Law Office of Michelle Ball controlled substances,Special Education What Parents Must Consider Before Having Children Evaluated For A Mental Disorder

What Parents Must Consider Before Having Children Evaluated For A Mental Disorder

Alternative mental health for children

Last Updated on August 20, 2021 by Michelle Ball

By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995

When a school pressures a family to have their child evaluated for a mental illness, usually for special education, it can be a very confusing time.  But before parents “give in,” they owe it to their child to conduct a thorough and thoughtful evaluation of all possible causes and solutions to the situation.  Labeling a child with a mental illness, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), ED (Emotional Disturbance), ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), or some other mental disorder, is a life-changing decision which not only alters the child’s life forever, but also opens the door to potential mind-altering drugs to “control” the child’s classroom issues.

Since 1995 I have been helping parents and students in all types of school matters, and I have represented parents both in and out of the special education system.  I have also assisted a handful of parents who fought against school pressure to label their children with mental health disabilities due to problems in the classroom.  The public schools and their staff often push parents to have their child evaluated by a medical professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Many parents follow through, as their child is not learning, is a problem in the classroom, or acts bad at school, and they don’t know what else to do.  But is a disease really the cause?  Maybe, maybe not.

Consider these other potential causes:

1)  An undiagnosed physical disability.

2)  Nutrition/food issues.

3)  Sleep deprivation.

4)  Energy and interest in life.
5)  Poor teaching.
6)  Poor control of the classroom.
7)  Need to move around rather than sit still for 6 hours a day.
8)  Failure to understand the work in the time given.  Public schools don’t stop for any student- they just move on whether the child understands or not.  When a child does not understand, they can get bored, distracted, and disinterested.
9)  Need for additional assistance with the work at school (not because of a disability, but because they just did not GET something).
10)  Teacher conflict with the student and/or a bad fit.
11)  Need for more stimulation in the classroom, such as visuals, music, movement, change.  Not all students learn best by sitting, listening, and reading.  
12)  School is not taught in an interesting way.
13)  Poor parenting- parents not working with them at home, not disciplining enough, not there.
14)  A multitude of other reasons…. other than a mental illness.
Sadly, if a student is pushed into the mental health system for the above reasons, it is not because they have a “DISABILITY,” but because of something else. However, they may still be labelled as disabled and carry that crutch the rest of their lives.

Labeling a child with a psychological disorder is a BIG deal, and opens the door for drugs- drugs for behavior, drugs for attention, drugs for…control.  If Johnny sits there and no longer blurts out, the teacher will be happier, but will Johnny actually be better off?  Parents need to first consider what would help their CHILD to survive, learn, and flourish.  The school’s needs are secondary.

When considering such avenues, parents should check the following sites (among others) for alternatives and information on labelling and drugging of children for alleged mental disorders:

–  Alternative Mental
–  The Block Center– alternative ADHD treatment
–  Public Service Announcements and the website of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights
–  The Psychiatric Drug Search Engine

Do it for your child.


1 thought on “What Parents Must Consider Before Having Children Evaluated For A Mental Disorder”

  1. Anonymous says:

    That's a very comprehensive look at the situation, Ms. Ball. It will help any parent that reads it.

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