Reply To: Teen admittedly quit trying at school

Penny Williams

My son could not function at all without ADHD medication — while it certainly isn’t a cure, and it doesn’t “fix” anything, it does offer improvement.

I suspected a recent dosage increase (very small) was causing increased anxiety and agitation. I followed my gut and went back to the lower dosage yesterday, and he had such a better day and was happier and more settled. Sometimes, you have to balance the benefits on focus of higher doses with not having their brain on “high alert” all the time. It just has to be a lower dose than is fully effective for him, and we have to manage in other ways.

He does also have MTHFR and COM-T genetic polymorphisms and he takes some methylated B-vitamins and methylfolate and vitamin C to try to help with that some.

We also had a serious talk Wednesday night about trying to do your best, not trying to “get it over with” when it comes to school work. He had a math test yesterday and he said he really tried to do well, and his SPED teacher texted me that he thought he did do well on the test. (Math is where he really avoids work.) We made a rule that when you have a current grade that is an F, you don’t play any video games until all the missing work is complete and submitted to teachers. His poor grades are mostly due to missing and incomplete work, and teachers give him extra time and let him make it up. It hasn’t even been 48 hours since our heart-to-heart, but so far so good. 🙂

All we can do is keep working at it and give him all the tools and coping strategies we can to make as much improvement as possible for him. Some days are heartbreaking, but a great day is never too far behind.

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