> 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
> Be careful!
>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.
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.