Arrested for not drugging his child with Ritalin

Bryan Robinson
Arrested for not drugging his child with Ritalin
Tue Jun 8, 2004 16:01
66.89.82.218

Pills vs. Talking
When It Comes to Mental Illness, Parents Face Dilemmas Over Medication, Talk Therapy

By Bryan Robinson

June 7, 2004 — When Chad Taylor noticed his son was apparently experiencing serious side effects from Ritalin prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he decided to take the boy off the medication. Now, he says he may be accused of child abuse

In February, 12-year-old Daniel began displaying some symptoms that his father suspected were related to the use of Ritalin.

"He was losing weight, wasn't sleeping, wasn't eating," Taylor told ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV in New Mexico. "[He] just wasn't Daniel."

So Taylor took Daniel off Ritalin, against his doctor's wishes. And though Taylor noticed Daniel was sleeping better and his appetite had returned, his teachers complained about the return of his disruptive behavior. Daniel seemed unable to sit still and was inattentive. His teachers ultimately learned that he was no longer taking Ritalin.

School officials reported Daniel's parents to New Mexico's Department of Children, Youth and Families.Then a detective and social worker made a home visit.

"The detective told me if I did not medicate my son, I would be arrested for child abuse and neglect," Taylor said.

A spokesman for New Mexico's Department of Children, Youth and Families told KOAT-TV that they could not comment on the case because of state confidentiality laws. John Francis, a detective for the Rio Rancho Department of Public Safety, said that Taylor was not threatened but told KOAT-TV that parents could be charged in situations like his.

"People can be charged with child abuse, child neglect or various other crimes involving a child," he said.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/Living/US/mental_illness_treatment_kids_040607-1.html

Main Page -  06/09/04

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