Australian parents who refuse to give medication to children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be forced to give up their kids to child protection services. According to the draft guidelines created by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) expert working group:
“Consideration should be given to the ability of the child/adolescent and their caregivers to implement strategies.
As with any medical intervention, the inability of parents to implement strategies may raise child protection concerns.” (link)
Anti-ADHD medication campaigner Martin Whitely said that these “strategies” are referring to ADHD drugs. Whitely is petitioning for the statement to be removed to protect parents’ rights.
Dr. Joseph Mercola agrees with Whitely because ADHD medications are linked to severe and damaging effects on children.
“There are clearly many superior alternatives for addressing ADHD than potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs that often contain different formulations of methylphenidate, a powerful psychostimulant drug that is in the same class as cocaine and amphetamines,” he comments.
Children Are Likely Being Misdiagnosed
Certain U.S. states have already enacted legislation to protect their citizens from this issue by prohibiting schools and child protection officials from forcing parents to give drugs to their children. However, there are still instances when this issue arises. Many parents have experienced being “cut out” of the decision-making process about what’s best for their child’s health.
Dr. Mercola says that medicating children with ADHD is a double-edged sword. Aside from the health risks associated with the ADHD drugs, there are also children who have been misdiagnosed with this condition.
“Diagnosing ADHD really comes down to a matter of opinion, as there is no physical test, like a brain scan, that can pinpoint the condition. There’s only subjective evaluation, and, for better or worse, teachers can play a significant role in this evaluation,” Dr. Mercola explains.
Aside from inattention and hyperactive-impulsive behavior, other ADHD symptoms include:
- Frequent fidgeting or squirming
- Always seems to be on the go
- Acts and speaks without thinking, or forgets things
- Has difficulty playing quietly
- Feels restless often
- Runs and climbs excessively, or leaves his or her seat in the classroom when not appropriate
- Daydreams a lot or seems not to listen
- Excessive talking, interrupts often, and blurts out answers to questions at inappropriate times
However, Dr. Mercola claims that some of these “symptoms” could actually describe most children. “Only those who struggle with serious inattention and hyperactive or impulsive behaviors around the clock are candidates for the ADHD label, but it is frequently given to many other children as well,” he comments.
According to a study published in the Journal of Health Economics, about 20 percent of children – around one million children – in the U.S. have likely been misdiagnosed. The study reports that the youngest children in any given grade level are showing “symptoms,” but they are actually being compared to their more mature classmates (link).
Profit: At the Core of ADHD Medications
“It would seem that profit and control is at the root of the ADHD diagnosis epidemic, and that if the underlying factors that cause the unruly behavior associated with ADHD were addressed, namely, poor nutrition, any dysfunctional family aspects, societal and school dynamics, and chemical exposures, to name but a few, the real solution – having nothing to do with prescriptions – could be identified and implemented,” says Dr. Mercola.
Not only are ADHD drugs unnecessary and ineffective, but they are actually very potent. These drugs are hard-core, “class 2″ narcotics that are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Agency. They are a controlled substance because they can lead to dependence.
Ritalin is one example of a dangerous ADHD drug. It stimulates your central nervous system and interferes with the delicate and complex workings of your brain and personality. It may cause severe side effects such as stroke, psychotic symptoms, seizures, and sudden death in those with heart problems.
Natural Approaches to ADHD and ADHD-Like Symptoms
Dr. Mercola recommends trying non-drug approaches to treat children with ADHD. Here are some safe strategies you can try.
- Eliminate grains and sugar from your child’s diet. These cause allergies in sensitive individuals, even those of the organic and whole variety.
- Avoid processed fruit juices and sodas, and drink pure, clean non-fluoridated water instead.
- Give your kid high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats, like krill oil. Avoid processed fats, especially trans fats.
- Avoid processed foods with artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. These may trigger or worsen symptoms.
- Remove dangerous chemicals, such as pesticides, from your home. Avoid commercial washing detergents and cleaning products as well. Replace these products with naturally derived cleaning products that have no added chemicals.
- Enjoy nature. According to researchers, exposing children with ADHD to nature is an affordable and healthy way of controlling symptoms.
- Let your child try sensory therapy and emotional wellness tools like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).