Don’t Say No One Died at Sandy Hook!

September 2nd, 2016 | Breaking News

Don’t say no one died at Sandy Hook! According to Politico, Hillary Clinton called out alternative media king, Alex Jones, using politico’s truth meter. The results are in: Hillary is telling the truth about what Alex Jones has said, albeit not exact wording, about the Sandy Hook shooting incident.

Ok, so exactly what does this mean for the taxpayer and why is it important in the political landscape?

The State Police took a year to gather evidence and facts about the mass murder in the little town of Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and 6 adults were killed. Yet, oddly enough, within weeks of the incident, sweeping, costly, laws were written and passed by invited “stakeholders.”

Most would agree that it’s time to let the victims move on with their lives. What is needed, though, is a discussion about the policies that were put in place much too soon to legitimately address the cause(s) of the shooting.

After all, the all-encompassing mental health legislation was passed without legislators having the ability to read the police investigation, which wasn’t released for a full year after Public Act 13-3 was passed. The sweeping mental health legislation was funded by an executive order.

This makes Sandy Hook a political issue worthy of discussion based on facts, not a victim cause or victim denial.

Because there are numerous issues with the “facts” surrounding Sandy Hook, it is the job of every taxpayer to question the investigative findings and look for solutions that actually address the causes, least of which is the question surrounding Adam Lanza’s mental health records.

AbleChild is currently following the pre-trial events of Paul Fox, the former primary treating psychiatrist of Adam Lanza, who still could provide investigators with his billing records (which he admitted he still retained). These records would provide insight into Lanza’s mental health during the missing five years leading up to the shooting.

Whether investigators have even requested this information is anyone’s guess. But the taxpayers are paying the bill for costly mental health legislation that no one in the legislature can prove was needed as a response to any mental health issues.

Paul Fox presents an opportunity for the State to finally obtain, and consider, the needed mental health information about Lanza that may end much of the speculation surrounding the shooting.

Politico’s “truth meter” should not be the bases for fact checking the Sandy Hook shooting. But, if that is what it takes to finally begin an open conversation about many of the missing pieces of the horrific event, then so be it.

$400 Million in New Mental Health Services, But Still No Accountability

January 29th, 2015 | Breaking News

The full-court press is on for increasing mental health services for children in the state, with a price tag of $400 million, so far. Given that there is zero science to support any psychiatric diagnosis being an actual brain abnormality, one can only surmise that mental illness will skyrocket and the $400 million is a drop in the bucket of the actual costs.  This time around will there be any real accountability?

As has become the norm, the Sandy Hook shooting incident is invoked in order to justify the massive increases, despite the public having no documentation to support that Adam Lanza was not receiving, or that he even needed, mental health treatment in the five years leading up to the shooting. To date, no documentation has been made public that would suggest Lanza was, or was not, receiving mental health treatment beyond the brief and unsuccessful stint at the Yale Child Study Center in 2007.

To assume that the children of Connecticut need increased mental health treatment and services, because of what occurred at Sandy Hook, simply is not supported by factual documentation. In fact, because no information about Lanza’s mental health, after 2007, has been made public, why isn’t it just as likely to assume he was receiving the best mental health services money could buy?

More interesting, though, is the fact that the enormous increase in mental health spending does little, to nothing, to provide any accountability of where and how the money will be spent. As far as AbleChild is aware, there is no legislative language that will make any data readily available to taxpayers interested in following the hefty mental health expenditures.

Is it of interest to the taxpayers whether there is a large increase in the number of children being diagnosed with a subjective psychiatric diagnosis? Is it of interest how many of the children newly diagnosed are then prescribed dangerous, even deadly, psychiatric drugs as “treatment?” Furthermore, without some kind of data collection system, how will the state actually know if the funding is going toward the intended purpose?

The state is not known for its willingness to make important information publically available, as is evident in the clamp-down on any specific mental health data relating to Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza. Even when language is written into legislation, mandating data be publically accessible, there is no follow-through.

For example, Public Act 06-196* became effective in June of 2006. The Act mandated that the Department of Children and Families shall, within available resources and with the assistance of the University of Connecticut Health Center:

  • Establish guidelines for the use and management of psychotropic medications with children and youths in the care of the Department of Children and Families.
  • Establish and maintain a database to track the use of psychotropic medications with children and youths committed to the care of the Department of Children and Families.

To date, AbleChild is unaware of any database that would readily provide the information subject to the Act. Why? The public should not have to spend hours, or days, hunting through every state agency to obtain this important information… or whether the database even exists. And this Act has been around for nearly a decade.

Based on what clearly is a failure on the part of state agencies to track this information, what makes taxpayers believe there will be a “better” accounting of the $400 million allocated for new mental health services?

After all, by anyone’s measure, $400 million is a lot of money. Certainly the public deserves some accounting of how the money is spent. Along with all the hype associated with the new mental health services programs, will lawmakers act responsibly and institute a program that will actually track the numbers of children being diagnosed and drugged? And, more importantly, will that information be made publically available on a yearly basis?

Don’t count on it. The state is great at telling the taxpayer what mental health services are needed, but it has a pathetic track record when it comes to accounting for the hundreds-of-millions spent on mental health services.

* Public Act 04-238

An Act Concerning Child Poverty and the Use of Psychotropic Medications with Children and Youth in State Care

Sec. 17a-21a. Guidelines for use and management of psychotropic medications. Database established. The Department of Children and Families shall, within available resources and with the assistance of The University of Connecticut Health Center, (1) establish guidelines for the use and management of psychotropic medications with children and youths in the care of the Department of Children and Families, and (2) establish and maintain a database to track the use of psychotropic medications with children and youths committed to the care of the Department of Children and Families.

(P.A. 04-238, S. 2; P.A. 06-196, S. 112.)

History: P.A. 06-196 made technical changes, effective June 7, 2006.

 

 

 

 

Sandy Hook Commission Remedy Misfires & Injures Taxpayers and Children

January 19th, 2015 | Breaking News, Legislation Alerts

The good news is that the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission’s report finally will be released sometime in February. The bad news is that one can only wonder, after more than two years of considering “all” of the data, what additional information about Sandy Hook shooter, Adam Lanza, can be withheld from the people of Connecticut.

So far Lanza’s complete autopsy, medical and toxicology reports have been withheld from public review, as have his school and mental health records. Sure, the State Police released its report, which provides zero information about Lanza’s mental health history for the five years leading up to the shooting, and the public also has been provided a “story,” albeit confused and incomplete, by the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate (OCA). But the only thing these reports have in common is the deliberate withholding of actual documentation to support the conclusions.

Now the Sandy Hook Commission intends to sell some narrative of events that “was really, really hard work,” that apparently will justify recommendations for massive increases in mental illness identification and treatment that, according to Commission Chairman, Jackson, “frankly will take a lot of effort and money to implement.”

Let’s not kid ourselves; the focus of the Commission always has been to recommend increased screening to identify mental illness in the schools. And, apparently, the Commission will recommend school-based psychological and social work teams that can recognize and react to mental health needs in children. In short, that equates to mental illness diagnosing and drugging.

This despite the fact that there is absolutely no data provided to the public that Adam Lanza had any mental health needs in the five years leading up to the shooting and, if he did, it certainly wasn’t the responsibility of the Connecticut school system to track him once he left the system.

In fact, the information provided by the OCA report is so convoluted that it’s difficult to follow, let alone believe. For example, Lanza’s educational and mental health records were reviewed and interviews were conducted with counselors, teachers and even Peter Lanza, yet despite more than a hundred pages of explanations of how the system dropped the ball with Lanza, nowhere does it make mention that despite his paralyzing mental illnesses, Lanza still made the Honor Roll from the eighth through the eleventh grade and graduated a year early.

How is it possible that everyone involved in the OCA report, including Lanza’s father, could miss this important information? Did anyone at the OCA actually review his school records? If the records were reviewed, then one can only surmise there was a deliberate withholding of any mention of Lanza’s superior academic achievements. Why?

But even this missing information is, well, academic. Based on what was provided in the OCA report, one can also assume that the Commission’s recommendations will provide no sanctions or penalties for the newly-formed army of psychologists and social workers who may fail the children and families of Connecticut.

In other words, there is no doubt, according to the OCA report, that the IEP “team” responsible for tracking Adam Lanza’s academic and psychological needs failed in their duties. The “team” did not follow the state statutes already on the books. Will there be some form of disciplinary action taken for such failures moving forward? The OCA made no such recommendations.

More importantly, what recommendations will the Commission provide to protect families from over-reaching and intrusive mental health providers? Given the fact that mental illness diagnosing is not based in science or medicine, making it completely subjective, will the Commission provide the parents of Connecticut some avenue of recourse?

It seems a legitimate recommendation. After all, if the state intends to gouge taxpayers for the mental illness services in its schools, then the state also must be prepared to accept responsibility for its failures. Given the known flaws in psychiatric diagnosing, there will be many.

Thomas Insel, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatry’s diagnosing manual, said “the weakness is its lack of validity” and “at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each.”

Or maybe it was Dr. Allen Frances, professor emeritus of psychiatry, Duke University, and chairman of the task force to revise the DSM-IV, who said it best. The DSM5 “will dramatically expand the realm of psychiatry and narrow the realm of normality – converting millions more people from being without mental disorders to being psychiatrically sick.”

If the state accepts the Commission’s reported recommendations there is little doubt that the number of school children being labeled as mentally ill will skyrocket. This psychiatric onslaught of the state’s children seems odd given the fact that it has yet to be explained how the school system is responsible for the actions of a former student, five years after graduating from the system.

Connecticut Consumers Need Some Avenue of Relief in Mental Health

January 4th, 2015 | Breaking News, Legislation Alerts

As is typical of “crisis management” by elected officials, the Connecticut legislature responded to the Sandy Hook tragedy without full knowledge of the facts of the incident with ill-advised mental health recommendations that do nothing to protect consumer rights.

In April of last year, the Task Force to Study the Provision of Behavioral Health Services for Young Adults, established pursuant to Public Act 13-3, put forth yet-to-be-approved mental health recommendations that, for all intents and purposes, would institute cradle to grave mental health diagnosing, yet provided no avenue for consumer input.

In other words, the public may be subjected to extremely intrusive mental health services, but will have no way to voice opposition to possible inaccuracies and wrongs committed by the service providers.

For example, the Task Force writes on page xi, number 45, that “…given the current understanding of mental illness to be a biological disease.” This is just wrong. The fact is there is no scientific/medical data to support this statement for any psychiatric diagnosis, including ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, or the alleged bi-polar disorder. Believing in, and having proof of, a psychiatric “disease” is two very different things.

However, regardless of the misinformation provided by the Task Force about what is and isn’t a mental “disease,” the recommendations, if instituted, do not provide consumers the ability to hold service providers responsible. What transpired between Nancy Lanza and the Yale Child Study Center actually is a good case in point.

Recall that Nancy Lanza sought treatment services for Adam Lanza at the Yale Child Study Center beginning in October 2006 – six years prior to the shooting incident. As part of the “treatment” provided, Adam was diagnosed by Yale as suffering from a “profound Autism Spectrum Disorder” and “obsessive compulsive disorder” and then was “treated” with the mind-altering antidepressant, Celexa.

Nancy Lanza “immediately” called the service provider at Yale Child Study Center, complaining about what she believed to be serious adverse reactions to the psychiatric drug. Specifically, Nancy Lanza advised Yale that Adam was “unable to raise his arm” and attributed this adverse reaction to the drug Adam had been prescribed.

Rather than take Lanza seriously and consider that the drug may be implicated in the adverse drug event, the Yale clinician “attempted to convince Nancy Lanza that the medication was not causing any purported symptoms which Adam might be experiencing” and labeled Lanza as “non-compliant.”

Was Nancy Lanza provided information about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch System? No. Had Lanza been provided this basic adverse drug reporting information, at a minimum, the FDA would have been given important information in the event of a future drug review.

Additionally, was Lanza advised by Yale Child Study Center that she could file a complaint with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)? The record makes no mention of providing any such information.

And, to add insult to injury, there is the case of Dr. Paul Fox, Adam Lanza’s longtime psychiatrist who, ironically, six months prior to the shooting incident at Sandy Hook, voluntarily surrendered his license to practice in New York and Connecticut and destroyed his patient records prior to fleeing the U.S. to live in New Zealand.

Despite destroying all of his patient medical records and, in the case of Adam Lanza, Fox destroyed those records almost two years too early, there is absolutely no recourse. A clear violation of Connecticut State law, but no action is prescribed to deal with such flagrant violations. No fines, no penalty, nothing.

Dr. Paul Fox and even the clinicians at Yale Child Study Center are proof that consumers need an avenue of relief. AbleChild believes that lawmakers have a responsibility to provide some level of protection to consumers, especially in light of the overwhelming number of mental health recommendations being considered.

Particularly important is the recommendation listed on page xi, number 44, where it is the intent to scale up “Assertive Treatment Programs that provide aggressive outpatient services, shy of forced medication…”

Clearly the intent of the Task Force recommendations is to severely ramp up mental health “treatment,” which almost always includes psychiatric medication. Nowhere in these recommendations are suggestions for legislative measures that will provide consumers some avenue of relief, alternative treatment options, or information about reporting adverse reactions to prescribed drugs.

Ablechild takes exception to the increased mental health recommendations on a number of levels, including the fact that, given the numerous problems surrounding the mental health “care” Adam Lanza received, the State obviously cannot enforce the laws already on the books. Increasing mental health services without consumer protections in place certainly cannot be called responsible legislative action.

Local Newspapers in Conflict with OCA’s Report on Adam Lanza

December 1st, 2014 | Breaking News

What are the odds that Adam Lanza could be so racked with anxiety and, effectively, be so emotionally and behaviorally paralyzed, that he also could academically match the best in his class? Information provided by the Connecticut Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) and the newspaper, The Newtown Bee, present very conflicting data about Adam Lanza’s academic abilities.

Let’s start with that odd year when Adam Lanza should have been in the eighth grade. Recall that the OCA reports that after his seventh grade year at the Catholic School, “He did not return to school, public or private, in eighth grade.”

Additionally, the OCA explains “the psychiatrist responded with a faxed note that AL was “medically/emotionally unavailable to be tested (CMT).” “According to the psychiatrist, AL could not and was not receiving home-bound or hospital-based tutoring and he was not attending school at all.” (Pg.43)

Okay, so according to the OCA, Adam Lanza was not attending school for the entirety of the eighth grade. This is curious. If Adam Lanza did not attend school for the entire eighth grade, how did he make the Honor Roll at Newtown Middle School for three semesters of the eighth grade? According to The Newtown Bee, Adam Lanza is listed on the eighth grade Honor Roll list for 03/03/2006, 5/11/2006 and 7/20/2006. And it gets even more absurd.

Although Adam Lanza did not participate in any schooling in the eighth grade, (but still made the eighth grade Honor Roll for three semesters) Lanza is allowed to enter the ninth grade at Newtown High School. In the ninth grade, the IEP “Team” wrote “requires removal of the student from the regular education environment because AL requires more intensive service than provided for in a general education classroom.” “However, the services offered were essentially 10 hours of academic tutoring.” (Pg. 61) Despite Lanza’s inability to attend school, according to the Newstimes, published on May 5, 2007 (the Spring of Adam’s ninth grade year) Adam Lanza made the Honor Roll.

According to the OCA, Adam Lanza is so paralyzed by his emotional and behavioral disabilities by the 10th grade that “school staff and Mrs. Lanza were well engaged with each other and making many efforts to accommodate and facilitate AL’s attendance in school.” (Pg. 64) But the other side to this story paints a very different picture. According to The Newtown Bee, Adam Lanza not only made the Honor Roll three consecutive semesters of his tenth grade year, but received “High Honors.” What are the odds?

According to the recently released report on Sandy Hook by the OCA, Adam Lanza “was originally scheduled (8/27/07) to take Sociology, AP U.S. History, AP Chemistry, AP Physics, English, Math, and Latin” for the upcoming 10th grade. But according to the OCA, it was a plan “which did not last beyond a few months.” (Pg. 65)

The OCA also reported that “by February of that school year AL had dropped most of his mainstream classes, including Sociology, History, Chemistry, and Physics and had arranged to complete English as an “independent study.”   And, the OCA further said, “It became clear that the recommendations for full time participation in regular classes was a goal that could not be met at that time.” (Pg. 67)

The OCA also reports that “in March, Mrs. Lanza was again contemplating home-schooling AL, but worried that he would later be unable to show (a college?) all of his work with the Technology Club or work study. Summer of 2008 records indicate that AL was to receive Extended School Year Services (ESY), in the form of one-on-one tutoring from school staff.” (Pg.67)

The OCA did not elaborate – did not provide any information – on whether AL actually completed any school work through the ESY program, but does report that for the 11th grade “AL did not reenter mainstream classes in the High School again.” (Pg.68)

Now, let’s consider the names of those Newtown High School students, as reported and printed by The Newtown Bee, who made the “First Quarter Honor Roll,” which is dated 12/21/2007. Listed under “High Honors – Tenth Grade” is… Adam Lanza. What are the odds?

According to The Newtown Bee, “To be included students must be enrolled in five or more courses with a minimum of four courses in areas of study other than independent study and released work experience and have no incomplete grades.”

If the public is to believe the OCA report, Adam Lanza was so racked with anxiety in 10th grade that his educational plan “did not last beyond a few months.” Still, though, this emotionally tormented boy was able to pull off an “overall average of 90 or higher for the marking period and receive a grade of 85 or higher in each course used in determining the overall average.”  Seems a stretch, but okay. What about the next semester?

According to The Newtown Bee, Adam Lanza also made the Honor Roll in the Second Quarter and, remarkably, also was listed in the Third Quarter as receiving the “Latin Award – Summa Cum Laude.” Again, all of this was accomplished by a kid whose educational plan for the year “did not last beyond a few months.”

It is beyond incredulous, given his reported emotional and behavioral problems at the time, that Adam Lanza was capable of carrying off such an academic feat, but it is even more astounding that the OCA, after two years of painstakingly combing through his school records, could so blatantly fail to even mention that Adam Lanza had earned such high academic accolades.

And, while the OCA appears to paint the Yale Child Study Center as the smartest guys in the room, based on Adam’s stupendous academic record for the 10th grade, it appears Yale’s diagnosis missed the mark. According to the OCA report, “Yale Child Study Center clinicians did not conclude that AL was “high functioning” or that he definitively had Asperger’s Syndrome. Rather, they found him as profoundly impaired and debilitated by anxiety, with extensive special-education/therapeutic needs.” (pg. 62)

Both scenarios don’t add up. Either Adam Lanza was “profoundly impaired and debilitated by anxiety,” or he was “high functioning” and brilliant. Adam Lanza did not make the Honor Roll for three consecutive quarters of the eighth grade at Newtown Middle School and, at the same time, not attend eighth grade. Either Adam Lanza completed all of the required courses at Newtown High School in order to be listed as being on the Honor Roll and receive “High Honors,” or his educational plan “did not last beyond a few months… and by February of that school year AL had dropped most of his mainstream classes, including Sociology, History, Chemistry, and Physics and had arranged to complete English as an “independent study.”

Is it possible that educators at Newtown Middle and High School made a mistake placing Adam Lanza on the Honor Roll and bestowing “High Honors” on him? If they did, perhaps lawmakers may find it appropriate to revisit the legitimacy of all of those students who were bestowed honors. After all, if a child does not attend school “at all” for an entire year and then is placed on the Honor Roll for three consecutive semesters of that year, there appears to be a major problem with student accountability, to say nothing of the accuracy of the rating system.

One might also argue, given the faculty’s reported knowledge of Adam Lanza’s emotional and behavioral challenges, that it is a stretch to believe someone at Newtown Middle and High School didn’t question Adam Lanza’s placement on the Honor Roll at least once, let alone let it slip for three consecutive quarters.

On a number of levels the OCA’s carefully crafted “story” does not make sense, beginning with the fact that Adam Lanza skipped the entirety of the 8th grade and was allowed by the Newtown School District to move into the 9th grade. The problems surrounding Adam Lanza’s apparent academic accolades only adds to the ever-growing list of oddities in the OCA report.

The only way to truly know the facts is for Adam Lanza’s school records to be made public. Until then, the report is simply a “story” made up by the OCA…and not a very good one at that. Certainly the OCA report should not be used to decide the future mental health programs for Connecticut’s school children.

8th Grade

http://newtownbee.com/news/79050

http://newtownbee.com/news/80505

http://newtownbee.com/news/81895

9th Grade

http://www.newstimes.com/default/article/Newtown-High-School-honor-roll-54220.php

10th grade

http://newtownbee.com/news/93753

http://newtownbee.com/news/95282

http://newtownbee.com/news/97773

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy Hook Promise at Odds with Constitution and Other Parents

October 29th, 2014 | Breaking News

Sandy Hook Promise founder, Rob Cox, recently asked the question, “Did the law, and our Constitution, make this massacre easier to carry out?” His organization advocates for massive mental health screening for all children, according to the Burlington Free Press article, “Sandy Hook lessons yet to be learned, two years later“.

This is the same “mental health screening” that clearly failed Adam Lanza at Danbury Hospital, where he was screened by the Department of Psychiatry for harm to himself and others and released prior to the mass murder in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut.

According to the Burlington Free Press Interview, “In asking these wrenching questions, Cox was essentially framing the mission of the organization he would help to forge during the coming weeks in Newtown, Sandy Hook Promise.”

This has prompted AbleChild cofounder, Patricia Weathers, to ask some pointed questions to the founder, Mr. Cox, who has garnered the attention and support of the mainstream media, politicians, and financial supporters.

“This stunning “anti-constitutional” mission of the Sandy Hook Promise should have us all alarmed,” says Patricia Weathers.

The question, Mr. Cox, why are you not asking for the medical and mental health records like AbleChild, or finding it a little “strange” to say the least that there are just too many discrepancies in the reporting?

Why does Sandy Hook Promise blame the Constitution and yet does not want access to all the data involved in the “treatment” that failed this young adult?

Cox seems to buy into the State’s “Lanza Narrative”  that he didn’t get mental health treatment or needed drugs instead of looking to facts within the police investigative report.  Is this why Cox hasn’t asked for the records to be opened or held the State of Connecticut and the Sandy Hook Commission accountable to the public?

My son was placed on psychiatric drugs with dangerous side effects and had a violent adverse event.  Being a mother who testified before the FDA and Congress with the hundreds of parents that have had children who have died as a result of antidepressants linked to violence and suicide, I know that parents who want answers DON’T STOP until all information is revealed and all questions are answered. These parents, despite their loss, fought through the bureaucratic rhetoric to get to the truth and based on this truth changed appropriate laws and worked to get a Black Box Warning on the drugs and TV Ads so that other children would not share the same fate. They were not pawns for one political group pushing an agenda. They saw through this and the pharmaceutical conflict of interest within the government.

Perhaps this is why the Sandy Hook Promise doesn’t have all the Sandy Hook victims’ families that lost a child on that horrifying day supporting their efforts.  A fact Cox admits in the article.

An organization like Sandy Hook Promise, that blame the Constitution and uses innocent victims to spread misinformation without having all the facts is reprehensible.  This organization, by pushing forced mental health treatment and gun control without public hearings is endangering our children and violating parental rights.  This flies against the very foundation of this Country.

Informed Consent Needs to Grow in Brooklyn

October 14th, 2014 | Breaking News

Recently, it has come to AbleChild’s attention from a New York grandmother, who filed a report with AbleChild in September that a public school district in Brooklyn, NY does not feel that U.S. Law -Title 20 1232h, Protection of Pupil Rights (Hatch) Amendment applies to them. AbleChild has long endorsed this law and its complimentary supported amendment letter (Hatch) because both directly support informed consent rights regarding psychological testing in public schools throughout this nation.

Title 20 U.S. Code 1232h- Protection of Pupil Rights gives the power to the parent to refuse any survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning mental or psychological problems of the student or the student’s family, or their beliefs. This Right to Refuse applies to all subjective psychological evaluations, surveys and questionnaires that are used to diagnose our children with a mental health disorder.

“Both Title 20 and Hatch give parents not only the right to make critical decisions regarding their children within education, but provides for safeguards to ensure that a parent can raise their children in the way they believe is appropriate, label and drug free”, said Patricia Weathers, AbleChild Cofounder and mother of two boys. Weathers went further by stating that, “Schools should not be allowed to make decisions regarding mental health services, psychiatric diagnoses or psychiatric drug “treatment” for children. Schools should stick to education. Parents always have the right to refuse any and all of these and should not be told they are “non compliant”. Parents have the right to choose as part of informed consent.”

“This grandmother reached out to AbleChild because her request to her grandson’s school for an educational evaluation to determine if he was in need of special services was denied.  She was told that she was “non-compliant” when she refused the psychological portion of the evaluation on her grandson.  She tenaciously advocated for her grandson’s educational needs by printing out both Title 20 and The Hatch Amendment and submitting them to her grandson’s school. As per her account of the matter, “The school seemed unaware of the law and uninterested in learning about my right to refuse the psychological portion of the evaluation. I had to insist that both the law and the amendment letter that I filled out were submitted into my grandson’s file because the school psychologist didn’t think that I had the right to put anything into his school file.”

AbleChild questions whether the school district is actually ignorant of the law or is banking on an uneducated parent/caregiver who doesn’t question authority or know his or her rights. Either way, this incident demonstrates that much more awareness needs to be given at both the educational and parental level on informed consent regarding mental health and education.

For more information on AbleChild, to report your own experiences with these issues, support a parent’s right to choose and refuse, or join this organization, please visit www.ablechild.org.

DCF Post-Newtown Mental Health Recommendations May Put Children at Risk

September 8th, 2014 | Breaking News

In response to the 2012 tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), last Friday, unceremoniously unveiled its plan to overhaul the state’s mental health system for children.

The ten-page draft report provides no specific details about the shooting at Sandy Hook and, worse still, provides no substantiating information that the shooter, Adam Lanza, lacked mental health services. This is of interest as the “draft” report – DCF’s recommendations – focuses on “early identification and intervention” of children.

The implication, of course, is that the shooting could have been avoided had Lanza received appropriate mental health services. The problem with using the Sandy Hook Shooting as the impetus for these state-wide mental health changes, is that Lanza did receive mental health services from a very early age.

While the state has refused to release any detailed information about Lanza’s mental health treatment, the investigative record clearly reflects Nancy Lanza’s early, and continuous, efforts to provide to Adam mental health treatment. In fact, Lanza was “treated” at the Yale Child Study Center – which, coincidentally, also took a leading role in drafting these recommendations.

Given the documented problems Nancy Lanza experienced with the Yale Child Study Center, after reporting adverse psychiatric drug reactions Adam was experiencing, Ablechild is concerned about the conflict of interest in having Yale participate in any mental health recommendations.

In fact, Ablechild would argue that it is a conflict of interest for any of the “stakeholders” who may benefit financially from any of the recommendations and would suggest that the complete list of “stakeholders” be made publicly available before any funding is appropriated.

Ablechild also is concerned that DCF strategies include training on infant mental health competencies. Psychiatric diagnosing is completely subjective – not based in science – and, therefore, is dependent on verbal responses, making the psychiatric diagnosing of infants questionable at best.

Because the DCF recommendations revolve around “early identification and intervention” and much of the focus is to train school personnel in the identification of mental illness, Ablechild has put together a list of recommendations that it believes are not only appropriate, but necessary in the face of DCF’s sweeping mental health recommendations.

  • Restore Informed Consent to parents, including the full disclosure about the subjectivity of psychiatric diagnosing and the dangers associated with recommended psychiatric drug “treatments.”
  • Dismantle the Behavioral Health Oversight Committee, which is heavy with vendors appointed by Governor Malloy, and eliminate the “stakeholder” monopoly. There are too many conflicts of interest among those who will profit from the recommended changes.
  • Restore speech, language and educational evaluations as the first and most important behavioral health evaluation on point of entry.
  • Fully fund the 2001 law to track the number of children prescribed psychiatric drugs within the state mental health care system and make it publicly available.
  • Increase and fund access to natural and alternative mental health treatment.
  • Set up investigative committee to track children within state care who are solicited into drug clinical trials.
  • Make public all medical/mental health records of children who died while in state care to insure accountability.
  • Require complete toxicology tests in all suspected suicide deaths of children in state care and make findings publicly available.
  • Make available to all parents of school-age children the ability to “opt-in vs opt-out” of mental health screening.
  • Require DCF staff and all state mental health care professionals be educated in the FDA MedWatch System.

Too much of DCF’s mental health recommendations for the state’s children revolve around increased identification and “treatment,” with no discussion of alternatives to dangerous and potentially deadly side effects of psychiatric drug “treatments.” There is too much at stake to allow these all-encompassing recommendations without some kind of public disclosure of the large numbers who certainly will be affected.

It’s bad enough that the drive for increased mental health services is based on the shooting at Sandy Hook, which, to date, no publicly available information to support the need for the increased services has been provided. But forcing parents to submit their children to mental health screening, without providing all information about the potential dangers is adding insult to injury.

Short of implementing the necessary safeguards that Ablechild recommends, parents and children in Connecticut may be subjected to unnecessary and even harmful mental health services and may border on human rights violations.

 

 

 

 

 

Newtown Massacre & The Courant’s Endorsement of McKinney

According to the August 2nd article in the Hartford Courant titled McKinney Over Foley in Republican Primary for Governor, McKinney is the paper’s choice to remain in the Capitol because, among other things, in immediate aftermath of Sandy Hook, McKinney voted for the controversial and intrusive gun safety bill.

The Hartford Courant has thrown its endorsement to McKinney because the Senate Minority leader ignored the Republican base and voted with the Democrats where, “he could engage in the process and try to influence the drafting of the law.”

It is unclear how McKinney influenced that legislation and, actually, it would be of some interest to the voters to know what specific role McKinney played in crafting the sweeping legislative language. While the gun restrictions are repugnant to many, Ablechild is more concerned about the other legislative measures included, specifically the costly increases in mental health services forced on taxpayers.

Recall that the legislation in question was hurriedly passed with little or no public input. More importantly, the investigative report on Sandy Hook had not been completed at the time of the vote and, therefore, lawmakers, including McKinney, literally were writing legislation based on the passions of the moment, not on supporting data.

In fact, a year-and-a-half later, there still is no data to support the costly mental health measures passed in that legislation. There is no publicly available evidence that Adam Lanza lacked mental health services. Frankly, there is no information publicly provided about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment after 2007 – five years prior to the shooting. Is this information not important to McKinney or even the Courant?

Given the obvious lack of information about Lanza’s mental health, does it not seem irresponsible that lawmakers, including McKinney, would rush the passage of costly mental health legislation? After all, there is a projected $1.4 billion deficit next year. How much of this deficit includes the newly passed increased mental health services?

Ablechild appreciates McKinney’s experience and could have used his “influence” when it sued the state for the release of Adam Lanza’s medical/mental health records and toxicology report. But there was no support from McKinney or any lawmaker. There was no, nor is there any, interest on the part of lawmakers to obtain any data about Adam Lanza’s mental health treatment leading up to the shooting.

Yes, McKinney’s 15-years of experience is helpful, but how effective is that experience if those legislative efforts are not based in documentable necessity? One cannot help but wonder how many other legislative measures were passed with McKinney’s “influence” that were based on zero supporting information?

For that matter, one has to wonder why the Hartford Courant, clearly aware of the lack of documentation regarding Adam Lanza’s mental health, continually fails to address this point. Additionally, is it not odd that, prior to the release of the investigative report, the Courant was all over the shooting at Sandy Hook but has failed to report on investigative details that scream for answers.

Specifically, is the Courant not interested in the oddity of the envelope found in the Lanza home, addressed “for the young children of Sandy Hook Elementary” and, of which, the DNA of a known offender in New York was obtained. Is the Courant not interested in what information was contained in the stamped, addressed envelope? Is there no interest by this reporting entity as to how this piece of evidence found its way into the Lanza home?

It’s one thing for lawmakers to ignore investigative material, but when a leading press organization blatantly fails to report on important investigative details, the people of the state truly are not being served.

 

Interview on Mental Health Recommendations in Gun Bill PA 13-3

July 16th, 2014 | Blog, Breaking News

Sheila Matthews

Sheila Matthews is co-founder of AbleChild. Matthews was the first mother to testify on behalf of the first state Law prohibiting school personnel from recommending psychotropic drugs. Matthews advocated to remove dangerous antidepressants from use on foster care children/wards of the state of Connecticut and was instrumental in providing data for the groundbreaking 20/20 investigation with Diane Sawyer. In response to the Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Matthews lead the fight for transparency, petitioning the State of Connecticut, through the Freedom of Information Act, for Disclosure of Lanza’s medical/mental health and toxicology records.  As the co-founder of Ablechild, Matthews regularly meets with lawmakers, on legislative measures, including incorporating language for the MedWatch Reporting System to be made part of all health care provider education. Matthews has been featured on media outlets including CNN, FOX, and Time Magazine and is a regular guest expert on numerous national and international radio shows regarding informed consent as it pertains to psychiatric labeling and drugging.

 

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