Q. My daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD  (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ODD (Oppositional Authority Disorder) since the age of 3. She has been treated with Ritalin, Clonedine and more recently Adderall, Serzone and Depakote.

She has always experienced extreme irritation, anger and depression and has recently been diagnosed with Cyclothymic Disorder and her psychiatrist has recommended residential treatment. However, her meds have not been altered or changed.

What are the standard methods of treatment for an adolescent? What are the commonly used medications used for treatment?

Additionally, as she has had many episodes of rage, anger and depression and as the result of an extreme episode of anger where she was both physically and emotionally out of control and claimed to have been physically abused, she was taken into protective custody. (She currently is living with her biological grandmother who is also a certified foster parent).

The state determined immediately that the allegations of child abuse were non-founded, however she remains the care of the State (I have voluntary agreed to this as I cannot care for her in my home and my HMO did cover extended treatment). As she is represented by the public defenders office and she has learned of her potential placement in residential treatment and she has told her attorney that she does not want to be put into treatment. In an effort to represent his client (my daughter) the attorney is now opposing the recommendation by her psychiatrist and will petition the court once an appropriate placement is determined.

I believe that this is in fact interfering with her treatment. How would I find out if this in un-lawful? My attorney has addressed this issue in hopes that the judge with decline the request.


  A. This is one of those cases where you get a second opinion. Good God, if what is being done is not working, you try something else. She needs a medication change. It may not work, but I do not see how things could get much worse. Get a second opinion.