March 15, 2018 at 4:48 pm #79052
My 9yo son has adhd/odd has an IEP since 2nd grade..K,1,2 were hard..3rd was most wonderful year ever..4th the worst..he literally has learned ZERO and has done about 10-15% of the work in class for the entire year..he basically just sits back and does nothing or just says nope and just walks outside to play ball or have recess with other classes..I finally was able to get him an aide in Jan and he now is on the 3rd aide one he bonded with but because of school union another person wanted her job so new aide comes in for a week finds out she can’t handle it and leaves..we are now on #3 hopefully she stays..my problem is what can we do to keep him in his seat and do work?? Everyone is running out of tricks and options..I am at my wits end ..Any help will be appreciated
March 16, 2018 at 2:29 am #79069
Sounds to me like he is a bit lost and behind, so he’s giving up on trying. As a Mom, I spend countless after school hours working with my child to cross check what she is doing. I look for weekly homework to see if she is falling behind, way behind, or what subjects she is doing well in. Look at percentages, not 123 scores which tell you nothing. There is nothing more demotivating than being lost on a subject from years past and not having someone to help you catch up. The HS tutors only help a little.
We are due for an IEP this month. I am curious to see if it will really do anything. Due to complications, my daughter is off meds (tried once). We have constant homework battles and it takes her a long time to get any writing done that is acceptable. I have found great articles and downloads (free) from Additude Magazine. Just found one tonight on how to help kids write.
Be your child’s advocate. The school is required to help them be successful. As parents though….we all need to continually search and reach out for tricks of the trade that other people have learned.
Take things one day at a time. If he is behind, try to get back to where he got lost and work forward, along with trying to keep up with daily demands. Be on top of them for a daily planner and writing things down, and checking it off together each night. Review all the homework. If he failed, ask to take it again and ask for help. We all know, the further we move onward, the more difficult it will become – especially if you lost a step in a prior grade level.
For not sitting down….maybe look into meds. It really did help my daughter on that front, and focus….but other side effects were too much and we also have other factors unnamed that affect things. Hugs and best wishes to you and your son. We will all figure out a way to help them be successful. Breathe, and try to maintain patience.
March 16, 2018 at 9:09 am #79073
What you’re doing isn’t working, so it’s time to try something different, and it’s time to think outside the box.
Asking, “what can we do to keep him in his seat and do work?” is trying to push a square-peg kid into a round hole. It will never work.
Instead ask, “How can we help him participate in class, learn, and show that he’s learning?” That’s the true goal, right?
Why does he need to stay in his seat? He might work better sitting on a bean bag in the corner, or sitting on the floor, or standing at his desk, or having a ball/balance chair instead of a traditional desk chair. All of these accommodations are appropriate, and all offer the movement/fidget stimulation he needs to help his brain focus. Some classroom expectations need to be challenged because they are created for neurotypical kids, and your child doesn’t/cannot function that way.
Second, be a detective and figure out why he’s not doing the work. It could be a number of things… undiagnosed learning disability, unaddressed learning disability, environment too distracting, sensory overwhelm/sensitivity, assignments are overwhelming, struggles with initiation/doesn’t know how to start, learned helplessness, anxiety, etc… All possibilities have to be considered and “investigated.” Once you determine the cause(s), then you can address it with accommodations.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Trainer on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
April 2, 2018 at 11:40 pm #80652
I’m a special Ed Teacher and I have adult ADD. I sympathize with you. Good idea to get him an individual para. That would have been my first suggestion. You said it was working out with the first para. I would make an appt with principal teacher etc. I would explain the situation and ask if it’s possible they can switch Paras back and give him the first para since he was making some progress. The Union has NOTHING to do with that decision. Lies like that give the union a bad name. The principal makes that decision NOT a union. What may have happened is the para mane wanted to switch and didn’t want you to know it was her choice. I’ve seen this happen many times. sIs he in special education? Maybe he needs a smaller class size in addition to an individual para. I would talk to the person in charge of special Ed at his school. Maybe ask school psychologist to re evaluate him. Also ask if they think a district 75 school maybe a better learning environment for him.
April 3, 2018 at 1:20 am #80666
Yep, I can say that after 37 years in education (well and another 8 or so as the CL on the adhd medhelp forum) that kids with a decent amount of intelligence and adhd start to hit the wall at about 4 grade. The math usually does them in (and its going to require many extra hours of tutoring to catch him up).
In my opinion, he has given up. He has gotten tired of hitting his head against the wall. If this continues…anxiety, depression, and self medication will follow.
While some have hinted at it,I will be more blunt. You need to get him on medication. I have worked with kids in the classroom who were unmedicated. They were wonderful kids. We had a great relationship. I would give them 3 days to finish a test….and they just could not concentrate long enough to do even that.
So yes, as adhd momma said, what you are doing (and you have been trying the right things) have not been working. It is time, while you still have the time, to try something else. Because, once middle school starts, life really gets interesting. I, as several of the above have lots of good information on medication. Just ask and we can send it to you.
April 3, 2018 at 9:00 am #80700
Hi, I’m not sure about how long teachers stay with their classes in your area, but it sounds like the 3rd grade teacher made a connection. It might be worth seeing if you can meet up with the 3rd grade teacher and find out what they felt made the biggest difference for your son. If he has a different teacher now maybe you could get the two teachers together to work on some strategies for him. If he still has a good connection with that teacher you can use that connection to help to build a more positive attitude to his school work, maybe taking work he is particularly proud of to show that teacher. it doesn’t take a lot of extra time for anyone, but can make a difference.
April 3, 2018 at 10:30 am #80740
My son has similar issues and is only on kindergarten. I spend a ton of time at home going over homework and trying to prep him for the next week(I ask to get the main points of the next weeks lessons sent home each Friday). That tends to give him a leg up and therefore more confidence in the classroom.
As for out of seat behavior, he doesn’t have too much of that at school according to the teacher’s feedback but he has tons at home. We initiated a seatbelt at the table. First we described how this would be carried out, showed him what we were using and gave a demonstration. Then we explained it as an aid to help him remember that he is supposed to be seated and told him we would begin using it in 3 days. The belt is a reminder not a punishment and he agreed that this would be something he would be happy to have since it is no fun getting constant nagging to stay in his seat. So far it has worked great. He still fidgets a lot but stays in his seat. He still has bad days so there have been times where he just lets himself out of the belt but for the most part, he really appreciates it as an aid.
April 4, 2018 at 4:15 pm #80672
April 13, 2018 at 7:37 pm #81720
We have been on meds since about 1st grade he currenty is on Concerta 36 mg with Busiprone twice a day..since the Busiprone time at home has been alot better BUT school is still the same..we have been to 3 diffrent therapist we have been with psychiatrist..and no one yet has been able to tell me why he does this..He just truly has given up on school. I just got off the phone with his teacher telling her we need to hold him back..
April 17, 2018 at 8:12 am #81728
To ajsd: if school is still the same, then something is not working. He may well have a reading, or writing, or hearing, or even vision problem that has not been identified. Has he been fully tested for more then just adhd?
Kids give up because they just can’t do the work. The question above is looking at one reason why he cannot do the work. The other may be that his medication is really not allowing him to concentrate. You need to talk to his teacher to find out how he is doing/acting in class. Can he pay attention, does he stay on track, or is he tired and out of it? It may be that he is undermedicated. Concerta is a great med, but he might need an adderall based medication. And, of course, he might be overmedicated. That is why it is so important to get a feeling for how he is doing in class. This video by Dr. Charles Parker should also be helpful – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0gir0CPLjo
And, of course, the other thing that can help at school is a 504 plan or an IEP. Does he have either one of these?
By the way, what grade is he in now?
April 17, 2018 at 9:18 am #81729
Opps, just noticed that you are the original poster which answers my question about what grade he is in now. And thankyou for the information about his medication. That still might be part of the answer, but thats for his doctor and you to figure out. The video link I posted will help with that.
A good question was raised by one of the above posters. Third grade went really well! Why??? Is this more a problem of the teacher being stricter or demanding more? I would talk with the 3rd grade teacher and see if she can shed any light as to why things are not going as well. Has his medication changed between 3rd and 4th grade? How about his sleep habits? I would also try and talk with his new aide to get her impression of what is happening in class.
Finally, you said that they want to keep him in his seat and work. There are lots of studies that show that kids with adhd need to be able to roam or move. fidget gadgets help, but moving helps the most. In his IEP, is it written that he can get up and move around? And, of course, many times the correct medication will help with the hyperactivity of movement. Humm, that leads to one other thought and that is about Sensory Processing Disorder. It can look a lot like adhd, but it is treated by an occupational therapist and the traditional adhd medications will not help that much – although it is not uncommon to have both.
Here are two good links. And I have several more if they are needed. But take the time to check these out – it would answer a lot of what is going on.
I hope this helps. This has to be so frustrating for you!
April 17, 2018 at 9:19 am #81766
it is possible that he has SPD ( sensory processing disorder) which would explain why the medication is not working. More on SPD here – https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-sensory-overload-spd-and-adhd-in-children/?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=parent_april_2018&utm_content=041418
If the medication is working, then he may have an undiagnosed learning disability (as others have suggested) that is preventing him from learning.
And thank you for mentioning what meds he is now on. It is also possible that he needs to be on a different type of stim medication like adderall or Vyvannse, because Concerta is not doing for him what it should be doing. Do his teachers see a lack of focus or hyperactive activity while he is at school? If so, his meds may not be working for him. More of this in this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObnMSU_BagI And also listed with this link are some of Dr. Parkers thoughts on anxiety which you might find helpful.
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