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I have a six year old son and he is showing signs of having Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD). Although he really needs the help now and I realize that going through the process can take weeks even months to find the right medication. I realize that if I do choose to put him on medication it will take a while to find the correct brand and dosage. How can I help him concentrate with out having to put him through the process of getting him on medication?


Mark Viator Replied: The real answer is to try to do both. If your son has been properly diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, and medication was recommended by the professional, then begin that process. Yes, it is often a process of trial and error, but be positive about it and reassure your son that it will be beneficial.

With regards to other techniques that can help, the following are some suggestions:

1. Do not overwhelm. Try to break down things like chores, homework, etc.. into small, manageable steps. The more concrete you can be, the better.

2. Focus on the positive. Let him do things that he is good at doing. Build upon these and that will help ease some of the frustration he may feel when he can not concentrate.

3. Use accommodations if necessary in the classroom. Because of the ADD, he may need a little extra time for some classroom things. Hold him accountable, but make sure that he has a fair chance to complete assignments and tests.

I do want to mention again that you do need to be sure that your son has ADD. Bring him to a professional that can assess and diagnosis this properly. Do not assume that because he has some signs, he has ADD.

Please feel free to contact me (simply look up my bio)and you can find out how to reach me. I would be happy to send you a complimentary copy of my workbook on ADD/ADHD called "No More Excuses" - It provides numerous management techniques for ADD/ADHD.

Good Luck
Mark D. Viator, Ph.D., L.P.C.
Posted On 2010-06-06 18:26:56
Jack Marcellus Replied: Please only consider medication as a last resort. Consider having a professional evaluation. I screen children every day who exhibit "ADD-like" symptoms. The truth is there are usually underlying physical or cognitive barriers creating these issues. I would be more than happy to provide a screening/consult for you. The eyes play a pivotal role in a child's school life. Many times the muscles around the child's eyes are not properly developed which inhibit their ability to attend to tasks like reading. This becomes a major source of frustration and can set off changes in behavior. Of course many other factors, balance, mid-line, perception and cognitive skills may also contribute. Reading is so foundational to learning that if visual stamina is an issue, it can create problems across the board.
Posted On 2008-03-21 17:02:48
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