From her inability to pay attention for more than a few minutes at a time to her constant restlessness, you strongly suspect your daughter has Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But how can you be certain? An assessment by her school’s social worker is an excellent starting point.
The social worker will begin by asking you, the child’s parents, to complete a behavioral checklist to determine exactly what areas your child is experiencing difficulty. After arranging for psychological as well as physiological testing the social worker will also coordinate with your family physician to determine if medication is need to relieve some of the extreme symptoms.
Think of the social worker as a long-term coordinator, creating a plan that’s appropriate for your child, a plan that will likely need modification over time as the situation changes. This plan, which may last for your child’s entire school career, will involve educational, medical, emotional, and practical issues. Working with your child on a regular basis, a social worker can also help to establish a self-monitoring behavioral system, which has been known to change classroom behavior over time.