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Old 09-30-2014, 02:19 PM
 
1,011 posts, read 860,524 times
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OP, you are not alone in dealing with a teen with ADHD and anxiety issues. Difficulty with focusing and self control can cause a child a lot of anxiety. He needs much support and affection, and it sounds like you are doing what you can. I guess I would try not to micromanage, though, especially once the meds start working. Let him know that he can do it! Neither of you are in this alone. Best wishes to you both.
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:30 PM
 
1,011 posts, read 860,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilCookie View Post
Call me crazy but I don't understand this current trend of jumping to popping pills for any little thing - and especially for kids. It's just looking incredibly overprescribed right now. Yes some cases require it - but it really should be a last resort. And no, forgetting your homework isn't it. Kids are forgetful - especially when it comes to stuff they don't like. I was like that, my sister was like that; she also used to constantly lose and forget her things everywhere - neither of us has ADHD. Our parents harped on us enough to keep track of this stuff and eventually we learned. I still forget stuff every now and then - because I'm human, not because I need to be on meds.

Honestly it just sounds like a kid going through one of the worst ages (remember being 13? 13 is the worst), and dealing with all the changes and puberty and self-esteem issues, and not having a support network, a circle of friends to get him through it to boot. And that's tough. To me it sounds like he's miserable and lonely - and maybe distancing himself emotionally from the mundane details of life to escape. Maybe he can't keep his mind on schoolwork because he's beating himself up inside, thinking he's a loser and will never be good at anything or have friends. I may be completely off base here - but again I'm speaking from experience because I've been there (as a girl which was probably even tougher) and I know what that's like.

If I were you I'd lay off the meds for a bit - they're not vitamins, they're heavy-duty medications that alter the brain and personality. They have side effects. You can feel like a different person on them. They might be an instant patch-up solution to remembering his homework but they're not really solving anything aside from that. Talk to him. Does he talk to you, does he open up? Find out what he's feeling, what he's thinking. Stop focusing on remembering schoolwork for now because that's not the most important thing here. Find out what's really going on in his life and make sure he is okay. Then go from there - reminders, charts, rewards, schedules, you can do all that to help him stay on track, that's the easy part, but you need to start at the root.

Sorry for the long post - this just touched a nerve for me on a personal level.
Evil Cookie, I used to be very skeptical, too, but out of four kids I have one with this problem. There is definitely a big difference in his ability to focus on schoolwork, remember tasks, etc. far beyond what would be accounted for by differences in personality. Medications have helped tremendously! I wish he didn't need them...hopefully some day he won't. As his self-assurance improves and he ages, he seems to need them less.
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Old 09-30-2014, 03:52 PM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
11,403 posts, read 7,428,578 times
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Those who rant against pills usually have no experience with behavioral or developmental disorders.

Medication is a crutch. Sometimes, a well needed crutch, too. If the kid broke his leg you would give him a crutch. Why all the animosity towards medication?
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:47 PM
 
2,540 posts, read 3,306,776 times
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Originally Posted by Listener2307 View Post
Those who rant against pills usually have no experience with behavioral or developmental disorders.

Medication is a crutch. Sometimes, a well needed crutch, too. If the kid broke his leg you would give him a crutch. Why all the animosity towards medication?
Look, like I said, some cases need it. But I feel like the trend today is to just jump to pills for something that COULD simply be forgetfulness or daydreaming or being disorganized, I just think way too many kids are being prescribed meds when they don't have an actual disorder, just some tendencies they would grow out of and can learn how to manage. We're all human, no one is on top of their game all the time, always organized, never distracted or forgetful, that just isn't possible, especially for kids. That doesn't mean everyone needs drugs!

I think, basically, the threshold should be, if the person CAN pull themselves together and focus on something they need to when they put their mind to it, maybe with a bit of effort, then they don't really need the meds. It's when the child is actually unable to stay focused, even when they want to, just can't do it no matter how hard they try, that's when the meds may be warranted. If they can and just choose not to, they just need discipline.
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Old 09-30-2014, 09:39 PM
 
13,022 posts, read 12,469,707 times
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It's good he's in therapy for the anxiety, but a lot of this sounds like ADD/ADHD to me as well. My ADD comes with a healthy side order of anxiety, OCD and depression, so it could all be linked.

As for motivating him, look, you gotta give him responsibilities and consequences. He needs to know that you expect him to be responsible. When I was a kid, school was my primary responsibility - it was prioritized over everything else in my life. My parents would reward me for good performance, and when I underperformed (rarely), they looked into it.

I was disorganized and forgetful, but my parents didn't coddle me too much once I got out of 5th grade. I learned to write the important stuff down and was friends with other kids who could tell me what the assignment was if I gave them a call. If I forgot an assignment, you can bet I was on the phone calling a classmate to confirm what the homework was and got right to work.

Are his homework or assignments posted on a web site or anything like that? I've heard a lot of teachers are doing that. You shouldn't be micromanaging him, but I think you can guide him into a routine. As in, he runs through a checklist every night of what his When he fails to do his homework or assignments, there should be consequences in the form of lost privileges. And you should be limiting his time with video games and other electronics. If he wants you to buy him something, make him earn it by demonstrating more scholastic responsibility.
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:50 AM
 
1,399 posts, read 1,082,960 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
Sorry that should be bully not bulky.
Is he on the sending or receiving end of the bullying? If he's getting bullied it might be time for some krav maga or karate classes. Maybe even get him into boxing. That'll teach him how to defend himself and get his arse in shape "tooth sweet".
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:03 AM
 
1,988 posts, read 2,306,921 times
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My 2cents - ask the teachers for input or better yet, the guidance counselor. Use the webpages as someone suggested to double check homework and have him use a book for writing down assignments as well. Remind him to do the assignment, check it on the web with him if you have to and visually check to see if it's done. Once he starts getting into a routine you can hopefully take him off the short leash and just ask if the homework is finished; if he lies, his grades will reflect it.


You can find a social skills class through many therapists. If your own doesn't have one, find another therapist. Also, his guidance counselor can be a great help in this area helping him find a school activity to join or a lunch bunch type of thing. Sports are a great way to bond with the team and make friends.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,323 posts, read 20,579,417 times
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Originally Posted by HTY483 View Post
Is he on the sending or receiving end of the bullying? If he's getting bullied it might be time for some krav maga or karate classes. Maybe even get him into boxing. That'll teach him how to defend himself and get his arse in shape "tooth sweet".
He was bullied, not anymore so this isn't an issue now. It just changed his personality from an outgoing kid.

Thanks for the suggestions on groups or skills class. It seems in High School these all disappear and don't exist anymore. He was in them during elementary, but nothing is available a this age from my research, asking the schools and several therapists.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:37 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
11,403 posts, read 7,428,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
He was bullied, not anymore so this isn't an issue now. It just changed his personality from an outgoing kid.

Thanks for the suggestions on groups or skills class. It seems in High School these all disappear and don't exist anymore. He was in them during elementary, but nothing is available a this age from my research, asking the schools and several therapists.
No one (or very few professionals) ever checks for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea results in oxygen starvation to the brain, which in turn results in all sorts behavioral and medical problems.

Behavior solves problems. So the way your son behaves solves his problem. It may not be a good solution, but it is his solution. I suggest you learn a little about sleep apnea, then observe him carefully when he sleeps and see if you become suspicious. If you suspect sleep apnea, then a sleep center will help you solve that problem.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,499 posts, read 15,961,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
He was bullied, not anymore so this isn't an issue now. It just changed his personality from an outgoing kid.

Thanks for the suggestions on groups or skills class. It seems in High School these all disappear and don't exist anymore. He was in them during elementary, but nothing is available a this age from my research, asking the schools and several therapists.
Perhaps, there are not programs or classes in your area but, both of the school districts where I substitute teach have social skills "classes" for HS students with needs in those areas. In addition, there are (at least there were a few years ago) several programs in my area to build social skills in teens through psychiatric hospitals and private agencies.
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