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David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience:  Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
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Hiya. My sons teacher contacted me today and said he is not

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Hiya. My son's teacher contacted me today and said he is not focussing in class and often does his own thing and is 'phased out' or in his own world. Even at home you need to make sure to get his attention and even then if something else interest him he will rather go do it. He is not hyperactive but he does get very focussed when he finds something he enjoys. He does complain of boredom in school and won't do simple instructions if it isn't novel or interesting. He is 6 years old.

When you ask him questions about his day, he cannot really tell you what happened that was interesting or what they did in school. Is this ADHD and who do I take him to for treatment? Psychologist/ neurologist/ pediatrist? What sort of treatment are we looking at?

DuddyH :

Welcome, I'm a professional counselor and behavioral-consultant. I'd like to chat with you for a few moments to better understand your question.

Customer: Ok
DuddyH :

Thank you.

Customer: On my iPad so ting may not be so quick
DuddyH :

Has this attention issue just surfaced or has there been an attention problem all along?

DuddyH :

No problem. Please take your time.

Customer: It has surfaced in preschool about 2 years back
DuddyH :

How does your son do on his report cards?

Customer: He had some therapy in preschool withba labour therapist of the past 2 years
Customer: With the labour therapy well
Customer: Now he went to school and 35 kids in a class, one on one attention is no longer possible
DuddyH :

Thank you. Would you mind clarifying what that kind of therapy is provided by the labour therapy? I'm not familiar with that role.

Customer: He needs to be able to cope and keep up, but the teacher says he is in his own world
Customer: Hmm
Customer: Its a person that assist kids that is a bit slow to learn or have difficulty concentrating to have one on one sessions
DuddyH :

Got it thank you.

Customer: Occupational therapy
Customer: Think that may be a more correct translation :)
DuddyH :

Thank you for the clarification. We as experts can't provide any thing like a formal diagnosis on this JustAnswer site, but let me share some insights with you that I've gained as as a school board behavioral consultant, a residential treatment program designer and program psychotherapist working with children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral disorders including ADHD/ADD...

DuddyH :

I would suggest first getting a full medical for your son to rule out anything medical. For example I've seen attentional/behavioral problems resolved through diet change or due to proper treatment of allergies etc.....

DuddyH :

I would talk to your family doctor as well about his/her assessment and recommendations related to the reported/observed attention problem....

Customer: Ok
DuddyH :

A formal diagnosis of ADHD (i.e. ADD subtype) should come from a licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist....

Customer: Ok so I should take him to a psychologist after the doctors done the medical
DuddyH :

That is a good. If your son is formally diagnosed/recognized, I would strongly recommend that you work with a behavioral specialist before starting any medications...

Customer: The side effects of rittelin etc worries me
DuddyH :

The best recent evidence shows that behavioral interventions/supports can be as or more effective than medications without any risky side effects.

Customer: I would prefer to do it with behaviour as well
DuddyH :

One very cost effective approach would be to work with a board certified behavior analyst with experience working with attention (i.e. ADD) issues.

Customer: I will need to locate someone like that in sa.
DuddyH :

BCBAs are highly trained and can actually design an intervention for home and school. The usually charge half of what a clinical psychologist does and they provide practical tools and strategies for parents and easy to use ones for busy teachers....

DuddyH :

May I ask what city you live in, in South Africa?

Customer: Johannesburg east rand
DuddyH :

Thank you let me do a few moments of research for you. Back in a moment or 2...

Customer: Ok
DuddyH :

This is what I mean by a BCBA:

DuddyH :

There are no listed members on the site in your city, but I did help another customer find a few with great success last year. Let me look again now for you....

Customer: I will check as well to see if there is one close by
Customer: Thanks for the help. I will see who I can find closely. Just have some guests arrive, so I have to go. :) if you find anything else helpfull, feel free to email me
DuddyH :

I think that's best. I could find one for you but it would probably take me a few hours. I'd do a search in your area of BCBAs. You could start by contacting Autism treatment specialists and/or local universities. I know there are several ABA's in your area. We found a few last time but it took some time.

DuddyH :

Have I answered your question ok?

DuddyH :

Also, I would contact the BCBA (at the link I provided you earlier) directly to get a list of contacts as well. Make sure to ask for someone with experience in ADHD/ADD. BCBA's are one of the most under utilized professional services around today. Don't let the historical association with Autism treatment fool you. They will often e-mail or phone consult for free to start with and give you a good idea of the kind of strategy that's indicated.

DuddyH :

Here is one that contact I found for Cape Town. -

Full Size Image
Roed Centre - Dancing Star, 13 Lower Wheelan Street, Newlands 7700, Cape Town, South Africa, Phone +27 21(NNN) NNN-NNNN Fax +27 21(NNN) NNN-NNNN/p>
DuddyH :

You show as offline now. I hope you've found my answer helpful. Please don't forget to press the green "Accept" Button so that I am compensated for my work with you today. If you feel that my answer is lacking in some way, by all means please let me know, and I'll do my best to provide a strong, practical answer before you pay for it.

DuddyH :

I wish you and your son the very best. Take care!

David Akiva and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope you're doing well. We had quite a lengthy chat the other day. I wanted to confirm that my answer was effective, and see if there were any other questions I might answer for you.