Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Connecting the Dots

Yisroel Besser

Dr. Michael Steinhardt believes it’s unfair to simply label a child with a medical acronym and fill a prescription, or chase after a “surefire” alternative remedy. The leading neuropsychologist says identifying underlying causes of a child’s difficulties sets the stage for a healing action plan.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Every now and then,Dr.MichaelSteinhardtsurprises you with a flash of passion. Like the colors in his office, everything about the neuropsychologist is gentle: voice, appearance, manner of speaking.But when discussing the chinuch self-help industry — purveyors of herbs and other remedies for a variety of childhood ailments — or the number of children misdiagnosed with ADHD and other behavioral issues, you see the glint in his black eyes, hear the edge in his voice.“Let’s say a child shows signs of being ADHD, so the parents get a prescription for Ritalin. Simple, right?”Dr.Steinhardttells me animatedly. “But really, it’s not so simple. More than half of all children with ADHD are affected by another comorbid condition, which means, in layman’s terms, that ADHD doesn’t usually come alone, but along with other issues.“Now, if a child has ADHD plus, but is only treated for ADHD, it’s almost as if he hasn’t been treated at all.”The stakes are too high,Dr.Steinhardtsays, to get it wrong. So for the last six years, he has quietly changed the way kids with behavioral issues are diagnosed, applying a comprehensive exam, plenty of patience, and the full picture of a child’s life to assess the symptoms so prevalent in schools today that every child knows the acronyms by heart.A prominent menahel describedDr.Steinhardt’s methods this way: It’s like when you take your car to the mechanic for an oil change, and he notices an unrelated problem with the fan belt. The extra expense and bother is a nuisance, but you are nevertheless grateful for the information. Smart mechanics suggest an all-points inspection just to uncover these kinds of hidden problems. In much the same way,Dr.Steinhardt assesses children’s behavioral problems, looking for the obvious symptoms, the hidden causes, and all the while uncovering unexpected ailments.For anyone familiar with Dr.Steinhardt’s family, his accomplishments in the realm of education should come as no surprise. Because along with the unruffled professionalism, the impressive résumé of training and accomplishments, there is also his yichus, a family tradition that imbues him with a streak of advocacy and spirited defense for the rights of every child. And while he learned medicine in university, he learned chinuch at the feet of a master.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"