Defiantly Refusing to Complete Classwork

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    • #39544
      Anni @ ADDitude

      This discussion was originally started by user velmom in ADDitude’s now-retired community. The ADDitude editors have included it here to encourage more discussion.

      Hi all. I have a son in the 5th grade. He was diagnosed with ADHD 3 years back. He has always been a pleaser. Trying his best to make his teachers happy. They have all been able to see that he is really trying and just unable to get what is in his brain to a paper. This year though, his teachers are saying that he is refusing to do the work. “Clearly defiant,” one teacher said. That he is pushing away from the desk or just saying he won’t do it.

      We had a team meeting and they are looking for answers from me. I just don’t know what to do since I am not there. The only thing I could think of, is sending the work he refuses to do home so that I can have him complete it at home along with his homework. One teacher really didn’t like this idea. I have talked to my son and made it clear that he has to do as the teachers say, but am still having problems. I have also taken his technology away and have shorten his TV watching dramatically. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • #40151
      Anni @ ADDitude

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

      Usually when my son refuses to do the work it’s because he doesn’t understand it. Instead of asking for help he just shuts down.

    • #40756
      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

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