Dear Dr. Donohue missed the boat

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Today's paper ran a column by Dr. Donohue that I disagreed with. I am sticking my neck out and writing a letter to him. There is so much to cover, I had a hard time restraining myself, but decided to keep it short (incl the 3 websites I recommended, when there are so many more) because there is a better chance he will read it and publish something.
    I couldn't find the link to the column online, but you can get the gist of it from my letter.

    August 20, 2010

    Dr. Paul G. Donohue
    “Dear. Dr. Donohue”
    P.O. Box 536475
    Orlando, Fla 32853-6475

    Dear Dr. Donohue:

    Recently your syndicate ran a question from the grandmother of a 21-yr-old who seemed depressed, had no ambitions, and had the social skills of a 13-yr-old. He was diagnosis’d with ADHD when he was younger.
    You agreed that he seemed depressed and recommended county services.
    I think you missed the boat.
    Seldom does ADHD present by itself, It is often a symptom of something bigger, such as bipolar disorder or Asperger’s. Given that this 21-yr-old had the social skills of a 13-yr-old, I’d says he has Asperger’s.
    He could still be given an antidepressant, but needs social skills training above all. It’s a shame that some parents and grandparents don’t do early intervention and that so many doctors miss this diagnosis because so many of the kids are higher functioning and the doctors are looking for standard textbook descriptions.
    I would have liked more information from the grandmother, such as what he was like as a child, and how he deals with transitions.
    Could you please run a similar letter and discuss Asperger’s and how ADHD is more of an adjective than a stand-alone diagnosis? You could also mention that a detailed exam by a neuropsychologist is necessary, and that there are numerous websites that are helpful to parents, including,, and

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree- depression could be there but I seriously doubt it's the only thing going on and might even be the result of not having the other diagnosis treated. The lack of social skills is a big red flag and wouldn't be caused by depression. Don't be disappointed though if nothing comes from this- I am not familiar with this column but have become very discouraged at many so-called profs attitudes about this kind of thing.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, but it's worth a try.
    Dr. Donohue is pretty good at orthopedic issues.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    That is an excellent letter. Please let us know if he bites!
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thanks. I will. :)
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Terry - do you mean pediatric?

  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    No. Orthopedic.
    I noticed several columns that were good, because he prescribed exercise and electrical therapy, rather than steroid injections. A lot of MDs go straight for the drugs. As my husband is a chiro, drugs are a last choice. ;)
    Dr. Donohue must be a GP with-a knack for writing. Don't know how he got into the newspaper Q & A thing.
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    It is good. The only thing I would have added is since you listed BiPolar (BP) is instead of only listing us and Autism sites I would have listed maybe CABF or NAMI.
    You don't want to push one diagnosis over another.
    Good for you though. I want to write letters at times but have to stop myself at times... gets too heated! LOL
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, darn, I should have waited to mail it.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    heck just the fact that you might make the Dr or more people aware is awesome!