between us. I just braced myself and hoped for the best. She can only see it the way she sees it. She thinks I am trying to deprive her child of his valuable and life-transforming medication.
When Sammy arrived that afternoon he was speeding, and we made him as comfortable as possible in my son’s room. He had a glazed over look in his eyes as he excitedly talked a stream of chatter. He was happy to see his friend again and I made dinner while they went out to play.
Sammy had taken a Ritalin at 8:00 that morning and was still speeding when the family sat down to eat dinner - 10 hours later. My nine year old son kept looking at me - his eyes were saying, “what gives?” - Sammy was talking very fast and loud, and he kept getting up from the table and walking over to ask my husband a question while hovering over him a few inches from his face. He didn’t wait for him to answer the question before asking another question in the middle of the answer. While he was doing this he was banging a cup over and over against the palm of his hand and picking up crumbs from the table one by one and flicking them onto the floor. This behavior was so foreign to our family that we were on the edge of our seats.
He needed to exert his intellect, to be recognized as a smart person, which he certainly was, but he was used to be treated like the nutty abused kid with emotional problems. Now at the age of fifteen he was growing up and his instinct was to find his voice, his foundation as a man, his place somewhere in the sea of turmoil into which he was born.
Growing boys on the verge of manhood need different things than they needed as children. Boys need other men to learn from. If there is no man who can guide the boy, if all he has are women he can’t find his sense of direction. He can’t navigate by himself, surrounded by women; he can’t figure out what it is to be a man without having a father figure to learn from.
I was watching him, listening to him. Giving him warmth and smiles of encouragement and keeping quiet. Sammy took up the whole conversation all by himself. He seemed centered on getting attention from my husband. And my husband came through with the goods. He patiently listened to Sammy, pretended to be oblivious to the fact that Sammy was often just a few inches away from his face and that his talking was so erratic and rambling to be nearly incomprehensible. My husband simply listened intently, answered whatever he could in a calm and accepting voice, and in every way acted like the father that Sammy desperately needed.
As he did this, Sammy began to calm down, despite the fact that Ritalin was coursing through his veins. Our calm was calming him. As we listened to Sammy, he was feeling recognized as a real person. None of us were believing in his diagnosis. We liked him and found him delightful, smart and funny, and our belief in his goodness calmed him down.
His voice was becoming calm, but he still banged the cup against his hand. Gradually he began to ask the real questions - and wait for the answers. He asked, why did his first parents beat him? And why do his second parents drug him? Why does he have to be on drugs when the drugs make him feel so bad?
They were the right questions. But I didn’t know the answers. “Why is nobody listening to me? I know my second parents seem to love me (most of the time) but if they love me, why do they drug me?” We had no answers.
They were told that the drugs would make you “normal,” I explained. Theirversion of normal, not yours. Nobody is listening to you. Sorry, kid.
Then Sammy began to tell us about his childhood, his parents, school, friends, things he was worried about, and anything else that came into his mind. He poured out his heart and soul. We listened. One thing he kept repeating was how the drugs made him feel “horrible” and why would his mother want that?
Maybe she doesn’t know how “horrible” they make you feel, I told him. Maybe you have to tell her over and over again until she understands. Maybe every time you think how “horrible” you feel on the drugs, you should mention it to her, so she will eventually understand.
His mother had arranged for Sammy to walk over to a neighbor’s house to get his evening dose of Ritalin. “I’m not going to go get my Ritalin,” he announced. It was scary and empowering to him. His new parents had stepped in and saved him from the brutality of his first set of parents. Terror and panic filled Sammy’s eyes as he thought of defying their wishes.
I marveled at the sight of seeing this boyasserting his will. I got the impression he had never attempted it before. He was timidly taking his first steps in thinking for himself. It took bravery beyond what I have.
He was still telling us about his life long after dinner, after I cleaned up, all the while banging the cup against the palm of his hand. We moved into my son’s room.
The banging was getting weaker and more sporadic, but Sammy was still wide awake at 10:00 (why didn’t anyone care if this boy slept or not?). We were grateful that he hadn’t gone out to get his evening dose of Ritalin. Why would anyone dose a kid with speed in the evening? How could his parents not notice that it was damaging him?
I asked Sammy if he was ready to go to sleep. “I never sleep,” he said.
When I see the damage that we are doing to our children because of our ignorance I’m terrified of the consequences. The drug inhibits his normal functioning in every way. I can’t imagine why anyone would do this to a child. I ask Sammy what the adults around him say the drug is doing for him. He said that his parents claim the drug is “calming him down.”
I start wondering how to reach such oblivious parents. I feel worried for Sammy. The worst thing you can do is not listen to a kid when he’s trying to tell you medical information. Sammy keeps repeating that the drug makes him feel “horrible.” The only sane thing for me to do is to keep encouraging Sammy that he must communicate to his parents that the drug makes him feel “horrible,” which he’s been telling us for about six hours now. I decide that every time Sammy tells me that the drug makes him feel “horrible” I will tell him that he must make his parents aware of that. Surely if they knew how horrible the drug made him feel, they would take that into consideration. Wouldn’t they?
Could they really continue to silence his voice in this matter? Anytime anyonetakes any medication, isn’t there a need for a doctor, a parent, or somebody to say, how are you feeling? To check in with the “patient?” Is what Sammy has to say about his experience really soirrelevant?
It makes no sense from a medical perspective. In fact, from a medical perspective, it’s dangerous. It’s how you end up with dead children. I found myself both admiring Sammy and being terrified he would have a heart attack right in front of me.
At midnight, we were all yawning and looking longingly at our beds, but Sammy was still wired, and happy to find himself in the company of four people who wanted to listen to him, liked him, and considered his opinion valuable. We started saying goodnight, and going to bed. The attention we gave him was grounding him. He was in that weird place of being between a man and a little boy.
In the morning Sammy told me that he wanted to get off the Ritalin. He had actually slept a little that night. But now he had new problems. How could he presume to make a decision, especially such an important one, for himself? How does one go about standing one’s ground? He’d never done it before. His mind was churning. You could see him oscillate between confidence and insecurity. It was beyond anything he had ever contemplated before.
I was so proud of him. I was so touched by his courage. I kept telling him, don’t worry, in the end, you will grow up anyway, and you will be a man. The most sensitive and incredible people have come from adversity. He had to learn to be resilient and be strong because that’s what men do. This encounter with his parents would take everything he had. He was grateful to them and didn’t want to hurt them. If they didn’t want him to assert his will, what business did he have asserting it? I knew this could go either way, but I was proud of Sammy for even attempting it.
Then we all prepared for his mother coming over to pick him up. He had gone through the whole day without Ritalin. It was making him stronger. He kept looking to me for encouragement. I gave it to him willingly.
I was worried. How would his mother take it? Would she listen to him and back him up? Would she let Sammy have a voice? Would she be angry that I interfered? Sammy came to my room and told me he had just had a conversation with his mother on the phone and he told her he didn’t want to take Ritalin anymore, and she had responded that she would back up his decision, if that’s what he wanted. I was bowled over with happiness. Now Sammy could begin living his life. He could navigate becoming a man, and this encounter with his mother would give him confidence.
My happiness for Sammy, however, was premature.
Earlier that day, Sammy had lost his glasses. We had looked for them for several hours and didn’t find them. It was weird; they had to be somewhere in the house. Sammy hadn’t gone out anywhere. We all tore the house apart looking for them, but we never found them.
Now I stood waiting with Sammy on the front porch steps. His mother had an angry feeling about her behind her pinched smile. She asked Sammy to go inside and try to find his glasses while she talked to me. When Sammy was out of earshot she said to me, “I’m very angry that you’ve influenced him.” I told her I didn’t influence him in his decision to quit Ritalin, he decided that himself. He likes how he feels when he’s not on it. He likes to sleep. And I told her that she should listen to him because he told us that he felt horrible when he took the drug.
She could not conceal her rage. She told me that Sammy was “very impressionable” and that I shouldn’t have tried to influence him. I felt afraid, not only for Sammy, but for me. Would she try to get me in trouble for “interfering?” I wondered what would become of Sammy, and I wondered if I would now have to explain my actions in a court of law.
It has now been a year since this happened, and we don’t know what happened to Sammy. All communication was cut off by Sammy’s parents. I hope he’s okay. And I hope that somehow he got through to them. I hope he succeeded in asserting his will, but I’m afraid it’s more likely that he got shut down. I hope I’m wrong.
Sammy’s suffering is entirely unnecessary.