Expert Advice

Do My Son's School Problems Indicate ADHD?

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q
My child has severe problems in school. His teacher says he's always up and walking around the classroom. His class work is usually incomplete and he has to finish it as part of his homework. Should I have him checked for ADHD?
A
It certainly sounds like your son needs an evaluation. Attention issues could certainly be affecting his learning as well as his behavior. Contact Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD) at 1-800-233-4050 or go to their website at http://www.chadd.org. Someone there should be able to hook you up with a local group where you can get a good referral for evaluations.

In the meantime, however, I would also suggest having your son evaluated for learning problems by your local district. You have the legal right to request this free evaluation. Contact your school guidance counselor to get more information about how to get this done. If you have difficulty, contact the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (CCLD) at 1-888-GR8-MIND or go to their website at http://www.aboutld.org. They can guide you through the process.

If your son is already receiving services at the school, you should be getting regular updates about his progress. If he is not making progress under current conditions, it is the responsibility of the school to modify his program to give him the supports he needs to be successful. Both CHADD and CCLD should be able to help you in this matter.

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

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