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My son is 12 and has been diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder. He has a hard time comprehending the material in school. I’m told he doesn’t focus or engage in asking questions. I wonder if he has ADHD, although the doctor said he only has an auditory processing disorder.

What can I do to help him in school? He can’t retain the information and the workload is too much. I’m not getting any help from the school. My son is a good kid who tries extremely hard. I don’t want him to give up. He is extremely nervous giving a presentation or performing in front of people to the point that he hunches over and starts crying. Please help me! The school would not give him an IEP. They recently said they may consider a 504.

My first question: Who diagnosed him with an auditory processing disorder? This person should be advising you. Such a disorder often causes learning disabilities. Was he evaluated for this? If not, this needs to be done. Where are his skills in reading, writing, math, and organization? What you describe does not sound like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

I support your not accepting a 504 Plan. This plan would provide accommodations but not remedial services. You need to be assertive about wanting a full assessment leading to an IEP. Under an IEP, he should get both accommodations and services. Maybe you need a special education consultant to advise you on your rights under the education law and how to approach your school.

(If you want to read more on this, look in my book, The Misunderstood Child, Fourth Edition(opens in a new window), published by Random House/Three Rivers Press.)

Good luck. Don’t give up. If all of the above fail, e-mail back.

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