Behavioral Disorders: The Misdiagnosis of Children
Matt and Alisha had been married about five years. They owned a house together in a quiet suburban neighborhood. They both had successful careers and had adopted a dog named Sputt, who they took to the dog run together every week. Matt and Alisha were more in love than ever before. They both had agreed they wanted to start a family and decided it was the right time to do so.
Soon enough, their wish came true when Alisha found out she was pregnant with a boy. They were ecstatic. The expecting couple had nine months to prepare for the arrival of their son. Alisha read too many parenting books to count. Matt painted their son-to-be’s room a light blue. He even added wall decals to make the room dinosaur themed. Together they made plans for their new future. They discussed different parenting styles and values they wanted to teach their son.
The couple lounged around the house on a colorful fall day in mid-September, until Alicia started to have contractions. Matt drove her to the hospital and Alisha went into labor. She had her son later that night, whom they had decided to name Isaac. There were no complications to her pregnancy. Isaac was a healthy baby.
When Isaac was 3 years old, he went to a day care oriented to get young children ready for preschool. Alicia picked her son up from day care each evening after she got off work. About a month after Isaac started going to the day care, his teacher pulled Alicia aside. The day care instructor told Alicia that Isaac was very disruptive. She thought Isaac may have a behavioral disorder, and wanted Alicia to talk to a psychiatrist.
Alicia disagreed with the instructor. Her son was only 3 years old! She thought, “How many 3 year old children have unpredictable behavior at times”? Her and Matt both agreed that it was too soon to talk to a psychiatrist. They decided to pull Isaac from the day care. Relatives and family friends watched Isaac for the rest of that year.
When Isaac turned 4, his parents put him in preschool. They knew he would be younger than most of the other children. However, they wanted him to start learning. Soon enough, the preschool teacher suggested that Isaac should be medicated. The teacher thought Isaac had a chemical imbalance. Matt and Alisha decided to have Isaac see a doctor.
Isaac was 4 years old when he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He was put on Ritalin, which is a prescription drug known to treat ADD and ADHD. It wasn’t long after Isaac started taking Ritalin that he began to develop anxiety, and had repetitive, racing thoughts. Isaac’s parents told the psychiatrist about his symptoms and began to express their concerns about medicating their son. The psychiatrist insisted Isaac stay on Ritalin. He suggested Isaac start taking a medication to help with anxiety.
By the age of 10, Isaac was on 8 different medications. Many of these medications were given to “treat” the adverse side affects the other prescriptions would cause. Isaac began developing ticks. One of these ticks made him roll his neck constantly, which was a common side effect due to Isaac’s early usage of psychotic drugs. This was when Isaac’s parents they wanted all of this to stop.
Matt and Alicia decided to hospitalize Isaac, and he was stripped off of all his medications. Within 24 hours of Isaac being off his medications, the doctors at the hospital declared him to be Bipolar. They wanted to put him on a drug called Lithium, which is an intense and addicting drug, even for adults. The drug had not been tested to be safe for children.
These types of cases are more common than people know of. In fact, this scenario actually happened to a boy named Jacob Solomon. The Solomon family was one of the families featured in the documentary, The Medicated Child. This documentary was published in 2008 and was aired on PBS.
Another child featured in the documentary, D.J. Koontzes was only 4...
Cited: 3 Mar. 2014.
"The Medicated Child." Films On Demand. Films Media Group, 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.
Michigan State University
16 Mar. 2006. Web. 19 Mar. 2014.
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