Irene Worthington Baron


Letter to the Editor

15 September 2015

Kristin Ozelli, Managing Editor
Letter to the Editor
Scientific American Mind

Dear Ms. Ozelli,

I would like to address and comment on the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN MIND  article “My Son Has a Disorder That May Not Exist” by Melinda W. Moyer in the September/October 2015 magazine issue.

I am a former teacher certified in Ohio to teach all high school sciences. One year the middle school teachers warned us about the next freshman class. They discussed how disruptive and difficult to teach almost every student was. Teachers from all grades told stories about the hardships endured beginning when those children entered first grade. Every grade they went through left teachers feeling frustrated and ready to retire by mid-semester. The horrors within every classroom of that graduating class were recounted with dismay as the students moved through the school system.

In dreaded anticipation of having to teach these unmanageable children, I mentioned the situation to a local ER doctor/friend and asked what might have caused such a phenomena. To have students across the district at that same age affected with a behavior and learning disorder was most unusual.

The doctor asked, “How old are these children?” When I replied, she counted back to the year they would have been born. “That’s it,” she said. “That was the year we began having massive amounts of drug overdosed young adults of child bearing age admitted.” At my amazed expression, she went on to explain. “Those children were most likely conceived, went through gestation, and were born to parents high on drugs.”

Knowing enough about growth of the human from embryo to fetus to child, I realized that during the critical formation of their brains and bodies, the drugs must have created havoc. I couldn’t imagine how, with every critical dividing cell making up the different parts of the body and the brain, that the mitosis cell division would have been normal.

The doctor shook her head and continued, “There are probably so many different things wrong with those children, their doctors won’t even know what to test for.”

I agreed. If the growing fetuses were nurtured through gestation with massive body damaging drugs, who knows what effects would result? Every child might have a different type of damage. No wonder doctors may not be able to recognize any one “sensory processing disorder.” There are so many possible disorders of babies caused by parents using heroin and other strong drugs that the disorder symptoms may all be different.

Imagine a doctor having children within their practice being brought in, each with a different mental processing disorder. The doctor would try to organize symptoms and data to make a logical conclusion. Such a classification of the multitude of disorders won’t happen. Every child may have some section of their brain damaged different from all the other children. There would be no specific solution to include all the varieties of brain damage.

So, how would such disorders be treated? That answer will have to be addressed by persons knowing more about the mind than myself.

I also ask the question, what about all the chemicals found additionally in food and water? How can those chemicals affect the brains or glial and neural processing of children?

Except for a better education given our alert and caring populous, there is no easy answer.  Perhaps education of the dangers may lead citizens to prefer clean food and beverages not tainted with chemicals.

Due to increased use of drugs similar in potency to heroin, whether legal or illegal, I think the growing number of brain damaged children from chemicals will become accepted.  Will such a situation create a growing crime rate as these children age? That’s a frightening aspect of accelerated drug and environmental chemical use?

Instead of calling this a “sensory processing disorder” as mentioned in the article, perhaps the disorder should be labeled “Drug/Chemical Induced Processing Disorder.”  



Irene Baron

This letter addresses what should be a true concern for every citizen of our country.

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