How do I help my recently diagnosed 13-year-old daughter

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    • #46889

      My daughters 13 she’s in eighth grade and she was recently diagnosed with severe ADHD and ODD. She struggled with school since kindergarten she has been tested numerous times and our school system always said that there was no problem (except she just didn’t want to do her work, or she was being lazy) until last year when I got her tested privately.

      Since starting medication she’s gained several Grade levels in reading and her grades have improved. She has an IEP and she doesn’t get in trouble in school as much as she used to. The school says that she needs to have firm consequences. I feel like the school thinks they can punish her impulsiveness and off task behavior out of her…has anyone had to deal with this before?

      It feels like the school is against her and doesn’t want to allow her to do all the things the other kids get to do. She is not allowed to go to the eighth-grade dance after graduation or the eighth grade trip due to her getting in trouble repeatedly for off task behavior. She feels sick to her stomach in the mornings and she dreads going to school especially first period because that’s when she always gets in trouble, usually for being off task.

      I feel like she’s came along ways however her medication isn’t a magic pill and her behaviors aren’t going to change completely overnight so I think the school needs to be more understanding of her disabilities and possibly give her the chance to make up and learn from her mistakes. However they say that that would be unfair to their other students. Has anyone encountered this? Does anyone have any suggestions or any ideas? I feel lost and sad for my daughter and it’s disheartening that we have no options.

      • This topic was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by tessa. Reason: Corrections
      • This topic was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #69140

      Hi there.

      So sorry to hear you both are dealing with all of that! ADHD and ODD by themselves are such a struggle, I can’t imagine what they are like together.

      I can see how the school thinks punishing her will work, but they just don’t understand her diagnoses. Of course punishments won’t work. They will just continue to push her farther away from wanting to attend school and learn.

      I think it’s important to continue to have open discussions with the school about her progress. Maybe even involve an outside counselor for your daughter to visit with and to help the school see how best to help her and see her progress.

      As for helping your daughter, I’m not an expert but I do know of a few resources that might help. Creating structure and following a routine is key. And rewarding is too. It won’t be perfect, there will have to be compromises, but that’s just how it is.

      ODD seems to be misunderstood too and I’ve had to do my own research to better understand it. Here are a few infographics that I’ve found helpful with understanding them and deciding which steps to take next.

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