Refuses to do any class work or homework

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    • #67033

      My son has an IEP and Im begging for a 1:1 aide right now because he just simply REFUSES to do any class work or homework..He literally in class sits there and does nothing if its not on a ipad or computer screen..but sometimes even that doesn’t get done. At home trying to do the homework is like pulling teeth from a tiger sometimes i give up after 2 hours..but what I can’t understand stand or get him to tell me is WHY he feels he doesn’t need to do it..he’s on medication Concerta 36mg and in behavioral therapy but I can’t figure what is the block this year..last year was like a dream this year is a nightmare..Should I review his IEP again or call a meeting?? All he says when I ask him is he can’t and he stomps off..He’s in 4th grade this year..Any help would be so appreciated

    • #67041

      If you havent already, I would recommend a meeting with his teachers. Is he being bullied? Is he distracted by others that he is sitting around?
      My son was diagnosed with I-ADHD 10 years ago. It was so easy to manage early on but as they get older the work gets harder. He may feel its too much and mentally shuts down…unfortunately with everything. My son is now a junior in high school and what was a very predictable routine for him in years past has changed. He is now starting to drop the ball on homework assignments, fail to complete chores and becoming temperamental when trying to discuss these things with him. We may be back to medication in short order. I would love to tell you that it gets easier, it does for a while and then hormones kick it.

      Have you tried a reward based system when he actually does his homework? When my son was that age, we did “pajama ice cream runs” when he had a good week and completed all his assignments.
      Hang in there mom! You are on the right track.

      • #134550

        I could have written this entire message! My son is also in 4th grade and the struggle to get work done is insane! We have an IEP already, but have nothing in place to help him with the executive functioning skills he needs help with. I have been saying the past four years, lets get a plan in place for when the work becomes too hard because he can’t focus and now needs to pay attention to get through his work. He is missing key parts of lessons because of his inability to focus during class. We are re evaluating his IEP to get some stuff in place before the end of the year. If he doesn’t have one already, request a meeting to discuss getting an IEP. If he does have one, request a re evaluation and list out what your concerns are. Good luck! I’m right there with you!

    • #67064

      My son is in the 5th Grade and he started off the year doing the same thing. He would do his homework in the afterschool program but I was later told by his ELA teacher that he refused to read in class. I was so sad and frustrated. I asked him why he refused to read in class and he said it is hard for him to keep up with the class while reading the book. He has an IEP but it still feels like some of the teachers have little knowledge of ADHD and the classic symptoms. I signed him up for extra help for the subjects he finds most difficult. The teachers said that he is improving. I told him that if he refuses to read then he cannot play video games at home. I told him that trying is the most important thing he can do and that asking for help is more than ok.

      I also have ADHD so it is really hard for me to keep the pace going but I do my best. Maybe your son can read the audio books? That was an alternative for my son and it helped him follow along with the story.

      Keep the line of communication open with all of his teachers and give yourself a pat on the back. It is not easy so remember to be kind to yourself when it gets rough.

    • #67376
      Penny Williams

      While it sounds like he cannot communicate it just yet, there is a reason he’s not doing the work. There’s a barrier to discover and address. I’d ask for a meeting, but I’d ask that a Functional Behavior Assessment be done to uncover the reasons behind it.

      5 School Assessments Your Child May Be Entitled To

      Possible reasons could be:
      – Undiagnosed learning disability
      – Overwhelming environment
      – Overwhelmed by the work (format, volume, etc)
      – Not “connecting” with the teacher, maybe an adversarial relationship
      – Couldn’t meet his own expectations so quit trying
      – Couldn’t meet teacher/parent expectations so quit trying
      – Can’t focus in the classroom
      – Struggles with executive functioning, like task initiation, knowing where to start, etc.
      – The stress is causing cognitive fog and dysfunction

      It’s really important to discover the underlying reasons and address them. Punishment won’t change the reason for the behavior, nor nagging and begging (been there, tried that).

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

    • #134301

      My son is 14 and this same thing has been going on for years. I’ve meet with all the teachers, school administrators, agreed to the tests. I just don’t know what else to do. If it’s not Gym or hands on engineering class, he is totally checked out. He’s a phenomenal hockey player and that is where his passion is but all the school tells me is to threaten to take it a way. I can’t do that to him. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 6 and was taking medication until last year. He was always on low doses and it didn’t seem to help him AND he told me it made him feel down so we stopped. In any case, the problem still remains, he just doesn’t do any work. Otherwise not a problem, behaviorally so they don’t put him out. We’re just all at a loss.

    • #185008

      My son is 11 and in 6th grade. Doing work has always turned into a knock down drag out. I’ve realized he suffers from rejection sensitive dysphoria and it’s mainly anxiety driven, but knowing that doesn’t make it any easier! When we get on to him about just NOT doing whatever (school work, chores, basically anything that’s asked of him) he totally goes into this “well I’m just gonna act out and not do ANYTHING that I’m suppose to” thing where he’s destructive around the house (cutting a scrunchie, throwing a roll of tp into the toilet etc etc). We end up in this cycle and I know we all just wanna get off the ride! We’ve done CBT, EMDR, ssri, is currently on clonidine & focilin. Not sure what else to do, what changes need to be made… he can’t be an emotional terrorist to his younger siblings, dad and myself (not to mention HIS SELF!)

    • #185327

      To be honest since I’m in college now, for my third year, I had never felt so alone in the world of education, after feeling like my former school district did nothing but abandon the “special education students” the students on IEP’s and 504’s. I felt this year that I was grateful for the experiences that I was able to have with my peers, but at the same time I was always taken out of my class to enter the resource rooms. I think that’s why I never believed in myself and to this day it has haunted me your child may be experiencing the same thing, as a former student, I never felt comfortable talking to my parents who were both teachers about what it was like for fear that they would not believe me. your child might be scared to speak up and or doesn’t know what to say about how he’s feeling. I would support his involvement in his next meeting more than just being there and not being involved in the conversation. allow him to lead part of it making it his responsibility to voice his concerns about what its like to be learning in todays climate.

    • #185917
      Dr. Eric

      It would be impossible for me to provide feedback.
      An aide is not even really an intervention, but how you staff intervention when lesser options fail.
      Without knowing all of the assessment data and quality of the current interventions, their response data, and how the school can properly staff the intervention… anyone answering is just guessing.

      He is still young, but for older kids (High Elementary/Middle School and older), assigning an aide without a quality intervention plan that also accounts for building independence and fading support by design, on day one, risks building dependency than skill support.

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