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WETA
Rick Lavoie

Tips for Parents - When You Want Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll Shows Up

January 2003

If your child has ADD, your relationship with your pediatrician may be a bit strained! Does this scenario sound familiar?

Johnny is making his Mom crazy. Homework hour is a daily disaster. He flushed his Dad's wallet down the toilet. He was excommunicated from his religious education class. His Grandparents have removed him from the Will. He published his sister's diary on the Internet. He put the dog in the dryer 'Just to see….' He put a six pack of Coke in the microwave…

In desperation - and in response to a petition signed by every employee at Johnny's school and several relatives and neighbors - Mom takes Johnny to see the Pediatrician and discuss the possibility of medication.

Johnny sits anxiously in the Examining room. The Doctor enters. The ultimate authority figure, the doctor is dressed in a starched smock and a stethoscope dangles around his neck. Johnny is in awe!

"How's school, Johnny?" the pediatrician begins.
"Fine, sir, just fine." Johnny responds
"Are you behaving yourself in school?"
"Well, sir, sometimes I am a little loud. But I will put forth my best effort to lower the volume of my voice to a more appropriate and acceptable level. Perhaps you could offer me some suggestions designed to assist me in this endeavor, based upon your impressive body of professional training and background. By the way, lovely photograph of your family on the wall… You must be very proud…."

The pediatrician turns to Mom, "You've got a fine young boy here. No need for any intervention here! Boys will be boys, Mother. Let's not overreact…"

Most ADD kids are able to mask their symptoms for a brief period of time. The pediatrician's response is understandable. So…how do you avoid this scenario?

BRING VIDEOTAPE! Video a collection of "typical moments" demonstrating your child's behavior on the home front. In this case, a picture might be work a million words