Reply To: Helping My Kid when I have ADHD too

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I’ve struggled all my life to focus, complete schoolwork, not allow myself to succumb to distraction, etc. I had a high IQ, so teachers presumed I was just lazy. I still struggle with shiny bauble syndrome and focus.

One of my sons has ADD. I knew he had problems with retention, focus, and other issues but nobody at his school wanted to believe me. When he reached his sophomore year in high school, he asked me if he could drop out. He had no grasp of math. I found a homeschool program and forced him to finish his high school at home. Once he graduated, he signed up for one course (at my urging) at a community college, then one more because the classes were IT-based and he LOVED that.

Our school systems are only ready for those who can do the same thing at the same time, not for those who learn differently. When my son was younger, I taught him to read and do basic math at home, because he didn’t understand at school. I used dry noodles to create math problems. He did much better when he could physically touch objects to “add” or manipulate them as numbers. I recorded his books using varying tones so he could listen and read along, rather than just looking at words.

My son has issues, but he’s a programmer making a good living. Lately, he thanked me for forcing him to finish high school. I just knew he needed to have a minimum of a high school diploma to succeed in life, so I insisted he finish high school, and somehow he did.

We both hate reading. Try audio books. You may find that you retain that method of delivery much better than through written word. Some audiobooks are free; some services are cheaper than others. It’s something to try!

Don’t expect too much! Do what you can for his future and don’t beat yourself up. Your job is to keep a somewhat stable, loving home. The rest will hopefully follow.

All the best!