Surge in ADHD diagnoses gets a red flag

7cf7063f625ffdecd0b4820b74427bd447612aefChildren play in a corridor in Barcelona, Spain on November 21, 2012Children play in a corridor in Barcelona, Spain on November 21, 2012

An excerpt from an article from

Doctors sounded a warning Tuesday over a rise in ADHD diagnoses, saying some children may be needlessly taking powerful drugs intended to correct a poorly understood disorder.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the researchers noted treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) had risen massively in recent years, even though its causes are unclear and drugs can have adverse effects.

ADHD is a disorder blamed for severe and frequent bouts of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity. Children and young adolescents are those who are most diagnosed with it.

But some experts fear the term ADHD may “medicalise” problems related to a child’s personality or maturity level, the effects of poor parenting or other home problems.

In Australia, prescriptions for the stimulant Ritalin and other ADHD drugs rose by 72 percent between 2000 and 2011, while in Britain and the Netherlands prescriptions roughly doubled between 2003 and 2008, said the paper.

According to the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly one in 11 American children aged 13-18 and one in 25 adults are affected by ADHD.

The analysis noted that Ritalin and other drugs were meant to be used only for “severe” ADHD symptoms, which according to research data only occur among about 14 percent of children with the condition.

Yet “about 87 percent of children diagnosed with ADHD in the US in 2010 subsequently received medication,” it said, warning of “unnecessary and possibly harmful medication treatment”.

The study said the main ADHD drugs could have side effects like weight change, liver damage and dwelling on suicide. And the drugs’ long-term impact, as a child moves into adulthood, remained unknown.

The study, led by Rae Thomas at the Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice at Australia’s Bond University, did not dispute the existence of ADHD as a medical condition.

Read the entire article HERE


Why can’t I be a dad?


Top judge pledges to end culture of secrety at family courts


From The Telegraph:

One of England’s most senior judges has pledged to expose family courts to the “glare of publicity” to avoid miscarriages of justice and restore public confidence.

Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the High Court, said parents of children taken into care must no longer be gagged by the courts and journalists should be allowed to report on proceedings.

He said that in the absence of the death penalty, removing a child from their parents is one of the most “drastic” actions a judge can take consequences that can last a lifetime.

In a speech to the Society of Editors in London, he said that judges must accept that “human justice is inevitably fallible” and mistakes are made.

He said that both the family courts, which deal with divorce cases and adoption, and the Court of Protection, which deals with decisions about people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions, must be more transparent.

Sir James said he wants to make the courts “open to the world”. He said: “It must never be forgotten that orders of the kind that family judges are invited to make in public law proceedings are amongst the most drastic that any judge is empowered to make.

“We strive to avoid miscarriages of justice, but human justice is inevitably fallible. We must have the humility to recognise that public debate, and the jealous vigilance of an informed media, have an important part to play.

“It is vitally important, if the administration of justice is to be promoted and public confidence in the courts maintained, that justice be administered in public.”

His comments come after controversy over a series of cases where the names of social workers, expert witnesses and councils are kept secret. Parents who have their children taken away from them have also been subject to draconian “gagging” orders.

Sir James said that parents should be free to speak out. He said: “It is important in a free society that parents who feel aggrieved at their experiences of the family justice system should be able to express their views publicly about what they conceive to be the failings on the part of individual judges or failings in the judicial system. And the same goes, of course, for criticism of local authorities and others.”

He said judges should be prepared to accept criticism of their decisions. “If there is no basis for injuncting a story expressed in the temperate or scholarly language of a legal periodical or the broadsheet press, there can be no basis for injuncting the same story just because it is expressed in the more robust, colourful or intemperate language of the tabloid press or even in language which is crude, insulting and vulgar.

“A much more robust view must be taken today than previously of what ought rightly to be allowed to pass as permissible criticism. Society is more tolerant today of strong or even offensive language.”

Under a series of reforms, Sir James plans to make judgments available to the public and to open up the courts to reporters. Journalists could be given greater access to court documents.

He said: “We must be open to the world – much more open than at present – in what we do both in the family courts and the Courts of Protection.”

The best interests of the child from the perspective of the child

An excerpt from : The Voices of Children of Divorce

Listening to the real experts on the “best interests of the child”
Published on November 12, 2013 by Edward Kruk, Ph.D. in Co-Parenting After Divorce

My simple but constant plea to divorce practitioners and policymakers, a mantra, is that we adopt a new standard in the legal determination of parenting after divorce: the “best interests of the child from the perspective of the child,” to replace the current discretionary approach based on speculation and interpretation; and a “responsibility to needs-based” orientation, to replace the dominant “rights-based” approach. A paradigm shift is needed: the well-being of children as they define it must take precedence over judicial biases and preferences, professional self-interest, genderpolitics, the desire of a parent to remove the other from the child’s life, and the wishes of a parent who is found to be a danger to the child.

What this implies is that first of all we adopt an evidence-based approach derived from research asking children themselves about their needs in the divorce transition, and then taking responsibility to reform our laws and public policies to address those needs. By “we” I refer mainly to those of us in the human services field working within social institutions that are meant to serve children and parents, but also to the community at large. Most simply stated, it is the responsibility of social institutions to support parents in the fulfillment of their parenting responsibilities to their children’s needs.

It has been only during the past decade that researchers have made beginning efforts to listen directly to the voices of children of divorce (and also parents) about their physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs. The picture that has emerged is dramatically different to previous studies based on “expert” interpretations.

I will not enumerate these needs, as it is the focus of my book, along with a proposal for a new “equal parenting” approach to parenting after divorce based on what children themselves have identified as their core needs. Instead I would like to provide a platform for the voice of one child of divorce, Aimee Nicholls from England. She writes about her forced estrangement from her father, but might just as easily have been referring to her mother, as judicial gender stereotypes also devalue mothers who do not conform to judges’ views of “appropriate” parental behavior. Here are selected excerpts from her message to parliamentarians, and the public, about the effects of divorce on children, and particularly the damaging effects of misguided child and family policies and practices:

“Hi there, my name is Aimee Nicholls, I’m 16 years old, and 11 years ago, my parents divorced. It doesn’t matter why right now, that’s history… It’s certainly not something that I wanted, but I also had no say… I do love my mom and dad both the same… My dad shared my care before my parents split.

Despite what people want you to think, I’ve learned that family law… works exactly how it was designed to work… It makes more money for everyone working in family law, and my situation is only partly resolved after 11 years of fighting… The system doesn’t like giving up, unless you’re one of the few families it allows to be different to “prove” that it’s fair. It clearly isn’t fair.


Read the rest HERE

Mixed Messages


REAL Women support shared parenting



This is a LADIES only petition, why? Because we need to show not only Governor Rick Scott but the world that this is NOT just a Father’s rights issue. Studies indicate that just as much or even more women support shared parenting than men. Men are more active than ever before in their children’s lives, shared parenting benefits everyone involved with most importantly being the children. There are attributes that both a mother AND father bring to the table when raising a child, when one piece of that puzzle is missing extreme damage can occur not only for the present moment but repercussions can be felt well into adulthood. No child should ever have to grow up losing out on a parent and that special bond which is irreplaceable, so we ask all women unite who support shared parenting, and make your voices heard!


Sign up HERE:

The realities of many non-custodial parents


Legally Obscene: Rape, Statutory Rape, and Child Support

One day we will all see child support for what it really is…a transfer of money from fathers to mothers. It has nothing to do with supporting children. I have been saying this over and over and over again. Here is yet another example of why I feel child support laws need SERIOUS reform.

From the A Voice For Men article by Walter Romans

An excerpt:

Statutory rape laws have often been controversial and unequally applied to male and female victims and perpetrators. While very few believe that sexual activity with minors who have not yet reached puberty (child molestation) is acceptable, many believe that once a child has reached puberty, the child should be capable of providing consent to sexual activity. Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that persons below a specified age or who suffer from certain mental deficiencies are incapable of providing consent. These laws make it illegal for adults to coerce children into having sex.

Historically, statutory rape laws were designed to protect teenage girls from males who may take their virginity, impregnate them, and refuse to take responsibility and marry them. Thus, they served the purpose of protecting the honor of the girl and of preventing teenage pregnancy. They also helped to ensure the child would have a means of support. It wasn’t until much later that these laws began to be applied to protect boys as well. However, the application remains quite uneven.

According to the DOJ, 95% of statutory rape victims reported to law enforcement are female, yet many studies have determined that boys comprise a much higher percentage of the victims. For instance, Dorais estimates that one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 16.

Social attitudes are primarily responsible for the double standard. According to Miriam Denov, there is a “myth of innocence” surrounding female sexuality that frequently regards sex between a young male and an older female to be a rite of passage and that it is somehow acceptable or less harmful than when the other way around. Further, boys are taught not to view themselves as victims as this is “unmanly.”

Law enforcement may not take such complaints seriously. In a previous post (Living in a Culture of Denial), I discussed the problems with the attitude of law enforcement towards male victims. Officers and other professionals may even redefine the act so as to make it acceptable. Even the male victims may view it as a positive experience and not a crime, leading to gross underreporting. In what may be the most bizarre denial of the existence of male victims, courts have held that male victims of rape can be held responsible for child support.

In California, an appellate court upheld an order (San Luis Obispo Count y v. Nathan J., 1996) forcing a 15 year old boy to pay child support to his rapist after she became pregnant and gave birth.The court ruled that although the boy was considered too young to provide consent to the sex act, he was an admitted willing participant and therefore liable to pay support stating that he was not an “innocent victim” because he had discussed it with his rapist prior to having sex.

That this act was illegal and may have constituted coercion was apparently lost on the court. If the boy is considered legally incapable of providing consent, how can he be considered legally liable for giving that consent? Any consent or cooperation on his part should have been considered coercion and therefore not consent at all.

Read the rest HERE

The Power Of Dad

Yeah, It’s an Oral-B commercial. I hate these kinds of things, but I posted this because of the message it sends about the importance fathers and the role we play.

In this blog, I choose to be the total opposite of most of our media. What you tend to see on TV, print media and online are the worst examples of fathers and men. I know there is another side they are not showing. The more light I can expose on the realities of men like my father, my close friends and the millions of other great dads out here being the best dads they can be, the better.

The tag line in this ad says:

Every step of the way, a dad’s had a smile for you
Give him the power to keep it that way.

Well, I wouldn’t even think about a tooth brush as a tool to empower dads.

What tools do dads need to keep a smile on their face? Well…first, I would take a look at how our media portrays bumbling dads, I would look into how out court system is biased towards mothers and how out laws are stuck in an era that resembles the 1950’s, then maybe think deeper about how there is no such thing as “equality” when it comes to expectations of work life balance between men and women. After we did that, then I would update alimony and child support laws to reflect life in modern America, I would advise the courts to assume 50/50 shared parenting post divorce/breakup and I would no longer allow for false accusations to go unpunished and prosecute those who are found guilty of it.

Let’s start there. After we clean up those things, maybe then we can talk about creature comforts like the proper toothbrush for optimal oral hygiene.

Not Lovin’ It: Dad Accused of ‘Unfit Parenting’ for Refusing to Take His Son to McDonalds

This is just another day in the life of fathers all across the country who are involved in silly custody disputes. If this does not expose the nonsense that goes on in family court, nothing will. One day, we will rip the lid off of the roof of these places and expose the rats that actually run around the halls of these buildings. There are colonies of rats. Usually, they are old, dressed in robes and hate men.

Magistrates, judges, and apparently court-appointed psychologists are all part of the infestation.

article-2491248-194239B600000578-647_634x423From Time Magazine:

Divorce can be ugly to begin with, but it’s uglier when McDonald’s gets involved in your custody battle.

It’s already bad enough that attorney David Schorr is embroiled in the tug-of-war with wife Bari Yunis Schorr over their 4-year-old son, but now he’s filed a defamation suit against psychologist Marilyn Schiller for telling a judge that he was an unfit parent for not taking his kid to the fast-food joint when he demanded it.

According to court documents, during an Oct. 30 visit, the boy insisted on a trip to the Golden Arches rather than the Manhattan restaurant where Schorr normally takes him. Schorr, wary of junk food overconsumption, declined to do so and offered instead to take him any place else, which triggered a tantrum.

Schorr stood his ground though, and took the boy back home to his mother. But Schiller, a court-appointed psychologist, told the court hearing the divorce case that because he wouldn’t take the boy to McDonald’s, he was “wholly incapable” of taking care of the child and asked the court to intervene, restricting the time Schorr got to spend with the boy.

That apparently was the last fry for Schorr and he filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court against Schiller, saying that she lied about him not being able to take care of the boy for at least 90 minutes and failed to discuss the McMeltdown with the father before going to a judge.

Still for all the trouble, Schorr wishes he had just given in and taken the kid to Mickey D’s,  “but you get nervous about rewarding bad behavior,” he said. “I think it was a 1950s’ equivalent of sending your child to bed without dinner.” However, he told the New York Daily News he suspects the whole thing may be a ploy by his wife to win full custody.


Read more HERE and HERE




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