While meeting with parents to discuss the concerns they have regarding their  children’s struggling, numerous theories and explanations are often offered as to why children do what they do.

Typically, the theories are linked to medical explanations or what I refer to as “disorder thinking.”

Let’s listen to some recent statements:

After starting on Concerta, George seemed to be playing better with other kids, but now no one seems to want to play with him again.  Maybe we should try Adderall.”

“My daughter is refusing to do her work –  we thought the Lexipro was working.”

We don’t understand, we adjusted the Vyvanse, but he is still aggressive with his younger sister.”

The school said Michael was very disrespectful and rude this week – maybe his Intuniv needs to be changed.  Or maybe it’s his ‘sensory’ problems again.”

“Marla’s so unmotivated.  She just wants to do nothing but go on TikTok.  It must be the medication wearing off.”

And the beat goes on.

Things I don’t hear very much:

I know my kid is manipulating us when he avoids his homework to go play video games.”

“I don’t see her showing empathy with her friends –  she can be very insensitive.”

“Maybe the school is not the problem. Perhaps we need to look at how we are dealing with him at home.”

“Even if you don’t like doing the work in school, it’s not ok to refuse to do your work and say whatever you feel like. It isn’t a choice – you don’t have to like it.”.

“Zach never shares with other children and no one wants to invite him to their house or to a birthday party.  He only wants it his way.

 Takeaway Point

The point is not that children may not have certain disorders or possibly benefit from medication when appropriate, but double-check your hypotheses and theories.

There may be other things at work.

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Questions or comments email Dr. Selznick:  rselznick615@gmail.com.