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These are the same teachers who bring the parents of any unruly child in for a conference and put pressure on them to put their children on stimulant medications. It is also true that many classrooms have more children than the teacher can possibly handle, and that some of these children are frighteningly violent and exhibit an antipathy to learning. However, other teachers sincerely wish to create more relaxed learning environments in which imagination and creativity are fostered. They, too, often find a growing number of restless, disruptive children who find it next to impossible to concentrate.

Try telling the parent of a child with full-blown ADD, who has tried every possible learning style including home schooling, that the diagnosis is all in the mind of the child's teacher and that her child just needs a less structured learning environment. That parent may look at you in disbelief, insist that her child live with you for a week, and then see what you think.

Gifted or Hyperactive?

One group of children that may be included in the diagnostic category of ADD but which has very specific needs is precocious children with ADD-like symptoms. If you had an IQ of 150 and a photographic mind, how would you feel about being in a regular fourth-grade classroom? You would probably be bored to tears unless your teacher created special activities and outlets for your unusual intellectual capabilities. You might tap your pencil on your desk, design paper skyscrapers, or invent a magical world of dinosaurs. Then when the teacher called on you . and Hobbes.. . cops! Sounds a lot like Calvin

James Webb and Diane Latimer address this dilemma: "In the classroom, a gifted child's perceived inability to stay on task might be related to boredom, curriculum, mismatched learning style, or other environmental factors. Gifted children may spend from onefourth to one-half of their regular classroom time waiting for others to catch up-even more if they are in a heterogeneously grouped class."8 They point out that because a gifted child may demonstrate ADD-like behaviors in some settings and not others, one classroom teacher may diagnose her with ADD while the other teachers do not. The authors recommend individual evaluation followed by appropriate curricular and instructional changes to account for advanced knowledge, diverse learning styles, and various types of intelligence. Such individual evaluation is exactly what homeopathy has to offer.

Like Parent, Like Child

We have seen many children who are the spitting image of their parents. They may share one or both parents' behavioral and learning styles. We often hear that the mother or father also had difficulty with reading or concentration, but was never diagnosed as having ADD and somehow made it through school. We have seen little boys with the same explosive tempers and total lack of patience as their type A fathers. We have also seen many a child whose restlessness and inability to concentrate ran through all of the siblings in the family. You will see

this phenomenon reflected in some of our case histories later in the book.

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About The Author
Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, ND, DHANP, MSW is a licensed naturopathic physician board certified in homeopathic medicine. She graduated with a degree in ...more
 
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