Mary Anne Sahagian
Family Service Officer
Mary Ann Curtin
Because I am quick to criticize the judiciary and others close to the court, it is important that I be as quick to compliment when the judiciary and those others recognize the law, use common sense, and let the sweet smell of fundamental fairness waft through the courtroom.
Yesterday was one such time. So I sent out the following email . . . and received a few in reply. Some of them are also included here.
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18 March 2003
Judge Mary Anne Sahagian vacated a chap. 209A restraining order against a pro se dad in Salem Probate & Family Court today.
In my case, Judge Mary Anne Sahagian ordered mother to stop giving Concerta to her son. No doctor had determined it was necessary. Mom got prescription by telling doc on phone that it was an emergency . . . a crisis . . . but there was no emergency or crisis.
And a Family Service Officer, Mary Ann Curtin, with dedicated diligence and very impressive investigating (calling the school and the doctors while the parties went to lunch), confirmed the evidence and presented it to Judge Sahagian. Thanks FSO Curtin. I salute you!
I was left with the impression that the court and the FSO were unhappy that 90 percent of the kids today are taking Ritalin, Concerta, etc.
My take on the situation is that it is not the kids who have the problems but the parents.
Such drugs are not only the tools of lazy or unskilled parents who use them to shift the blame of their own shortcomings onto the children. Such drugs are the tools of also well-meaning parents who are duped by the hype of the $billion pharmaceutical industry aided and abetted by some unthinking people in the medical profession.
Serious drug abuse is not only committed by using needles or sniffing! Stop victimizing and frying the brains and emotions of our young with Ritalin, Concerta, etc., in the hypocritical self-righteous name of ADD or ADHD.
I read your e-mail about Judge Sahagian. I'd like to add that this judge is the only judge I have any respect for. She seems to not take the typical crap from mothers and seems very fair. I've stood before her twice and she was fair both times. Also, while waiting for my own hearings and listening to others' she seemed fair. I didn't see the hostility, sarcasm or unprofessionalism commonly associated with Judge Manzi. I feel more confident when I stand before Judge Sahagian.
Perhaps the system is slowing changing for the better.
YYYYYYYY - haven't
seen my daughter since 7/02 and have a 209A against me - both because
It may be of some interest for the Father's rights groups to know of my and my husband's experience with this judge has been very positive. Judge Sahagian has been overseeing my husband's post-divorce issues. She has been very open minded and very quick to see through the lies that my husband's former wife has been throwing around in court during not only last summer's charges of sexual abuse but more recently with his request to lower his child support due to unemployment. The ex-wife is contesting the lowering based on her belief that "he intentionally lost his job to get back at her" (yes, those are the exact words). Judge Sahagian told them all that my husband, by law, is able to have the child support lowered. The ex-wife now technically "owes" my husband over $400....
isn't one in a million.
Ritalin and Concerta are a way of sedating children so that parents do not have to do any parenting. I have a nephew on this stuff and it makes him a ZOMBIE who can do nothing but sit and watch what is going on.
All children run around and scream and play because that is what children do. In the Native American culture they recognize that "children do childish things and when they are no longer children they leave childish things behind."
I say let kids be kids. It may be a headache to the parents but it is the only time that children will get the chance to have carefree abondoned fun in their lives.
and progressive judge! I wish there were
I also can't agree with you more that children are being medicated because their parents aren't able to do what it takes to "parent" effectively. And you are right that drug abuse is not limited to illicit drugs taken by needle. ADHD is a "real" problem. However, too many children are being misdiagnosed and taking drugs that have serious side effects.
Even when drugs such as Ritalin are being prescribed appropriately, many parents are still using them as a "cure" for their children's behavioural problems.
Ritalin does not replace effective and consistent parenting. It is meant to be a tool to assist children to focus better in school. It is meant as an academic support and not a means to control what is perceived as their child's aberrant behaviour.
It frustrates me because in the past I have offered to conduct lunch hour workshops (without charge) for judges on a variety of family related issues. To date, there has been no interest shown. I guess the judiciary is too busy to learn something of value to the families upon which they make decisions.
Ph.D. - Divorce
P.S. You can now subscribe to "Divorce-Go-Round, a newsletter for and about people who are separated and divorced by sending an email firstname.lastname@example.org
and writing "subscribe" in the subject line.
ADHD is preventable with the use of (Omega-3) DHA/EFA supplements. This judge may be amenable to reviewing the factual growing scientific data regarding preventability of ADHD....also school nurses are the last line of defense and should dig deeper and and refuse to be pill givers...if they give a pill is would be fish oil.
Read "The Omega Plan" 1998 p95 A. Simonopoulus...She has been affiliated with the NIH Nutrition Coordinating Committee for over 9 years."boys with ADHD have significantly lower levels of EPA and DHA"
There is even a blood test now that could be logically applied to aid in reversing this major nutritional imbalance.
The research agenda of the hospital-research-industrial complex has , since the mid 1990's, for ADHD been determined to marginalize a food based (fish oil) solution in order to dope up these little boys who are just "inattentive","poor listeners", "poor learners". What a self fulfilling prophecy when they are adapting poorly to the misandric early school system.
Chaotic parents and homes exacerbate exacerbating the genetic predisposition to bring this disorder to a 5-10% real level...perhaps overdiagnosed in some small areas by a factor of 3-5.....
And so is early Alzheimer's! p. 106 -- "supplementing your diet with fish or other sources of Omega-3 fatty acids,may help you hold on to your cognitive ability as you age")....
Give a boy a fish oil capsule ( or bagel with lox) and he will learn to fish, sociably...as we say..
Paul Appleton, M.D.
I agree with you about Concerta and other similar medications to a point. Many parents do use it because they can't or don't want to do anything else... or are lazy. However, some kids do need it.
I am caring for my three grandsons who were seriously neglected. These kids have serious behavioral issues and disfunctions, and I am dealing with them. However the middle boy is a fetal alcohol affected child, is in the 2nd percentile, and could not focus or sit still. In particular he could not function in any group setting of more than 3 people. School was a nightmare for him. Had we not taken him in, the system would have institutionalized him. He is now on Adderal and is doing fantastic. He can focus in school, and he can sit still for more than 3 minutes at a time. He also is in sensory integration therapy to enable nerve development. He and his baby brother were left to lie in a crib without any attention.
His baby brother was caught early enough - not speaking or walking at 22 months in the 10th percentile when we got him. The baby is now in the 98th percentile and functioning normally.... without any medication.
It took us over 18 months of testing with a pediatric neurologist and behavioral specialists before we even approached drug treatment. We didn't believe in it. However, while the other two boys require 24/7 work with behavior and constant parenting, they do not appear to be physiologically and neurologically as damaged as the middle child... who is now improving with Adderall.
This boy didn't/couldn't eat, figeted constantly, was conisidered mildly autistic... but now eats, and functions almost normally. I say almost "normal" because he still needs constant supervision and good parenting practices. I am fully aware that kids who do not need Adderall will usually get far worse in behavior problems than those that do require it. Concerta and Adderall are amphetimines, a drug that will excite a normal nervous system but calm and over-active or dysfuncional one. It is not a drug to play around with just because one is too lazy to parent.
These medications are also controlled substances, and any doctor that prescribes them over the phone should lose his/her license!
Just had to throw in my two cents.