My Forum Comments
I have never heard of this but I wonder if you could offer to the company try it out (for free) in exchange for writing a review of it on Additude?? Just a thought …
I forgot to say I have dealt with a couple of colleagues who were bullies in the past. What works for me:
Take the person aside – no audience / have some notes on hand in case you lose your train of thought (if you are like me and your brain shuts down when you get nervous) and use lots of “I feel” statements –
Barbara I feel like you may be having some concerns with my work lately ? Im feeling a little attacked at times like this morning when … and last week when ..:.and give her those specific examples.
Did I do something to upset you ? (I don’t know for sure why but that question has worked every time for me). One time it was because it made the person realize they were the one who had the problem and they were just taking it out on me —-ie stressful home life, worsening personal medical problems therefore not feeling well at work. I didn’t actually do anything wrong – but rather they were taking their frustrations out on me. When their concern was valid – such as a productivity issue at one point, I made sure to agree with them saying I was also frustrated with that aspect of my job and had been trying different things to help.
I then explained how my adhd affects this part of my job (I know this is not a popular choice among others on here) but I feel so strongly about advocating for people with invisible disabilities -I’m a full time advocate for my 3 kids at school- that it works for me anyway.
I am the person in your office who talks openly about ADHD and mental illness. I am especially open with my patients. I’m not embarrassed to say I have adhd and mental illness (depression/anxiety) or that i take medications. It’s a brain based disorder – why should we treat it any different than a disease of my heart or my liver? I think I have even helped some of my patients to pursue their own diagnosis. Sorry I really went off on a tangent there !
I always finish my explanation with ..this is not an excuse but rather an explanation. (I mean if I had an outward physical disability everyone would be able to see that. So why can’t I talk about how adhd affects me at work- I don’t say this part out loud).
I am a Nurse Practitioner so for me it’s the whole stigma issue with invisible disabilities -especially mental illness- that I’m passionate about. I want to normalize talking about it and asking for help from bosses/colleagues/support staff. I learn differently than others/ my processing speed is not quite as fast as yours and my poor working memory means I have to take more notes than others when seeing a patient. So these things may mean I see one less patient a day than you do. If I had one leg and this meant I walked slower than others then that could be a factor in how many patients I’m able to see especially if I have to trek all over the hospital to see them …right ? I don’t say that last part to them of course.
The most important part: Barbara if you have ANY ideas on short cuts or work arounds that you can think of that might help me pick up speed (so you don’t feel like I’m “getting away with being lazy”) please don’t hesitate to tell me.
Enter office politics / lots of years of therapy : “because Barbara I respect how well you do your job and I’m sure I could learn a lot from you”.
Leave it at that and after a week or 2 if she’s still being rude /interrupting etc – take her aside again and say “I wanted to say thank you for the ideas you gave me. Can you let me know if you have seen any differences yet in my work? Because I would love to get your feedback.
Then – “one last thing – I’ve noticed when you interrupt me in front of a patient it makes me lose my train of thought and that just prolongs the visit”. OR “when you start directing me to do something that you can see I’m already working on – I know you mean well ( and if you’re like my husband probably frustrated with how long it takes me to do ..blah blah blah )
But when you try to help me (take over the situation) i start getting anxious and then I end up forgetting to send the pt to the lab for their testing or I forget to ….
I also think it may be affecting my authority with the lab techs and the secretaries. Some are giving me a lot of push back when I ask them to do something.
How about we meet again in a couple weeks ? This has been so helpful- thank you Barbara for your patience and understanding”.
I know these exchanges aren’t perfect but hopefully you get the idea.
One colleague i did this with it shut her right up- she never liked me and talked about me behind my back all the time – including the fact
That she thinks ADHD is fake and an excuse etc ….BUT she didn’t pull the other crap on
me in front of others ever again. And I don’t care if she likes me or not – I don’t need to be friends with people I work with. I am confident in my skills as an NP and as a caring and empathic human being, mother, wife and friend -to my real friends 🙂
I hope there will be something here that can help you out. Keep us posted
How would like to envision this situation working out?
I love that question. That is such an important step to figuring out how to get to the root of what’s really bothering you. It reminded me a little of the acronym THINK – before you speak think about :
T -is it truthful
H- is it helpful
I- is it inspiring
N-is it necessary
K-is it kind
I use this with my kids a lot .
I think that’s a very good question. I would definitely ask how the drivers are vetted and monitored. I think I would feel better if they had cameras on the vans but we have never had to use services like this so I’m not really sure how best to advise you.
Maybe asking if you can go with him the first few times on the van – you can just say he is anxious and you want him to be successful so you figured you could help ease the transition by going the first few times? That way the drivers and staff at the program know your face and that you are “keeping an eye” on everything / everyone. (That’s why I was always either on PTO or volunteered at school).
Or see if you could talk to some of the other parents / families /staff at the day program about their experiences with the drivers?
Like I said we haven’t been in this same situation but these are some things I thought of. I wish you all the best.
I don’t know if you have already been diagnosed with adhd but your story certainly sounds like adhd to me.
I’m a 48 yo woman who wasn’t diagnosed until my late 30’s. You sound like me as a teenager. I had no self esteem and ended up depressed and at one point contemplated suicide.
The day I received my adhd diagnosis and took my first dose of Adderall I remember thinking “oh my god …this is what it feels like to be normal ??!!??!!” I spent so many years angry that I lost all of those years to adhd.
I don’t mean to be so blunt – it comes with age-but if I were you I would do a trial of stimulant medication for sure. It changed my life.
So are they calling you to just inform you of what’s going on at school or to ask you to “fix” the situation?
My son is almost 18 so lots of years of dealing with school here. One thing I found that often helped in these situations was to say “ok thanks for letting me know- so what are you planning on doing about it ?” I often felt school was too quick to call me for a solution. Those calls that forced me (I felt forced anyway) to have to be the case manager resulted in me having PTSD and my sons ADHD morphing into Severe anxiety, depression, school refusal and now him dropping out of school this year – 12th Grade. So
He doesn’t get to graduate with his friends and who feels like the failure – him and me. Even though I feel the school should be partly to blame as well.
I’m hoping my story will help someone like you to advocate better than I did. If he doesn’t have an IEP or 504 then you should request a full psychoeducational evaluation. There are form letters on this website you can use as a guide.
You should also request a meeting in the meantime with all involved parties to figure out exactly why he is having these behaviors. I just came from a workshop with Dr Ross Greene – if you are not familiar with him please google him. His website Lives in the Balance is very helpful in these exact situations. He believes kids do well if they can and if they are not doing well then we need to figure out why. That means you have to involve the student in the solution. If you just have adults trying to impose unilateral solutions they will rarely work, everyone will be more frustrated and precious time will be lost.
And please make sure you are taking care of yourself through all of this. I didn’t for awhile and that was hard because I couldn’t be as available to my kids since I was trying to play catch up and take care of the part of me I had ignored for a long time.
Yes I signed up for his webinar as soon as it was announced !
So I’m having my son fill out this on line IEP tool (my local parent support grp told me about it) the other day and one of the questions was “what do you consider are your strengths ?”. His answer – lying – I’m good at lying mom. He has a sly sort of little smile as he says it the second time and I was so stunned I couldn’t respond. Now we know he has told many lies over the years – Did u take your medicine? – yes mom – look at the pill box and nope -meds still there. And big ones – did you get dads Apple password and order all those games? No way mom – of course we find out he did.
So the first example is likely he didn’t want to hear me complain about having to always remind him.
The second example was to avoid getting in trouble. But the why did he spend all of that money with the Apple account ? My husband accidentally left the password on the screen or something like that and then next day it was still there and my son wanted these games and knew we would say no and his friends were already playing them and he wanted to play with them – so impulsivity was part of that as well as not wanting to do the work (he knows he can do extra chores to make money) to earn it and ? maybe time blindness- he would have to wait weeks until he could earn enough money to buy them. And that probably seemed like a year to him.
So I’m not sure if I’m trying to justify or simply to understand how their brains work. I guess my thought is – wouldnt the intervention be different based on if it’s due to avoiding hard work versus being impulsive versus avoiding being grounded (feeling uncomfortable) etc etc?
By the way I will let you know the website for the IEP tool.
I’m wondering if this is another variation of ADHDers who never finish projects for example ? Difficulty tying up loose ends? I would hire an ADHD coach to help hold you responsible and it might help uncover why you do it. My house is full of unfinished projects. I wish you the best !
Oh god I am so sorry you are going through this. This is my fear with my 17 yo son. My therapist suggested this: either they are in school or have a job. If they are not doing either of those we tell them we will provide a home and food but no privileges like cell phones, computers, iPads, gaming devices.
Is this something you think you could do?
May 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm in reply to: HS son still refusing school-when do I say enough is enough? #84404
“Why in the world is the school holding his electronics? Are they school issued? If your family owns them they have ZERO right to have them or control them. I’ve never heard of such a thing. I have no words…”
So this was actually a mutually agreed thing – we own the electronics but they offered to keep them at the school so he didn’t try to find them here in the house – that is something he would try to do – find them and use them without us knowing. They also came up with the idea of losing them for 10 days the next time he skipped school -which at the time I agreed to. We were at our wits end over all the school he had missed and over his recent inpt psych admission (he has depression and anxiety and oppositional defiant disorder in addition to his adhd) and I was concerned that part of what was going on with him was related to possible electronics addiction. There is strong family hx of addiction issues and he has a lot of the signs of them. At that time I was actually telling school I thought maybe we should remove them completely. I mean if you are addicted to drugs you don’t keep them in the house do you ? But they thought that was a bit too much which my own therapist agreed with. We were just desperate …….
So there was a little more going on there than maybe I had explained. That being said I realize now that it was stupid and that’s why when he refused to go to school on Monday and they responded by telling me to bring the electronics in on my way to work and they would lock them up again I told them absolutely not – that we are never doing that again.
“Yes, taking away the things he actually gets enjoyment out of in life will only make him give up trying at all.”
This is what he tells us ALL THE TIME. He tells us – if you take away my electronics you realize I will only get more depressed? And that’s what happens.
” And if it hasn’t changed the school behavior it isn’t going to (it never would have). There’s an issue (or many) that are not being addressed and so his brain has chosen flight and freeze.”
And that is exactly right – it didnt’ change the behavior and as far as the underlying issues being addressed ? He has a language disorder which includes difficulty with vocabulary – when he was evaluated by speech pathologist years ago and diagnosed they recommended services and school of course denied it because he wasn’t having problems at the time. So over the last few years when things have become harder, especially this year, I have mentioned the language d/o several times in meetings but somehow they always gloss right on over that. And the ‘flight and freeze’ part ? I actually bought Jerome Schultz’s book you had recommnended and I even sent them a huge paragraph from the book which included this specific quote. I got an email back saying “why don’t we meet in person”.
“This school is obviously very toxic for him. If it’s a public school, I’d be filing a discrimination claim with the US Office of Civil Rights right now. ”
So here is what i want to know now – would you still consider the discrimination claim ?
May 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm in reply to: HS son still refusing school-when do I say enough is enough? #84396
I want all of you who have responded to know how much I appreciate you taking time out of your day to help. I know how busy we all are – and being a fellow ADHDer myself I know how easy it is to say “oh I’ll just answer this quickly” and suddenly an hour has gone by!!!
I have actually thought about copying several of the responses here and email them to his school. So they can see that there are other people out there saying the same exact things I am constantly trying to tell them. I feel so alone and misunderstood when I talk with them. That’s why talking to everyone here is so necessary for my own mental health 🙂
And Here is the Latest email from his guidance counselor and social worker:
We are here to focus with him on the next 17 days of school.
He can articulate his concerns to us when he returns to the building. If he feels like he is not going to do the Chemistry project, it is understood that he will receive Regents credit for the course- still a really positive accomplishment after such a challenging year.
The requirements for PE are a state education requirement. If he does not complete the requirements, that is fine and we will re-develop a plan for next year after this year is complete.
Our doors are always open for him to initiate conversation.
So I have my own thoughts on this email but wondered what you guys thought before I respond. I doubt myself sometimes because of how close I am to the situation.
May 14, 2018 at 8:12 pm in reply to: HS son still refusing school-when do I say enough is enough? #84235
Hello- so to answer some of the questions asked –
Yes he can complete his diploma from home – we have offered that to him. Although school doesn’t want to see that happen
When he comes home from school he is miserable and doesn’t want to leave his room. He gets absolutely no enjoyment out of school- especially this year.
He is happier at home and calls himself a homebody. He doesn’t like sports or any clubs. He has friends thankfully so that’s good.
He could never do the military unfortunately. The physical part of it would kill him. He has scoliosis, chronic joint pain, asthma and connective tissue disease which causes the pain as well as severe skin sensitivity (he went on a field trip in 8th grade to Washington DC- he came home with 2nd degree burns from the sun).
Penny – I sent the link to article Why School stress is devastating to our children to his guidance counselor, social worker and director of special education. We had a meeting few days after that and it didn’t seem to sink in with them. They basically advised me to let them handle him- that he has to feel the consequences of his actions in order to see any change.
Meanwhile He refuses to go to school today – first time since he lost his electronics for those 10 days last month. So clearly that didn’t work….RIGHT??!!
So I get email from school today telling me to drop his electronics off tomorrow am at school for another 10 days. Yet my son told me if we took them away again it would only make him more depressed. He told me today he feels like no one ever really listens to him and I thought to myself yeah that’s how I feel about his school not listening to me!! Ugghhh !!
By the way I forgot to mention we are also getting a neuropsych eval done – finally – basically the only test the kid has never had. It is going to help us sort of put final pieces of puzzle together as to how his brain works and what strategies he can use to help him. (my personal opinion -anyone suspected of having adhd/autism spectrum/learning disabilities/or struggling to be successful and unable to figure out why- should have a neuropsych eval done)
And what Penny said about Dr. Greene is so true – kids do well if they can. So if a kid is struggling we have to find out why. That is why we are finally getting the neuropsych eval because up until now our son has also seen psychiatrist (for 10 years now sees child psych one of best in our area anyway for medication mgmt only though), has had several therapists over the years – but he refuses to talk pretty much, did a stint at our local psych hospital in an intensive 4 wk ouptatient group therapy program – just made him realize there are other kids out there like him but other than that didnt really do too much.
Learned helplessness – look that up if you haven’t – we were told we have at times allowed this to manifest in our son over the years. We are better now with therapy but it is soooo easy to let it happen.
I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know because it sounds like we are in very similar situations.
I had posted earlier in this thread about my therapist’s advice on what to do with my 17yo son and his school refusal this year. I actually had an appt with her yesterday and this was her latest advice – slightly different from what i originally posted. Hoping some of this can help in your situation
Sit our son down and say in the most loving, supportive and therapeutic way possible – your dad and I love you very much but we have realized something this year, we can’t make you do things you don’t want to do. We are not going to fight with you anymore (this whole year has been constant fighting which his 2 younger sisters have had to witness as well as take a backseat to because of all the time we have had to spend on our son, and I was afraid at one point I was going to lose my job because I called in so much having to deal with his school refusal, meetings at school constantly to figure out what to do, a 4 day inpatient hospitalization and the 4 week intensive outpt program we had to drive 2 hrs to 3 x/wk so I had miss work for that). Always fighting with you to go to school has strained our relationship with you and we don’t want that anymore. You are 17 years old and you should be able to make your own decisions and choices. But due to your significant struggles this year attending school that going back next year is just not an option. So we have decided that next year you can choose to do one of the following:
– drop out of school completely – but you have to have a full time job if you choose this
– obtain your high school diploma in alternative way – but must hold part time job as well (GED program or our local community college he can also do this)
– go full time to the local comm college – do not need to have a job if choose this – apparently you can finish your diploma that way and start taking college courses
– go to special program at the high school for kids with attendance issues/mental health issues etc – basically kids like him – 24 kids, a psychologist, 1 teacher and TA per class of 8, later start to day, daily therapy and meditation, etc etc (he has already told his he will not choose this option as it is “social suicide”)
So when I asked her what if he says no to all of them and says he’s just going to drop out then because he doesn’t like any of those options – she said we tell him that we will never kick you out and we will never not feed you but if you decide to drop out (and not work) and just sit home – then you won’t be able to have any privileges – tv, video games, cell , car to drive.
So, we haven’t had this talk with him yet and like I said not sure if this would work for you or not. Also if anyone has any comments on this plan don’t be shy – bc I’m still tossed up myself.
Her feeling is that once he sees what sitting home and doing nothing feels like it won’t be long before he picks one of the 4 options. And when I bring up the working full time and how he wants to be an astrophysicist how is that helping him attain his goals she said that after awhile when he realizes what not having a high school diploma gets you in the way of work options he will make a different choice. He will then likely FINALLY have that MOTIVATION to go to school.
I guess my hesitation though is that it’s still not teaching him the skills he needs – dealing with feeling overwhelmed or not wanting to get up in the morning to go to school etc – so have to think more on this. I posted a question by the way not long ago here about my son and a very nice young man responded to it – you should read it – it gave me some hope for my son.
October 2, 2018 at 1:06 am in reply to: How to motivate college-age child with ADD & depression #100624
How do you “ make them “ do anything ? Ex – go to class – any advice ?
We tried rewards , taking away privileges- any other ideas ? Thanks
September 28, 2018 at 9:06 am in reply to: Living with ADHD & Depression-will I ever feel happy? #100301
I have days I can’t get out of bed and just feel numb. It’s awful. I’m on antidepressant and stimulant for the adhd . The stimulant is by far the most noticeably effective part of my medication regime. There are days I miss it and im just kind of blah and unmotivated. When I take it I feel happier probably because I’m motivated to make my To Do lists and start some laundry – feel like I’m accomplishing something which makes me feel better.
Also make sure all possible medical and physical diagnoses are ruled out. Thyroid, anemia, low Vit D levels – these are just a few reasons you can feel like this.