submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net
Penny (not her real name), a very pleasant fourth grader was struggling with attention and academics since kindergarten. Her parents’ concern for her inability to learn was ongoing for several years. She was not making progress in reading and math, and she appeared to drift in and out of attention during class and homework.
Her parents were frustrated with getting help from the school who appeared to be ignoring the real problems. They were providing help for their child privately, but Penny’s struggles were growing with each year.
Penny’s situation was somewhat complex. She received a full neuropsychological evaluation that included a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) as part of her evaluation for ADHD. Following this assessment, Penny began a course of neurofeedback for attention problems and she immediately began to improve.
That evaluation also identified underlying processing problems related to her learning difficulties. Referrals to specialists are proving fruitful in helping with her additional remediation. Remediation from other specialists is necessary to help with Penny’s learning problems, but she is definitely on her way to making progress academically.
Schools are not always helpful in identifying problems and providing appropriate remediation for specific learning needs. Despite recourse to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), a law that requires schools to identify and remediate learning needs in children, parents often find themselves battling the school for help.
Parents need to know their rights and alternatives to seeking remediation while they provide for their child’s educational needs. Neurofeedback provides the most effective remediation for ADHD, a modality that is superior to stimulant medication.
In Penny’s case, her problems were more than attention, so she was able to access comprehensive help for her success.