Most struggling children that I know have what I have refer to as a “soup pot of variables” interacting to a greater or lesser degree depending upon a variety circumstances.
You know what I mean with the “soup pot.” In the pot, there can be a helping of reading problems, with a dash of inattention, mixed around with a teaspoon of oppositional behavior, and a tendency to melt down when things are not going well.
Parents will wander the landscape looking for solutions and much depends on whose professional doorstep that they land on in terms of what they hear regarding their child and the solutions offered.
Quite often, they will get “the diagnosis.” Medication may be recommended as a result. On some level, the parents may feel some relief that they, “finally got to the bottom of it.”
If parents go forward with the medication, the child may start focusing a bit better. Some improvements are immediately noticed which helps to turn down the household heat.
Before long, though, the rest of the soup pot starts to bubble up again:
- Tantrums emerge around homework time.
- Demands are made to play video games until late at night.
- Hatred and resistance of reading (spelling and writing) are expressed.
- Constant arguing takes place, especially when things are not going the way the child wants it to go.
This “soup pot” is always very challenging and it is one of the reasons I consistently push back on the view that we “got the diagnosis.”
So, what’s needed?
Each child and each family circumstance is unique. Ask yourself what’s your child’s particular “pot” and start peeling off the layers one at a time, rather than focus on “the diagnosis.”
For example, specialized tutoring and approaches to address challenging behaviors may be what you need to be doing in a “next-step” thinking mentality.
You also may want to consider having “adivsors” (professional and personal) on your team, so they can help you peel off the layers.
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