Learning and School-related Difficulties
Children struggling with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other neurological concerns often experience
significant difficulties in school and learning. ADHD is not a learning disorder, but it is a condition that can impair the
ability to learn and perform well in school. Teachers are often challenged in their efforts to teach children with ADHD and
manage their often impulsive, hyperactive and distractible behavior. Unfortunately, many children with ADHD experience ongoing
difficulty learning and succeeding in their academic programs as well as frequent discipline problems at school.
Tutoring Is Not Necessarily the Answer
Many parents as well as teachers have assumed that outside tutoring is important for children with learning problems. Many
parents have come to believe that tutoring is effectively addressing their children's learning problems when they see their
children's grades improve once they begin working with a tutor. But tutoring is not necessarily the answer for all learning
While it is true that children's grades often do show improvement once they have begun working with a
tutor, for some children the primary reason for grade improvement is not that they are learning better. It is because the
tutor has helped them complete and turn in more of their homework assignments. Typically, the more homework assignments that
are turned in, the better the grade the student will earn. But completing and turning in more homework assignments with the
assistance of a tutor does not necessarily mean the student has improved his or her ability to learn. This fact is often
revealed when children continue to perform poorly on in-class tests, where they are not able to receive tutor assistance,
or when tutoring is discontinued.
Children with ADHD often have difficulty learning and achieving good grades. But ADHD is not itself a learning disorder,
but rather a neurological disorder that can impair the child’s ability to learn. Although some children have both ADHD
and a learning disability, others have no learning disabilities per se, but have attentional difficulties that negatively
affect their abilities to learn. These children often do not need tutoring services, or also require other supports in addition
to tutoring services. For many children with ADHD, the establishment of certain accommodations to their educational programs
has been a more appropriate and effective strategy for addressing their learning difficulties than just working with a tutor.
Many children with ADHD qualify for accommodations to their educational program or special educational services, such as those
afforded by Section 504 Plans and Individualized Educational Programs (IEP's). Such accommodations, along with other interventions
and services, often make the crucial difference in the opportunity for success for many children with ADHD and other issues
affecting success in school and learning. Unfortunately, many parents have been frustrated by the IEP or 504 process, ineffective
plans or inconsistent implementation of these plans.
Parent Handbook to Understand Special Education
Special education rights of parents and children
County Guidelines for Qualifying and Receiving Special Education Services
Making a Key Difference
I have over 20 years experience helping children with learning and behavior problems achieve greater educational success.
I have in-depth knowledge of the types of interventions, accommodations and special education services appropriate for various
concerns and often play a key role in working with school staff to develop educational programs that result in improved outcomes
for students with special needs. I help assess whether children's learning problems might best be served through tutoring
services, accommodations to their educational programs, other interventions or services, or a combination of these strategies.
have been instrumental in qualifying children for IEP or 504 plans, as well as modifying existing plans that are not working.
I am also an effective advocate for children's educational needs. I know educational law and the rights of children with special
needs and hold schools accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities. I have advised and coached many parents in becoming
knowledgeable and effective advocates for their children, which has led to the resolution of many chronic frustrations parents
have had with the school system and their children's educational programs.