But I am trying my hardest!

A problem for many students with developmental disorders of attention or specific learning disabilities is convincing those around them often both teachers and parents that they are trying to do their best. If over and over again, their best effort fails, students not uncommonly lose interest and assume the worst. It is imperative that parents and teachers take the reverse stance…assume your student/child is doing his or her best. Then it is incumbent on us to find how we can bring about a more successful result whether on homework or testing. The first step is to identify with the student’s frustration. “I know this is hard for you and you have been trying your best. Let’s try a new approach and see if that helps you.” Said with a smile and supportive tap helps the student muster his courage for another attempt. We use the Child Depression Inventory by Kovacs. One of its scales is sensitive to student frustration and senses that no matter what the child does, the outcome remains poor. This is a situational reactive depression which does not require antidepressant medication but rather a classroom setting in which the child begins to experience success whether from a change in the teaching strategy or a specific medication which corrects the attention or learning disorder’s key cognitive deficit. Like the child, we all should try our best.

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