Skip to content

The Challenging Child…

May 27, 2022

I read the psych-ed report on their child.

It wasn’t good news and could easily be difficult to understand by any parent.

I explained the results.

Although of average intelligence there was difficulty absorbing information as well as getting it out there. It’s kind of like having a reasonable computer, but a lousy keyboard and flickering monitor.

On top of that, making some computations is difficult and others easy. Hence, some work is really frustrating.

In addition, the child couldn’t sit still. They had a motor that was always running. With that, the child without thinking, would blurt things out and be disruptive.

The child also had difficulty reading the room.

People’s emotions were somewhat lost to them. It’s as if this child had a limited mirror with which to self-reflect on the basis of the expressive feedback of others.

So when others were upset with the behavior, this child couldn’t understand why.

With that, the child couldn’t take responsibility for behavior and woul act out further if feeling blamed.

Combined, learning and managing behavior was a significant challenge.

This was the way the child is wired.

The child would require sophisticated instruction and management.

I shared many strategies with the parents for better managing and supporting the child.

Cajoling, long discussions and explanations, and punishment, would be of little value.

Much would depend on continuous positive yet subtle feedback to act as signposts for keeping the child on track.

If off-track, a quick course correction. Say no quickly and firmly yet quietly, and redirect to the preferred behavior. Back to those positive signposts. Don’t dwell on the negative.

Medication is likely of value. The child needs to be monitored and supported by a developmental pediatrician or child psychiatrist.

From a school perspective, this child will be difficult in a traditional classroom, in any classroom.

Many educators would be challenged by a child with this profile. Many educators could become frustrated.

With that, the parents would have to learn to advocate for their child while managing any upset with educators and the system. The child meets criteria for additional services… if available.

Lastly we did discuss the political climate and school resources.

Don’t blame the educators.

School resources have been decimated. Stripped to the bone.

Those are the outcome of political agendas.

Kids like this one are being left behind.


And with that, the cost too society will be greater.

This child is who to fight for.

As this child’s needs are met, all the children of that classroom are better served. With that, society is better served.

The parents have quite a job laid out for them.

So too does us all.

We create the social circumstances in which this child and all others are embedded.

We all share responsibility in making this better.

This child is one of many.

Please. Let’s make it better.

Are you following me on Facebook yet? If not, you are missing many more posts!

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by video conferencing.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW for counseling and support – to build your successful practice

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, former parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: