What comes to mind when you read the following about a 10 year old?

• Trouble focusing
• Doesn’t stay on task
• Easily distracted
• Can’t retain material

Of course, you would be thinking ADHD.

My problem with stopping there (as many professionals do – ok, the M.D.’s) is that it is rarely the end of the story.

What would you say about the same child if his answer to the question as to how “winter and summer were alike” answered, “I don’t know…this one’s hard…you turn up the heat in the winter and in the summer it’s already hot.”

I’d be thinking, something like, “With school struggling, it’s rarely to never straightforward and it’s almost always a soup pot of different variables and this kid is going to need a lot of help with reading comprehension – he’s confused.”

In addition, this same child when asked how he was getting along with other kids in school answered, “I’m not, ” and then proceeded to tell me ways that he felt others were making fun of him.  From what he told me, he’s going to need a lot of confidence building.

While I believe that this child will be helped by stimulant medication, it’s rarely just one solution that is the answer.  There are other areas often overlooked with the simple labeling process. 

It’s rarely a simple brew.