To Medicate Or Not To Medicate Is The Big Question
An ADHD diagnosis is particularly prone to this knee-jerk response from professionals who are so convinced these children have a genetic disorder that they have called off the search for a better understanding of the underlying conditions. Our society has become conditioned to trust the physicians and jump to a pill for the ‘quick fix.’
Of course, conventional medicine is a powerful tool, and certainly the best place to start if you have a broken leg or a heart attack. But it falls short against a more nuanced disorder like ADHD. Parents will be told that ADHD is complex in nature, possibly a result of genetic, psychological, and other unknown factors. In general, however, allopathic doctors do not address the wide range of physical symptoms often shared by kids with this disorder
A Remedial School
More and more parents are being given the recommendation to take their child to a remedial school. There are a variety of reasons for this, from the child needing more attention than the teacher is willing or able to give, to the child having a diagnosable learning disorder. Sometimes this recommendation is given because the school does not have the in-house resources to remediate the child’s skill deficits. One of the problems with this increasing number of recommendations is that there simply aren’t enough remedial schools to accommodate the rise in children requiring extra assistance, especially when a parent wants a certain standard of education and environment for their child. Some children may not need to face this dilemma. When caught at the right time, some difficulties that would normally necessitate remedial schooling can be remediated in the afternoons or during school time.
Most people think of articulation issues when they think of speech therapy. However, speech therapy is also sometimes recommended when there is a deficit in receptive (understanding of) and expressive (use of) language, and when those deficits impact the child’s academic performance. As a child progresses through foundation phase, the demand on their vocabulary and semantic skills increases. Applied Behaviour Analysis takes its foundation from an approach called Verbal Behaviour (developed by B.F. Skinner), and then moves into skills of executive functioning such as planning once the building blocks of language are in place.
In our decreasingly active and outside world of play, where electronic devices reign supreme, more and more children are not developing the gross, visual, and especially fine motor skills needed to set the stage for academic success. Applied Behaviour Analysis takes its developmental approach to motor skill development and applies it systematically as it is needed in the classroom setting.
Help with ADHD
ADHD is the name given to a set of up to seventeen symptoms, all of which can be addressed through Applied Behaviour Analysis. For example, under the inattentive subset of symptoms, one item is “often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities” – This skill is addressed through a technique called “shaping” in a lesson called “sustained attention” and involves practicing sustaining attention to a task for incrementally longer periods of time. Under the hyperactive-impulsive subset of symptoms, one item is “often blurts out answers before questions are completed”. This skill is also addressed through shaping in a lesson called “vocal inhibition”.