Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from F.M., Arizona

I have a 10 year old who is deaf and just recently started to act out in school. His teacher is requesting me to have him tested for ADD/ADHD because he is no longer paying attention in class. He attends a regular school and is being mainstreamed into the classroom. He did recieve a new interpreter and shows no signs of these actions at how what should I do? Have him tested or what?

Question from F.M., Arizona. Posted September 7, 2010.
Response from Jennifer Lukomski - Rochester Institute of Technology

What would be more helpful to all individuals concerned is for the teacher and school team to systematicallly collect data regarding your son’s behavior in the classroom.  I would recommend that the teacher or the school team conduct a functional behavior analysis (FBA) to determine the function of his behaviors.  The FBA would give the teacher, you and the school team a better idea of what your son needs.  Your son’s behaviors (which need to be clearly defined)would be critically examined within the context.  Since these behaviors have a recent onset they may be related to adjusting to the interpreter, the teacher, the new school year.   Another possibility is that the behaviors are related to communication difficulties.