As a parent, you are aware when your child is struggling, but those struggles might also be mistaken for ADD/ADHD, laziness or just plain behavior problems.
Is it ADHD?
Unfortunately, there has been a growing trend to use the ADD/ADHD diagnosis when a student is having trouble in school. Although some children may have chemical imbalances that can be considered ADD/ADHD, this label tends to be assigned too easily. In most cases, difficulties in attention and energy are actually symptoms of other learning challenges and not the cause.
An attention problem should be suspected if:
- ✔ Your child has poor study or work habits
- ✔ You child fidgets or squirms excessively
- ✔ You child constantly interrupts in class or in conversations
- ✔ Your child is careless
- ✔ Your child often loses things
- ✔ Your child takes too long to finish assignments
- ✔ Your child is forgetful
- ✔ Your child has trouble with organization or priorities
- ✔ Your child fails to hand in homework or classroom
- ✔ Your child interrupts often
- ✔ Your child gets distracted by noise or movement
- ✔ Your child has difficulty waiting for his/her turn
- ✔ Your child constantly has to be moving
It is important for you as a parent to realize your child is probably not doing these things on purpose. Kids who show these signs do not yet have the ability to tell the difference between paying attention and losing attention.
It’s not their fault!
These symptoms occur when a child has weak underlying processing skills and cannot intentionally control attention. They are not being lazy or silly. Actually most of the students we work with say that if they could pay attention, they would. They so badly want to be successful in class, and try very hard, but paying attention is such a difficult task when they do not have the proper tools. Learning challenges that can co-exist or may cause ADD/ADHD type symptoms include Central Auditory Processing Disorder, Dyslexia, primary reflexes, weak processing skills, and Language Disorders. These challenges occur more frequently in children who are considered ADD/ADHD. These students also have a decrease in success with academic skills like reading, spelling, and math. The truth is, the learning disabilities and processing skills deficits that are the root causes of attention problems can often be remediated.
What can be done?
Attention deficits can be addressed in several different ways depending on contributing factors. Inside-out approaches, which are approaches that deal with food sensitivity, primary reflexes, or auditory processing, and outside-in approaches, that work with dyslexia, weak processing skills, and attention training.
What is attention training?
Attention deficits can be improved by directly exercising specific aspects of attention. This includes having students work on tasks with increasingly greater attention demands. Repeated activation and stimulation of the brain systems responsible for attention can improve cognitive capacity as well as neuronal activity. Our attention training system will address all four types of attention: sustained, selective, alternating, and divided.
The Learning Skills Pyramid is the foundation of successful remediation. If you focus on just parts of the problem, therapy will not always bring about the desired results. You’ll be left with missing pieces in your program. And that’s where HOLS comes in. In order to identify the contributing factors, a Functional Academic and Learning Skills Evaluation must be administered to determine the source of the missing pieces. Only then can a comprehensive program be designed that will address your child’s weaknesses in developmental order.