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Tag: ADD

The Boy Who Burned Too Brightly

This book is an excellent resource for parents, teachers, school counselors and anyone that works with children. It is an allegorical tale that paints an excellent picture of what it’s like for children diagnosed with ADD, ADHD and other psychiatric labels, and how these children are treated in the school system. The Boy Who Burned Too Brightly, written by David J. Welsh, is a fiction story about a town where everyone has a flame burning on the top of their head. Randall is a boy who is unique and his parents love that about him and don’t think there is anything wrong until a teacher points out the brightness of his flame and he is then brought to a “child pyrologist” who diagnoses him with Defective Flicker Syndrome.

In the book, Randall is then medicated with a drink called “quiescence,” which is representative of the psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, Prozac and Zoloft that millions of children are prescribed in our world today. In The Boy Who Burned Too Brightly, Randall’s differentness is suppressed, and those around him want his behavior to be more consistent with those around him, instead of magnifying his special and unique attributes and letting them truly shine. The book shows that to some people a flame may be too bright, but to others, brightness is a true gift that should be encouraged and shone to the world.

About the Author

Dr. David J. Welsh is an educational psychologist who has been in private practice in Forth Worth, Texas since 1985. Aside from writing books, he was also a producer and host of a show called Issues of the Mind from 1987 to 1997. He received his bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in 1975, then went on to get his master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1978, and was awarded his PhD in educational psychology from the University of Texas in 1984. Dr. Welsh is a member of the American Psychological Association and Texas Psychological Association. He is also a former president of the Tarrant County Psychological Association.


Jane L. Brown, RN, Center for Effective Learning, Virginia Beach, VA:

“I missed several words on my first read–I had tears in my eyes. It’s absolutely wonderful!”

Ron Rubin, Center for Developmental Disabilities, Univ. of Vermont:

“In a world that espouses honoring diversity, it stands out as a heart-felt treatment of what ‘honoring’ truly means.”

La Nelle Gallagher, Learning Disabilities Association of Texas:

“This book is probably the most creative and clever book on learning differences I have ever read!”

Author Dr. Thomas Armstrong:

“Certainly hits the nail on the head. I enjoyed reading it and will share this book with others.”

The Hyperactivity Hoax : How To Stop Drugging Your Child And Find Real Medical Help

This book is written by neuropsychiatrist Dr. Sydney Walker, who is willing and determined to find the root of hyperactive behavior in children, instead of rushing to place psychiatric labels on them. With the rampant diagnoses of children with ADD, ADHD and hyperactivity, Dr. Walker examines what these labels mean, and whether the prescribed treatment of stimulants such as Ritalin is working.

In Dr. Walker’s private practice, he often discovered that a child that had been labeled as ADD or ADHD was misdiagnosed and in fact had displayed the hyperactive symptoms because of an underlying medical illness such as diabetes, food poisoning or allergies. In The Hyperactivity Hoax : How To Stop Drugging Your Child And Find Real Medical Help, Dr. Walker helps parents find safe and effective treatments for their child’s symptoms without prescribing them psychotropic drugs that are likely to be unnecessary and potentially cause other long-term issues for the child due to their side effects. The book also offers some entertainment with how candidly Dr. Walker calls out the psychiatric field and DSM-IV.

Dr. Walker offers valuable advice in this book for parents regarding how to determine if your child needs medical attention, how to find the medical help you need, alternative treatments for their child’s behavioral issues, how to stand your ground when dealing with doctors and school officials, and how to provide better overall care for your child.

About the Author

Sydney Walker III, M.D., is a board-certified neuropsychiatrist, Director of the Southern California Neuropsychiatric Institute, and founder of Behavioral Neurology International. His other books include Help for the Hyperactive ChildPsychiatric Signs and Symptoms Due to Medical Problems, and A Dose of Sanity.


Marilyn Chase, The Wall Street Journal:

“His mission is to embolden families to say ‘no’ to the Ritalin fad.”

Bernard Rimland, Ph.D., Director, Autism Research Institute:

“Dr. Walker’s book is must reading for parents who want real solutions for their children–not just ‘wastebasket’ labels such as hyperactivity and ADD. I recommend it highly to parents–and their doctors.”

Publisher’s Weekly:

“Walker, director of the Southern California Neuropsychiatric Institute, makes a dramatic case against the widespread use of the drug Ritalin to treat hyperactive children, [pointing] a finger at hurried doctors who treat symptoms without identifying underlying causes.”

Charles Inlander, President, People’s Medical Society

“Finally someone breaks the myth about hyperactivity….Not only does it clearly show that hyperactivity is a professional excuse for medical incompetence, but it gives parents a real action plan for helping their children. It’s about time an esteemed physician spoke out. Bravo, Sydney Walker.”

Unraveling the ADD/ADHD Fiasco

This is another groundbreaking book from psychologist Dr. David B. Stein, which was published in 2001. Unraveling the ADD/ADHD Fiasco is, like other books written by Dr. Stein, based on his highly successful Cargivers’ Skill Program, which provides parents with skills to teach their children to approach learning with more enthusiasm, and to respect and honor authority figures in the home and at school.

In the book, Dr. Stein addresses the rapid rise in children being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, and questions the pharmaceutical solutions that are so often being provided to treat these conditions in children. Dr. Stein raises concerns over the theories of ADD and ADHD, and the riskiness of prescribing amphetamine drugs like Ritalin to children as a way to treat these behavioral disorders. Dr. Stein suggests that this sudden rise in ADD and ADHD diagnoses are being brought on by children misbehaving and not being able to perform in school, which could be a result of the current status quo in modern society’s parenting and teaching institutions.

To help educators, physicians, therapists and parents treat these growing behavioral problems in children, Dr. Stein suggests an alternative to medications. His Caregivers’ Skill Program has been proven highly effective, and Stein uses case studies from his own practice to demonstrate this. This solution will lead to happier, healthier, better educated and better behaving children who have more harmonious relationships with their authority figures.

About the Author

Dr. David B. Stein is a psychologist who worked as a clinical practitioner and professor of psychology in Virginia. He also was deputized with the Prince George Co. Police Department in Virginia, and worked as a criminal profiling consultant for Petersburg and Virginia State Police. Dr. Stein is an accomplished author who spent most of his career fighting against and exposing the evils of using amphetamine drugs such as Ritalin to treat children with ADD and ADHD. His other books include The Psychology Industry Under a Microscope, Controlling the Difficult Adolescent: The REST Program, Ritalin is Not the Answer: A Drug-Free Practical Program for Children Diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and Stop Medicating, Start Parenting. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 73 years old, and is survived by his wife, two sons and two grandchildren.


Dr. Bose Ravenel, co-author of The Diseasing of America’s Children: Exposing the ADHD Fiasco and Empowering Parents to Take Back Control:

“I am a practicing pediatrian with a heavy emphasis on behavioral problems. After reading Dr. Stein’s former book RITALIN IS NOT THE ANSWER, although skeptical because so much of conventional ‘wisdom’ about managing ADD was challenged, I cautiously began to offer this approach to select parents. The results were impressive in several cases, and this fueled my desire to learn more about Dr. Stein’s approach. Having now begun to offer the CSP (Skilled Caregivers Program) for any parent who prefers a non-medication method of dealing with ADD/ADHD behaviors, I continue to experience success in a number of cases where previously medication offered the only hope for improvement. The current volume amplifies on what Dr. Stein has previously written, and adds a number of areas to supplement the fundamental behavioral premises and techniques. Having had an opportunity to read the manuscript twice prior to its current availability, I am most impressed and unhestitatingly recommend it for any parent dealing with this issue and for professionals who would like to be able to help parents to manage their child’s behavior problems effectively without having to resort to medications.”

Ritalin is Not the Answer: A Drug-Free Practical Program for Children Diagnosed with ADD or ADHD

This book, written by psychologist Dr. David B. Stein and published in 1999, highlights the fact that nearly one-tenth of American children are being prescribed psychotropic drugs which have a slew of serious side effects, and he offers an alternative to these medications. Most of the children on these medications are diagnosed with either attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). How strange is it that twenty years earlier, these psychiatric labels did not exist?

The common side effects of many of the medications prescribed for ADD and ADHD include insomnia, irritability, anorexia, nausea, dizziness, and heart palpitations. And there is a growing trend of drugs like Ritalin and other speed-like medications in this category being used recreationally and sold as street drugs.

Ritalin is Not the Answer: A Drug-Free Practical Program for Children Diagnosed with ADD or ADHD challenges the status quo and offers parents and teachers an alternative solution to the prevalent go-to use of psychiatric drugging. In the book, Dr. Stein lays out a step-by-step behavioral treatment program called the Caregivers Skill Program. This plan is based on clinical trials and research, and is meant to help children behave better at home, focus better in school, and to be more motivated and emotionally healthy overall. The program is easy to put into action, and the book also provides advice and insight for parents feeling pressured by the school system and psychiatric profession to put their children on medication.

About the Author

Dr. David B. Stein is a psychologist who worked as a clinical practitioner and professor of psychology in Virginia. He also was deputized with the Prince George Co. Police Department in Virginia, and worked as a criminal profiling consultant for Petersburg and Virginia State Police. Dr. Stein is an accomplished author who spent most of his career fighting against and exposing the evils of using amphetamine drugs such as Ritalin to treat children with ADD and ADHD. His other books include The Psychology Industry Under a Microscope, Controlling the Difficult Adolescent: The REST Program, Unraveling the ADD/ADHD Fiasco, and Stop Medicating, Start Parenting. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 73 years old, and is survived by his wife, two sons and two grandchildren.


John Rosemond, Family Psychologist, Author and Nationally Syndicated Columnist:

“My faith in my profession is almost renewed! Stein not only flies in the face of conventional psychological ”wisdom” where ADD/ADHD is concerned, but he has written a book that is completely devoid of psychobabble. Even if you don’t have a child with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, buy ”Ritalin Is Not the Answer”. Thank you, Dr. Stein, for bringing a thousand rays of sunshine to America’s children.”

John W. Verheul, diplomate, American Academy of Family Practice:

“This book should be read by every physician before prescribing Ritalin and is an absolute must for any parent of a child diagnosed as having ADD and ADHD.”

Edward D. Smith, professor of psychology, Longwood College:

“Stein has years of experience at successfully treating hyperactive children without the use of drugs. Any parent who thinks his or her child may have an attention disorder (ADD or ADHD) should read this clear and practical book before seeking treatment.”

Teaching the Restless: One School’s Remarkable No-Ritalin Approach to Helping Children Learn and Succeed

With over 6 million children in the United States being labeled with psychiatric disorders and prescribed medications for said labels, this book makes a strong case against such practices. Teaching the Restless: One School’s Remarkable No-Ritalin Approach to Helping Children Learn and Succeed was published in 2004 and written by Chris Mercogliano, an experienced educator who is the co-director of the Albany Free School in Albany, New York. Mercogliano is able to draw from his experience with the practices from the Free School, which forgoes psychiatric labeling and drugging. Instead, the Free School offers alternative ways to help children learn how to relax, concentrate, manage their emotions, run their lives in a responsible manner and develop healthy relationships. Many of the approaches used at the Free School are community-based.

One main theme of the book is the case study of nine students of the Free School (six boys and three girls) who were all given psychiatric labels and medications at their previous school. Mercogliano reveals in Teaching the Restless how these children succeeded with the Free School’s approach. Mercogliano theorizes that for children with oppositional behavior the best approach is to give them the freedom to choose what they want to learn and to what aspects of the school they want to devote most of their time This teaches the children to look within themselves for motivation. This freedom-based approach also teaches these children to be accountable for themselves, and to their peers and the community.

Teaching the Restless is an excellent tool for both parents and educators to help them understand how to deal with hyperactive children. The book encourages readers to make more of an effort to understand these children and help bring out their positive attributes instead of suppressing them.

About the Author

Chris Mercogliano is an American author who has written numerous books containing well-researched material about children’s education, development and mental health. Beginning in 1973, he taught, and eventually became co-director, at the community and freedom-based inner-city alternative school the Albany Free School . He worked at the Free School for over 30 years. He also serves on advisory boards for other democratic schools. Mercogliano has authored numerous essays. Other books he has written include Making It Up As We Go Along: The Story of the Albany Free School (written in 1998), How to Grow a School: Starting and Sustaining Schools That Work (written in 2006), and In Defense of Childhood: Protecting Kids’ Inner Wildness (written in 2007).


Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Magical Child:

Teaching the Restless is a very important book for our time. That we continue to prescribe drugs to our children in such massive numbers is appalling. There are no historical precendents for a society perpetrating such a travesty on its offspring. Chris Mercogliano deserves a medal for his courage and insight, as well as his years of hard work on behalf of America’s children.”

Ron Miller, executive editor, Paths of Learning magazine, educational historian, author of What are Schools For?:

Teaching the Restless is a finely crafted moral commentary on a society that would rather “tranquilize our children than create a more tranquil world for them to grow up in.” Chris Mercogliano is a gifted writer as well as a superb observer of children’s lives. Here, he offers a rich blend of insights and observations based on his own extensive teaching experience. His stories of real kids struggling against the cultural constraints on their lives, including inappropriate labeling and drugging, are deeply moving and convincing.”

John Breeding, clinical psychologist, author of The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses:

“God bless Chris Mercogliano. He has turned his lifelong commitment to the creation of free learning communities for children and families toward a passionate defense against the oppression of children by psychiatry and the schools. May his longstanding drug-free school zone in Albany extend throughout our country and the world.”

The Myth of the Hyperactive Child: And Other Means of Child Control

Though this book was published back in 1975, it was ahead of it’s time.  Authors Peter Schrag and Diane Divoky produced a very well-researched book that is backed up by bold and insightful arguments.  Schrag and Divoky examine the landscape of mental health profession, the public school system, and how they are shifting into a more authoritarian role, and are no longer advocates for our children.  The authors expose the loose haphazard research done on “disorders” such as MBD (minimal brain dysfunction) and the lack of evidence of the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs like Ritalin, as well as the dangerous side effects of these drugs.  The book also gives an in-depth analysis of the increased implementation of practices such as psychological testing, data banks, “predelinquency screenings” and behavior modification, to “fix” our children, many of whom are perfectly healthy and normal.

The authors warn parents of the psychiatric labels and psychotropic drugs that could be forced on their kids, who have no defense.  And much of this psychiatric treatment, under the guise of “helping” the child, is likely to in fact cause further psychological damage.  This begins a vicious cycle that leaves your child a slave to the government system, with various psychiatric labels that follow them around for their lifetime.  The Myth of the Hyperactive Child is written from a unique perspective that explains the big picture of the mental health industry (and society in general) that was taking place in 1975, and is still taking place now in 2021.  Specifically the book puts the focus on the increasing power of institutions over individuals, and their interference with human liberties.  The book also points out that while the safety of psychotropic drugs is a concern, there is a bigger issue we are facing that threatens our children and society at large: the “ideology of drugging” and early intervention.

About the Author

Peter Schrag is an American writer, editor and scholar of California politics and political history.  Schrag was a columnist and page editor at the daily newspaper the Sacramento Bee for nineteen years.  He wrote for the weekly magazine The Nation for nearly a half century.  Schrag is also a former visiting scholar at the Institute of Government Studies at the University of California.

A notable honor Schrag received during his career was being listed as a notable editor and writer by Marquis Who’s Who.  He was a Guggenheim fellow from 1971072, and a National Endowment of the Arts fellow from 1976-77.  He was born in Germany, and received his Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College in Massachusetts.   Some of the other books Schrag has published include When Europe Was a Prison Camp: Father and Son Memoirs, 1940-41 (Indiana University Press, 2015), Paradise Lost: California’s Experience, America’s Future, and Final Test: The Battle for Adequacy in America’s Schools.


Aryeh Neier, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

“For the last half century, Americans have been responding to real and imagined social problems by pinning derogatory labels on people, excluding them from opportunities available to others, and then bemoaning the worsening of the problems. Some of the newest and most dangerous labels stigmatize young children. They are called ‘hyperactive,’ ‘predelinquent,’ or are said to suffer from ‘learning disabilities.’ In their fine book, Diane Divoky and Peter Schrag give us an absorbing account of what is going on. The information they gather and the insights they share with us give us a chance to save our children from the awful things done to them in the guise of helping them.”

The New York Times:

“Schrag and Divoky present us with fine polemical writing in a well‐researched and thoughtfully argued brief intended to stimulate informed action against the widespread use of drugs, psychological testing, data banks, “predelinquency” screening, [and] behavior modification[.]”

The Myth of the ADHD Child, Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels and Coercion

In response to the rise of ADHD diagnoses and the number of people taking psychoactive medications, The Myth of the ADHD Child: Revised Edition: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels or Coercion really examines the root of where all of these issues are coming from.  Psychologist Dr. Thomas Armstrong addresses what many people believe to be a highly overdiagnosed disorder at the very least, and he even challenges the actual existence of ADHD, based on lack of concrete evidence. He instead explores possible alternatives for dealing with hyperactivity and short attention spans by engaging children’s creativity and vitality, which is often mischanneled.

Armstrong recommends the book be followed along with the guidance of the child’s doctor, and that the parents have an active role in the child’s treatment. Also, the book gives an overview of the history and politics of ADD and ADHD, and Big Pharma’s role in creating such a heavily medicated society. This is the second edition of the book, published 22 years after The Myth of the A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels or Coercion.  Since the first book was published 22 years ago, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of people, and children, on psychotropic medication.

About the Author

Dr. Thomas Armstrong has a background in education, and has written a lot of material on parenting and education.  He has also explored mindfulness in the classroom as a way to help children feel calmer and more focused in school, which he wrote about in Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm.  He also avidly promotes neurodiversity, which is an idea that views people with disabilities as having differences from others, including both challenges and strengths, as opposed to only focusing on the weaknesses of the disabled.  You can learn more in Armstrong’s book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleash the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain.


Jack Canfield, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul and Success Principles:

“Parents everywhere should read this book, not just those with kids diagnosed with ADHD!  Thomas Armstrong presents a wealth of strategies, ideas, tips and resources that will help parents nurture kids who feel good about themselves, who have skills for coping with life’s challenges, strategies that will help them succeed in the classroom and beyond.  I wholeheartedly recommend The Myth of the ADHD Child.”

Alan Sroufe, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Child Psychology, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota:

“…absolutely essential reading for parents. teachers, and others concerned with children who struggle.  Armstrong provides a lucid and comprehensive response to the tragic overuse of medication for America’s children.  Bursting the myths of an established brain deficit, a single cause, and long-term effectiveness of drugs, Armstrong discusses parental options with compassion.”

Testimony Before CT Education Committee


Request Insert of Language of Informed Consent Bill 5007 to Bill 5353.

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.


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