Guiding Social and Intellectual Skills of a Bright Boy with ADD
By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D
We just received my son's Terra Nova scores. His Total Score
was in the 97th percentile with 99s in Language, Math Compu,
Science, and Social Studies, 98s in Language Mechancies &
Language Composite, 97 in Reading, 96 in Reading Composite &
Math Composite, 95 in Spelling, 91 in Vocabulary, 90 in
Math, and 84 in Word Analysis. Needless to say, my wife and
I are ecstatic.
He attends a parochial school and the response we have
received on whether he should be given any special
accomodation/attention is that "his needs are being met" and
that 1/3 of his class had scores in the 90s. He had been in
the advanced reading group (1/3 of the class) and we
requested in January that he be placed in the advanced math
group. His 2nd grade teacher declined, but now, based on his
test scores, is recommending that he join the advanced math
group for the 3rd grade.
He has been diagnosed with ADD, Inattentive type and since
Feb (two months before the exam) went on medication, which
has been absolutely wonderful for him and everyone else in
his life. He still has socialization issues, which we are
more concerned about with respect to his development.
However, now we don't know what do, if anything, to cater
towards his intellectual needs.
Any advice on how to proceed would be helpful. While we
presume being in the 97th percentile is extraordinary, we
just don't know how extraordinary and would appreciate any
A: I assume that your son
should be around eight to nine years of age. His scores are
rather high for the Terra Nova and I believe that he should
be placed in an advanced program at school. Perhaps, being
in a parochial school, the school may be rather close-minded
on the needs of bright children and unless he is placed in a
school that cater towards his needs, you may want to put in
some effort on your own for his educational development.
Having a score of 90 and 97th percentile does make a
difference in terms of the educational needs for a child, so
it may not be very fair for the school to say that his needs
are being met.
Having said that, the school has made adjustments based on
his score, which is very promising. Being inattentive may
also be a reason the school is somewhat skeptical about
advancing him. Unfortunate but true, some schools find it
difficult to see the strengths in a child if the child has
diagnosis such as ADD, since the focus would be on his
inattention rather than his abilities. But since medication
has worked well for him, the concern is less here.
On intellectual needs, you may need to provide appropriate
learning environment for him at home. Perhaps, accelerated
material that is presented in such a way that captures his
attention may help him focus (e.g., educational
computer-based learning programs, sciences, writing camps,
etc). Field trips and various other excursions can provide
the opportunity for indirect and informal learning.
On socialization concerns, I assume you mean peer
relationships. This is indeed critical to his development as
research has indicated that peer relationships have been
found to be an important predictor of positive adult
adjustment and behavior. If he has poor social skills, he
may be at risk for delinquency, academic underachievement,
and school drop out in extreme cases. Problems such as
inattentiveness, impulsiveness, and restlessness usually
persist into adulthood but they become of less importance as
the child gets older. Instead, the main concern for ADD
children as they mature is their inability to interact
appropriately with others which leads to a multitude of
other social difficulties.
I'm afraid I may not be able to provide enough information
on ADD but an interesting website that you can refer to
Alternatively, you may get in touch with Dr Webb on
brainy-child for ADD issues.
My best wishes to you!