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ADHD and Joint Custody
Q: My ex-husband and I have been divorced for six years and I have always been the custodial parent. Our sons are now 9 and 13 years old. Both boys have ADHD. My ex-husband is filing for joint custody. Because ADHD children thrive on consistency and structure, I'm not sure joint custody is in my sons' best interest. I've been searching the public library and the Internet and cannot find any information to help with my decision. Any suggestions?
A: I would suggest that you, your former husband, and both boys consult with a mental health professional who is very familiar with the challenges confronting children with ADHD. Many children with divorced parents do quite well with joint custody. The thing that is important is that both parents have a consistent approach to parenting.
You can contact Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD) at 1-800-233-4050 or go to their website at www.chadd.org to find a branch of this organization in your community. Someone there should be able to put you in touch with a professional who can help you make this difficult decision.
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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.