New Perspectives - Apr,
1998 Issue #51
ATTENTION DEFICIT DISORDER
by: Barbara T. Posner, M.A.
Katonah, New York
(The following is all quoted from her brochure. Her practice
is based on helping parents through each stage mentioned here.)
Learning that your child has attention deficit disorder or learning disabilities
can be overwhelming. Where do I begin? What is involved in making a diagnosis? What do the test results mean? What does the school
need to know? What do I tell my child?
Navigating the Mental Health Profession: There is no simple test or diagnostic
procedure that can pinpoint A.D.D. Diagnosis is a complex, time-consuming process that must be directed by a team of experienced professionals.
It is important for a parent to rule out other possible causes for the child’s symptoms. A full evaluation often includes: Family
History. Developmental History. Teacher and Parent Observation Diaries. Physical exam, Hearing and Vision Tests. Educational and Neuropsychological
Bridging the Gap from Evaluation to Recommendation: Treatment is also an
interdisciplinary effort, requiring ongoing communication among members of the treatment team — parents, doctors, psychologists, therapists
and teachers, among others. Interventions may include medication, as well as environmental, educational, and behavioral approaches.
Parent Support and Training: Home life for a child with special needs can
be challenging. Schedules are difficult to maintain. Sibling relationships are stressful. Mealtimes feel like skirmishes, and family
outings seem impossible. At its worst, the marriage may be strained. Enlisting School and Teacher Support: The school environment
is, of course, a major concern for the parent of a child with learning difficulties and A.D.D. It is critical to decide what classroom
setting will be most beneficial, ranging from a regular classroom, to Resource Room support, to special education programs in either
a public or private school. Options include: Classroom management accommodations for mainstream teachers. Tutoring. Resource Room.
Special Education and BOCES programs. Alternative programs. Private schools. College programs for students with learning difficulties.
Enlisting Community Support: The child with A.D.D. often has difficulty establishing
and maintaining friendships. After- school activities, summer camp, and organized sports may also pose problems. Parents need to advocate
for the child in these less-structured situations.
The parent of a special needs child often feels isolated and bewildered.
Together we can maximize your effectiveness as a parent. Our goal is to create parent advocates for special children, who just happen
to have special needs.
Copyright © 1998, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced
without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)