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AbleChild Co-founders Interviewed by CNN’s Steve Perry!

CNN education contributor Steve Perry interviewed Patty and Sheila yesterday for a program, “Quick to Medicate,” that will air in early December!

In this two-part episode of “Perry’s Principles,” a CNN Weekend segment examining challenges facing today’s schools, CNN profiles a family using behavioral drug treatment and commentary by Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New Hyde Park.. Patty and Sheila shared their experiences and offered AbleChild support and resources to parents with issues regarding their child’s ADHD/ADD diagnosis and/or drugs recommended to treat it.

CNN’s Steve Perry interviews AbleChild co-founders Sheila Matthews (left) and Patricia Weathers.

Patty described the pressure she felt from the school system and doctors to treat her energetic, outgoing son with drugs. “I thought maybe they knew more than I did; these were educated people, with degrees.” Stimulants made him withdrawn and listless; adding an antidepressant made him “psychotic.” His increasingly erratic behavior prompted Patty to take him off the drugs and seek alternative solutions. “Parents often aren’t told that there are other solutions to behavioral issues because drugs are a quick fix.”

Sheila offered two key pieces of advice to parents: “First, remember that federal legislation now prohibits schools from recommending or requiring children take controlled substances. Second, it’s critical to document any adverse effects drugs have on your child through Medwatch, the FDA’s reporting system so the agency can regulate their use and consumers receive more accurate information.”

After a break to eat pizza, Perry interviewed Patty and Sheila’s younger sons, Brett and Nick. Brett related how he refused to fill out a behavioral survey administered during math class. “It asked questions like whether I ever had thoughts about hurting anyone. There was no reason for me to fill it out so I didn’t.”

Nick, who receives private tutoring through Chyten Educational Services, discussed the support he receives through public special education to serve his speech and language gaps. “Special education services help me organize my work and review with me what projects I am working on and when they are due.” Nick describes himself as a normal 16-year-old with a passion for music. His work is available on the Oven Fresh Beats YouTube channel.

Your browser may not support display of this image.AbleChild co-founder Sheila Matthews and her son Nick chat with CNN’s Steve Perry over pizza during a break from filming.

Don’t forget to tune in next month when “Quick to Medicate” airs: part one on December 3, and part two on December 10, from 7 – 8PM EST!

Ablechild, CNN, Informed Consent, Interview