One of my favorite movies is UP. A secondary character is Dug the dog. Dug is cute but he has some attention problems as do the other dogs. One of my favorite scenes is the airplane attack. During the course of the DOGFIGHT, someone yells out squirrel and all the dogs start crashing their airplanes. To be honest that is what happens to a lot of our kids that have attention problems. They have too many airplanes in the air and start crashing them. Our intention is to safely teach our kids how to navigate socially and academically without too many crashes.

I have many children that have learning problems and although all of them do not have ADD, As many as 10 to 20 percent may. There are many people, educators, coaches and parents who are skeptical about the diagnosis. There are also many who want a quick fix to a child’s educational problem and wish to have the child placed on medication. Keep in mind that not all children who are having education problems fit into ADD or LD categories.

First it is important to understand how a child learns. What is a reasonable achievement level for the child. Does your child have ADD? Does he have a learning disability? What can you do? You have a lot of questions. It is hard to find good references. Dr Patricia Quinn is a Developmental Pediatrician who evaluates and helps parents help their children.

Some schools have an Educational Psychologist who can facilitate testing to try to determine the educational needs of your child. The school can form a team to help the school meet your child’s educational needs.

Your child’s needs may require special accommodation, an altered course load, preferential seating, a quiet space for testing, even more time for testing. Those are all things that can be done. Each child is different and each child’s skill set and coping skills are different. We all want our children to succeed. We want them to be themselves and not a mini of one of the parents.

I guess I am old school. Although I had many opportunities and pushed myself to excel in my classes and sports that may not be what is best for our kids. A lot of my patients are in accelerated learning programs and take part in many sports and activities year round. That is terrific and I enjoy hearing about their achievements. I also do not like the anxiety, the depression, the injuries and the fatigue.

I want my families and my kids to take the opportunity to smell the roses and appreciate their achievements. Not all Olympians are happy and many of the participants in the special olympics smile from ear to ear when they finish their event.

Be all that you can be but make sure that you and your child enjoy the journey.

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