Reply To: Is it ADD or is he an A$$

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Penny Williams

It’s time to change your mindset about your son’s behavior (your current perspective isn’t working anyway).

Remember, ADHD is a developmental delay, as much as 30% behind same-age peers in many areas, especially executive functioning. That means, at 20, he’s functioning more like 14-16 in a lot of ways. Not by choice, but due to ADHD.

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It is so disrespectful to me, my husband and the professor.

You cannot view symptoms of ADHD as disrespect. This is the physiological way his brain functions, not character flaws. Being late, not getting started, getting lost in tasks… all are symptoms of executive function deficits, which is part of ADHD. Coping strategies for executive functioning are key.

Sit down and have a collaborative conversation together about this problem (being late to class, moving too slowly in the morning) and how to resolve it in a way that is helpful and agreeable to all. “I see that you’re really struggling to get to classes on time and it’s negatively impacting your grades. I know you want to do well with your classes, so let’s talk about what might help you get to class on time.”

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He is ruining our family life…

This breaks my heart. I know it can feel like this, but it’s really important to reframe your thinking on this. Negative thinking attracts negative feelings, which creates negative outcomes. He’s truly not choosing to burden you.

Lastly, when parents of kids with ADHD find themselves using the word “refuse” it’s a red flag. Again, as Ross Greene PhD says, “Kids do well if they can.” So, what is really the problem behind these behaviors?

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