Reply To: 16y daughter dismisses all assignment deadlines

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Penny Williams

You are exactly right that she wants to do well. So the next step is to determine what is preventing that. With an ADHD brain, planning and organizing and self-starting and getting things done are all a struggle. plus, overwhelm often leads to avoidance and shutdown. Being so far behind all the time, and being reminded of it all the time, can really get a person down.

If it takes her longer to complete her assignments than her peers, then she should have an accommodation for reduced assignments. An assignment that the teacher means to take about an hour but your child spends 2-5 hours on is punishing your child for having a disability.

She wants to do well. She is open to the tutoring and some help, so that seems to be a signal that she just can’t manage it all.

The right therapist can make all the difference. Although with the executive functioning struggles, I wonder if a coach might be more effective right now, and if she’d be more open to a coach than a therapist (teens are often that way).

What Is an ADHD Coach?

My son just graduated high school in January. He struggled in the same way. School was so hard for him and so overwhelming that he’d avoid until I pushed. I sat with him to do a lot of his work or it wouldn’t get done. He struggles with processing speed, ADHD and dysgraphia so the traditional assignments were an extreme challenge and school always expected him to get everything done no matter how long it took him compared to his peers (of course, I intervened for reduced assignments).

Some kids just aren’t good at school but that doesn’t mean they won’t be successful adults.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism