Every so often, I find a story that really touches me in the news. One that isn’t full of violence, destruction or hatred. Although the story of Matthew McIntyr’s wish to help adopted children, like himself, is not the one that his family would have necessarily written since Matthew passed away at age 9 last June; they are doing all they can to make his wish of helping other children in need of adoption a reality.
The McIntyre family of Cranston adopted Matthew, a former resident of Boys Town in Portsmouth, RI, in 2003. He had been abused as a small child and through Boys Town he became a member of the McIntyre family.Â After he passed away in June 2008, his family established the Matthew McIntyre Memorial Fund to assist children like him who are placed at Boys Town and hope to make the transition to a family of their own.
The Fund’s first event will be held Friday, February 27 at 6:30pm at the West Valley Inn and the money raised at the dinner will assist Boys Town to provide the opportunity for children to experience recreational, educational and other activities that fall outside of the Portsmouth facility’s budget.
For more information about the Fund or to reserve tickets for Friday’s dinner, please visit http://www.MatthewMcIntyreMemorial.com or contact Denise or Paul McIntyre at 828-0001.
This is an interesting article. It’s one-sided, providing mainly the opinions of Dr. Peter Breggin and Kevin Hall of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, both of whom see little or no value in prescribing psychiatric medications to children. It’s important to remember that there are lots of parents out there and adults with psychiatric diagnoses who will swear by their medications as helping them to function better. And I’m not sure I share Mr. Hessoin’s opinion expressed in his final paragraph that teaching children about God is the answer. While religion and spirituality can bring comfort, focus, and satisfaction for some, it is not the prescription for everybody.
In any case, though, I sympathize with this lawyer’s plight in trying to defend a parent whose child is in state custody and who does not want their child on psychiatric medications. The youngster here is a 6-year-old boy who is reportedly on “Risperdal, Concerta, and Seroquel, plus the stimulant Clonidine and the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin.” I also sympathize with the residential facility or foster home that is trying to care for this child while giving him 5 medications a day. From Mr. Hessoin’s article:
When you are there, standing before an actual judge, real courtroom drama feels much less exciting than what you see on TV. There is no swelling music soundtrack, no scripted performances, and no overblown oratory.
Recently, I participated in a typically dull hearing that likely ruined a life â€” the life of a little six-year-old mildly autistic boy. The banality of the process was in contrast with the seriousness of the outcome.
Twelve adults gathered in a small, closed courtroom to decide how many powerful, anti-psychotic drugs that the child, who is currently in the custody of the state, would be required to take. The patient did not have a voice, since he was not there. No doctor was present, but plenty of lawyers were. The little boyâ€™s lawyer saw nothing wrong with drugging him into a stupor. As the attorney for the heartbroken mother, I spoke against the whole idea; I suggested to the court that other factors may be causing the childâ€™s problems, and that the compulsory administration of drugs by the state was simply an excuse to avoid addressing those issues.
The verdict: the little guy would be forced to take anti-psychotic drugs Risperdal, Concerta, and Seroquel, plus the stimulant Clonidine and the anti-anxiety drug Klonopin.
This outcome begs the question of whether a six-year-old child, let alone children as young as three, can be diagnosed as psychotic. And, whether children should be drugged by potions so powerful that most of them are not approved by the FDA for use in children. [full text]