Studies on the Diagnosis of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Yet with all this abounding experience, this deity known, I shall dare
to discover some province, some gift of my own.
-- Robert Browning
Parents entrust us with their most precious possession, their children. When problems develop that we have been led to believe are beyond our ability to deal with, we either refer them to other professionals or just fail to provide any support, as is often the case with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD). AD/HD has typically been defined through a medical model, and therefore, diagnosed by a medical doctor. In fact, teachers have been cautioned against even suggesting to a parent that a child may have AD/HD. As a result, teachers unintentionally broaden the communication gap between themselves and parents of children exhibiting AD/HD characteristics. At a time when parents need our support and guidance the most, we are unable to give it.
It is not our place to diagnose a child with AD/HD, but it is our job to identify specific academic and social difficulties displayed by any of our students. Only through a thorough understanding of the risk factors identified in Chapters 2 and 3, under causes and comorbidity, can we prepare ourselves to meet this challenge. There are many interventions that we can put in place prior to a student being labeled AD/HD by a physician. Some of these preintervention strategies may preclude the necessity of a formal identification. After all, the primary value in a label is the services or interventions that come as a result. Medication is only one possible intervention, and it should not be used as the only treatment. It would behoove