Let’s turn attention to the children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. This is one of your major interest areas in pediatrics. What factors are most important in assessing the children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. How to assess a child with autistic spectrum disorder? How to select the optimal therapy for ADHD? Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. I suppose the first thing is to get the right diagnosis. That requires a specific series of specialist investigations and assessments of speech and language. An expert has to assess their motor skills, to see if they are not dyspraxic. You have to complete a psychometric profile. There is a cognitive skills analysis. You have to see what their IQ is like, etc. We also focus very much on the family. We do a psycho-emotional assessment. It looks specifically at the child's relationship with his or her mother and father, and with other carers. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. Unusually, we have senior educationalists on our team. We finish a multidisciplinary assessment first. We then ask the educationalist to come in and translate what comes out of the assessment into practical guidelines. These guidelines are for the school where the child is being educated. In some cases our recommendation is to change schools. Because the child may be unable to cope with the mainstream schooling setup. It is difficult to study when there are 40 - 50 children in the class. There are some children with vulnerable learning difficulties. They can only manage if there are 8 or 9 children in the classroom. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. This makes it much more one-to-one attention. That may result in our advice to change schools. Then our educationalists help the family to find an alternative school. It should be more suitable for the child's particular vulnerable areas. Assessing the children from the educational perspective is the most important aspect. You have to evaluate a child together with the family. You have to integrate a child into the education system better. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. Absolutely! It is something that is often forgotten. In the past, people used to focus on the medical aspects of the condition. They forgot that the medical aspects need to be woven into the educational planning. Because, after all, every child goes through an education. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Getting the education correctly is crucial. Professor Dr. Ricky Richardson, MD. The educational methodology must be tailored for the need of a particular child. It should be based on a deep understanding of that child’s psychological profile. It is absolutely critical. Renowned London-based Prof. Ricky J Richardson – on how to correctly evaluate children with learning disabilities, ADHD or behavioral problem. How to match a child with school where a child with ADHD or learning disability can thrive?
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