Self-medicating for dyslexia

Learn about: Self-medicating for dyslexia from Sandra K. Loo, PhD,...
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Self-medicating for dyslexia

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If people with dyslexia are self-medicating, presumably they are older, in their teens at least. Very often, that can occur either because there are insufficient resources and support for that child, particularly in the academic setting. It may even mean that the child has gone undiagnosed or unidentified up until that point. Very often, children compensate as well as they can. Then they turn to other substances such as alcohol and drugs to make them feel better, if they feel like the are demoralized and they feel like they can't make it in an educational setting. The best thing to do in that situations is to have some testing and identify what the problem is. It is likely that they are still slow readers. They are still struggling with reading. It would be great for them to understand that it's not that they are not intelligent or lazy. It's that their brain works differently. Just having that information is often very important for people, especially those who have been undiagnosed. Then it would be important -- If there is a substance abuse problem, it would be important to treat that problem. Finally, it would be great to have an assessment of all their strengths and weaknesses so that planning for the future for vocational purposes, finding a career that would suit that person, can be done based upon their individual profile.

Learn about: Self-medicating for dyslexia from Sandra K. Loo, PhD,...

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Sandra K. Loo, PhD

Pediatric Neuropsychologist

Dr. Sandra Loo is Director of Pediatric Neuropsychology and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine. Dr. Loo is a child clinical psychologist and works clinically in the Medical Psychology Assessment Center and UCLA ADHD Clinics. She specializes in neuropsychological assessment of childhood psychiatric disorders such as ADHD and Dyslexia. Before coming to UCLA, Dr. Loo was director of two outpatient clinics specializing in the diagnostic and neurocognitive assessment of attention and learning disorders at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the University of Massachusetts where she worked with Dr. Russell Barkley.

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