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On The Move

A mother asks:

We will be moving to the states after two years of living abroad. My son, since age four, has been in a very small school setting. He will be 10 this summer and entering the fourth grade. How do I prepare him for the public school setting in his new school? How do I explain the resource class to him? How can I help him react positively to other kids in case some were to ridicule him? We have the option of a small private school, but I think it is time to move him into the real world to prepare him for middle school in two years (Does this make sense?)

Michele Novotni answers:

Transitions are difficult for people with ADD. I'm wondering if both the move to the States and a move to a large public school setting is the best timing.

I suggest that you talk with your child's current teachers and seek their recommendation for the best placement and timing since they would know your child's academic and social readiness best. Were they looking to move him into a regular class if you were not moving? If so why? If not, why not?

Regarding teasing, kids can be terribly cruel -- especially to those who may be a little different. It is always helpful to work with your child in establishing five responses to someone who is teasing them in advance. Together you can role-play or practice responding to ridicule.

You can even make your practice sessions more fun by coming up with some outrageous responses so that it won't seem so much like work. Perhaps you can even identify five responses to NEVER make when someone is teasing you. He could write down his favorite responses on an index card and review them each day. This way, an appropriate response should easily be at hand when/if needed.

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

This article is published by permission from ADDitude Magazine 2004. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Subscribe to ADDitude online or via toll-free phone 888-762-8475.

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