Real Assistance or Tips Needed

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    • #40037
      Penny Williams

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


      My son is 13 and very forgetful.  He has left his Keys in the door multiple times. He is very smart and has all A’s but tells his teachers he doesn’t care about learning — he just does his homework to get it done and over. I have informed him of his ADHD and he is in denial.  He will say, “I don’t have ADHD.” I let him see the doctor’s diagnosis and he still doesn’t believe it. What do I do?

    • #43304
      Kevin Ju

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

      He does his homework. He gets good grades. Why force him to accept the label? Just work with him on accepting some necessary tools for the worst ADD annoyances like losing keys (there are things you can put in his jacket or backpack that will beep when separated too far from the keys, for example). Maybe if he sees this stuff as quirks of his slow to develop frontal cortex he will be willing to use techniques for things he can’t fully control.

    • #43306
      Kevin Ju

      This reply was originally posted by user John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

      Topcatte’s reply is top notch. It is best to focus on simple life strategies and positive things. It looks as though there is a lot of positive about your young man.

      I don’t blame him for wanting to get homework out of the way. He’s smarter than the homework and it bores him. It is actually quite fortunate that he is strong enough to get it all done. That’s quite a feat.

    • #43309
      Kevin Ju

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

      I too completely agree with @Topcatte’s comment. He’s doing remarkably well for a teen with ADHD. While they often do reject the diagnosis (, they also suffer for it. Your son is excelling in school and that’s phenomenal.

      Your best approach is to leave the label behind, and focus on his strengths and interests, and teaching or offering strategies to overcome weaknesses (like leaving the keys in the door).

      Many adults with ADHD use a “home base” system. They put everything they need to exit the house with in one spot, close to the door. So it would have their keys, wallet or purse, shoes, eyeglasses, backpack, etc. right there in one spot. To help your son notice when he’s left something behind, you can label exact spots of each item. Then, when his key spot is empty, he’ll know to look for the keys and get them in their spot at “home base.”

      You can use apps to help as well. There are so many great time management, to-do list, and routines apps. I think teens are more likely to use technology than anything else too.

      ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #43312
      Kevin Ju

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

      Even without the ADHD, this is a time of self-discovery.

      I would recommend a “bottom-line” approach.

      If you establish a bottom line that is objectively measurable for school perfomance, homework, chores, not forgetting things, etc… then, he gets to do things mostly his way.

      If he cannot, then things become progressively more and more your way.

      If anyone can find a way to get ADHD kids to develop positive habits BEFORE they are facing the negative consequences of not having that skill, this community will make you rich. If he is getting away with it, even if only for now, their is no incentive to torture himself to develop that skill or habit.

      You can give him access to article, books, mentors, or successful peers with similar issues, but you are merely leading the horse to water.

      I remember clear as day. First reading the brochure in the University support center. Then reading Driven to Distraction and thinking… ok, this is totally me.
      I still needed to construct my identity as a person with ADD, and what that meant…

      That will be a genuine moment, and it cannot be forced.

    • #43315
      Kevin Ju

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

      I agree with many of the above comments: focus on the good things he’s doing, and focus on finding solutions to problems without worrying about the label. Someday he’ll be ready for the diagnosis and taking ownership of his own solutions, but not right now.

      I love how our therapist focuses on solutions and making problems smaller. He pretty much never talks about the label, which I am trying to emulate. It’s a healthier existence, though I think it’s still important that my son knows about ADHD. Everyone has similar problems (it’s just more so with ADHD), and there are a billion strategies to solving forgetfulness, disruptions, outbursts, etc. Yes, it’s harder and often different, but the sooner strategies are found, the better off he’ll be. The solutions will be the same wether he accepts he has ADHD or not. So use your energy in a productive path.

      Until he’s ready to accept it, use your energy to learn as much as you can about it and look for solutions. Sometimes a problem by problem basis is best.

      Ask him for ideas.

      Look into Love and Logic, 1-2-3 Magic, Driven to Distracton, and The Power of Positive Parenting.

      Work with the teachers.

      Best wishes. I know it’s difficult and frustrating. Sometimes I hate my life, living with the bad results of ADHD. I have a brilliant 12 year old who’s failing a class, a hole in a closet door, and all sorts of chaos, attitude, and tensions running high. But we also have a lot of fun, and make progress here and there. Things can improve.

    • #43828

      I think you should take him to the doctor soon. Just to be sure.

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