Posted by

Letter from Parent Concerned by Informed Consent Violations in Schools

  Dear Dr. Baughman,
  I wrote to you a few months ago about my 7 year-old son who was being
  evaluated by a school psychologist, as recommended by his grade 1
  teacher who was concerned about his "inattention in the classroom". I
  thought I would update you on the outcome.  My husband and I were asked
  to have a group meeting with the school psychologist, my son's teacher,
  the school pricipal, and a resource teacher (is this intimidating or
  what?) to discuss the psychologist's findings which, not surprisingly,
  included an ADHD diagnosis.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
It is intimidating, and it is meant
to be (see Parents have the right to refuse mental or psychological evaluation, analysis, or surveys by Law ). There are all sorts of $ incentives for schools to label and
drug children. For teachers, it is the ecstacy of taking charge of a
child's brain, and family and of making such life-shaking, shattering
pronouncements, no matter that they have no such credentials or
training. Further that they practice medicine without a license is
against the law]

  As soon as this "diagnosis" came out of the psychologist's mouth, I
  asked her (as politely as I could) if she was aware that ADHD was not a
  valid disease of the brain.  She replied to me that indeed it was a
  disease, dealing with neurotransmitters in the brain (she did not
  elaborate any further, and told me to refer to a pediatrician).  I asked
  her to provide me with the specific documented medical research to prove
  her claim that ADHD was a brain disorder.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Hurrah! for you.]

  A few weeks later, she sent
  me a very thick large envelope containing various articles about
  ADD/ADHD, yet not one of them showed anything close to medical proof.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
See my web site for my Congressional testimony of 9/29/00 (see Hearing on "Behavioral Drug in Schools: Questions and Concerns" ).
I testified, that ADHD represented as a disease is fraud. Fassler of the
Am. Psychiatric Assn. had no proof to offer. See also letter of 9/29/00
of NIMH Director Steven Hyman and my rebuttal (see Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD responds to Steven Hyman, MD, Director NIMH on 10/14/00) . He had no proof to offer
that ADHD is a diagnosable entity, i.e., that a child with it can be
distinguished from a child without it--ipso facto--it does not exist.]

  About a week later, I received my son's Psychoeducational Assessment
  Report in the mail.  He was given a battery of tests over a three day
  period.  To summarize the findings, my son is functioning both
  intellectually and academically within the normal range of his age group
  (with the exception of math).  His behavioral assessment, of course, was
  not so good.  It stated that he was highly distractible and had
  difficulty sitting still.  Here is a direct quote from the report I
  thought you would find amusing:  "To assess whether behavioral or
  attentional difficulties were impacting on (child's) ability to succeed
  in school, (child's) classroom teacher and his parents completed
  Behavior Rating Scales."  Imagine the audacity to assume that a child's
  ability to succeed in school can be measured by such a completely
  subjective paper-and pencil behavior checklist!  In my opinion, success
  in school ultimately depends on the student's motivation to do well, and
  the teacher's ability to inspire.

  The report went on to say that the teacher's behavior checklist showed 
  highly elevated scores for inattentiveness and hyperactivity. However,
  the parent behavior checklist (completed by my husband and I) showed no
  significant scores in these areas.  The one and only reference to ADHD 
  in the report was this:

  "Through cumulative records, observation and the teacher behavior
  checklist, (child) presents as a student with many of the
  characteristics of Attention Deficit   Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  His teacher also described him as a student who often appears tired. It
  is recommended that (child's) parents consult with a pediatrician to
  further explore (child's) difficulties.  He may benefit from a full
  physical examination and further exploration of his attentional

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Their insistence that you take your child to a physicians and also
that there be a 'full physical examination' presumes that they know a
medical condition is present requiring these things. This in itself is
the practice of medicine without a license. You and you alone should be
the arbiters of when your child needs to see a physician. The vast
majority of those in pediatrics, family practice and neurology--not just
those in psychiatry--have made ADHD/Ritalin part of their practice.
They know that their coercing parents to get to a physician, especially
one they recommend, is all it takes to have their diagnosis (and
prescription) validated. That they tell you ADHD is a bona fide disease
with a detectable, diagnosable abnormality within the child is a
violation of your informed consent rights. If you end up on a legal
footing with them, I am available for consultation. In most instances,
finding a private/parochial school that knows that psychology/psychiatry
is not the stuff of education is the most satisfactory, least expensive

  The subject of medication was also brought up in the meeting as a means
  of treatment (although this was not documented in the report).  My
  husband voiced his concerns about Ritalin, and both the psychologist and
  the teacher downplayed it.  The teacher went on to tell us of how
  another boy in her class is on Ritalin and has since made remarkable
  progress.  This teacher has 30 kids in her class, and I can appreciate
  her need for control, however, it won't be at the expense of my son's
  health and well-being.

  If my son has problems with attention, how is it that, within only one
  year, he went completely from being a non-reader to being able to read
  aloud and understand chapter books?

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
As a fluent reader, despite
the schools and their application of whole language to the exclusion
of phonics, he is largely 'school-proofed.' No child in a public
school is ever entirely immune to their attempts to label and drug.]

  Surely, this is no small feat.
  Also, how was he able to complete 12 written spelling tests in the
  classroom this year (a total of 120 words), with only one spelling
  mistake?   These two achievements alone, to me, does not indicate a
  child with having extreme difficulty with attention or focusing on
  tasks.  Also, how can a child labelled as hyperactive and inattentive
  "often seem to appear tired" as stated in the report by the teacher?
  Isn't this a contradiction?  I am currently in the process of compiling
  information for her regarding the fraud of ADHD (thanks to your website,
  and others), and also sending her a letter to state my objections,
  particularly regarding her unprofessionalism in portraying my son as
  having an unvalidated brain disorder and recommending brain-disabling
  drugs.  Sorry this is so long, I would appreciate any comments you may 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
Hurray for you, but no matter how well informed, your chances
against them should this escalate to a court battle, cannot be called
good, thus my advise that you consider a private/parochial school
option while the getting is good]


  P.S.  Hats off to your response to Beth Kaplanek, President of
  C.H.A.D.D. regarding her letter to the Texas State Board of Education.

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
see web site:]

  You totally nailed her on every single one of her ridiculous
  statements...I loved it!

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)