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APD, ADHD, and Anxiety
Q: My 8-year-old son has an auditory processing disorder, mild ADHD, and anxiety. He has an IQ difference of 21 points with his performance scores being higher. He is currently being followed by a child psychiatrist, who is treating him with Wellbutrin, and a psychologist for social skills training. He is doing well in school getting, mostly A's and B's. He seems to have a lot of problems with writing. His sentences don't always have a logical order and he can't seem to get the idea of a beginning, middle, and end. He also has difficulty relaying information verbally, having to stop frequently to "think" about what he wants to say. Is this problem related to the above diagnoses, or is this something else?
A: Many children who have ADHD also have accompanying learning problems. Children who have auditory processing disorders may have other difficulties with language. Has your son received a comprehensive evaluation that includes a thorough academic and language evaluation? That should certainly be the first step in determining both the causes of the difficulties he is having plus how his needs should be addressed.
How is your son being taught writing? Some writing programs work better with children who need more explicit, direct instruction in writing skills. My favorite writing program for children who need that kind of systematic instruction was developed by Dr. Judith Hochman, the former head of the Windward School, a nationally renowned school for bright children with learning disabilities in New York. You can get more information about the book, Basic Writing Skills, by contacting the Windward Teacher Training Institute at http://www.windwardtti.org or 914-949-1279.
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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.