WMU News

Expert on problem children to conduct October workshops in Novi

Sept. 2, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Jimmy is bright, polite and capable. He's also failing in school. Distressing parent and teacher conferences have done little to stem the tide of Jimmy's defiance, and things aren't any better at home.

Real-life scenarios such as that will be discussed by Dr. James D. Sutton, an expert on troubled youth, during two workshops from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Novi Double Tree Hotel in Novi, Mich. "The Oppositional and Defiant Child" will be presented Monday, Oct. 4, and "The Kid Who Doesn't Care" will be presented Tuesday, Oct. 5. The deadline to register for either program is Sept. 27.

Sutton is a nationally recognized educator, psychologist and author who has been studying defiant and oppositional behavior in young people since the mid-1970s. He says poor school performance, irritability, depression, blaming, arguing, spitefulness and outright noncompliance are symptoms of a behavior called Oppositional Defiant Disorder. He believes that ODD affects two to five youngsters in every classroom and is often misdiagnosed and treated as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Symptoms can be similar, but treatment and interventions are quite different.

"Dr. Sutton's programs help professionals and parents identify and deal with psychological distress, poor performance and manifestations of anger," said Natalie Richert of Western Michigan University's Conferences and Seminars, which is sponsoring the workshops. "They also teach participants how to positively redirect oppositional and defiant behaviors."

The workshops are designed for parents as well as teachers, school administrators and counselors, family therapists, social workers, and guidance clinic, juvenile court and Family Independence Agency personnel. The cost is $95 for each workshop or $170 for both and includes materials, lunch and refreshments. Participants will take home a professionally prepared interactive workbook.

Sutton has a doctorate in educational psychology from Brigham Young University and has written a number of influential works, including "It Makes a Difference," "If My Kid's So Nice, Why's He Driving ME Crazy?" and "Conducting a Diagnostic Interview with Children and Adolescents."

A licensed psychologist, he began his career as a classroom teacher and has earned credentials as a school psychologist, professional counselor and certified chemical dependency specialist. He has served as a consultant for public and private schools, residential treatment centers, emergency youth shelters, juvenile probation authorities, special education cooperatives and regional education service centers.

For more information or to register, call Natalie Richert in WMU's Office of Conferences and Seminars at (616) 387-4174.

Media note: Dr. James D. Sutton will be available for comment starting at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4. To arrange an interview, call Natalie Richert in WMU's Office of Conferences and Seminars at (616) 387-4174.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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