There is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD) and ADD (without hyperactivity).
Indeed such conditions exist.
Children are often put on medication when these conditions cause failing grades and other difficulties in school.
Many parents of children with these disorders find out they have these conditions as well, after they've tried their childrens' medication and find
out it helps them.
A pediactric neurologist diagnosed my son at age 6 with ADD. He tried several medications but one caused severe headaches and another caused liver
function tests to be altered, thus he took no medication for 5 years after that.
In children, behavioral modification techniques are to be used in conjunction with the medication, not just taking medicine alone. And sometimes
behavior mod alone is sufficient.
The organization called CHADD has chapters throughout the US and I suggest you check them out, and attend local meetings where parents can learn more
about these conditions. Their national website is:
You should request a psychological evaluation from the school psychologist, and if you're not satisified with it, you can request the school to pay
for a second opinion using a physician of your choosing.
Children with learning disabilities fare much better in public schools where there are grants and funding available to these students.
As a parent of an ADHD child, you need to become your child's advocate and to learn as much as you can about this condition because it's an uphill
battle when dealing with the schools to be sure your child gets the education he is legally entitled to, which may include modifications and other
learning aids. Each state has their own laws regarding how a child may qualify for special educational services. Thus you should become very
familiar with both state and federal laws regarding learning disabilities and the educational system.
Many children with ADD or ADHD are gifted as well as learning disabled. So you should read up on this topic.
Here are some links to start with:
National Center for Learning disabilities:
The Learing Disability Association of America:
National Association for Learning Disabilities:
I received certifications as a disability advocate for my son
through the Arizona Center for Disability Law. They provide
excellent free publications or you can read many of them online.
Here is their website:
One last word of caution: Some parents exploit the Social Security
Disability system by getting their kids on disability, which can hinder
them more than help.
I would caution you to avoid labeling and to stress the positives
about ADD and ADHD. Many highly successful people have had these
conditions and other learning disabilities, and have excelled in their
Be careful what you say around your child as he may begin to
model his attitude toward learning disabilities after how you perceive
In my life, I always view problems as challenges. When you look
at them that way, it is a positive perception which helps you turn
things around in a positive light.