My Forum Comments
It is great you are being so proactive! I have two recomendations a book that parses out how ADHD may be contributing and a website on marriage relationships and negotiating successfully. Together they give great strategies and principles to stay in a sane loving mutually respectful relationship.
Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder
by Gina Pera (Author), PhD Russell Barkley (Foreword)
https://www.marriagebuilders.com/index.html Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr.
I have read a ton of relationship books (related to work, parenting, and marriage) over the past 25 years. This is the first on marriage that I’ve found that resonates on every level. I haven’t scoffed at one bit and more amazingly neither has my husband. It covers more than you are asking about but it’s principles allow you to devise a plan for managing the house that will work for you both without causing resentment in either.
This may be especially helpful to the poster AJ, they definitely have your back.
The author does have a christian background but it is not apparent except in videos where he is interviewed by a christian program host. He definitely does not subscribe to the viewpoint that either spouse has the right to make demands of the other.
household of 5 and husband is the only one lacking ADHD
First off I agree with what has been said so far.
I do wonder why you don’t want to get any help this year, even though you are feeling overwhelmed by coursework which is below your intellectual understanding? And why do you feel that is an “of course” decision? Would you feel the same if you were deaf or blind?
“Should I just go to a community college and work extra hard?” In my opinion a community college is a good option for most people just out of highschool because you typically pay less money while learning how to navigate college culture and coursework. Plan on that for two years and then transfer in to a typical 4 year university. And expect to work extra hard no matter what, that is the college experience whether you need accommodations or not. The caveat here is that there are more scholarships available for freshman than transfer students. That might be a consideration if you know exactly what you want to do and have the portfolio to get accepted by your target school. That could be plan A and then compare offers to what you would spend by going the transfer route.
It is very helpful if choosing community college route to have an idea of where you want to graduate from and with what degree. That way you can check with the target school on what courses from where will transfer. And until you have an idea of that, stick to electives of interest and the basic gen eds that everyone requires like english comp etc. In some states community colleges have agreements with the state 4 year schools for exactly this purpose. You do need to check which programs transfer to which schools.
“Go to university and request accommodations of some sort?” If you decide on university absolutely request accommodations and stay in close contact with your advisor, the disability department (I lack a proper term), and your teachers throughout each term. You don’t necessarily have to take advantage of all the accommodations all the time. You can use as needed but only if you set them up ahead of time and notified the teacher when the semester starts.
“Wait until I find meds that help me?” I would not wait on this. Meds can help give you the necessary focus to stay in your seat and learn skills. They do not give you the skills you need to succeed.
“Skip college altogether?” Maybe, but not because of ADHD. This option is viable if you have a deliberate alternative plan. Maybe you feel you need more time to mature and discover what you’d like to go to school for. There are structured programs available to young adults for that purpose. They often provide room, board, a small stipend, and funds for education later on. Maybe you just want to work, make money and take a break from academics. No problem with that, but I would apply to entry level positions in larger companies that reimburse for eduction (or a part of it) in fields that you have an interest in even if it is a remote interest at this point. That way when you feel ready you’ll have funding. Maybe you want to enter a particular trade and an apprenticeship is a better option. The trades don’t get the respect they deserve, they are high paying jobs that require intelligence.
check your states employment security website or office, they know of programs for young adults specific to your state
Also there is no law that you have to get a degree in the minimum amount of time. You can accumulate credits before becoming a matriculating student. It is very helpful though to have an idea of where you want to graduate from and with what degree. That way you can check with the target school on what courses, from where, will transfer. And until you have an idea of that, stick to the basic gen eds that everyone requires like english comp etc. Even so, if you make a mistake and take a class of interest in what eventually becomes your major and it does not transfer; it is usually not a total waste of time or money you will just end up with a better grade in the degree program.
“Would accommodations help bridge the gap that my medication used to fill?” Possibly, and if not they would fill a different and very necessary gap. It all depends on what skills are lacking and what effect your meds had. For instance, an accommodation of class notes provided would replace meds if the meds allowed you to actually stay present long enough to take the notes yourself.
“How do accommodations even work?” Have you ever heard of a handicap in golf? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handicap_(golf) Regular people use them so people of differing abilities can play the game and enjoy doing so. That is what school accommodations do.
“I’ve always felt that it was kind of unfair to ask for extra help, even when I felt it was unfair that my brain was different.” Exactly why it is not unfair.
“Do I even need them?” Maybe not. Interview your friends and ask how much time they spend on homework and what kind of grades they are getting. If you are spending the same amount of time or more and getting poorer grades ask them about their study habits. Maybe all you need is to change your strategy. If that doesn’t seem to be the problem or if even knowing what good study habit’s are, you can’t achieve them whilst trying then yes, you probably need accommodations. At least while enrolled in academics.
“I don’t know what a 504 plan or IEP is, and my mom never tried to get any accommodations for me because meds and taking home anything I couldn’t get done used to work okay.” They are both descriptions of the issues and a plan for overcoming them. A 504 plan is easier to get and usually related to medical issues, but an IEP has more teeth and clout. ADHD can fall under either plan.
Don’t fault yourself or your mom, people accommodate for themselves until the expectations exceed they’re capabilities or their willingness to put in extra effort. It seems you are just getting to that point. It is very good your realizing somethings not quite right and are pursuing a solution. And it is not too late to ask. It is a process and if successful it may be too late to use the accommodations this year or maybe everyone is quick and they are in place for final quarter. If not, you will have the documentation you need for college/university and any other formal program (ex Americorp) you might try.
Go to your guidance department and convey your concerns about getting formal accommodations in place for your last semester and eventually college. If you get push back and probably a good idea even if you don’t ask for an evaluation through “Child Find”. The school is required to do evaluations if parent OR TEACHER suspect a learning disability and request one. This is important because it is very expensive to have this kind of testing done. Ask exactly what you or your mom needs to do to start the process. Talk to your mom and tell her you need her help and this is what the school is asking for.
If for any reason you reach a roadblock with your parents as an advocate, you can advocate for yourself upon reaching 18. And this is not to dis your parents, there are many reasons why a parent might not be able to pull this off this late. Not least inexperience with the process and managing work & home.
It will be very helpful to have a doctor letter stating the ADHD diagnosis and examples of and teacher reports of discrepancies between grades and visible knowledge/ intellectual capabilities. For example tests versus project grades on the same material, verbal output versus written output etc.
I and my kids also have dyscalculia and I found Math-U-See and ALEKS to be helpful.
They still did not love it but they did make progress.
Math-U-SEE makes an effort to teach why and how the formulas work, so that you do not need to rely as much on your memory. My Youngest started out in public school with an IEP and made no progress in math the first two years. I was homeschooling his older siblings and using Math-U-See. I introduced it to his special ed teacher and ended up converting them. They started using it for all the kids with math issues in their IEPs.
My two children that used ALEKS in highschool would complain that they were not learning anything, it was too easy. In fact they were, but the nature of the software is to present the new material as you show readiness. They did not feel the same struggle they were used to feeling with Math concepts. Possibly also it forced them to go slower than they would have liked to. I’m not sure. In any case they learned the material.
If money is an issue or being constrained by someone else’s time table is, then try Kahn Academy. It is free, online and video based. My son used it when in college as an aid to understand concepts in his math classes. I would suggest getting an SAT practice book and use that as the base and watching the videos related to the subject. The practice books do a good job condensing highschool math into a smaller package and it actually covers more than the GRE. This can help IF your son gets overwhelmed by the volume of info your son sees in a textbook.
Dyscalculia.org has a couple of free tuturials on learning how to learn towards the bottom of the page.
And a note of encouragement in case you don’t have personal or extended family experience with dyscalculia. It does absolutely make school/academic math very difficult and tests a nightmare. It can be very frustrating because you may be able to conceptualize the math problem but can’t get the right answers because of ridiculous things like transposition & alignment on the page.
However, it does not have as much as an impact in the workplace. You can keep relevant formulas posted on the wall of your workspace and use excel to plug in the formula once and keep everything nicely lined up with minimal effort. And it does not need to prevent one from getting into career of high interest that have a math basis. It does mean if there is a gateway issue, ie a math test to get into the program or a passing grade in a math class to graduate…then you may have to make a few attempts or you may have to get really creative and find a back door. These days it is a little easier because colleges/universities do have disability centers where you can request accomodations.
Examples of successful math involved careers, not everyone has or wanted one, in my dyscalcula ridden family: research scientist; energy services business owner; video game art & programmer (very back door strategy because he couldn’t pass the math test to get into the programmer path); NICU nurse; and financial controller. Now it is not that the dyscalculia went away, you just have more ability to make adjustments for oneself outside of an academic program. And these people from the last generation that were not homeschooled were abysmal students until college and usually did not go to college immediately after highschool. Time, scheduling, calendars, prioritizing are all still challenging.
Your are questioning your instincts to tell her your negative thoughts and you are not blurting them out. Those are not the habits of a jerk. And I would continue keeping it to yourself.
The urge to compare and the judgmental thoughts are not ADHD specific although if you were actually blurting the thoughts outlaid that might come under impulsivity which is an ADHD trait.
It’s human to have passing thoughts both positive and negative about our loved ones and even strangers. If you are able to contain yourself when you know they are inappropriate and if they are not taking up too much space, interfering with your ability to enjoy your wife or think about other things, I wouldn’t worry about it.
If this a new thing and the thoughts become regularly intrusive and difficult to contain, it might be worth talking to a counselor something else may be going on.
I feel good recommending Pediatric Partners for Attention & Learning https://www.pp4al.com/information/contact if you are in Virginia.
I have had success getting help for my daughter who is open to help; but not for my son who was in his late teens and the developmental stage of “I don’t need help & Don’t tell me what to do” He quit therapy the moment he turned 18. At 23 he is revisiting on his own.
September 9, 2018 at 9:24 pm in reply to: Think I got diagnosed today – scared to talk to parents, scared to go on meds #98727
Breathe. It will be ok. No need to tell anyone until you have fully processed the info and know what you want out of telling. Until then only tell people you want emotional support from while you are processing.
Medication does have side effects and it may or may not be worth taking for you. The good news is that the psychiatrist that diagnosed you will help you figure that part out. The other good news is that in the case of ADHD, if medication does turn out to be helpful you can take it when you need it and not when you don’t. Unlike some other medications that require a consistent blood level. There are also various kinds, so if one would be contraindicated there are other options.
In my case I use adderall, the short acting version, when I need to stay at my desk and focus on something I’m not enthralled with. The side effects I experience are thirst, sweating, increased heart rate, lack of interest in coffee, and an ability to stay seated. Sadly it does not magically make me focus on the important, only what I choose to put in front of me. The medications will not change your personality. At most they help you be a more controlled version of you. You will remain random, adventurous, fun and only 50% successful at figuring out your calendar.
If my anxiety level is high I don’t take it, if my day is going to be very active, I don’t take it since the variety keeps me engaged anyway.
More good news now you have something to help make sense of your experiences and a name to find resources and life hacks (coping mechanisms) that may help improve weaknesses.
Keep in mind while you process this new info that ADHD comes with significant strengths as well. Most people living with it have learned flexibility and problem solving; tend to have a good sense of humor and are creative. Interestingly, I was at a week long workshop for entrepreneurs and the vast majority of them also had ADHD. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long long time.
A person with ADHD combined with an executive secretary can accomplish much. 😉
I agree with the others that you should not do it for him and agree with you that it’s a skill worth learning. Myself and three kids all have the ADD form and none of us looks forward to or finds it easy to keep from getting distracted while cleaning. I started consistently involving them in chores at 2 and our house has looked like children were cleaning it until the majority had passed the age of 16. Now at 22, 18, and 16 the house and the bedrooms are all tidy. There was little indication that the teaching was having any effect until each individual reached their late teens. I don’t think it’ll take nearly that long for your 14 year old to get it. He is much further along on the developmental readiness curve. It also helps when they begin to care about what their visiting peers think.
I found posting a step by step task list for cleaning any particular room to be very helpful, even for myself. These are in each respective room, usually on the back of a door. Helps for when you don’t know where to start or what to do next. When making the lists I’d put the most visually impactful things at the top of the list. Helps make one feel like it is not hopeless. For instance my daughter’s bedroom floor used to be covered with mostly bedding and clothes both clean and dirty. The first items on her list were: 1 make bed; 2 put dirty sheets in laundry; and 3 put dirty clothes in laundry. That alone would make her room look 50% better. Tedious sorting type tasks were near the bottom. Anything that was prone to distract them was dead last. For instance one son would have books strewn everywhere. Theoretically easy to put away, with a big visual impact, however if picked up he would thumb through and start reading and cleaning would be at a full stop. Also If they didn’t get to the items at the bottom of the list, in that session, the room would still look better.
You can find lists to edit at
and scroll down to detailed cleaning lists
or google “cleaning checklists” or have the kid type up the first draft
When a child was resisting or avoiding the cleanup of a room, I would ask them to pick a time for the two of us to work on it together. Then we would set a timer, for a teen 30 minutes. We’d go through the list either both working on the same task or alternating. Same task if they didn’t get how to go about it or if the task was time consuming. When the offer of helping them didn’t eliminate the resistance I would have a conversation with them about responsibility, preparing to live on their own (think roommates), mice, noxious smells, germs, trips and bruises, fire safety, making their friends feel more comfortable… Whatever I thought that particular child might respond to and if the child was belligerent I would wait until a calm moment when we were both well fed before having the conversation.
If I still got no where, I would tie the chore to something they wanted. “When the room is clean then…” I’ll give you a ride to xx, you can use the “insert electronic device”, get your “insert some item they use in spare time” back, you’ll get your allowance… If you have an obstinate minimalist hermit, that is happy with their own daydreams then these strategies may not work until they discover something that floats their boat. That has happened from time to time in our house.