Here is a select group of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, bound by their shared interests in educating the public regarding subjective psychiatric labels like ADD/ADHD. They consist of professionals in medicine, education and psychology, as well as other related fields.
Derek is known for his compassion to clients and his passion in pursuing justice. He has been a leader in the legal field, notable for being one of the first attorneys to file suit on behalf of families who lost a child, spouse or parent to suicide as a result of psychotropic medication and one of the first to file a suit against investigators, sponsors and institutional review boards for conducting unethical human clinical trials. He has not only represented clients injured by drugs and medical devices but has represented doctors and consumers against insurers, employees wrongfully withheld wages or discriminated against by their employers and those harmed by consumer fraud. Recognized by his peers and clients as a skilled and dedicated attorney, Derek has been voted by his colleagues as a Rising Star and SuperLawyer in the area of Pharmaceutical and Mass Tort litigation in each of the last four years.
Dr. Glasser was an internationally recognized psychiatrist who was best known as the author of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy he created in 1965 and that is now taught all over the world. His approach was non-traditional. He did not believe in the concept of mental illness unless there was something organically wrong with the brain that could be confirmed by a pathologist. Born in 1925 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Glasser later attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and took his psychiatric training at the Veterans Administration Hospital in West Los Angeles and at UCLA from 1954-57. It was there that he began his break with psychiatric tradition that had continued throughout his life. He was initially a Chemical Engineer but went into psychiatry when it became apparent to him that this was his real interest in life. He became Board Certified in Psychiatry in 1961 and was in private practice (using Reality Therapy) from 1957 to 1986. Glasser’s path had been one of a continuing progression in private practice, lecturing and writing, ultimately culminating in the publication of over twenty books. After writing the counseling book, Reality Therapy, in 1965, he added education with Schools Without Failure in 1969, greatly expanded the understanding of motivation and behavior with Choice Theory in 1998, and finally helped people improve their own mental health or happiness, with Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health, in 2003. Read Dr. Glasser’s Letter on behalf of Ablechild and our work. Ablechild was saddened to hear about the passing of its Board Member, Dr. Glasser, a true pioneer within psychiatry who was never afraid to speak out about his non drug approach, recognizing that the individual is accountable for his/her actions, behaviors and ultimately his/her life. Dr. Glasser was highly respected and will deeply be missed by all in our organization.
AbleChild’s Note – Dr. Glasser was an inspiration to us all. He was dedicated to his work and committed to sharing psychiatric drug risks and non drug treatments to the public. He served on our Board up until his death in 2013. He will be missed sorely. His profession, psychiatry has lost a valuable and wonderfully innovative man who in all sense of the word, “championed” human rights.
Ms. Sharon Steele Kientz is a retired teacher, an active musician and a current school board member. She retired in 1997 after a 23 year career in the classroom, 21 years teaching kindergarten children how to read with systematic, explicit phonics with a rich program of music and movement included in the daily curriculum. In 1995 Sharon was honored as Teacher of the Year by the National Right to Read Foundation. She also received a commendation from the California Legislative Assembly for her success in teaching children how to read. From 1999 to 2001 she received three appointments from the California Department of Education and served on panels selecting beginning reading programs and establishing performance standards for the language arts/reading assessment. In 1998 she was elected to the school board in her Sierra foothill retirement community. In March of 2005 she was successful in bringing to a unanimous affirmative vote a board policy statement that prohibits school personnel from diagnosing ADD/ADHD or recommending or requiring psychotropic drugs for students. In March of 2004 she testified before the California Assembly Education Committee on an eventually defeated bill that would have given the same protection to all California students.
William Matthew was the former Vice President of Equitable Life Insurance Society and former Founder and CEO of GIC Management Company. In addition, William served 3 years in the US Navy as a Lt.Jg and served on Hastings on Hudson School Board as Financial Office. He was the President of Sea Oaks, Tennis Villa Association in Vero Beach, Florida as well as Treasurer of Sears Point Condominium Association in Brewster, MA.
A devoted father of five children, Matthews watched his five children thrive during their summers on Cape Cod and understood that setting his children free to explore and experience the wonders of nature on the Cape, provided an important sense of independence and freedom. That same sense of independence and wonder has been passed on to his seven grandchildren. According to Matthews, “there isn’t a perfect recipe for raising children but, certainly, the natural mind – free from chemical onslaught – and open to wonder, offers limitless potential.”