My 9 year old step-son attends school at Ozark Guidance Center's "Therapeutic Day Treatment" (TDT) program. This is a child that always had straight A's and never got into trouble at school until his whole world changed and he left our home to live with his mother (major transistion for him). He went from oldest child to youngest child, from a home that struggled financially but his needs were met to an abusive middle class home where his needs are ignored. He failed the first semester with his mother and was suspended from school twice for threatening the teacher with violence and twice from the bus for fighting within the first semester. So, he was placed in TDT...
He is now diagnosed ADHD although he always had straight A's and never got in trouble before this major change in his life (which occurred after the age of 7). His report card in February 2005 showed all A's except for the B he received in PE and that his attention in class was good (the highest mark possible on the report). Yet, in May 2005, he was placed on Focalin (amphetamine) for his so-called ADHD. His teacher reports that he was restless in the mornings. I did some research on Focalin and found that it is not recommended for children with a history of anxiety (he was diagnosed with anxiety at the age of 4). I also found some kind of study on it where it gave statistics regarding side effects and found that a small percentage of the children that had taken Focalin for the study had become anorexic.
My husband and I scheduled an appointment to see my step-son's psychiatrist. During this appointment, we expressed our concern that he was taking focalin when it was not recommended for children with anxiety. The psychiatrists response was that he was not aware of that fact and acknowledged that my step-son had anxiety issues currently (probably the reason for the restlessness!). ***MUST READ THIS PART*** We then expressed our concern regarding the anorexia risk. The psychiatrist's response was, and I quote, "Well, all anorexia is is when they vomit after eating and it can cause some nausea." Um... no, that's bulemia. I pointed that out to him. He then went on to tell me that anorexia was the act of dieting!!! Then most of America is anorexic!!!!! Scary... this man actually has a college degree!
To make it even worse, my step-son's therapist tells him that if he gets in trouble at school he will be placed in Habberton House (in-house facility) and he won't get to see his Dad anymore! Are they trying to help him or hurt him?