WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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JCJGPHOTOGRAPHY / DREAMSTIME.COM fitness & health "unexplained underachievement" children and adults. According to a study in the American Journal of gence and performance is a hallmark of ADHD. In fact, Dr. Hallowell Pediatrics, between 2000 and 2010, the number of doctor's visits in defines ADHD as "unexplained underachievement." Other characteris- which ADHD was diagnosed increased 66 percent. It can be hard to tics include inattention, impulsivity, and/or hyperactivity. In fact, hav- tease out whether this increase represents a true uptick in new cases or ing undiagnosed ADHD "impacts one's ability to adjust academically is merely a reflection of more accurate diagnosing and reporting but, and socially, which can have a really big impact on mental health. either way, what is true is that more children and adults than ever are Anxiety and depression come up secondarily to those struggles," says walking out of their practitioner's office with an official confirmation of John Nesbitt, a LICSW with Human Relations Service in Wellesley. what many of them (or their parents) have suspected for a long time. Parents of undiagnosed children with the disorder may see them as a "There is no diagnosis in all of medicine that can change a life more behavioral problem. "It is not intentional that they forget their home- for the better than that of ADHD," says Dr. Edward (Ned) Hallowell, work or forget an assignment," says Marla Stone. "Parents can find that an internationally recognized expert in ADHD whose office is in extremely frustrating if they don't have ADHD themselves." Self- Sudbury. "Especially in adults. It's phenomenal." The ADHD profes- esteem takes a hit when teachers, employers, or parents constantly sionals interviewed for this article tend to agree with Dr. Hallowell's have to nag one into compliance. "I would lose my coat, my violin, my added assertion that ADHD is a constellation of symptoms, not neces- head, if it wasn't stuck to my body," says John A. "It got to the point sarily a one-size-fits-all disorder. "The only thing that is consistent where I hated school." But schools these days, especially ones in the MetroWest area, are coach who specializes in ADHD. She estimates that the disorder brimming with creative ways to lasso in the inattentive student. "The impacts between five and eight percent of the population. "I always tell We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 about ADHD is inconsistency," observes Marla Stone, a Weston-based trick for the classroom teacher is to make it as seamless as possible," my clients their diagnosis shouldn't define them," she says. says Norma Megerian, a special educator at Schofield Elementary If ADHD were put to music, it would be a dissonant symphony: a brilliant, creative mashup of disharmony and staccato notes. "I knew may try special seating arrangements or movement breaks for squirmy something was wrong," says 17-year- old John A. from Wellesley, "I felt learners or try to divide a complex lesson into chunks to help with smart but my work never showed it." This disconnect between intelli- 150 School in Wellesley. "Different things work for different kids." Teachers focus and attention. For older students, instead of censuring them for

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