Sorry if I'm doing this wrong, this is my 1st time. I do not in any way agree with mandatory testing or drugging of anyone in this matter. But I do have to respond to the comment that was made "ADD is not like other proven diseases that threaten life or death; one cannot die simply by having ADD so I see no reason for it to be put in the catagory of endangering a child by not medicating..." I do however disagree with that statement. No, one can not die from simply being diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, but not all cases are the same. Some people who have ADD/ADHD have it worse or are affected differently then others. My son for example, he has always done well in school ACADEMECLY, getting mostly A's and B's even before he was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD and if he's doing something he enjoys like playing a video game or playing with his friends his attention is always there. His symptoms were more in the physical, scocial and emotional part of the illness, such as getting into fights, short temper, not interacting with other children according to the standards for his age level. My point is that my son's case may be worse than someone else who has also been diagnosed. Before the medications he was physically abusive to himself (bangging his head, biting his arms) and to others (hitting, kicking biting, hitting with objects other then his hands), he acted before he thought about consiquences, such as running into the street without looking, jumping out of a car before it has come to a complete stop, playing with sharp objects...Even though the diagnosis will not kill him, THE SYMPTOMS CAN if they are not treated properly! So, yes I do see ADD/ADHD as being a possible life threatening illness if it is severe. And although I don't agree with mandatory drugging I can see why they my try to say you are endangering the life of a child if you choose not to use the medication (in some cases). I think parents just need to sit down and wiegh out the pros and cons according to THIER CHILD'S NEEDS, keep an open mind because what you want may not always be what is best for your child. I never wanted my son on medication until he got to the point that he was completely out of control for me and the school and when I realized that my choices were to try the drugs and if they don't work take him off of them or not try the drugs and possibly lose my son to an accident because he can't control his actions, I quickly realized his life was worth more than my anti-drug stand.
I don't necessarily think a mental health screening would be a bad thing as long as it would be done in a prudent manner. However, the likelyhood of such a screening being done efficiently and worthwhile manner I think our school system and childeren would be better served by making funding available to have school psycologists (think like a school nurse but for mental health matters). This would be particularly worthwhile at middle and high school levels. In my experience there are alot of mental health issues going on in the schools that are either not being addressed or are being poorly handled. (Ex. Students that are cutters being told that their parents will be called if they don't stop and therebye making the student defensive and more secretive instead of actually dealing with the issues at hand. This is a very common practice and DOESN'T WORK!)
What about the children (more on the jr high, high school front) who feel they have a problem, yet the parent refuses to aknowledge it as a problem and refuses to help the child get the help and maybe the drugs they need? I had this problem when I was a child, and now that Im married I finally got the help that I needed and the drugs, but not without years of wonderif I was ok, normal and whatnot and being severly self destructive which I now have under control, no thanks to my parents. If I had the opportunity to get voluntay testing when I was in school, maybe I could have gotten help before things got out of control.
I agree totally. Mental health issues are very stigmatized. Making screening mandatory would help those who need it but who don't want to (or whose parents dont want to) face the associated stigma.