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Out of Control at School
Q: My nephew is having behavioral problems with his teacher. The teacher claims that he is a manipulative child. My sister and I tried to solve this problem by calling a meeting with the teacher and the school principal. We also asked for a CORE test to see if my nephew can be properly diagnosed, so we can find some type of help. The school staff isn't helpful at all. My nephew doesn't stay still in class, he always want to be first. He is very impatient and doesn't listen when someone tries to teach him something. Even his doctor says he's hyper. Do you think there's a place where my sister and I can get help for him?
A: Start with your nephew's pediatrician. He or she can discuss possible medications that may help your nephew with self-control. The pediatrician or the school counselor can also refer you to therapists in your community who can work with your sister and your nephew on positive behavior management techniques.
The school system offers services for exceptional children and your nephew may qualify for some of them. The staff at your nephew's school or in the exceptional children's office at the school system's central office can inform you about what services are available. Your nephew may qualify for services for children with behavior problems or for children who are "other health impaired" due to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Many communities also offer programs through private schools for children with behavioral problems. Your nephew's pediatrician or the school staff can help you know where he may fit in.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.