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Simple test for ADD????? Just a theory

Nic Cave-Lynch pppnic at actrix.gen.nz
Sun Nov 19 17:14:18 EST 1995

>   You want to check out everything you can rather than just accepting a 
>   "pop" diagnosis.  A friend of mine was told by her son's fourth grade 
>   teacher at a Los Angeles public elemntary school that he would not be 
>   allowed to come to school unless he had a Ritalin Rx for what *she* 
>   thought was ADD.

>   The principal backed the teacher up.  My friend went to the school board 
>   and pointed out that *no* physician or psychiatrist had been involved in 
>   this decision - that her son was being prohibited from attending public 
>   school based on a diagnosis and prescription recommendation made by an 
>   elementary school teacher.  The school board censured both the principal 
>   and the teacher.

>   Things had gotten bad enough that the family didn't want their son to go 
>   back to that school - transferred him and found that the *real* problem 
>   was dyslexia which was then appropriately dealt with.

>   He's doing fine now, although reading still requires extra effort for 
>   him.

>   Be careful!

>   Della

>Your report of your friend's experience is troubling.  It is well
>known (to experts, that is) that ADHD is a diagnosis of exclusion and
>that many other problems should be considered first, including LD and

>But it is also almost unbelievable to me that an LASD school principal
>would behave that way. In this age of school psychologists, special
>education, teacher sensitivity training, etc., why would a principal
>not follow "correct procedure" and urge an expert assessment?
>Teachers (or principals) who diagnose are absolutely acting out of

>I suspect you haven't accurately related all the facts in this matter.

>Your characterization of ADHD as a "pop" diagnosis is hurtful and
>inaccurate.  That's a very disparaging way of putting it.

>- John Z.

>John Zuckerman
>Indiana University

Something very similar is happening here in NZ. A private school with an 
Excellent reputation in the Wellington area recently refused a place to a boy 
on the basis of the principal's judgement (based on a single meeting of an 
interview while the kid was convalescent after flu) that he was hyperactive 
and wouldn't be considered for admission without a prescription. He's not even 
remotely hyperactive, by the way. So Yes, I do believe it can happen. Not 
everyone follows the letter of the law, you know - they rely on us being too 
cowed or worried about creating an unpleasant situation to do anything.

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