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  Dr. Baughman,
  I have been in a situation that has made me very uncomfortable regarding my
  7 year old son and I fear he is medically in danger.  I've had joint custody
  of my son since he was six years old. A court evaluation was ordered after I
  filed a order to show cause because of the stepfather spanking my son and
  causing a confrontation at my son's first T-Ball game. I went before the
  judge and he ordered a custody evaluation. (History) I noticed that my son
  began to act out when he was 3 years old 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
acting out by itself at 3 is
not an abnormality = disease ]

. This was due to having to adjust
  to another person being involved in his life (mom dating) 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
plausible explanation]

. I noticed he had
  a hard time adjusting to the classroom around that age as well

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
also, not a disease = abnormality]

. We finally
  got him to relax and calm down, I was unemployed during his transition from
  age 4 going to 5. Once he finished pre-school we changed schools but he
  still continued to have acting out issues. I spent a great deal of time at
  his school to see what was going on. I then recognized that lack of
  stability and the tedious schedule of week to week transition between
  parents was contributing to the problem 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:

. His mom re-married when he was 5,
  once again I noticed another change in behavior, his mother saw it as him
  having a problem. I expressed to her that he's having a difficult time
  adjusting. His mom became pregnant and had a little girl in September 03.
  During this time we were discussing issue with my son's behavior at school.
  It was also discovered again that the stepfather had been spanking my son

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
I am not a believer in outlawing spanking, but its use must be
infrequent, judicious. Was it?]

  I then decided to take him to a family counselor and asked if he was ADHD
  and she said no. (more on the evaluation) Shortly after the evaluation
  concluded the judge ruled that joint custody wasn't working because both
  parents were at such odds of fighting that it was triggering my sons
  behavior (my son has never seen us fight or have a confrontation). I
  expressed to the judge a change in custody will be another adjustment that
  my son has to make and that it may be too much on him. The judge expressed
  that he was going by what the social worker suggested. That my son be with
  the mother more because it would help curve his behavior and awarded her
  sole custody. My custody went from two weeks a month to Thurs, Friday,
  Saturday, Sun and Return him on Monday every other week, and every Thursday
  of the month. I would think that if a child was accustomed to the current
  visitation schedule a change such as the one given would be difficult to
  adjust to. Providing her with sole custody only worsened the situation.
  My son began to act out in school, yelling, hitting other kids and talking

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
reasonable to attribute this worsening to change in custody,
things going on in home of mother,step-dad]

. Shortly after the judge
 awarded the mom custody she went to the place
  where I had my son in counseling and told them that she had custody. I
  received a letter in the mail stating that the counselor could no longer see
  my son because his mom showed up with the court order and said she had full
  custody. Shortly after that his mom took him to the L.A. Child Guidance
  Center where he was diagnosed with ADHD 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
not a disease, never has
been, will be. Inferring it is, that it needs medical treatment is

. I asked his counselor how did he
  perform his diagnosis and I was told my son was unfocused and not paying
  attention. I asked to see his diagnosis and was not given that information.
  I also provided him the name and location of the where my son was receiving
  counseling. I also signed a release for information. I was told several
  times that they were unable to get in contact with the counselor, yet every
  time I phoned the counselor I was able to get in contact with them. I'm not
  understanding why the counselor did not request the other counselors notes.
  If they could not get in contact why didn't they send correspondence by
  mail? My son was on Ritalin and broke out with dark sores all over his

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
likely a side effect, what were they diagnosed, was the Ritalin

  When I complained to the doctor who prescribed the medicine he insisted that
  my son continue to take the medicine or he will be a danger to himself and
  society in the long run 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
did doctor say adhd a disease, or infer it
was. Of course saying it requires a dangerous, addictive medication is the
strongest sort of inference that it is an abnormality = disease, needing to
be made normal]

. The L.A. child guidance center made the mistake of
  phoning me one day thinking it was my sons mom and said they were waiting
  for approval for another type of medication. When he began taking the newly
  prescribed medicine he began having headache that one day left him almost
  immobile. I contacted the doctor and the counselors and alerted them of my
  concerns. Once again the Dr, Dr. ******* I insisted that my son not take the
  medicine because there is nothing wrong. I'm not in denial, I know and
  understand that there are some environmental issues 

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
these alone
explain all of his behaviors, whats more, no psychiatric diagnosis is an
actual disease or a legitimate reason to rx. any psychiatric drug--poisoning
when there is no disease]

 going on in his moms
  home that are contributing heavily to my sons behavior. More importantly
  than all that was said above is I'm concerned about my sons health

[Fred A. Baughman Jr., MD:
as well you should be given mothers intent to medicalize his
troubled, troublesome behaviors]

, well
  being and his future. Please provide with what I can do about the
 prescribed medication.

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