Beverly M. Werling
Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders
Sacramento, California

Early intervention is the key to treating Attention Deficit Disorder.

Six-year-old Michael Zacharias (right) hasnít had the smoothest sailing during his young life. Struggling to focus on the world around him, Michael couldnít sit still long enough to communicate as a toddler. When he was old enough to enter kindergarten, his father, Stephen, was afraid he wasnít calm enough to be accepted by the school system. So, he took Michael to specialists, searching for someone to help his son.

Michaelís family doctor recommended the Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders in Sacramento, California, and Michael was evaluated in July 1994. At that point, Michael had so much trouble sitting through the session that tests could not be completed. He had difficulty listening, selecting relevant information, and understanding sentences. Also, he had severe trouble with sentence imitation.

Things improved when Michael was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and placed on medication. He was able to enter kindergarten and, in August 1996, he began therapy at the Sacramento Scottish Rite Clinic. Michael worked on increasing expressive language by describing, identifying and classifying objects, using correct plural and tense markers, and imitating/repeating directions. He also worked on increasing receptive language and phonetic awareness.

Now, Michael is reading. According to his therapist, Michaelís decoding and comprehension are age and grade appropriate. Although heís still having processing problems, Michael is writing book reports and likes to read.

His father attributes Michaelís progress to the Scottish Rite Clinic for Childhood Language Disorders. ďIf it were not for the clinic,Ē said Stephen, ďI donít think Michael would be able to function in the classroom. The pace is just too fast for him. Iíve met a lot of parents in the clinic waiting room who feel the same way. If it were not for the Scottish Rite, there would be a lot more kids lost in classrooms. The clinic is a Godsend.Ē