Ask the Experts

LD and ADHD? Recognize the Symptoms

“My daughter is in third grade. She takes ADHD medication, but she still struggles in the classroom. As her problems have increased, I think that her self-esteem is being destroyed by teachers, nagging her to stay focused. This breaks my heart. What should I do?”

Two thoughts: 1) If your child has ADHD, and the medication is not working, the dose might need to be adjusted or a different med tried; 2) About 50 percent of children with ADHD also have learning disabilities (LD). Is it possible that her struggles relate to reading comprehension, getting her thoughts down on the page, or keeping up with math? The demands increase on students in third grade. If your child has an LD, it will become more of a problem now.

If you suspect that this might be the case, she will need formal psycho-educational testing. You could ask the school to consider such testing, or you could get it done privately.