ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Infant Sexual Abuse Case : Female Child Care Director: WI

Paragraph 27 reads:  “The defense witnesses Thursday
included a psychologist who evaluated Benz and agreed with her prior diagnoses
of being manic-depressive and bi-polar and suffering from depression and
anxiety. Dr. Gene Braaksma said Benz was taking anti-depressants
and mood stabilizers in June 2007.”

http://www.sheboyganpress.com/article/20091204/SHE0101/912040448/1062/SHE01/Judge-to-rule-today-on-mistrial-motion-in-Mary-Benz-infantabusecase

Judge to rule today on mistrial motion in Mary Benz infant abuse
case

By Eric Litke • Sheboygan Press
staff • December 4, 2009

The defense is seeking a mistrial in the Mary
Benz infant abuse case after Benz’s attorney stumbled upon evidence he said was
valuable to his client’s case and not previously disclosed by the
prosecution.

Defense attorney Richard Hahn made the motion Thursday after
spotting a social worker’s case file while he was in District Attorney Joe
DeCecco’s office editing an audio recording earlier in the day. In a notation
made June 28, 2007 ­ two days after a 10-month-old girl was found to have
significant vaginal injuries ­ the doctor who examined her said the parents
could not be ruled out as suspects and the injuries could have occurred earlier
than he said when he testified.

The note was made before the
pediatrician, Dr. Thomas Valvano, interviewed the parents and differs from his
final findings, but Hahn said he should have been made aware of the report so he
could question Valvano about the statements. Valvano testified Wednesday and has
since returned to Oregon, where he now lives.

“All of this from an
investigative standpoint is a complete and absolute surprise,” said Hahn, adding
that he said he should have received the file during discovery. “That raises
three issues that I would have utilized with great prominence in my cross
examination of Dr. Valvano.”

Judge Terence Bourke will rule on the motion
for the mistrial this morning.

This was the fourth straight day Hahn
sought to have the case thrown out before it reached the jury, but the first
time DeCecco asked for time to prepare a response before Bourke
ruled.

Court records show Hahn filed his demand for discovery in June
2008. Discovery is when attorneys for both sides must share the evidence they
have gathered.

Hahn said he spotted the file sitting in a box on
DeCecco’s floor while the two editing an audio recording of an interview with
Benz that was played for the jury Thursday. That editing delayed the start of
the trial from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The file in question was created by
the Sheboygan County Division of Social Services, which conducted an
investigation in cooperation with but separate from the Sheboygan County
Sheriff’s Department after the girl’s injury was discovered. The injury, an
inch-long vaginal tear, was discovered the same day the child was cared for at
Our Lady of the Lakes Child Care Center in Random Lake, where Benz was

director.
(2 of 3)

Benz, 51, is charged with felony child abuse and
three counts of misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer. Her trial began
Monday after 2½ years of delays from a 10-month investigation, numerous pretrial
motions and two adjourned trial dates.

The case file has not yet been
mentioned in the presence of the jury, as Hahn presented his motion after the
jury was sent home for the day Thursday. After the motion, social worker Laura
Lemon was called to testify as an unscheduled witness about the contents of the
case file.

Lemon said such files are typically given to the District
Attorney’s Office upon request, but she did not know if it was requested in this

case or when. The file includes a record of people contacted during Lemon’s
investigation, a final report and documentation gathered throughout the
investigation.

The case was closed Aug. 14, 2007, because no perpetrator
had been identified, Lemon said.

The key section cited by Hahn was a note
from a Social Services employee who fielded the call from Valvano and reported
that he wanted the agency to know the parents could not yet be ruled out and the
incident could have happened June 25. Valvano said at that point the day care
appeared the “most suspicious” in terms of where the injury likely
happened.

Valvano testified Wednesday that the injuries occurred 12 to 24
hours prior to his examining the child at 2 a.m. June 28.

Another case

note said Valvano told Social Services in a June 28 meeting at Children’s
Hospital in Milwaukee that the girl’s injury could have been caused by a finger,
and there is no indication a sharp object was used or what exactly caused the
injury.

Benz in third interview: ‘I don’t recall’

The
shortened day of testimony preceding Hahn’s motion included a third recorded
interview with Benz in which she changed key details from prior interviews and
repeatedly said “I don’t recall” when confronted about
inconsistencies.

The interview was conducted by Detective Mark Mancl of
the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department on July 26, 2007, after serving a
search warrant at Benz’s home.
(3 of 3)

Mancl focused several of his
questions on Benz’s alleged actions after a June 29, 2007, interview. After Benz
told Mancl then that she changed only two of the girl’s diapers on the day in
question, two day care employees testified that she called and asked them to say
they changed two other diapers when they hadn’t.

In the recording played
Thursday, Benz said she didn’t recall discussing the case with anyone other than
Ed Ritger, an attorney affiliated with the day care, didn’t recall telling one
girl she had been framed ­ as the girl testified she did ­ and didn’t
recall leaving a voicemail saying she messed up and needed help. That voicemail
was played in court Tuesday.

Benz did, however, say for the first time
that she changed all of the victim’s diapers on the day in question. She would
not say why she said otherwise in the two prior interviews, June 27 and
29.

Benz also wouldn’t say why she claimed June 29 that a volunteer had
been caring for the infants during the victim’s first 90 minutes at the day care

when on June 27 she didn’t list that worker as one of the people present. Benz
then said she didn’t recall if the woman was there or had worked with the
infants.

The woman, Rita Schmid, has testified she arrived at 6:30 a.m.
­ around the time the victim did ­ but left when Benz said she wasn’t
needed. She also said Benz called her after the June 29 interview and asked her
to say she worked until 8 a.m. and saw the victim in good spirits.

Asked
directly, Benz repeated previous denials in saying she has no knowledge of the
girl’s injuries and didn’t cause them.

“There was nothing wrong. I had no
concerns when (the victim) left at 4 o’clock,” Benz says in the interview before
deflecting responsibility. “This is the first time dad picks (her) up, and now
we have a problem.”

More defense witnesses testify

The five-hour delay
further disrupted scheduling for the trial, which was to end today. The
prosecution still has not formally rested its case, as Mancl has been on and off
the stand three times to allow witnesses for the defense to testify as
originally scheduled.

The defense witnesses Thursday included a
psychologist who evaluated Benz and agreed with her prior diagnoses of being
manic-depressive and bi-polar and suffering from depression and anxiety. Dr.
Gene Braaksma said Benz was taking anti-depressants and mood stabilizers in June
2007.

Braaksma, who spent about seven hours testing Benz and looking
through her mental health history, said she is “limited in her capability” to
deal with stress. In response to a question by DeCecco referencing Benz
allegedly asking the workers to lie and forging a document, Braaksma said he
would expect a person with Benz’s diagnoses to “crumble” rather than take
logical action to cover a crime.

Benz, 51, is charged with felony
child abuse and three counts of misdemeanor resisting or obstructing an officer.
Her trial began Monday after 2½ years of delays from a 10-month investigation,
numerous pretrial motions and two adjourned trial dates.

The case file
has not yet been mentioned in the presence of the jury, as Hahn presented his
motion after the jury was sent home for the day Thursday. After the motion,
social worker Laura Lemon was called to testify as an unscheduled witness about
the contents of the case file.

Lemon said such files are typically given
to the District Attorney’s Office upon request, but she did not know if it was
requested in this case or when. The file includes a record of people contacted
during Lemon’s investigation, a final report and documentation gathered
throughout the investigation.

The case was closed Aug. 14, 2007, because
no perpetrator had been identified, Lemon said.

The key section cited by
Hahn was a note from a Social Services employee who fielded the call from
Valvano and reported that he wanted the agency to know the parents could not yet
be ruled out and the incident could have happened June 25. Valvano said at that
point the day care appeared the “most suspicious” in terms of where the injury
likely happened.

Valvano testified Wednesday that the injuries occurred
12 to 24 hours prior to his examining the child at 2 a.m. June
28.

Another case note said Valvano told Social Services in a June 28
meeting at Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee that the girl’s injury could have
been caused by a finger, and there is no indication a sharp object was used or
what exactly caused the injury.

Benz in third interview: ‘I don’t recall’

The
shortened day of testimony preceding Hahn’s motion included a third recorded
interview with Benz in which she changed key details from prior interviews and
repeatedly said “I don’t recall” when confronted about
inconsistencies.

The interview was conducted by Detective Mark Mancl of
the Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department on July 26, 2007, after serving a
search

Reach Eric Litke at (920) 453-5119 and

395 total views, no views today

SSRI Antidepressants Linked to Lactation Difficulties

NOTE BY Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): The following
statement about the benefits of breastmilk are true. But when you are talking
about the benefits of breastmilk coming from a mother on SSRI antidepressants,
there is no basis for benefit from such contaminated milk. The baby is much
better off gathering milk from a mother who is drug free. The only additional
problem at that point is that if the baby survives and does not die from one of
the many horrific birth defects produced by these drugs they will then be
going cold turkey off one of these very addictive antidepressants. It would be
better to wean the baby slowly down off of the breast milk by giving smaller and
smaller amounts of the mother’s toxic contaminated milk while providing more and
more clean breast milk from a donor mom.

Let me give just one example of why I would say this: Over the weekend I
was able to visit once again with a mother of seven that I helped years ago
as she withdrew from her seven year use of Prozac. After she had been completely
off the drug for a year and a half she gave birth to her last child. When the
baby was three weeks old she was passing more blood than stool. Both the family
physician and the pediatrician agreed that it was the Prozac residue in the
mother’s breast milk that was eating away the baby’s intestinal lining to cause
the bleeding. They confirmed this by having the mother gather clean breast milk

to supplement her milk with. Almost immediately after mixing the milk half and
half the bleeding stopped. So, assisting a mother to breastfeed when her milk is
so contaminated may not be in the best interest of the baby after all.

_______________________________
Breastfeeding benefits both infants and mothers in many ways as breast milk
is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from
bacterial and viral infections. The World Health Organization recommends that
infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. This
new study shows that certain common antidepressant drugs may be linked to a
common difficulty experienced by new mothers known as delayed secretory
activation, defined as a delay in the initiation of full milk secretion.
Public release date: 26-Jan-2010

Contact:
Aaron Lohr
alohr@endo-society.org
240-482-1380
The
Endocrine Society

Common antidepressant drugs linked to lactation difficulties in
moms

According to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), women
taking commonly used forms of antidepressant drugs may experience delayed
lactation after giving birth and may need additional support to achieve their
breastfeeding goals.

Breastfeeding benefits both infants and mothers in many ways as breast milk
is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from
bacterial and viral infections. The World Health Organization recommends that
infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. This
new study shows that certain common antidepressant drugs may be linked to a
common difficulty experienced by new mothers known as delayed secretory
activation, defined as a delay in the initiation of full milk secretion.

“The breasts are serotonin-regulated glands, meaning the breasts’ ability to
secrete milk at the right time is closely related to the body’s production and
regulation of the hormone serotonin,” said Nelson Horseman, PhD, of the
University of Cincinnati and co-author of the study. “Common antidepressant
drugs like fluoxetine, sertraline and paroxetine are known as selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs and while they can affect mood,
emotion and sleep they may also impact serotonin regulation in the breast,
placing new mothers at greater risk of a delay in the establishment of a full
milk supply.”

In this study, researchers examined the effects of SSRI drugs on lactation
using laboratory studies of human and animal cell lines and genetically modified
mice. Furthermore, an observational study evaluated the impact of SSRI drugs on
the onset of milk production in postpartum women. In this study of 431
postpartum women, median onset of lactation was 85.8 hours postpartum for the
SSRI-treated mothers and 69.1 hours for mothers not treated with SSRI drugs.
Researchers commonly define delayed secretory activation as occurring later than
72 hours postpartum.

SSRI drugs are very helpful medications for many moms, so understanding and
ameliorating difficulties moms experience can help them achieve their goals for
breastfeeding their babies,” said Horseman. “More human research is needed
before we can make specific recommendations regarding SSRI use during
breastfeeding.”

###

Other researchers working on the study include: Aaron Marshall, Laura
Hernandez and Karen Gregerson of the University of Cincinnati in Ohio; Laurie
Nommsen-Rivers of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio; Kathryn
Dewey of the University of California at Davis; and Caroline Chantry of the
University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

The article, “Serotonin transport and metabolism in the mammary gland
modulates secretory activation and involution,” will appear in the February 2010
issue of JCEM.

Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and
most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical
practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of
over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than
100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied, and clinical
interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase,
Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit
our site at www.endo-society.org.

409 total views, no views today

Horror story of forced drugging

“It seemed that the more medicine they used, the worse he got.”

If a stranger on the street came up to me and my child with a package of cocaine and offered to give my child a free month’s supply, I’d have him arrested.

AFTER I beat the living mess out of him. How DARE someone I don’t know offer dangerous, mind altering drugs to my child with me standing right there? Yet I sat there in that school psychologist’s office when my son was a mere five years old listening to this woman I’d never met before tell me my son had Attention Deficit Disorder and needed to be put on Ritalin so that he could concentrate more in class, stop fidgeting and disrupting. I sat forward in my seat, a confused look on my face. Fidgeting? Disrupting? Lack of concentration? I voiced my concern to the psychologist that there was a health problem with my son, that two years earlier he and our family had suffered through a severe toxic poisoning of carbon monoxide for almost three months that left everyone dazed for some time afterwards. Perhaps, I told her, he was simply having after effects of the poisoning and wasn’t quite himself yet. I’d already heard from a neurologist that toxic poisoning can cause possible brain damage, concentration difficulties and irritability. Could that not be a possibility? Definitely not, she stated. She had observed Daniel in class many times and he had all the classic signs of ADHD, and was certain it was Daniel’s difficulty. She said that she had spoken with the teacher and the teacher agreed with her. No, she said, Daniel needed to be put on Ritalin to control his outbursts and concentration problems.

She gave me a form she had filled out showing a long list of symptoms, each with a nasty little checkmark beside it that she had filled out and signed while observing Daniel, and I was to give it to the pediatrician when asking for my son to be put on the medication.

Still skeptical, I didn’t make an appointment for my son right away. I saw no signs of ADHD at home. Yes, he had a temper, but what child doesn’t? Yes, he fought with his brother and sisters. But what child doesn’t? He could sit and watch an entire thirty minutes of cartoons on Sunday, he could sit and look at a comic book about Spiderman for over twenty minutes and not make a peep.

My son? ADHD?? Not in this lifetime, I remember thinking.

Two weeks later, the school psychologist called me at home asking me if I’d had a chance to get to the pediatrician. I told her I was still thinking about my options.

To this day, I can remember the chill down the back of my neck when the next words out of her mouth were a stern “Now, Mrs. Rosecrans, refusing to cooperate with the school system is not benefiting you or your son. We may have to move him to a Special Education class if you’re not willing to put his education first, and in some states that’s considered child abuse.” I gripped the phone hard. The mere words “child abuse” brought on visuals of social service workers poking through my house, asking me millions of questions about how I fed the children, how I disciplined the children, forcing me and my husband to take parenting classes, and the possibility that they could even yank my child out of my home. I’d seen it happen to others. I’d heard the horror stories at Head Start a year earlier from other parents who dared go against the school. I was TERRIFIED. Just the mere thought of my little boy’s face laying on a bed in some foster home crying because Mommy wasn’t there filled my eyes with tears instantly. I choked out quietly that I would speak to the pediatrician as soon as possible. Satisfied, the psychologist let me go. I sent a letter to the school the very next morning confirming that I would do as I was asked and take Daniel to the pediatrician for a checkup and possible medication.

Once again, though, a few days later, the horrors of pumping my child with medications without a full research into other possibilities scared me worse.

So I began my own research into brain injury due to toxic poisonings, near drownings and asphyxiation. Sure enough, my son had symptoms related to brain injury, and we already suspected his father had possible brain injury as well.

Not even two weeks after the call, I got a letter from my son’s teacher, stating that she had received my note about taking my son to the doctor and seeking advice on medications, and that she had not heard anything about it yet and needed to know more. I felt pushed again. I called my son’s teacher, who told me that since the school psychologist who was trained to recognize ADHD stated Daniel was definitely an ADHD child, he simply had to be placed on medication that would CERTAINLY help him and help his grades or be placed in a special education class.

Again, I felt severely pressured, the undertones being “OR WE”RE GOING TO REPORT YOU”. So I made an appointment with my son’s pediatrician. Without so much as five minutes alone with my son, she handed me a prescription for Ritalin, smiled, and told me to contact her in two weeks to give an update on his progress. Then she simply left the room.

Fearing reprisal by Child Protective, and after an assurance from my son’s pediatrician that Ritalin was prescribed daily for thousands of children all over the United States, I reluctantly asked my baby to put medication in his mouth and tiny body that was made from a derivative of cocaine. No information from the doctor about side effects, nor from the pharmacist. Just a cold piece of paper that read like scientific reports not meant for lay people to understand. Well, that and the words “Effectiveness in children under the age of 18 has not been established”.

Yeah, that one got me scared, but not as scared as having my son yanked from me. The first two weeks, my son was a zombie. Just what they wanted, a quiet, compliant child. But there was no warmth there anymore. No heart. No fire.

He didn’t even seem like my son anymore. After that, the symptoms came back, this time with a vengeance. Another drug, Adderal, was added. Then another, Clonadine. Then the Ritalin was discontinued, and Wellbutrin added. Adderal removed, Zyprexa added.

It seemed that the more medicine they used, the worse he got. OH he’d be fine for a few weeks. But then it was like uncaging a monster. He started screaming. Waking up in the middle of the night hearing “voices”. Psychotic episodes began to get more frequent. He had intense rage episodes brought on by nothing, destroying furniture and trying to kill himself and others.

Finally, I removed my son from all medications. During the withdrawal, my son got worse. His father was going through the same thing, and suddenly I have a knock on my door from Social Services, stating my son has reported being belted by his father and that my son is not on medications as he is supposed to be. OH MY LORD, I thought, I’VE BEEN REPORTED FOR CHILD ABUSE!!! A check of everything from our bedrooms, our bathrooms, even to our closets and refrigerators left them satisfied that my kids were at least healthy and happy, but they were concerned about the medicine situation. I told the workers that I felt my son was being harmed by it. They said I needed counseling and that they would be back in touch. Fearing the worse, I packed up my two boys and left the state. Situations had already gotten so bad between their father and I we could no longer hold a decent conversation without either him or our son losing their temper and going into a rage. There was no more marriage. All my energy had been focused on a child who was threatening death and a husband that fed off my son’s anger with his own.

Once I got to New Mexico, and my son off the drugs, he seemed to calm some.

Even start showing signs of the sweet, funny, delightful little boy I knew I’d given birth to. After a month or so, it became obvious to me that my marriage was over. I wanted my two girls who I had left in New York with their father and grandmother to be with me. So a nasty custody battle ensued, with Child Protective, this time in New Mexico, combing every inch of my house to assure the children were safe.

Daniel again started having difficulties in school, unable to concentrate, and fidgety. Again, the same nightmare. Yet this school system was contacted by Child Protective in NY who advised them that my son should have been on medications, and again I was immediately pushed into drugging my son.

The strain was simply too much for the little fellow and he ended up in a psychiatric hospital for a few weeks to gain control of his emotions, brought on I suspected, by the new drug they had him on. SEREQUEL, a wonder drug, I was told.

Since my son was in the hospital and I was unable to attend the child custody hearing in New York, I lost custody of my precious babies. Their father, accused of child abuse by me and by Child Protective, was given custody of my children simply because I could not be there due to my son’s emergency hospitalization by a judge who never met me, never heard my side, and never gave me a chance to reschedule.

Five agonizing months later, I was given custody back of my children due to their father’s inability to control Daniel and happily took them back to New Mexico.

Once I got my son back to New Mexico, I found out another psychiatrist had agreed my son was ADHD and had put him on Tegretol and Klonopin. I immediately removed the medicine and it brought out rage episodes while my son was detoxing from its effects. By this time, my son had several “labels” by different doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. The main one being ADHD. They added Bipolar, ODD, IDS, and even Learning Disorder, completely ignoring my pleas that the child be checking for brain injury due to the carbon monoxide poisoning. They all seemed certain that my son was indeed ADHD and no one wanted to buck the trend.

Finally worn out from fighting Child Protective and school systems in two states, I felt myself wearing down, near to collapse. I moved me and my four children across country to Atlanta, Georgia to be with my mom and get her help.

I had figured that if I said NOTHING to the schools, simply put my son in the age appropriate classes and show him security, love and affection, he’d do much better. I’d also made a promise to myself to find the best neurologist in the area and get his brain checked for damage.

When the records arrived from the other state, my son was instantly labeled “ADHD” by the school system, yanked from his normal class and put in Special Education. Once again Child Protective from THIS state came out to the house to demand I let them investigate to make sure the family was safe. They demanded I follow the instructions of the school psychiatrist and put my son on Zoloft, Risperdal and Adderal to control his outbursts, lack of concentration and his ADHD. I felt so defeated. So abused by three states and their systems put in place to PROTECT families and children.

Despite everything I had to go through in the last three years, losing my home, losing my security, having to support four children on my own financially and emotionally, despite having no social life and no one to turn to, I was still considering an unfit mother and under Child Protection once again in a third state, pushing me to medicate my son. After three more emergency hospitalizations, four different medications including Depakote, Clonadine and Neurontin, trying to convince dozens of teachers, psychiatrists and psychologists that my son had possible brain injury and NOT ADHD, after losing every dime I had taking care of four children with no child support, after months of research into brain injured children, I gave up.

I knew I had to move my children back to the State of New York where my ex husband would be forced to help me take care of their financial needs, their health needs, and their emotional needs. So back to NY we went.

Immediately, I was placed back on Child Protective with the local county.

Almost as fast, my son again started having psychotic episodes that forced hospitalizations, one in a hospital over 80 miles away due to, I was convinced, OVERMEDICATION.

I continued my research into brain injury and made my thoughts known to the psychiatrist on staff at the hospital my son was taken to, who dismissed it as ridiculous. At that center, he was abused, forced to wipe with shower curtains, locked in time out rooms until he wet his pants, given shots of Thorazaine along with doses of Benedryl by an undertrained staff to shut him up. After my complaints went unnoticed, I complained to the Office of Mental Health, who did a surprise inspection on the site, and found all the atrocities I and other parents had complained about and immediately forced the center to stop accepting children until the difficulties were resolved.

Three weeks of living hell for my baby, who by this time had been poked, prodded, examined and stolen from his mommy and siblings over seven times. A child who now longer trusted or wanted to comply with staff. Placed on Seroquel and Neurontin, he became a zombie again.

Seeing my son on a visit that day suddenly made me ANGRY. AND I MEAN I GOT MAD. I suddenly found myself demanding my son be given more attention.

Demanding I get to talk to my son more often. Demanding to see his records, to which I was denied three times by the staff. Demanding that he be given a brain scan to test for injury before upping the dosage on his medication. To this day, I still have a recording of the doctor telling me that a brain scan would never be done at that facility and I should check into another venue for that, yet refused to decrease my son’s medication for it. I was even told by the staff social worker that Daniel’s problems were EMOTIONAL, caused by parents that were divorced, a mother that drug them across country three times, and a dysfunctional family life. I sure chewed her butt out that day, let me tell you. It felt GOOD.

Then the hospital threw my son out after three weeks because I was getting PUSHY. They claim the insurance company refused to pay for any further treatment, but the insurance company denied their statements, saying their own social worker had called to cancel Daniel’s treatment.

Three weeks after I weaned my son of yet another drug cocktail, he began symptoms of withdrawal, became violent. He was taken from me again and put in a hospital over 3 hours away. My heart still breaks every time I imagine that boy’s horror in that long ambulance drive taking him away from mommy again.

There, the doctor listened to what I had to say about possible brain damage causing difficulties and medications causing symptoms to worsen. I even mentioned Dr. Gary Sach’s report concerning the “kindling effect” of medications being stronger and stronger until a raging fire spewed that was nearly uncontrollable.

He was sympathetic, but uninterested. He placed my son on Zoloft and a week later, I had him back. And again, the same pattern. Once again, back in my arms, I knew that medication was not working for my son. Yet this time I was under Social Services scrutiny almost daily, demanding to know whether or not I was giving my son the medication the doctor had prescribed. By this time, though, years of overmedication had brought on psychotic episodes and dangerous outbursts. I contacted KidsPeace in Romulus, NY, who agreed to accept the child to help me straighten out the medication difficulties, help me get a brain scan to determine if it was medical or emotional, and give my son needed counseling and assistance in controlling himself. Seemed like a WONDERFUL setup. Finally, somebody willing to help me. A facility willing to listen to ME. The only difficulty was that all entrants had to be under foster care through Social Services.

Breaking my heart badly, I broke down and asked the local Social Services to temporarily take custody of my son so that he could be placed in this residential treatment center to help him detoxify and learn the real cause of his troubles.

Over 80 miles away, we drove with our son, all of us crying, and placed our baby in these people’s 24 hour care. At first, everything was great. For three weeks he liked being secure, but the psychiatrist took him off all other medications and immediately put him on Zoloft and Risperdal. I spoke with the psychiatrist about my concerns of medications and why we couldn’t try brain scans and therapy.

What a SEVERELY different attitude I got from the day I signed my son over to these people. Suddenly once again I was told to mind my own business. That I was a mere mother, not educated in medicine or children’s therapies. I was told that they needed to stabilize him first, then brain scans would come later.

Heartbroken, and basically told “don’t call us, we’ll call you”, cut off from my son except for two fifteen minute calls a week and two visits for a few hours twice a month, I became determined to find out for myself my rights. I put my full soul and heart into research.

For four months, I spent hours on the computer reading anything I could about medications, ADHD, Bipolar, therapy, brain injury and even parental rights.

I started getting MADDER. The fight came back. The determination to be a part of my son’s therapy and treatment went to front burner. Again, I was met with extreme prejudice. Met with barriers and statements to stop being so pushy and let them do their jobs. My son got physically abused and sexually abused at the site. The psychiatrist REFUSED to remove the Risperdal from my son, but reluctantly removed the Zoloft after I threatened to drive to the site, find him in his office and sit on him and force him to read pamphlets stating Zoloft was NOT meant for children. I was SERIOUS, too, lemme tell you. That tone came through the phone CLEARLY. After all, THIS IS MY son.

NOT Child Protective’s. NOT KidsPeace. After the Zoloft was removed, he showed a remarkable difference. It was like night and day. He was suddenly able to participate in groups more often, enjoying things like reading and TV again, and even laughing more. To further enforce my rights, I demanded more visitation rights. Demanded more phone calls.

I refused to back down. Daniel started getting Excellents and Goods instead of Poor and Failing’s. I also arranged for my son to be taken to Syracuse for a proper brain scan thanks to my ex husband’s insurance on my son. HALLELUIAH, we finally had the proof we needed. My son was INDEED brain injured as I’d been SCREAMING about to Child Protective, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nosy social workers, undertrained overworked teachers, neighbors and bus monitors. I was yelling it to ANYONE that would listen. He was NOT ADHD, OR Bipolar. I IMMEDIATELY demanded my son be taken OFF all medications and rely only on therapy and ways to help him. The new staff psychiatrist refused, stating she needed a full neuropsychiatric workup to prove he didn’t have ADHD. So I set up a full battery of tests through Dr. Thomas Griffiths of Syracuse, an expert in brain injury.

Sure enough, my son’s tests proved that he simply could not ingest information as quickly as other children due to brain injury, could not retain that information as easily, and would get frustrated because he was a gifted child who knew something was wrong.

BINGO. THE PROOF I NEEDED. MY SON WAS NOT ADHD, or BIPOLAR. I HAPPILY and personally presented that proof to Child Protective, the staff at KidsPeace (who by now resented my interference with their program, resented my pushiness to be involved with my son’s treatment, and resented my stern warnings that I would no longer be treated like a second class citizen.) to neighbors, to anyone in three states that had EVER given me static about being a lowly mother. I was certain that now I would finally get the right treatment for my son.

You’d think so, right?: WRONG. The psychiatrist STILL refused to take my son off the Risperdal, even after a full team meeting I had to sit through and listen to her tell me and the full staff that what was WRONG with my son was emotional, that his parent’s difficulties and divorce and instabilities were driving Daniel’s emotions, listen to her state the ‘wonderful benefits” of the Risperdal and how Daniel was doing SO much better on it. With Child Protective listening in on the phone, I firmly and angrily stated that not only did we have PROOF that Daniel was a brain injured child and NOT ADHD, we had PROOF that I’d downloaded and printed out showing the facts that certain medications actually bring ON psychotic episodes in children. CAUSED aggravations. I had PROOF that the medicine he was on wasn’t even supposed to be USED by children under 18 and PROOF from Daniel’s neuropsychiatry reports that he simply couldn’t function in a regular class and needed more one on one, and circumstantial proof that by removing the Zoloft, Daniel was responding better, not that the Risperdal was working better.

I laid in to each and every member on that staff that had given me a stone wall before I got that proof. The last six years of pain and feeling of uselessness came pouring out and I asserted my rights as my son’s mother. THIS TIME, I knew, I would NOT BACK DOWN. The psychiatrist held her ground. Risperdal was simply doing him good. The next thing I have to listen to is her psychologist partner, a Sigmund Freud wannabe who obviously did not have the research and background experience I had on the topics of toxic poisoning, brain injury and ADHD tell me that it was his professional opinion that my son’s brain injury had nothing to do with his outburst, that he’d “studied” carbon poisoning online and found nothing to tie in Daniel’s symptoms with the actual disease, and that he agreed with the psychiatrist, it was simply us as parents who failed our son by divorcing, by child abuse and by moving cross country and that he was going to turn over all the information to a doctor he knew in Upstate NY that was an expert. I looked at this Bugs Bunny figure of a staff psychologist and smirked “Well, you know what? His DOCTOR seems to think he DOES have brain injury, and those little dark specks on his SPEC scan sure AIN’T SPIDERWEBS, are they.” Child Protective suddenly became compliant. They backed me at that meeting.

So the psychiatrist agreed reluctantly to remove one milligram of the four my son was on for a month to see if it made a difference. Then she had the nerve to tell me that my son would defiantly show signs of withdrawal and was I prepared to increase the dosage to keep him from hurting himself or others? I looked at this woman with a disbelief in my eyes I’m sure she saw, shook my head sadly and said “Hun, what do you think WITHDRAWAL of drugs IS? OF COURSE he’s going to have symptoms. Like ANY addiction, whether it’s alcohol, nicotine or drugs. How ridiculous can you be?????” With that, the meeting ended, and once I got home and had time to think, I called the psychiatrist who REFUSED to read medical reports, look at proof of brain injury or heed advice from another psychiatrist who specialized in brain injured children and left a rather harsh message, stating she had SIX WEEKS to wean my son from the Risperdal or I was coming in full barrel with a lawyer and a malpractice suit.

The very next day, I was called by Child Protective, who has now agreed to give me my son back, stating they agreed with me that I was right all along on my son’s actual diagnosis. On that day, I sat on the floor, unable to answer, phone still in my hand, years of fighting, years of severe anger outbursts from a child overmedicated and not knowing why his little body was hurting so bad, missed weeks and weeks of not being able to hold my baby boy, and years of battling for my rights as the child’s parent, nights and nights of holding a crying child because he didn’t know what was happening, years of struggling just to make ends meet and constantly worrying about rent, utilities, food, years of research to finally prove my point all came flooding out, silent tears flowing down my cheeks as I’d finally, I’d FINALLY won. Or HAD I? Just earlier that week, I had a note from my youngest boy’s teacher, who stated my little clown could not and would not sit still in class, and perhaps could benefit from a drug like Ritalin. I busted out laughing, still holding the phone, not caring if Child Protective heard or not, and FRANKLY, my dear, I didn’t give a damn.

That was seven months ago, and I’m STILL under court order to drug my son even though I have moved to another state.

Cynthia Gallaher
2144 Memorial Ave
Roanoke, VA 24015
540-397-2255
CrazyRnIRE@aol.com

449 total views, no views today

Eight-year Old Becomes Aggressive on Luvox

“I’m still angry at the psychiatrist for putting him at risk with these drugs.”

 

They prescribed Risperdal and Luvox to my eight year old son years ago for panic attacks. He started acting strangely and hurting other kids, something he’d never done before, so I stopped giving him the drugs after a few days but I still had to have them filled or DFCS would have claimed I was “psychologically neglecting” him, that’s why I had taken him to the psychiatrist in the first place, his pediatrician reported me after she “suggested” he see a shrink and I told her I didn’t believe in them. He’s almost 16 now, and perfectly fine, but I’m still angry at the pediatrician, DFCS, and the psychiatrist for putting him at risk with these drugs.

 

9/10/2002

This is Survivor Story number 11.
Total number of stories in current database is 48

395 total views, no views today

I Said No to Tegretol

“I took one look at the prescription and shoved (it) back across the desk toward the doctor.”

 

When my son was only 8, he was 10 pounds over weight. When I asked his pediatrician to put him on a diet…..the pediatrician told my son not to eat between meals and to drink ALL the diet sodas he wanted. Within 2-3 weeks my son was hallucinating, hearing voices and seeing things in either fast or slow motion, he was confused and his memory was suddenly poor. When I told his pediatrician, his doctor suggested to go to UCLA to their pediatric psychiatric department.

After a battery of tests were run, I was told to come back in two weeks with the results. Before I left I asked the doctor what he thought he would do with my son. He said that he thought he would end up medicating him. I asked what drug he would choose. He said Tegretol would be his drug of choice. I asked him how long he thought my son would have to take Tegretol. He said for the rest of his life.

Well, since I was tired of seeing empty diet soda cans all over the place, I told my son I didn’t care what his doctor said about drinking all he wanted to lose weight…. I was going to limit him to two cans of diet soda per day. ALL my son’s symptoms improved! After two weeks I returned to UCLA and sure enough the doctor shoved a prescription across his desk at me for Tegretol. I had asked a pharmacist friend of mine what the side effects were and he said this was nasty stuff. It could cause the genitals to be underdeveloped and small and cause liver damage as well. Frequent blood testing would be necessary.

That was enough for me. I took one look at the prescription for Tegretol and shoved the prescription back across the desk toward the doctor. You should have seen the look of shock on his face when I said my son wouldn’t be taking this drug. I told him by limiting the intake of diet sodas my son’s symptoms had improved in frequency. I went on to tell him I was going to take him off of ALL diet sodas and see how much improvement I could get from this move.

Well, needless to say…..ALL my son’s symptoms went away by monitoring his diet and restricting ALL diet sodas from his diet. UCLA never once asked me a question about my son’s diet. Not one question. Well, parents use your common sense and don’t trust doctors blindly!

Julie Scharfe in Pasadena , CA

Years 2000 and Prior

This is Survivor Story number 86.
Total number of stories in current database is 96

306 total views, no views today