Ask the Experts

Q: How Much Homework Support Is Too Much?

Students with ADHD often need extra support to organize, focus on, and complete homework. When and how should parents begin to hand over responsibility and teach independence without setting up their children for academic failure? Here, Ryan Wexelblatt explains how to effectively scaffold over time.

Q: “How much support is too much? My 14-year-old son needs a lot of help staying on task in order to finish his homework. I have heard many other parents and experts who say letting children ‘fail’ is the only way to help them learn. Am I wrong to feel that a child with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) should be given more support? Ultimately, I would like my son to be able to regulate himself and finish his work independently. How and when is the best time to do this?” — BoyMominLouisiana

A: I’d like you to change your mindset from ‘How much support is too much?’ to ‘How can I help my son from being prompt-dependent to independent?’ What I mean by prompt-dependent is that he is relying on you to prompt him to do things. Essentially, you are acting as his executive functioning…”

Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW is the facilitator of the ADHD Dude Facebook Group and YouTube channel. Ryan specializes in working with males (ages 5-22) who present with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, and learning differences; he is the one professional in the United States who specializes in teaching social cognitive skills to boys from a male perspective.

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