Testimony Before CT Education CommitteePrint This Post
Ablechild is a nationally recognized 501(3)c non-profit parent’s rights organization. Ablechild was recently featured on CNN Special Projects, Perry’s Principles (Quick to Medicate) December 10, 2011. Ablechild contributed to the groundbreaking Diane Sawyer ABC 20/20 year long investigation into the drugging of foster care children which was shown to be a major problem not only within the state of Connecticut, but throughout the Nation.
Ablechild was founded by two moms, Patricia Weathers and myself, Sheila Matthews. Both our schools diagnosed our boys with ADHD through the IEP process in our school system. This diagnosis was based off a “subjective” ADD checklist. We were never informed during the entire IEP process that this ADD/ADHD checklist was subjective and was not endorsed and had never been endorsed by the Board of Education, the State or Federal Government. We have submitted below letters from the Board of Education, State of Connecticut and a Federal Document that states they do not endorse this type of identification of children.
We were never told this checklist came from the Association of School Psychologists through research: behavioral, and clinical drug trials grants. We were never at any time informed that there is no test in existence to diagnose the condition and the diagnosis itself was not based in science. We were never informed at any time that this was a psychiatric label and that we were in essence labeling our children “mentally ill.” We were never informed that there were any other treatments for this diagnosis other than drug treatment. We were never informed at any time what the risks of this recommended drug treatment were and the fact that many of the drugs recommended were not even FDA approved for children.
In fact, we were never informed that we even had a choice to “opt out” of a school psychologist and his or her testing of our child. During this whole process we were only offered mental health services and little if any educational ones. Parents must have the right to have an education or speech and language specialist test their child instead of a psychologist. All parents should have the right to educational services that are evidence based rather than subjective not only within special education but throughout the entire education system.
For the past five years, Ablechild has fought for legislation to prevent what happened to us from happening to other parents. We in many ways have been fortunate. Our children are survivors of this very risky process. Other children have not been so lucky, being injured and having died from misdiagnosis and recommended drug treatment.
Ablechild and all of its parent members continue to urge this committee to pass an informed consent bill which focuses on full disclosure to protect not only parents informed consent rights but our children’s health and safety. Each year for the last five years, a bill for informed consent has been rejected, and it is our hope this year, that you as a committee seriously consider this issue since it involves both the protection of parent’s rights and our children’s health and safety. We are requesting that you incorporate Representative Hetherington’s proposed bill #5007 last proposed in 2011, AN ACT CONCERNING PSYCHIATRIC AND PSYCHIATRIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AND PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS FOR PARENTS, on informed consent into the language of this bill 5353.
AN ACT CONCERNING PSYCHIATRIC AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AND PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS FOR PARENTS
We cannot stress enough how important it is to incorporate the Hetherington bill language “5007” within bill “5353“ for parent and children’s rights.
We would be happy to expand on our request and answer any questions you may have.
Thank You for Your Consideration
The Staff of Ablechild.org