Dr James Schaller
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A Colorado Child is Diagnosed
As "ADHD with Depression"

They Missed Something Big!

Joseph was in a private religious school with many hard working and sincere teachers. The principle was new and young and had no children, and had just replaced a veteran principle that was well liked for his gentle warm "regular guy" approach.

When school started, Joseph's parents were optimistic that this new school would be a positive influence on him. He had done OK at his local public school, but they hoped the elements of faith in this new school would be helpful to their son.

But Joseph did not do well at all. Over time it seemed that he was increasingly restless, oppositional and distracted. He was in a word: unmanageable. At least that is how the teacher saw it. And Joseph's parents were concerned when the word "ADHD" was raised. After two more months of being called to school and some meetings with the principle, the parents finally took Joseph to a child psychiatrist. They knew it was not a death sentence but thinking of their son as "flawed" emotionally or mentally was like learning he had a birth defect. They could not get past the shame and distress and hopelessness they felt. They told themselves it was not the end of the word, but were wounded at the need for such a consult.

Joseph did not seem to have any unusual content in his emotions or thoughts and just wanted attention as most youth his age desired. He saw others in the school as the cause of his problems -- the teacher, fellow students, and demands on him that were not "reasonable." His mother had come to hate that word. The child psychiatrist in Colorado felt that he "might" have a little anxiety, depression and attention trouble, but it was a "soft call." I really respected this physician's careful honesty with the parents about Joseph.

The boy was tried on Zoloft and he became more agitated. He was tried on Neurontin and was more impulsive. He was tried on Celexa with no clear improvement. Klonopin made him silly and "drunk" at low doses. Finally, a trial of Gabatril seemed to help with sleep quality, but in the day he was the same. Low dose Ritalin made him agitated. Seroquel helped him be a little less agitated, but both the parents and the child and adolescent specialist were frustrated with the need for a stronger class of medication typically used for mania, psychosis, serious hitting and Tourettes.

His family came to see me. He did poorly on the plane and was angry at having to come see me instead of other pleasures. When I looked at him he looked like he had a little trouble connecting with me, and seemed like a child who had just beaten a cold a few days ago. But nothing was obvious about him. He seemed annoyed with some smells and louder speech, and that caught my attention.

My impression was that while I understood why everyone had labeled him with ADD, ADHD, depressive irritability, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, he seemed to me to have "a medical problem" that was being missed. After being around so many children, one starts to sense the processing of the brain, in a manner a fine carpenter feels the wood in his hand. All I could tell them was that I thought he had some inflammation of the brain that was impairing his baseline personality, but I was clueless as to what that might be. I asked if we could run tests, and he refused, saying he was afraid of needles. The parents looked at me, and what could I say?

I had a special compounded narcotic made for his surface skin and deeper tissue, and we had it overnighted, and the couple rescheduled their flight for a day later. We put that special unique cream on both inner elbows. His father promised Joseph a specific reward, and this allowed him merely to consider giving blood. He was terrified, and it was painful to see the youth so afraid. In fact, it was a little more regressed than one would expect of even fearful youth his age -- another sign of a cognitive inflammation issue?

I reluctantly advised him to be given short acting Xanax and a higher dose of Seroquel, in the hope he would fall asleep or at least forget the procedure. He became slightly sedated and required 5 adults to hold him for the tubes to be done. We drew a significant number of special tests that would NEVER be done in any common medical practice. Thankfully, in an hour, he was asleep and awoke hours later. He spoke firmly and was annoyed at the event, but not too traumatized. He swore he would never have blood taken again.

His labs showed a number of flags:

  1. We all have Epstein Barr infections, but his blood showed a virus that was poorly controlled. I thought this meant his infection fighting system was weakened by something.
  2. He had antibodies of an autoimmune type, called ANA, and the tests with this did not show Lupus or other disorders that have positive ANA's.
  3. Five other tests showed inflammation in different spokes on the inflammation wheel.
  4. His antibodies that lined the skin and lungs and sinus cavities, the IgE antibodies, were slightly increased. But he had no history of asthma and only a small case of allergies according to an allergist 4 years earlier.

I was thinking this poor family has come from Colorado and seen a number of doctors and they want an answer. On the phone, ten days later, I learned he had been expelled from the school for very aggressive speech. His parents were both in significant pain. His mother cried and the father sounded as if someone had punched him in the belly and chest.

What do you say? I have worked with many folks who had no hope. Every person who has stayed in touch with me, with no exceptions, we have been able to find a solution to help them. Some people have improved, but not a homerun. If they left me on good terms and did not rob me, or abuse us, we would run them down and send new information of a cause I had missed a year earlier. We would routinely send a free lab slip to check for something I just learned about. No one has been missed who stayed in touch with me. And with every passing year of aggressive research outside basic psychiatry, we have no one we have not been able to help -- if they want the help.

I told them I only knew of about seven things that could create this lab pattern. We checked all seven.

One test was to have one of the teachers, a close friend of the mother's, go into Joseph's class when it was empty, and take samples of the room from places I had requested. These were sent to an advanced mold and bacteria laboratory, and the results showed some unusual findings:

*Penicillium
*Aspergillus
*Alternaria

These molds were further typed, since some varieties are safe and others are dangerous. We also looked at their quantity, to see if the numbers were higher inside the class than outside the building.

The tests showed that the room had some types that did make biotoxins and the concentration was far above any routine outdoor level. The toxins from these varieties were over eleven chemicals, and included types that influence brain function and behavior, in addition to damaging DNA and protein making, and causing immune system trouble.

Joseph was offered special medications that few physicians in the United States are familiar with to help remove his biotoxins, calm his inflammation genes, and stimulate the improvement of other problems. Most are fully covered by basic medication insurance plans. After six months he had clearly showed improvement and was getting B's in his new school. In nine months he had an A average and was "not a problem" according to his firm and strict teacher. He still craved attention, but he received plenty from his loving parents, and his teachers and coaches. He now heard, "Great test Joseph!" or "Thanks for helping me pass out the books Joseph." Or comments from the coaches such as, "Good placement Joseph" or "Great hit!"

******

I actually called his old school and mentioned his clear labs and the mold samples. The family and child gave me permission. I said I felt this was evidence that the building should be tested. I mentioned an expert evaluator. The new principle seemed annoyed by my call, and pretended briefly to be open to my comments. He really had no sense of who or what I was -- I was just an annoying pest to be flicked off his arm. I was not calling for me!

He seemed a little sincere. He mentioned that some water had come into some classrooms that past year, but that the county had come out and checked, and told him his water did not present a problem. The rugs and carpeting were intermittently moist for months according to the teacher who was the mother's friend. Special toxic indoor mold starts in 48 hours. Period.

I smiled sickly as he said this and recalled my research on water of a child with different behavioral problems. The county apparently checked the well water, and they missed arsenic, cadmium and mercury!

I think this new principle was probably sincere. Just sincerely wrong. Joseph's mother described different teachers in the old school as being tired, moody, reactive, struggling with allergies, foggy and gaining weight. I thought of all those kids and teachers likely still suffering in this previous school. I mailed off some articles to the mother's friend who was still teaching in the school, and who was foggy and gaining weight at twelve pounds every six months. She was eager to share these around the school. I hope they got the principles attention. Sometimes you have to repeat things ten times. He may also be foggy and has been exposed.

My Wishes For Your Best Health!

Dr. J

Some details above have been changed to protect privacy. This material has been read and approved by both parents and Joseph. They want others to learn from their challenge.



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