Protecting Parental Rights in Florida: AbleChild Chapter Formed in Miami

July 12th, 2005 | Press Releases

Luisa Arostegui
Vice President State of Florida
(305) 283-6603

Helping to stem the tide of children being put onto psychotropic drugs, on Tuesday, July the 12th at 2pm, State Representative Gus Barriero joined dozens of concerned parents to help launch the Florida Chapter of AbleChild at the steps of the Miami Court House at 73 West Flagler, in Miami.

Luisa Arostegui, the Vice President of the Florida Chapter of AbleChild, welcomed the attendees and spoke of the group’s purpose – to educate parents so that they know that they have choices in dealing with their children. As the mother of five children, Arostegui knows for herself the damage caused when the school system or arrogant medical practitioners dictate mental health “treatment”.

Her fourth child, whom she adopted, was on psychotropic drugs and she feels strongly that if he had not been weaned from them, their detrimental effect on his young liver would have resulted in his death.

She told the group, “No parent should be pressured into either putting their child on a drug or keeping their child on a drug. The solutions that are routinely given by psychiatry – Ritalin, Paxil, Adderall and others – are not scientifically based solutions.”

“I found out about AbleChild and I wanted to help. I could not just stand by and watch other parents go through what my child and my family went through.”

“AbleChild exists to get real information to parents and caregivers so that they know that they do have choices. Your child does not have to take psychotropic drugs.”

“I am very excited about the start of our own chapter of AbleChild in the State of Florida. With a quarter of Florida’s population under the age of 18, we must do all we can to protect them, the future of our state.”

Representative Barriero echoed these sentiments.

“I am very honored to be here for this historic occasion. AbleChild is important to this State as it educates parents so they can make their own decision.

“The pharmaceutical companies are getting rich by “treating” a disease that has no medical tests to prove that it is a valid illness – there are no blood tests or other objective scientific tests that diagnose ADD or ADHD.

“I applaud actor Tom Cruise for standing up and telling the public the truth about these drugs. His actions and those actions taken by groups like AbleChild will safeguard our future generations.

“I wholeheartedly welcome AbleChild to my State and my city. provides a wealth of information to parents looking for alternatives to putting their children on Ritalin, Adderall, or a host of other drugs.

AbleChild is a national organization founded in 2001, incorporated in New York, and established as a 501(C)(3) not for profit entity in 2005.

If you would like more information about AbleChild, or you would like to get involved in this powerful movement, please call Luisa Arostegui at (305) 283-6603. You can also check out AbleChild on line at

Parents Thrilled With Cruise Interview: “Chemical Imbalance is Pseudoscience”

June 30th, 2005 | Press Releases

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419

 A parents and children’s rights group says the recent debate with Tom Cruise and Matt Lauer on the bogus science behind psychiatry finally brings a public health crisis directly to the public: children are killing themselves and others while on psychiatric drugs. Mrs. Sheila Matthews, National Vice President of Ablechild, said, “Both Mr. Lauer and Mr. Cruise have opened up the media to a psychiatric opinion not substantiated by scientific fact: that children’s rambunctious behavior or educational problems are the result of a ‘chemical imbalance.’ Talk to the thousands of parents whose children, because of this lie, placed their children into the dangerous world of psychiatry and watched as their child worsened or even died from the dangerous drugs prescribed for it. We have! And Mr. Cruise is right.”

“Tom Cruise isn’t discounting that women and children have problems; certainly Brooke Shields has. But his comments make parents coast to coast very happy that the ‘chemical imbalance’ sham is broken into a national topic. Parents and new mothers have the right to know the facts,” Mrs. Mathews said.

She said a subsequent interview on The Today Show with American Psychiatric Association president, Steven Sharfstein, showed the degree to which the APA skirts around the “chemical imbalance” issue. When questioned about its non-existence, Dr. Sharfstein claimed that research “belies this” yet didn’t state what the “chemical” imbalance was or what specific physical test a parent or patient should ask for to support such a claim.

Ablechild Board Member, Dr. William Glasser, a psychiatrist since 1961 and author of Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health says that a true mental illness exists only if pathology can show something is organically wrong. “Psychiatrists are failing to teach people what they need to know and are offering them drugs instead,” he said. Prescriptions equal “big bucks,” Glasser says.

Writing recently to Congressman Wally Herger regarding Congressional Hearings that focused on Experimental Psychiatry with Foster Children, Dr. Glasser said: “There is no evidence that the drugs are in any way helpful, but there is a great deal of evidence that they may be harmful.”

Further, “No one knows what the long-term effects are from these drugs. The short-term effects, in many cases, are somewhat disastrous and include violent activity and suicide.”

For further information on the effects of psychiatric drugs and their risks, please visit

Research on demonstrates the lack of a chemical imbalance as recently debated on the Today Show

June 27th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419, a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to educating the public on informed consent and the right to refuse psychiatric services, has a wealth of scientific resources on its website validating Tom Cruise’s recent statements regarding the lack of science behind a chemical imbalance and the dangers associated with psychiatric drugs.

“Not since John Stuart Mills essay on Liberty has there been an awareness of individual’s rights and the responsibility of society to evaluate its actions,” said Clinton Libbey, an AbleChild volunteer . “Over one hundred thousand parents have contacted Ablechild with complaints of being coerced, as well as, not being adequately informed of the dangers associated with psychotropic drugs,” he added.

Dr. William Glasser, Board Certified Psychiatrist since 1961, recently submitted testimony for the Congressional hearings on Experimental Psychiatry on Children within foster care, which stated, “No one knows what the long-term effects are from these drugs. The short-term effects, in many cases, are somewhat disastrous and include violent activity and suicide. There is no evidence that the drugs are in any way helpful.”

This debate has opened up the media to a subjugated opinion held by many parents whose children have been abused or have died as a result of coercive psychiatric practices. Ablechild is currently working on a case of coercive psychiatry in the State of Illinois where two girls, aged 10 and 13, are being forced on four different psychiatric drugs against their mother’s wishes. Many parents are fighting the unregulated practice of psychiatric care whose voices go unheard by the public.

Children are killing themselves while on antidepressants according to the Food and Drug Administration, which recently required that antidepressants carry a blackbox suicide warning.

Mental Health Vendors Woe Senators with talk of “Reform”. Abuse and Tragedies Portrayed as “Distortions and Misinformation”

May 17th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419

Congressional Briefings Call for Early Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Children’s Mental Disorders. Mental health proponents use more of the same double talk to make their campaign appear unflawed.

Proponents of the mental health system, including service providers, victims of mental health propaganda, administrators, and benefactors recently targeted senators at a private lobbying seminar this past week. Their latest sales pitch was launched publicly to address what was described as “misinformation” and “distortions,” which they say stem from children’s mental health and its complexity. This latest effort called “The Campaign for Mental Health Reform,” initiated by groups with financial ties to pharmaceutical dollars, comes at a time when considerable negative attention has greatly damaged the core of these pro-mental health group’s.

A series of unfortunate events continue to plague pro-mental health, pro-pharmaceutical groups which they have not been able to extricate themselves from. These events include:

  • Within the last six years a growing number of complaints of schools coercing parents to place children onto Controlled Substances in order to remain in school led to school board resolutions, state and federal legislation to ban this serious abuse of mental health.
  • Federal lawsuits filed on school coercion matter detailing violations of informed consent rights and denials of a person’s right to refuse psychiatric “treatment.”
  • The UK ’s investigation and subsequent ban of SSRI Antidepressants for use in anyone under 18 years due to an increase rate of suicide ideations.
  • Media Coverage of Antidepressant Issue does not allow for the FDA to ignore the factual data on suicide link. FOX National News had first exposed this point in November 2002, when confidential documents from GlaxoSmithKline suggested that a patient taking their antidepressant drug Paxil was 8 times more likely to commit suicide then a patient on placebo (sugar pill).
  • The FDA’s own investigation and hearings into SSRI Antidepressants in early 2004 brought to light an onslaught of victims of mental health abuse at the hands of doctors and pharmaceutical giants.
  • The Pharmaceutical industry was exposed when certain companies were caught deceiving the public by failing to disclose clinical trial data of drug risks and ineffectiveness.
  • The FDA member’s ties with Big Pharma companies reveal real conflict of interest discrediting its decision making process.
  • Congressional Hearings convened to investigate the matter reveals conflicts of interest, distorted data, discrepancies, and cover-up by pharma and FDA.
  • FDA convenes new hearings regarding its further investigation into antidepressants and their link to suicide. More victims of mental health “treatment” driven to suicide and violence come forward in swarms.
  • FDA issues Black Box Warnings on all antidepressants spelling out suicide risks.
  • Pharmaceutical company’s failure to comply with Black Box Warning advertisement disclosures.

This negative attention comes as a wake up call to the nation that real mental health reform is needed and that this reform needs to be with substance!

Children’s mental health is not a complex topic as proponents of mental health continue to allege. Statements like, “Only 20% of children with mental disorders are identified and receive mental health services, leading to school failure, substance abuse, involvement with the juvenile justice system, and suicide,” are good sound bites that lack provable merit. Sadly these fear tactic catch phrases have been repeated so often that the public has been indoctrinated with what constitutes as no more than unscientific “voodoo.” The mental health industry itself knows that it lacks a proven tracking system to account for such figures.

What is real is the victim’s of mental health abuse continuing to come forward to publicly air their tragedies. This cannot be denied or downplayed. It is neither, complex or subtle. These tragedies occurred as a result of mental health abuse, corruption and deceptive statements. The fact is that many have died from drugs being marketed by the industry in the guise of “treatment.”

It is their blood, the blood of many that lies with an industry driven to profit at all cost. Such is mental health today!

For more information on mental health abuse and reform, antidepressants and their risks, please visit us at

“All Must Make Effort to Prevent Child Abuse”

April 23rd, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419

 “The State of Connecticut Should Take Its Own Advice”

The State of Connecticut should be practicing what it preaches and work harder at preventing abuse of children in state care. A good place to start would be to ban the use of all psychiatric drugs linked to suicide and violence that are currently mandated out to a large percentage of the children in state Care. In addition, another good step would be for the state to stop trafficking children from the Department of Children and Families into clinical drug trials.

The community and taxpayers give millions of dollars to fund State mental health programs to prevent child abuse. How is prevention possible when the State’s failure to warn potential clients and its own use of forced “treatment” is occurring? After all, this is part of the package that Connecticut taxpayers are paying for. Realistically, funding to prevent child abuse would not be a bad thing if the State was held accountable for ensuring that proper and full informed consent is provided to parents, caregivers, and children prior to any mental health “treatment.” The State’s failure in this area involves the fact that it fails to warn potential recipients of mental health “treatment” of the real risks of psychiatric drugs, the lack of objective testing surrounding psychiatric disorders as a whole, and the fact that a psychiatric diagnosis may mask a real underlying medical, educational, or environmental problem. The State goes a step further by not providing a person his or her basic right to “opt out” of “treatment”. In turn, force fed mental health programs are the norm, the standard of care for children within state care. The State has assumed the rights of these children, without question.

Let us be honest with ourselves. We should at this point be well aware of the fact that there is no accountability from the State on the issue of forced drugging within the Department of Children & Families (DCF). This is proven in the fact that our organization, Ablechild, had to petition the State back in 2003 in order for the it to remove two drugs, Paxil and Effexor, that were linked to suicide, not FDA approved for use in children, and that were being used on children in state care. Just months later, GlaxoSmithKline, makers of the drug Paxil, was invited by DCF to participate in policy meetings on psychotropic drugs used on children within the Department. The FDA had warned that “Paxil” should not be used in children; the United Kingdom has banned its use. In November 2002, FOX National News, exposed confidential documents from GlaxoSmithKline which suggested that a patient taking the drug was 8 times more likely to commit suicide then a patient on placebo (sugar pill). Ablechild immediately put in a request to the Governor’s office that it wanted to attend those meetings to allow for equal access and fair representation of the issue that was to be discussed. Their request was denied. At the time, the Governor indicated that the decision was made by Ms. Darlene Dunbar, the head of the Department of Children & Families. Ms. Dunbar advocated on behalf of the psychiatric industry and the drug companies. There was no one present to advocate on behalf of the children who were baring the brunt of “treatment” forced upon them in state care.

Ablechild is currently watching important legislation, H.B. 5179, that if passed, would protect the basic human rights of all children within state care by preventing any forced or mandated psychiatric “treatments” or programs onto them. It also hopes to have the State recognize the importance of informed consent and adhere to it. The Organization will continue to ask for accountability until this end is realized.

With all due respect, the State should begin using the taxpayer’s dollars more wisely by repairing its mental health system and its own clear and obvious abuses of children within State Care.

For more information on state psychiatric abuse within foster care, please visit us at

Battle of the Bills in Florida Forced Drugging vs. Informed Consent for Parents

April 15th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419

 The issue of psychiatric drugs and children is once again being challenged. The Nation has its eyes on Florida , where there are two bills that define the legal debate behind behavioral modification drugs used on children. This debate involves full informed consent and the right to refuse psychiatric “treatment.” Senate Bill 1090 “Relating to Minors/Psychotropic Medication” is aimed at allowing the State of Florida to give a Judge the ability to determine which child receives psychotropic “medication” and which child does not. In contrast, Senate Bill 1766 “Relating to School Students/Psychotropic Medication” would ensure informed consent and the constitutional right to refuse psychiatric “treatment.” Overall this bill would protect the rights of the child and the family.

Senate Bill 1090’s overall goal is to rip the informed consent away from the parent and family and exploit the most vulnerable population of children, those in State Care. This bill also allows for a judge to over-rule the parent’s consent if that parent declines psychiatric “treatment” for their child.

Senate Bill 1766 supports a parent’s right to full disclosure that must include the fact that there is no medical test for a psychiatric disorder, and that the child’s behaviors could be the result of underlying physical conditions. This would safeguard the vital interests of children and would provide critical information to parents and caregivers, and their ability to make an informed decision regarding the health and safety of their children.

Florida has entered the battle zone. The rest of the nation will watch as basic human rights are on the line. Now we wait for the people to speak.

Which bill will prevail?

For more information on how you can help protect children and their constitutional rights visit us at

Calls for Federal Investigation into Antidepressants Role in Red Lake Minnesota School Shooting

March 29th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419

 Ablechild has submitted a written request to the United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota, as well as the FDA, requesting a full investigation into the latest School Shooting linked to Antidepressant use that took place on the Red Lake Reservation in RED LAKE , Minnesota on March 23, 2005. Jeff Weise was taking Prozac when he unleashed his wrath, first at his grandfather, and then at fellow students and teachers in his school ending with him turning the gun on himself. This latest rampage eerily mirrors the many other adolescent school shootings, which have raged havoc on this great nation, and of which the “common denominator” has been psychiatric drugs linked to violence.

This fact demonstrates that this is not mere coincidence, but an emerging pattern that compromises public safety. The public is becoming educated to this emerging pattern, and with that comes outrage and frustration directed in part at the FDA for failing the public, by continuing to turn a blind eye to the all so obvious link to violence and mania that these drugs are having on our youth, and even more, their deadly link to uncontrolled school terror that has occurred from coast to coast.

Ablechild has previously requested that the FDA provide accountability, where there is none. Accountability is critical now, more than ever, to ensure public safety as a whole.

Ablechild points to the fact that “After 16 years of denial, a series of Eli Lilly (the maker of the drug Prozac) documents that have recently surfaced publicly shows the company’s own review of Prozac in 1988. This review, by Lilly themselves, reveals that even in controlled clinical trials–from which suicidal patients are excluded — 38% of patients taking Prozac compared to 19% of patients on placebo experienced “activation.” Their term “activation” is used to describe violent and or suicidal behavior. The authenticity of the Lilly-Prozac documents has not been disputed.”


The link to violence associated with antidepressants is the writing on the wall for all now to see, a link that for well over a decade has been present, but has been willfully and deliberately ignored by those with vested interests in, and ties to, the multi billion dollar pharmaceutical profiteering occurring within this nation. This profiteering, time and time again, continues to override the health and safety of the public.

This “writing on the wall” is further confirmed by the FDA’s own thorough independent examination of all the clinical trial data of the SSRI antidepressants reported to the FDA, in April 2004, which led to the FDA requiring that all antidepressant drugs, including Prozac, carry explicit warnings, referred to as “blackbox,” that apply to anyone taking these antidepressants. These warnings point to the obvious, which is, that not all these drugs are as “safe” or as “mild,” as drug companies, and those with financial ties to drug companies, would have the public believe them to be.

According to the FDA’s own admission, these drugs are associated with very real risks.

“The emergence of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility (aggressiveness), impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, and mania have been reported in adult and pediatric patients being treated with antidepressants…” See:

Dr. Steven Galson, from the FDA has received our organization’s request for the FDA to launch a full investigation into this urgent matter, immediately. Ablechild strongly urges all to fax Dr. Galson with a request for a formal public statement into this matter. In addition, we urge every individual to request that the FDA conduct a full investigation into the school shootings occurring nationwide, and their link to antidepressant induced violence, mania, and terror. This terror must end, accountability is long overdue.

Dr. Steven Galson
Fax: 301-594-6197
FDA phone number is 301-594-5400

For more information on antidepressants and associated “blackbox” warnings, mental health concerns regarding children and psychiatric drugs go to

Connecticut Education Committee Fails to Take Up Parental Informed Consent Bill. Parental rights are ignored, with no public hearing in sight

March 7th, 2005 | Press Releases

Patricia Weathers
(845) 677-8115

Sheila Matthews
National Vice President
(203) 966-8419

  Hartford, Connecticut Legislative Education Committee failed to act on a parental informed consent bill that would ensure that parents receive full informed consent prior to any psychiatric testing being done on their children in public schools. This bill HB #5328 was written to safeguard parental rights and would have ensured that each parent be provided with certain regulations and amendments, informing them of their basic right to “opt out” of psychiatric testing for their children through state public schools. Connecticut was a frontrunner in protecting parental rights, by being the first state to pass a law to prohibit schools from recommending psychotropic drugs to parents for their children. This first state law prompted several other states to take similar action in response to a parental outcry, in which reports by parents of schools coercing them to place their children on psychotropic drugs (e.g. Ritalin) to remain in school became all too common. The states’ response and chain reaction, in turn, led to similar Federal legislation, “The Prohibition on Mandatory Medication Amendment,” signed into law by the President December 3, 2004.

This informed consent bill comes on the heels of many disturbing occurrences, which have brought the issue of labeling and “medicating” children national attention. Just last year the FDA launched two sets of hearings into the safety and efficacy of antidepressants in children. In response to these hearings a massive Federal Congressional hearing was convened on this same matter, as well as, to review the FDA’s lack of accountability and financial conflicts of interest. More recent events show Health Canada suspending its marketing of Adderall XR, a psychotropic drug and stimulant used in the “treatment” of ADHD, due to related deaths.

In the wake of so much turmoil and grave concerns, an informed consent bill, looks like a safety net where there is none. The bottom line is that parents cannot make educated decisions without being provided with all the facts. Today, schools continue to profile children for mental disorders like ADHD by using subjective checklists, rating scales, or assessments, not even endorsed or approved by local, state or federal government. Parents are not being told this. These same subjective psychiatric assessments for ADHD were removed from the state of Neuvo Leon in Mexico last year by the Secretary of Education herself, due to their subjective and unscientific nature.

The culmination of events questioning the safety and efficacy of behavior modifying drugs on children, and the subjective assessments used in psychiatric diagnoses, should not be discounted. Everyone needs to be asking why the state’s education committee blatantly has turned a blind eye to parental rights, and has disregarded widespread concerns without providing for a hearing on this matter.

More pointedly, we should be asking why America , or her states, is not ensuring parental rights and protecting children’s health and safety.

For more information on ADHD, informed consent, and mental health within education please visit our site at

Connecticut—Mental Health Reform

February 26th, 2005 | Events and Photos

Another Connecticut mother comes forth after the state passed it’s landmark legislation to stop schools from forcing parents to place their children on mind-altering drugs. “This should reveal a frightening reality to all of us by clearly demonstrating the urgent need for the Federal Government to step in and pass The Child Medication Safety Act of 2003 ”, says Sheila Matthews, National Vice President of the grassroots organization The federal act would override state laws that are many times being ignored by schools nationwide.

Patricia Scapeccia, a Connecticut mother who endured years of coercion by her son’s school stated to AbleChild: “Parents are still getting pressured even threatened after Connecticut’s law passed. It is very disturbing that parents are receiving such biased information about the diagnoses and are not being told about the deadly side effects of the drugs that are forced upon our children by schools. The threats to take our children away from us if we do not opt for drug “treatment” by schools places us in a position of not being able to refuse and further puts our children in harms way. In the past, I, like so many others have been afraid to speak out, but I feel strongly now that I must to prevent this from happening to other parents.”


Patricia Scapeccia, Connecticut Mother, Sheila Matthews, National Vice President,, and Noelle Talevi, Connecticut Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights. For more information go to or call the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights 1-800-869-2247.


Citizen Commission on Human Rights Exhibit at Hartford Capitol “Psychiatry Exposed” Sheila Matthews, National Vice President of, host of section on Children Fatally Drugged gets support from Retired Connecticut Housing Manager, Benjamin W. Little

CCHR: 36th Annual Human Rights Awards

February 26th, 2005 | Events and Photos

AbleChild was in attendance at the Citizens Commission on Human Rights Awards Ceremony in Beverly Hill California. It has been and will always be a pleasure to work with CCHR. Their dedication and perseverance to reform the drugging of our school children has been more than admirable. CCHR’s ongoing efforts is an inspiration to us all! Our gratitude and respect goes to CCHR and all of their wonderful members.

Rick Callender, President of the San Jose/Silicon Valley NAACP with Sheila Matthews would like to congratulate 2005’s winners for their great work.

  • Congressman Max Burns (Georgia)
  • Secretary of Education, Profesora Maria Yolanda Blanco Garcia (Mexico)
  • Lisa Van Syckel. Children’s Rights Activist (ICFDA)
  • Tom Woodward. Children’s Rights Activist (ICFDA)
  • Dr. Giorgio Antonucci (Italy)
Patricia Weathers with Tony Zizza Ablechild’s Vicky Dunkle, Patricia Weathers, and Sheila Matthews Gloria Wright, Patricia Weathers, Tony Zizza, and Sheila Matthews


Thank you CCHR for honoring AbleChild: Parents for Label & Drug Free Education for our “dedication and courage in helping to expose abuses in the field of mental health this past year.”

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