Reply To: Defiantly Refusing to Complete Classwork

Hope @ ADDitude

This reply was originally posted by user adhdmomma in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

There’s a WHY behind this behavior. Why is he refusing to do the work? It isn’t laziness or defiance. Maybe he doesn’t understand the work. Maybe it’s too hard for him because he struggles with that subject or has an undiagnosed learning disability ( Maybe the work is too overwhelming and he could do it if it were given to him in smaller chunks. Maybe the room is too noisy to concentrate. Maybe the stress causes his cognitive function to deteriorate ( Maybe it’s anxiety that he can’t do well. Maybe….

The only way to improve this “defiance” is to discover and address the root issue. No amount of punishment will change it. That only makes him feel more like no one understands him and further destroys his self-esteem.

You could also request that the school do a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) to create a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). When an FBA is conducted properly, it helps teachers and staff discover the root causes of the different unwanted behaviors.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism