in General Discussion edited January 2014
Saw this link on Drudge earlier today, and I have to admit that I was extremely taken aback to read the particulars of this case:


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.

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.

Now I understand how disruptive and difficult a severely ADHD child can be, both at home and in the classroom (my girlfriend's nine-year old sister is ADHD, and an hour with her in a car can be like five hours on a rollercoaster with ten car alarms going off), but the notion that a refusal by a childs parent to administer a potentially damaging drug can be treated as abuse seems to me to be lunacy. It's not as if Ritalin has been proven to be 100% effective or safe.

So what do AIers think about Ritalin and mood-altering medication for children in general? I know there are a few teachers and parents on here and I'd be particularly interested in hearing what they have to say. Know of any cases where Ritalin or a similar prescription has been a huge help? Or is it just a matter of limiting the intake of sugar and caffinated beverages? (Difficult enough with soda machines in every school.)


  • Reply 1 of 13
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member
    Ritalin is a great way to keep kids quiet for teachers who are too busy to deal with them individually.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Mental disorders are all in your head.
  • Reply 3 of 13
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,261member
    Remember that when you suffer one later in life.

  • Reply 4 of 13
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    I have the feeling that there is an over prescription of Ritalin in US, but I have not real idears or precise and checked facts : just what I hear here and somewhere else. We must be aware that it's normal that kids broke the nerves of their parents. Usually parents have some solutions to calm them :

    - send them outside to practice some exercices

    - put them in front of TV, for a good brain washing

    Ritalin is not a solution for very active kids, it should be reserved striclty to pathologic disorder medically expertised.

    However I think it's a little abusive to put in jail parents who refuse this medication, a medication that is not essential for his health althought that it's essential for his future.

    The fact that the child sleep better without Ritalin prove nothing : if the child live at 100 000 volts the day, it's normal that he sleep like a baby. Many poeple have experienced a very active day, and falled asleep immediatly when they went to bed. Same thing for the appetite, if you burn calories, you have a greater appetite.

    In conclusion, I think it's abusive to put in jail parents who refuse to administrate ritalin to their kids, and I also think that the parents where wrong to stop the medication : without ritalin, the boy scholarship will be a disaster.
  • Reply 5 of 13
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member

    Originally posted by Not Unlike Myself

    Mental disorders are all in your head.

    I´m gonna use that one. Mind me stealing it?

    I saw Frontline do a program on dangerous drugs. You should all go see it
  • Reply 6 of 13
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I'm sure the detective is full of crap. But with with "remove kids first, get kids back after 3 years and $100k in lawyers fees and no explanation, apology or accountability" DCFS I'm sure it could happen.
  • Reply 7 of 13
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    I say ritalin is way over perscribed.

    It is the parents fault, if your 8 year old spends more than 5 hrs a day on the (insert game console or computer) or tv in general, then the parent needs to UNPLUG IT and do what my folks did, send the kid into the back yard and lock the door so they play!!! and thus they can focus at screw-all (K-12 was HELL for me).
  • Reply 8 of 13
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I'm pretty sure that I had moderate ADHD as a child, and my attention span still isn't great, but I never took any drugs for it per se. Although I missed out on a lot of things that many kids my age got into: Ritalin, Ninja Turtles, other stuff like that. I still watched plenty of TV, but the cartoon shows never appealed to me, likely because they were too slow paced and I didn't have the attention span to get into them. I did like shows on PBS though.

    Moving on, "just sending the kids outside" is something of a weak solution. When I was young in DC, many of the houses were pretty small to compared to modern suburban standards, and there was a level of friendship easily obtainable with the kids nearby. There were alleys for trash trucks and small parks here and there. In modern suburban developments the houses are like isolated fortresses on tiny plots of land with no parks in walking distance. You're either in the house, in the car, or somewhere far away from home. This phenomenon probably has a lot to do with the victory of TV and videogames as a primary form of youth entertainment.

    Incidentally, nicotene is a known solution to the problems of ADHD. . . you just need to find a way to get it in your system. All of the best exam scores I had in college came after a couple beers and a cigar followed by 2 hours of rest, and then a bunch of red bulls and study time.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    sammi josammi jo Posts: 4,634member
    ADHD is a condition with complex causes, which vary with each individual. Even though Eli Lilly claims that Ritalin is non-addictive, it should be noted that ?Under the Controlled Substances Act, the FDA classifies Ritalin in Schedule II?the most addictive class of drugs in medical use. It shares Schedule II with other stimulants (Dexedrine and cocaine) and with narcotics (morphine).?[21] The International Narcotics Control Board in 1996 declared: ?Methlyphenidate?s [Ritalin?s] pharmacological effects are essentially the same as those of amphetamine and methamphetamines. The abuse of methlyphenidate can lead to tolerance and severe psychological dependence. Psychotic episodes, violent and bizarre behavior have been reported.?[22] Furthermore, the International Narcotics Control Board reported that in 1996 ?emergency room visits by children age 10-14 involving Ritalin intoxication have now reached the same level as those for cocaine. This indicates escalating abuse of this highly addictive drug.

    Great. So much for the "war on drugs". (!!) Speed is being handed to kids en masse, legally. When the dealer is Eli Lilly etc, and not Pablo Escobar, etc, we assume that all is well, no problem, ever, unconditionally.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    If that guy hires a lawyer worth a shit, the social services people / state wouldn't have a prayer in hell of getting custody of that kid (if that's what they're implying).
  • Reply 11 of 13
    neoneo Posts: 271member
    A girl that I sit next to in the math class has ADHD, and she said that she used to take Ritalin, but it gave her stomach aches and her doctor started giving her something else I think she said Zoloft. Another doctor that she went to a few months later, said that Zoloft was damaging the girl's liver. I don't know what she is taking now.

    Sometimes I can't concentrate on my math and fall asleep during the math class, and one day that girl just came up to me and said..."you should take Ritalin, because you have ADD." And that was AFTER she told me that Ritalin gave her stomach aches when she took it. I told her that it's illegal to take Ritalin without a prescription and that it's on the streets it's called the "smart drug" and that it is very addictive to those that don't have ADD/ADHD. I DON'T have ADD, but usually I don't get as much sleep as I should. There are days when I got to bed at 2:00 AM and wake up at 6:00 AM ... which is only 4 hours of sleep. I get very sleepy around 10:00 in the evening, and if I don't go to bed right away, I can't go to sleep, and end up tossing and turning till about 2:30 AM., when I fall asleep naturally. If anyone tries to tell me something like "you should go to bed earlier," I say

    "Insomnia... What's the penalty for that?!"

    It's a quote from a late 50's/early 60's movie/TV show, called...I think..."The Twilight Zone"

    Someone in here said that kids should play outside more, and they won't have ADHD. I agree with that, and by the way the girl that I was talking about above spends about 3 hours each day playing video games on her PS2. She plays the "Blood Rayne" game a lot, which in my opinion, is too violent.

    I'm not a very healthy person either...I spend over three hours each day at the computer, usually fixing computers...cleaning them, reinstalling software/OS, etc. I read on MSN, that dust from the inside of computers is harmful, and does a lot of damage to lab mice?s nervous systems, which explains why I sometimes have panic attacks when working with code or going something in DOS.

    The old hard drives that I have in one of the computers have lead-based solder in them and a fan that I have there for cooling and I wonder if I should take the fan off. I know that lead causes cancer, but I don?t really care?I don?t expect to live too long anyways?

  • Reply 12 of 13
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,448member
    Something has become dramatically wrong when we are basically drugging large numbers of our young people. As a teacher at the elementary level, I can tell you that the ratio of boys to girls being prescribed ADD drugs or being described as having ADD/ADHD is about 10 to 1.

    I seriously think that this has a lot to do with our schools being 95% female in terms of teachers. I get the most ridiculous referrals for behavior. My rule is that anything I know I would get busted doing, I won't bust a student for doing as well. I get referrals for kids (girls too but usually boys) jumping up to hit the door jam, bouncing the ball while walking with it (I still want to bounce it, and I am 34 years old,) jumping a step on the stairs, etc.

    They basically want our children, especially the boys, to be little robots. Not surprising since they want the teachers to be larger robots as well.

    The other issue is parents just don't want to handle or help their own children. They all work 50 hours a week. Then they spend another 10 hours commuting, etc. The last thing they want to do is come home and have to actually help with homework. I see so many kids that act out for no other reason than to get attention. It is so sad. I am the absolute hardest of the hard noses when it comes to learning and what kids can accomplish. However it has become insane.

    This year when giving the California State Standards test, I saw problems that would have been ninth to tenth grade math (basically algebra and geometry) when I was in school. They likely are seventh to eighth grade math now. However this was being given to fifth graders. My kids easily aced the norm referenced part of the test, but the standards based part was insane.

    I don't even doubt that I could teach even fifth graders the seventh grade algebra and geometry. But the reality is that I have to teach general math which includes multiplication, division of general numbers, fractions and decimals. I have to teach measurement in two different forms. If I were given a full year to teach both algebra and geometry, I think I could teach it even to fifth graders. But I cannot teach what use to be two years of math in one year while also having to add all the general math as well.

    The kids who can't hang with all this and the parents who don't have time to deal with them. They must be dumb, the parents bad, the teachers lazy, and we can solve it all with a pill.

  • Reply 13 of 13
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member

    Originally posted by trumptman

    They basically want our children, especially the boys, to be little robots. Not surprising since they want the teachers to be larger robots as well.

    That's very true. I remember hating elementary school, perhaps because it was run by women who I couldn't connect with on any level. I remember how cutesy everything was, from lesson plans to desired conduct. In the end I went to a private school that was 180 degrees away, but that's not a option easily available to most folks. How many schools do you know of that have a mandatory football program? Funny thing is that it was a lot of fun, especially since everyone did it, not just the meatheads.
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