Success with Learning Disabilities Blog

In the Good Ol' Summertime!

Monday, April 14, 2014

As summer break approaches, it is time to consider what plans we should make for our children in recreation, possible tutoring, discontinuation of medication. If medication is in use only for academics and whether before the next school year begins to test which medication at the present stage of development offers the best and safest support for the student.

Good time for supportive tutoring.

Exercise, social relationships, time with family are important as one matures. Some students, however, may benefit from supportive tutoring in the subject that frustrates them most to shore up skills and offer improved self confidence in entering the next semester. The instructional intensity varies with the student, need and availability of special instruction. Start planning for such teaching now before the best tutors are committed. If you feel there is a need, but lack a referral, call the office and we can provide names of individuals and services. Use your own judgment on which tutor is best for your child.

Should you take a break from medication?

Students with AD(H)D whose medication is solely used for academics can readily discontinue their stimulant medication during the summer and if deemed effective during the preceding year can be restarted with the start of the school year. Medications like Piracetam and Lecithin should be maintained as to stop requires a week or two of use before effectiveness is regained. Stimulants work the first day. Medications for anxiety or emotional instability are usually continued through the summer if they have been deemed useful without ill effect to optimize the social benefits of the summer break.

However, between growth and maturation many families and teachers not to mention students themselves wonder if the medication is still helpful. Summer offers a time when medication trials associated with repeat in office testing can most easily be conducted without jeopardizing school performance like it does during the school year. We have discussed this option with many families and if you feel it is appropriate let's schedule such medication trials in which we provide the medication and perform the one or two thinking tests which clarify if the compound is useful. If the child is being tutored, longer trials may allow feed back from the tutor on the medication's educational effectiveness. 

Take a break to recharge and prepare.

Summer offers a break from the stress of time schedules that school imposes. It represents a breath of fresh air as the child/adolescent rests in preparation for the next year's challenges.

As for me, I will be attending an international conference in Stockholm presenting two of our research studies in mid-June and away a week in mid-July trout fishing in Montana.

Have a Great Summer!

Drake D Duane, MS, MD