Posted by

 A crusade for Shaina

 Two years after their daughter's death, a couple strives to change how
 attention-deficit disorder is handled

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Writing "how attention-deficit disorder is handled" the author
assumes their is such a medical condition/disorder/disease/chemical
imbalance of the brain" as ADHD. Kelly Patrick O'Meara writes Insight
Magazine, May 13-26, 2003, p 38, "Despite the fact that documents provided
on CHADD's Website declare that ADHD not only is a "neurobiological"
disorder but also a "neurological" disorder; the bottom line apparently has
little to do with science. As Ross ( E. Clarke Ross, CEO, CHADD) states, it
"is a matter of belief." And that is precisely what opponents of the alleged
disorder have been saying for years--that psychiatric diagnoses are
subjective opinions unallied by science." As the leading, parent- and
patient-advocacy group in the nation, they have a duty to articulate the
applicable truth and science regarding ADHD, but this is not what they have
done. They claim to do just that, but instead have lied throughout their
existence since the late 1980's and have lied, as well to the Congress and
to every state legislature, stateing, in effect that ADHD is a
disorder/diseases when, all along, all at CHADD, knew their was no such
proof. I do not even think it "is a matter of belief" as Ross claims.
Health advocacy groups, such as CHADD have professional, medical advisory
boards to tell it's lay-officers, people such as Ross, what the medical
facts of the matter actually are. Over the years psychiatric researchers
from the NIMH have manned CHADDs professional advisory board. Surely they
knew every step of the way there was no proof that ADHD is a disease, no
confirming, characteristic abnormality to make it so, and yet one and all
were a party to--were in collusion to protray to the public, parents, the
normal children of the nation, and to all of the law-makers and judiciary of
the nation that ADHD is a real disease, the children abnormal/diseased, when
they knew, all along, that the children were entirely normal and had no need
or justification for Ritalin or amphetamine treatment or, indeed for any
medical treatment whatsoever. Thus Ross, and all at CHADD, especially the
physicians of CHADDs professional advisory board (these have included, at
one time or another: Jensen, Swanson, Biederman, Castellanos, Wilens,
Prince) and those holding other executive posts, have purposely decieved and
defrauded one and all in the US and are more responsible than any others for
the identification of the millions (as high as 8-9 million) of normal
children, nationwide as having a brain disease--ADHD--needing and getting
dangerous, addictive, sometimes deadly, drugs for a disease, they knew all
along never existed. ]

 News Staff Reporter
 Steven and Vicky Dunkle visit their daughter Shaina's grave in Rosehill
 Cemetery every night. The child died of toxic levels of Desipramine,
 prescribed to battle Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
FB: Again, the point being: there is no such abnormality/disease to
"battle". This is, as I wrote to Attorney General, Janet Reno, April 15,
1998, "the biggest health care fraud in US history." Yes, I am happy that
the Congress just passed HR 1170 prohibiting teachers from coercing
schoolchildren to accept their labeling and drugging, but 8-9 million
entirely normal children continue to wear their labels and ingest their
Ritalin and other poisons--this, after all is what they are when the child,
accidently or on purpose (as with ADHD) is entirely normal at "diagnosis"
before "treatment." ]

 In seven months, Shaina Dunkle went from 10 milligrams of Desipramine a
 day to 250. 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Desipramine is a dangerous, sometimes death-dealing,
tricyclic antidepressant. After it had caused 5 sudden cardiac deaths in
the early 1990s, psychiatrist, John Werry of New Zealand called for it's
embargo in children in 1995. Biederman, et al, shouted him down and made it
possible for Shaina to have it for her "invented", fraudulent disease--ADHD,
in 2001.]

 Every night at 10 p.m., Vicky and Steven Dunkle go to nearby Rosehill
 Cemetery in their northern Pennsylvania community of Smethport, where they
 say good-night to their daughter, reciting her prayers with her, just as
 they did when she was alive.
 "Now I lay me down to sleep . . . ," they begin.
 Ten-year-old Shaina Dunkle died on Feb. 26, 2001, after suffering two
 seizures, one at school, the other in her pediatrician's office in nearby
 Bradford, Pa. An autopsy revealed she died from toxic levels of the drug
 Desipramine - a drug prescribed to battle the little girl's Attention
 Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
 The neurological disorder, which affects millions of school children
 across the nation, is marked by three possible behaviors. Children may be
 hyperactive, easily distracted and/or impulsive.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Wrong, as Ross.
speaking for CHADD, the great deciever, has said, ADHD "is a matter of
belief". This means Shaina and all of the millions thus labeled were normal
all along, and are normal today. Will Congress hold them in contempt for
lying to them every time they testified--for perpetrating the greatest
health care fraud in US history? Will they? Or, is the "drug money" too
good to turn down? There can be no doubt of the central role played by the
Congress authorizing one bill after another, beginning in 1970, legitimizing
this and all such "invented" fraudulent brain disorders of

 The number of affected children is staggering, well into the millions. The
 latest statistics claim that 5 to 7 percent of children ages 5-12 have
 been identified with the disorder. In the simplest terms, that typically
 means one or two children in an elementary class of 30 students.
 Some estimates claim that up to 5 million children across the nation take
 the stimulant Ritalin or other drugs for behavioral disorders. Deaths from
 such drugs are rare, estimated at anywhere from seven to 16.
 That's little more than 1 in a million - but not to the Dunkles.
 More than two years after their daughter's death, the Dunkles are working
 with several other parents across the nation in an attempt to expose what
 they consider the twin risks of over-diagnosing the disorder in school
 children and then over-prescribing medication for them.
 The Dunkles represent more than a fringe element of grieving parents
 taking issue with how schools deal with the disorder.
 William E. Pelham, a University at Buffalo professor and a national expert
 on the disorder, cited many school districts' eagerness to have children
 medicated, rather than have their behavior modified without drugs.
 "I'm a very strong proponent of having schools and parents do more
 behavioral approaches, so there will be fewer kids medicated," said
 Pelham, director of UB's Center for Children and Families. "Recent studies
 have shown that up to half the children with ADHD who are treated with
 behavior modification never need medication."
 Reaction here
 The Dunkles have a Web site. They've already visited the "Today" show,
 "Montel Williams" and other talk shows.
 It's a pledge the Dunkles made to their daughter, following that awful day
 when she died in their arms in the doctor's office.
 "Shaina looked into my eyes as her life ended, and I could do nothing to
 save her," Vicky Dunkle said. "It's been two years, and I relive those
 last few minutes every day."
 The Dunkles are on a mission, to save other children through Shaina's
 "A lot of schools are recommending, suggesting and coercing parents into
 drugging their children for ADHD," Vicky Dunkle said. "And we feel the
 most important thing is that the pharmacies and the physicians properly
 warn people about the risks of any medication, not just the minor side
 Local experts, without knowing all the facts about the Shaina Dunkle case,
 are reluctant to comment on it. But several sources said some elements,
 including the large dosage of the anti-depressant Desipramine for a child,
 raise some immediate red flags about her case.
 One red flag: Desipramine hasn't been approved by the Food and Drug
 Administration for children with the disorder.
 "There are a number of medications that have been approved by the FDA for
 ADHD, and those are the ones kids should be getting, period," said Pelham,
 a UB professor of psychology, pediatrics and psychiatry.
 A consensus seemed to emerge from other local professionals that
 physicians here are cautious about prescribing medication for the
 disorder, but that parents still need to be much better informed.
 John K. Benjamins, an Amherst psychologist specializing in behavioral
 disorders and learning disabilities, has seen no more than 10 cases in the
 last 30 years where school districts have taken a decisive stand seeking
 outside evaluation of a child.
 He also believes physicians try to inform parents about the drugs they're
 "Every psychiatrist that I know tells the patient and the parents what the
 significant side effects are and what the risks and benefits are," he
 But no one suggested parents couldn't be better informed about the drugs.
 " "Parents are just not aware about the drugs, about what they can do,"
 said Suzanne Mervine, community relations director of the Learning
 Disabilities Association of Western New York. They need to ask, "Why are
 you prescribing this to my son or daughter?' "
 Mervine, whose three grown sons were diagnosed with behavioral disorders,
 explained why parents are quick to accept whatever the school district and
 physician decide.
 "You jump on it, because the kid is suffering, the parents are pulling
 their hair out and the school is sending the kid home every day, because
 he's not following the rules," she said.
 Shaina's story
 Her parents called Shaina "the sunshine of our life." The Dunkles adopted
 her at birth; Vicky Dunkle was there, in the delivery room, for her first
 breath, and in the pediatrician's office for her last one.
 She was a normal, healthy baby, who later developed asthma, urinary and
 kidney problems. By second grade, teachers noticed she couldn't sit still,
 focus or concentrate as well as she should. A school psychologist
 suggested Shaina could have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and
 recommended she see a doctor.
 On April 1, 1999, the Dunkles took Shaina to the psychiatrist.
 "Within 45 minutes, we walked out with a prescription in hand and a
 diagnosis of ADHD," Vicky Dunkle said.
 Side effects from two other drugs led Shaina, in July 1999, to take
 Desipramine, an anti-depressant usually prescribed for mood disorders such
 as depression. She started with 10 milligrams a day, but the dosage
 steadily increased to 200 milligrams by February 2001, her family said.
 Shaina became more agitated, and one day she threw a pencil at one student
 and picked up a pair of scissors in a threatening motion. She also was
 gaining weight and had some urinary problems.
 Mrs. Dunkle took her back to the psychiatrist on Feb. 19. Leafing through
 the Physician's Desk Reference, he said the side effects were not caused
 by the drug, according to the Dunkles. He increased the dosage to 250
 milligrams, and Shaina began showing improvement.
 One week later, Shaina fell in the school library, suffering a bump on her
 cheek. The Dunkles took her to their pediatrician's office in Bradford,
 about 30 minutes away. Shaina suffered her second seizure in the doctor's
 "Her chest got real big, she took two big gulps of air, and then she was
 gone," her mother said.
 Their daughter's death has driven the Dunkles to take their story as far
 as they can, from the small town of Smethport, Pa., about 95 miles south
 of Buffalo.
 "We know that Shaina knows what we're doing," her father said. "She'd
 probably tell us we're doing a very good thing, and she'd thank us for
 keeping her name alive."
 Driven parents
 Specifically, the Dunkles are seeking several changes in the way schools,
 psychiatrists and pharmacies treat children with attention-deficit
 . They think parents should demand to see the "packet insert" that
 pharmacies have for each drug.
 The insert for the drug Shaina took stated that: the drug had not been
 approved by the Food and Drug Administration for children; that an
 8-year-old child on the drug had collapsed and died; and that it should
 not be used by anyone with urinary or kidney problems.
 . They would like to see the passage of the federal Child Medication
 Safety Act, which basically would prohibit school personnel from requiring
 a child to obtain a drug prescription as a condition for returning to
 . They want drug companies to conduct more extensive research on the
 effects of these drugs on children.
 . They want parents to be more aggressive and less trusting, by
 questioning doctors more extensively and seeking more second and third
 None of those changes would bring back Shaina, an active little girl who
 took tap, jazz and ballet lessons, participated in rifle twirling, played
 softball and the piano and loved to sing karaoke.
 But it would give her parents some peace.
 Shaina's grave
 The grave in Rosehill Cemetery has become a shrine to Shaina.
 The large granite headstone has her photo on it. More than a dozen ceramic
 angels, dolls and other figures cover her grave.
 Steven Dunkle mows the lawn around his daughter's grave, afraid someone
 else's mower might propel stones into one of the figures.
 The Dunkles realize what they've created may seem excessive to others.
 But they don't care. It's what they do to deal with their grief.
 "Most people don't like cemeteries," Steven Dunkle said. "But that's our
 favorite place."

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)