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Drugging our kids.

My husband's co-worker recently gave me a copy of the August 25th issue of THE NEW AMERICAN so that I could read William Norman Grigg's article "Drugging Our Kids." While I do not currently subscribe to your magazine, I now plan to.

I was basically strong-armed by the school system to either put my 10-year-old daughter Ashley on Ritalin or enroll her in a behavior modification class. If I did neither, neglect charges could be brought against me. When I read about Shaina Dunkle in "Drugging Our Kids," it was like reading about my times with the school.

I am blessed to say that we never put Ashley on any medication, and she is now in regular classes. Honestly, I do not feel the behavior modification class was the best recourse, but what is a parent to do?

Ashley grew up as an only child and was always on a one-to-one basis with me or her in-home care provider, whom I knew personally. I never put her in a "child-care" facility. She was with the provider and then went directly into school. Of course, this may cause some problems, but not enough to put her on Ritalin.

I now have a nephew who has taken medication, is facing kidney/urinary problems, and is failing school because of all the surgeries he has had to have. I personally would love to become some sort of advocate for the children and parents forced by the school systems to take this medication.

Thank you for the wonderful article. I plan to share it with many of my friends and family.

TONYA R. HARRIS

Independence, Kentucky

Thanks for the article "Drugging Our Kids." We had a similar experience, although thankfully our son is still with us--healthy, happy, and learning, now that he is off drugs and at home during the school day.

We were amazed at the schools' refusal to listen to us, as parents. We were horrified that they thought drugs were the first and best answer to his behavior. And yes, when drug side effects became noticeable, we had to prove it was the drugs, and not our lousy parenting, that made our son act that way.

I will always be ashamed of myself for abandoning my beautiful son in the face of pressure from the schools to medicate him against our better judgment and against his will. But every day, now that we homeschool our children, we rejoice in the freedom to teach them well, love them fully, and keep them safe from drug-pushing "experts" on the school payroll.

CHRISTINE BASHAM

Lexington Park, Maryland

Thanks for your article "Drugging Our Kids" and the accompanying article "Totalitarian Medicine." "Telling it like it is" is something you do in your magazine which no one else does and I certainly appreciate this. It saddens me so much when I see these children who have been taken from their homes because the parents won't "drug" them. When I tell colleagues about this, they seem to ignore this fact or even deny that it happens.

I wish that you had done a couple of things with this article. First, there are many alternative approaches to Ritalin and drugging--such as Neurofeedback, which has been scientifically proven to be successful and extremely safe. Other alternatives include change in diet, change in parental structure, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture. There are a few studies that indicate these are successful.

Second, the U.S. Department of Education has listened to advice from CHADD for years and has produced a video for parents and educators, which advocates Ritalin and other medications. Several years ago, the Merrow Report proved that CHADD (Mr. Peter Jensen) has been supported by the Ritalin companies with millions of dollars.

BARBARA LINDE

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Title Annotation:Letters to the Editor
Publication:The New American
Date:Sep 22, 2003
Words:627
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