Learning Challenges

Help for a Gifted 12-Year-Old

I have a 12-year-old son who is extremely gifted. However, his lack of attention to details and “inability” to get himself going are causing him to slowly spiral downward. What can I do to help him?

ADHD boy walking through field of flowers
ADHD boy walking through field of flowers

The place to start with finding out how to best help your son is with your son. Ask him what would be helpful to him to be better organized and to stay on top of things.

Harvey Parker from the ADD Warehouse publishes a list of accommodations that are grouped under the behavioral categories that they best serve to accommodate. For instance seating a student near the teacher often helps a student be more attentive. Your son will know what areas of difficulty he is troubled by and what accommodations can be made to help him.

There are many things that can be done to help your son whether the teachers in the school are cooperating or not. For instance if your son has problems recording all the assignments, he can set his watch for 5 minutes before the end of every class to remind him to raise his hand and have the teacher repeat the assignment if he has not written it down.

It is terribly unfortunate that your son is being treated adversely. He has a right to accommodations and there is a procedure to follow to be assured that he receives them. Your position as a teacher at the school should have nothing to do with your son’s legal rights.

Talk to your son about the animosity that is apparent in this situation and encourage him to look for a solution to it. Let him know that it is areal sign of strength to be respectful even in circumstances that do not warrant it. He will certainly grow as a young man if he is able to make the best of this predicament by maintaining a positive attitude and continuing to try, despite this teacher’s reluctance to help. Above all, let him know that you will be proud of his efforts, no matter what the outcome.

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