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Posted Nov 17 2008 9:04pm

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Washington, D.C. Identifying ADD

If you believe your child shows signs of Attention Deficit Disorder — short attention span, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity — there are several steps you can take. Since most children occasionally show some of these signs, ask yourself if the behavior you are concerned about is persistent and if your child consistently exhibits such behavior in most settings.

If so, you should first consult with others who know the child well, such as relatives and family friends. Talk to them about the ADD behaviors and have them indicate the ones they see your child regularly exhibit. You also may want to keep notes on your child’s behavior.

Next, speak to your child’s teachers, as many behaviors characteristic of ADD are most visible in the classroom. Your child’s teachers may want to complete a checklist on ADD signs, or use their own experience with other children with ADD to help you reach some conclusions of your own. In many cases, teachers may be the first to suspect a child has ADD and notify the parent(s). Keep in mind that some children show behaviors similar to children with ADD when they have learning problems stemming from other causes.

In addition, you should consult with a physician or other health care provider. A doctor will know the medical signs of ADD and can recommend local sources of information or a psychologist for your child to see. The physician should give your child a general medical exam and perhaps recommend a neurological evaluation, if he believes it necessary.

Your Child with ADD in School

There are two primary Federal laws applying to the education of children with ADD, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

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