Dear Dr. Faizal,

My husband received a job offer in Lethbridge, ON so we’re currently looking at moving there. He’s really excited but I’m worried because my son has behaviour problems. He’s will be seeing a child psychologist soon so I’m worried we will be treated differently. It’s hard enough being new in a different country but what should we do with a child who potentially could have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? Do you know where in Lethbridge I could get any further advice or help, please?

– Moving Mom

Dear Moving Mom,

Moving to a different city and/or country is very stressful for all family members. It appears that though you are happy about the employment opportunity that your husband received, you are unsure if you and your son will be able to adapt to a new environment. You have every right to feel what you’re feeling.

Finding help for your son is a noble and caring gesture. Perhaps one of the best and most informative Canadian ADHD websites is www.adhd.ca. This site provides “information, tools and support for parents and children whose lives are touched by ADHD.” You can also find medical professionals in Ontario who specialize in this area.

Sometimes when parents send their children to a child psychologist, they are conveying the message to their children that there is something ‘wrong’ with them. The pressure and self-guilt this creates in children is devastating. The self-blame that ensues could be counter-productive to what you desire in seeking help for your son.

I recommend finding a qualified family therapist with whom you, your husband and your son could begin counselling. If your son has ADHD or any other behavioural issues, it can help by acknowledging his challenges as a family issue that requires all members to contribute to his treatment. Keep in mind that children are products of their environment and that by improving their environment (and potentially those in it), these kids have the highest chance of success.

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