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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I think my 17 yr. old son may have a learning disability or

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I think my 17 yr. old son may have a learning disability or possibly ODD. How do I go about getting him tested?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
In order to test your child for a learning disability or ODD, you want to start with your son's doctor. He needs to be screened to be sure none of his symptoms are health related. His doctor will most likely be familiar with the symptoms so he/she may be able to provide an initial diagnosis.
The next step is to have your son seen by a mental health therapist (your son's doctor can refer you to someone). They can diagnose your son and provide you with the level of your son's disability (if there is one) and your treatment options. Once your son has a diagnosis, medications can do wonders (on a short term basis, less than one year) to assist your child to focus. The medications work by stimulating the pre frontal cortex of the brain. In children with learning disabilities, this area of the brain is immature and has trouble dealing with the impulses from the central part of the brain where wants and desires emerge. The medication simply "wakes up" the pre frontal cortex further and allows it to function as it should.
These medications do have some side effects such as possible sleep issues and changes in appetite. However, for short term use, they are usually considered safe.
If your child has ODD, the therapist can help you with a treatment plan appropriate to his issues and give you options to work with at home.
You may want to try a therapist who can use behavioral reinforcement techniques with your child to help with the symptoms. Behavioral techniques are concrete ways to help your son control his behavior.
I hope this has helped you,
TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you so much for the positive rating and bonus. I appreciate it!
My best to you and your son,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I asked "I think my 17 yr. old son may have a learning disability or possibly ODD. How do I go about getting him tested?" just this morning and received your response. I will follow your advice. I do have another question related to my earlier question. But will it cost another $22 to ask?

If it is related to your original question, then you can just ask it here and it will not cost you more. The only time that is an issue is if you ask another question that is different or unrelated.