In third grade, Mark's teacher threw up her hands and said, "Enough!"
In one morning, Mark had jumped out of his seat to sharpen his
pencil six times, each time accidentally charging into other children's
desks and toppling books and papers. He was finally sent to the
principal's office when he began kicking a desk he had overturned.
In sheer frustration, his teacher called a meeting with his parents
and the school psychologist.
But even after they developed a plan for managing Mark's behavior
in class, Mark showed little improvement. Finally, after an extensive
assessment, they found that Mark had an attention deficit that
included hyperactivity. He was put on a medication called Ritalin
to control the hyperactivity during school hours. Although Ritalin
failed to help, another drug called Dexedrine did. With a psychologist's
help, his parents learned to reward desirable behaviors, and to
have Mark take "time out" when he became too disruptive. Soon
Mark was able to sit still and focus on learning.
Because Lisa wasn't disruptive in class, it took a long time
for teachers to notice her problem. Lisa was first referred to
the school evaluation team when her teacher realized that she
was a bright girl with failing grades. The team ruled out a learning
disability but determined that she had an attention deficit, ADHD
without hyperactivity. The school psychologist recognized that
Lisa was also dealing with depression.
Lisa's teachers and the school psychologist developed a treatment
plan that included participation in a program to increase her
attention span and develop her social skills. They also recommended
that Lisa receive counseling to help her recognize her strengths
and overcome her depression.
When Henry's son entered kindergarten, it was clear that he was
going to have problems sitting quietly and concentrating. After
several disruptive incidents, the school called and suggested
that his son be evaluated for ADHD. As the boy was assessed, Henry
realized that he had grown up with the same symptoms that specialists
were now finding in his son. Fortunately, the psychologist knew
that ADHD can persist in adults. She suggested that Henry be evaluated
by a professional who worked with adults. For the first time,
Henry was correctly diagnosed and given Ritalin to aid his concentration.
What a relief! All the years that he had been unable to concentrate
were due to a disorder that could be identified, and above all,
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