My Forum Comments
I personally didn’t like meds for my teen son and nor did he, however, when he was a freshman in high school it was necessary for his education; he was beginning to fail a class and had Cs and Ds in his other classes. It helped bring his grades up, however, we all felt that his depression and anger was heightened with the meds. He also complained how he didn’t like the way they made him feel. His doctor tried him on different meds which included stimulants and non-stimulants but he hated them all. He’s in his senior year now and took himself off of them several months ago. He maintains a C average with an A and a B class in there. He studied all of 45 mins for his SATs and scored above average and he was accepted into his first college of choice and got into his major. He always said to me that he needed to be able to deal with his ADD on his own and not rely on meds. I tend to agree with him, but like all parents, you want your child to succeed. If your child is begging you for meds then perhaps allow her to see how she does with them. A lot of these kids don’t do do well in high school because they’re made to study things that aren’t an interest to them. Once in college, or whatever they choose, these kids are brilliant.
Like someone mentioned, private schools don’t need to accommodate students with learning difficulties. I think she’s too young for you to be concerned about high school and college. 504 plans you don’t need to let colleges know about if you don’t want to and aren’t seeking accommodations, however an iep goes on a child’s academic record, at least in our state they do.
My son went on a 504 for about six months in middle school and it didn’t do much for him. He didn’t need extra time for test taking. All they did was move him to the front of the class. No cutback in homework which is what we were seeking. He was smart and they knew it so they pushed him.
He’s in his senior year now of high school. He’s been managing to get by all these years, sometimes barely, and sometimes he hits it out of the ball park. Of course we’d prefer his grades to always be high Bs and As but he’s doing it on his own and he’s proud of it. We had tutors after school at home to help him so no one at school needed to know and this year he’s flying solo and doing rather well. For him, he didn’t want to be different from other kids so it was important to him that he didn’t have accommodations that separated and labeled him from others. High school is an awkward time at best for kids so I respected his concerns and as long as he passes I’m happy for him. For us, our thinking is: life isn’t going to accommodate you when you’re out in the work force. Try to deal the best you can with what you have.
Everyone’s child is different but for us this was the best for him.
I have an adhd/odd 17 year old too going into his senior year. Very similar situation where he was failing some classes because he just didn’t do homework and it’s ext rare that he’ll study for exams. What worked for us, and it was just in the last quarter of his junior year, was his love of computers and gaming. I told him if he failed a class or got any zeros on homework he would lose his computer until summer break. The difference in him was night and day. That last quarter of the school year I no longer had to check each teacher’s website for homework, and no longer had I had to have him show me he completed it. He knew the consequences. I had teachers emailing me saying how much more he was engaged in class and that he was completing work on time. He got his grades up and passed his classes, finals, and Regents exams. It’s the first time I let him truly fly solo. Every week I’d check parent portal to make sure he was on track. Does your son have something that he’d hate to lose that you could use? Other than that truly the best solution is to let him fail. I know as parents it’s extremely hard to watch our kids fail but they do learn better that way. He has to learn that if he doesn’t perform in life he won’t get anywhere. Does he work? My son has a part time job and hates it, which is good as it makes him see that if he doesnt graduate then that job could be his life. Our sons seem very similar.
I’ve really enjoyed reading all these answers. It’s given me some hope and ideas. We’ll definitely get him to go to community college and lighten up his workload initially. After high school next year we’ll allow him to start community college in the spring rather than the fall just so he can take a breather and regroup. He’s been wanting to do Game Development for a long time so that’s what he wants his major to be once he transfers to a four-year college. During his break between high school and community college he’ll take a course or two at private institutions in an area of game dev.
Now, it’s a matter of helping him to ensure he graduates. He’s a bright kid, but has zero motivation nor studies and it’s hit or miss whether he turns in homework. When he does study, which is rare, he gets phenomenal grades. He keeps a 100 GPA in his game dev. class though which is his passion. Each year he scrapes by without the need of summer school or repeating and each year I’m a nervous wreck and a crazed woman as I’m constantly on at him. If I left him to his own devices I’m sure he’d flunk.
It’s been reassuring to read that other parents have had similar situations and their kids are on the right path. This too shall pass, right?
Thanks so much for the stories and advice. Can’t begin to tell you all how much it’s helped me!February 22, 2018 at 7:23 pm in reply to: I'm so confused! My boyfriend hates my ADD but loves me? #77084
I’m sorry you’re going through this. In my opinion the relationship isn’t a good fit. Anyone that puts you down because of a disorder shouldn’t be with you. You should have someone that puts you on a pedestal, not tearing you down. Why put up with being miserable? Neither of you should have to. And only being in the relationship for 8 months and it’s already a turmoil?
My husband of 19 years has adhd, along with our son. Yes it can get crazy but in no way do I hate their disorder. My husband is so successful in his creative job. He’s my best friend. They both have passion. They both have the best sense of humor. I couldn’t imagine a life without them. And that’s what your true soulmate should be like; not trying to change you or correcting you or belittling you but instead support you and being your biggest fan.
Breaking up a relationship is hard. And it hurts. You think you’ll never get over it, but you do. You have one life to live: don’t spend it being in a miserable relationship. You both deserve better.
Thank you so much!! I feel somewhat better. My husband has adhd and he went the community college route before going off to university. He keeps telling me our son ought to do the same. Having my very good friend, and next door neighbor, who has two high honor role boys that are just doing fabulous all around has made me feel that my son needs to keep up, but you’re right, it just can’t be. I need to stop comparing him to others that don’t have this disorder. I need to be ok with saying my son is off to community college rather than a four-year college straight from high school. I think if I am at peace with that then there’ll be a whole lot of pressure off my son and he won’t be as stressed out. He did ask me if he could wait a year before going to college. What concerns me with a gap year that you mentioned is that it may be harder for him to get motivated to study again. Do you worry about that at all? My son has a very clear sight on what he wants to do career-wise so maybe it would be the drive to get him to go to community college after a year’s break.
Thank you SO much for taking the time to write me an answer. I am so much more at peace knowing the community college route after high school is better for a lot of the less-mature adhd-ers out there. Thanks again!
I agree that perhaps the tics are brought on by stimulant meds. My son was on stimulants over a year ago and ended up with tics; severe eye rolling and head shaking. He also would me little sounds. It wasn’t all the time but when it started it was awful. The eye rolling made him dizzy. We stopped the meds. Just recently he’s been put on a non-stimulant. Unfortunately they take a few months to work, if at all. It’s still too early for us to see if there are any side effects or if they’ll help with focus.
We ended up at a pediatric neurologist as his pediatrician thought he had Tourette’s but the neurologist didn’t agree. Turned out the stimulants were at fault. Since we took him off stimulants 18 months ago he hasn’t had anymore tics. My son has anxiety as well. Along with a non-stimulant he’s on a low dose of sertraline which has helped with his anxiety and some mild depression.
Why do you feel you need the meds now that you’re not working? Personally, I would talk to your doc about weaning yourself off of them. Perhaps you feel like you can’t function without them since you’ve been on them for so long. My husband, although younger than you, had severe adhd as a child. Instead of medication he was on a strict “clean” diet. It helped a little but he just learned to cope. Today he is very successful in his field. His adhd has helped him work very efficiently in his demanding job.
I’d talk to your doc.
I’m in the same situation as you. I have a 16 year old who is addicted but won’t admit it. We have to have strict usage rules and I monitor him closely when he does homework. He is not allowed gaming time during school week. We allow him more slack from Friday afternoon to Sunday as he works now. He doesn’t play sports or participate in afterschool activities. All he wants to do is come home to his computer so we told him if he wanted game time he had to get a job. I wish video games had never been invented! My husband is in the industry so my son has had access to a lot more than most children. My husband has adhd as well and has made a very comfortable life for us in the gaming business. My son wants to be a developer so he needs games in his life. The gaming industry makes more money than the movie industry now. It’s here to stay and can be very educational!
I would talk to guidance in person at school and tell them you want your children to have paper homework. If they’re on an iep or 504 they can’t ignore you. At school the teachers can monitor that they aren’t abusing the iPad.
We pulled our son out of a private high school because they were paperless. They assured us that the iPads were locked down and couldn’t be abused. My son, and others, were able to bypass their locks and watch movies and YouTube during class!! We pulled him out and now he goes to a public high school.
You’re paying, through taxes, the salary of teachers. If they won’t help you speak to principal. If he doesn’t help you go to superintendent. I’d also see if your pediatrician could get involved.
Almost every generation has a gripe on new technology. The gaming industry isn’t going away so we need to find ways to monitor usage. There are plenty of parental locks. We take all electronics from my son prior to bed.
I’m sure I haven’t helped but know you’re not the only one. Get onto the school!February 21, 2018 at 8:07 pm in reply to: I love my son but Im not liking him very much right now.. #76922
I hear you and get you. I often dislike my son’s attitude and how he acts. I love him so much and I think about him a lot. I miss him when he’s at school even. But there are too many days that I can’t stand his behavior. He’s 17 and I tell you at that age it ain’t pretty lol. My advice is to set your rules clearly and firmly. If you say NO, don’t ever cave into changing your mind. If you give him a punishment, stick to it. I wish I’d done that. Because I was too soft and would sometimes change my mind I created a battleground for myself. My son has adhd, odd, and high anxiety. He’s adorable and can be so thoughtful and loving. My parenting is what made him worse though. Not his fault. And definitely don’t let the name calling get to you. It’s their impulsivity. He doesn’t really mean it.
I have a 16 year old that will still occasionally have outbursts but they’ve been so much better since he was put on the lowest dose of sertraline. We hadn’t realized that his anger stemmed from some depression and anxiety. We’d had him last year on ADHD meds but those seemingly made him more volatile so in December of last year we took him off meds. His grades began to slip though and he barely passed a couple of his sophomore classes. When he started his junior year we spoke to another psychiatrist who really listened. He suggested the antidepressant med and gave him the lowest dose to start with and said a higher dose would be needed within a few weeks, however, my son has experienced a positive change and for the first time he’s said the meds are really helping his mood. They’ve even helped with school as he’s not so anxious so he’s able to focus better.
We’d tried different stimulants in the past but unfortunately they all had the same effect on him; he was more anxious and angrier on them. He was like a ticking time bomb. The antidepressant has worked wonders giving me a happier, calmer teen.November 17, 2017 at 7:26 am in reply to: Artficial Insemination to avoid ADHD in children from ADHD husband. #68406
I married my ADHD husband 18 years ago. His mother and brother also have it too. My son, now 16, and our only child has ADHD as well. Life in our household has not been the easiest; outbursts; noisy; crazy; buzzing with energy. Sometimes I crave peace and quiet, BUT, with all that I’ve experienced being with these wonderful minds is creativity; laughter at their antics; and just plain in awe of them. My husband’s Mother a doctor with her own successful practice and she still works full time at 71. Her ADHD I’m sure is what gives her her energy to do this and the other myriad of conferences and fundraisers she’s involved in. My husband’s brother is an attorney; my husband is well-known and is very successful himself in the media industry; and my son, who absolutely struggles at times at school, is bright, holds down a part time job, and has aspirations to absolutely go to college is on the right path. I wouldn’t change my life to be with them or have my son. The passion, it’s all or nothing, is amazing. Life can be hectic often in my household and during the bad times with my son I’ve wished for normalcy, but this is my crazy family and it’s never boring! It keeps me young with their buzzing energy and I can’t wait to see what an amazing creative young man my son will be. I wouldn’t change my life one bit if I could do a do-over!
We have a strong rule in our house: if you don’t go to school/college then you need to get out of the house, get a job and pay your own way, however, as long as you attend school and are passing you can stay home and we’ll support you.
My son is only 16 and in his junior year. He’s struggled at times just barely passing but these adhd kids are smart. They think differently and are creative. My son hates school too. He says it’s stupid. His grades suffer in the classes he doesn’t have interest in, however, I’ve stayed on top of things as best I can: I see his grades slip to a danger level, I get extra help for him. If I see he doesn’t study for an exam we have a rule for that too; you don’t get a certain grade then no video games for you for the weekend. My son is totally obsessed with video games. He can spend 15 hours a day playing them during the summer if we don’t limit him. But his obsession is what’s driving him to want to graduate and go to college because he wants to do game development as a career. He’s shown a natural talent in his game dev class at school that I believe the amount he’s played has given him insight as to how a game should run and what make a game visually appealing. perhaps your son needs to do something game related? If he does something he’s passionate about then he’ll hone in on those magic adhd powers and succeed. What does his guidance counselor say? Personally I think you need to do some tough love. And I don’t believe in lazy. A lot of times fear is confused with lazy. A fear of failing so you don’t try. A fear of being out in society so you just stay in your room. The world of video games gives these, sometimes socially awkward, kids a safe place to escape to.
What about a technical school?
I appreciate all the advice! Thank you for taking the time to answer. My son has been completely off meds for nine months and prior to that he was only on them for a few years and only on the days he had a full day of school. He’s never complained about feeling like a zombie. He’s complained that it makes him feel sick to the stomach and it cuts out his appetite – he can’t eat lunch. He’s already very thin so I wasn’t happy the meds cut his appetite. He would also get frequent headaches. When we stopped seeing the good grades his psychiatrist up how meds from 27mg to 36mg. The nurse at school called me to come take him to the ER as his heartbeat was erratic and he was pale. Since my son has an abnormal fear of death that was the beginning of the end of him refusing to take meds. Urgent care doc said for his body weight the 36mg was too high. So now my son doesn’t trust professionals in dosing him. We’ve seen psychologists to try to help him but he closes himself up and believes what he wants. His ODD gets in the way of trying to rationalize with him. I’ve recently sat him down and asked him wouldn’t he like a happier calmer life. And what if meds could give him that. At that time he replied, maybe. But now, a mere five days later he’s stated that he won’t be taking meds and going to see someone is just a waste of time 🙁
I finally got him into a sport so he gets some exercise. We started last night together and he liked it!! That’s a first step. I’m buying omega 3 today hoping that will help even just a tiny smidge. Appointment is next week so we’ll see if they can convince him to try for a little bit. I believe this place does gene testing so definitely paying for that. Again thanks for ALL the advice!! And I would never try my son’s adhd meds!!!! We’re completely different physiologically so what might work for him might have adverse effects on me, and I need to be his mother for a lot longer 🙂
I was having the same issues when my son took meds. My son was also on Concerta and it helped somewhat. I did notice he became more aggressive when the drug was wearing off so we spoke to his psychiatrist about it. He prescribed Guanfacine, just 2mg, to be taken as soon as he got home from school. Kept him focused a little longer for homework and kept him from having that med crash. Unfortunately, my son pretty soon afterwards refused to take medications so I can’t tell you long-term how well it worked. Now we’re battling trying to get him to take meds again as his home behavior is awful when he doesn’t get his way. My suggestion is you talk to a child psychiatrist as they’re the experts in psych meds. Our pediatrician wasn’t an expert and just prescribed a bunch of meds hoping one would work. Best of luck!