Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Q&A With Ablechild's Sheila Matthews-Gallo
As this blog approaches its 10 year anniversary (April 6) I thought it would be fitting to give something back to those that have helped me along my journey. Over the coming weeks I'll be publishing a series of Q&A's from people that have been a part of my journey.
Today, I start with Sheila Matthews-Gallo, (pictured above) co-founder of Ablechild, an organization that works against the labeling and medicating of children.
I first met Sheila in Los Angeles in 2011. We had lunch together, put the world to rights and, in general, just chit-chatted the afternoon away. Later that year I worked with her on a project in which we intended to expose the foster care system in Connecticut, where Sheila and her family reside. The results of that project, Billion Dollar Drug Company Law Firm Restructures Connecticut Welfare System, can be viewed here.
I've got a lot of time for people like Sheila. As an individual she has a heart of gold and a passion to match. Her organisation, Ablechild, is the result of that passion.
Ablechild has been instrumental in trying to get the medical notes of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza released into the public domain ~ despite meeting many brick walls Ablechild continues on its mission for these records to be released.
Sheila isn't afraid to tackle tough issues, she has, in the past, stood up to congress in the US, delivering quite exceptional testimony. See her passionate plea made at The Victim Privacy & The Public's Right-To-Know Task Force privacy panel meeting here.
The world needs more people like Sheila Matthews-Gallo, she's a warrior!
Over the coming weeks I'll be reaching out to other individuals and organisations who have been a major part of my ten years of blogging.
Here's the Q&A's
Full name: Sheila Matthews-Gallo
Location: Westport, Connecticut
Q: Can you tell me why you created Ablechild?
A: To ensure that every parent has the right to informed consent regarding psychiatric products and services. To fully understand that there is no medical test to confirm that a child has a mental disorder, called ADHD. To ensure that parents are provided alternatives to behavioral concerns most of all educational solutions in speech and language. Behavior is tied directly to how one communicates.
Q: Sheila, your website "Ablechild" seems to have become a flagship in seeking the truth with regard to the Sandy Hook massacre, You've built yourself a reputation as being forceful and determined. Can you tell me a bit about that?
A: I met hundreds of mothers along my journey with AbleChild. One of the very first mothers I met was from Sandy Hook, Newtown. I encountered this mother during a visit to the Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut in a line to testify to support a bill that would prohibit the state and schools from force drugging a child against their families wishes. Her child was, at the time, in state custody and her child was being given psychiatric drugs against her wishes.
We stayed in touch over the years, but it would be the massacre in Sandy Hook, Newtown, CT that would united us and drive me to find out if Adam Lanza was receiving psychiatric drug products prior to the killings.
The day of the Sandy Hook massacre, I received a call from this mother who lived less than a mile away from the school in the center of Sandy Hook. I was asked to come and visit the area and find out if Adam Lanza was another coerced psychiatric drug user. As far as being forceful or determined, I can only tell you there is too much at risk not to find out if the psychiatric treatment was a contributing factor and to hold those who provided the treatment accountable. Afterall, our liberty is at stake. The psychiatric industry is pushing mandatory government mental health. Is this what we want?
I have to say, upfront, I knew of the corruption within the state regarding psychiatric drugs and coercion of parents. I was a strong advocate against the state of Connecticut when it came to psychiatric coercion. I had personal experience trying to receive help from the state when I was faced with school psychiatric coercion and no help arrived. I was also working on anti-psychiatric coercion on a national level with two other school massacres, Red Lake, MN and Virginia Tech. AbleChild submitted testimony in the aftermath of both those mass shootings when the psychiatric industry was pushing for mandatory mental health screening using these growing mass killings as the catalyse when if fact we have no idea if their products and services are actually contributing factors to the mass killings.
Q: What has Ablechild done in as far as trying to get Adam Lanza’s medical notes?
A. We went before the Freedom of Information Commission, Ablechild vs. Chief Medical Examiner. We attended every public hearing and voiced our requested, wrote op-eds that appeared locally and nationally. We testified and met with lawmakers for over 3 years, we are still without the records.
Q: On average, how much time do you spend with work that relates to Ablechild?
A. Wow, I never really calculated it all up. At least 2 hours daily, but some days with capitol visits, writing, calls, working with families, and summer internships it could produce a full schedule. It’s a part of me now.
Q: Given that the content of the Sandy Hook massacre is pretty dark, what do you do to switch off at night?
A. Well tonight, lol, I am doing this Q&A. No, I enjoy my family life, my home, friends, movies, traveling, paddle boarding. I just got my boating license. I love the water.
Q: Have you ever considered writing a book about your journey?
A. Yes, but I am too busy living it. I want to see how it ends.
Q: What do you say to people who believe that antidepressants are safe and effective?
A. Do your homework, seek alternatives.
Q: Back in 2011 I had the pleasure of working with you and together we researched and wrote an article that linked a non-profit children’s advocacy group, with assets over $15 million  with nationally-renowned mass tort and class action defense law firms, to the Connecticut DCF. What was the general feedback you received about that article?
A. Amazing. I think it really spelled out the psychiatric industry hold on the foster care system and the front groups claiming to be “child savers.” I think it stemmed the called I received from Diane Sawyer’s team to do the one year long investigation into the drugging of foster care system on a national level. AbleChild contributed to that investigation.
Q: You are quite a humble person in real life - for the benefit of this Q&A can you tell me about the awards both you and Ablechild have won?
A. I have received two human rights awards an individual award and group award from the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights and I also received an Award from the Law Firm of Jonathan Emord that was unbelievable, in honor of George Washington, The Freedom of Informed Choice Award. (See here)
Q: For you, what is the most frustrating part about running Ablechild?
A. The lack of financial resources and time I have to give.
Q: Where do you see Ablechild in 10 years time?
A. Here for parents and children, for all of us.
Q: Finally Sheila, some personal questions...
1. What book are you currently reading?
A. Im-be-ciles, The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck, by Adam Cohen
2. What was the last CD you listened to (in full)?
A very new artist, from New Hampshire, Brook Hubbard. Snow in the Sunshine is my favorite on his CD. I listen to it over and over again.
3. What is the best movie you have seen this year?
A. Risen. The story of the roman soldier and the hunt for Jesus’ body.
4. What country would you most like to visit?
5. If you had the choice of being either a defence or prosecution lawyer, which would you choose and why?
A. Shouldn’t a really good lawyer be able to do both? I would want to be a really good lawyer. But, to answer your question, I think a prosecution lawyer, they have to make the case. I think that might be a more secure position rather than defending a position. But, mostly the state prosecutes and the public defends, I probably am more of a defender. Clearly from my answer, I can’t decide. I wish I went to law school.
Ablechild Official Website
Ablechild Facebook Page
About the Author :
Bob Fiddaman has been writing about the dangers of antidepressants since 2006. In 2011 he was presented with two human rights awards from the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.