First, let me start out by saying. I love being a mom, but sometimes it overwhelms me and I worry so much abut my kids. And I know my problems could be so much bigger, but my worries are my worries and some days are harder than others. Today is hard.
I have two kids - both boys. One is 15 and the other is 6.
My 15 year old is extremely bright and has all the potentional in the world. However, he also has really severe ADHD. Homework and schoolwork is the bane of his and my life. He simply can't find a system where he remembers everything. Or he then gets lazy about it. Actually, I don't know which is his biggest handicap - his adhd or his laziness. He is his own worst enemy - would rather get an F than fight for his grade. My husband and I were up till 1 am last night while he finished an english project he has had 2 weeks to do and we've been harping him about it the entire time. I would say "to heck with it. It's his problem" but at near the end of second quarter he has a 51% in the class and will truly fail if we don't help more and schools expect parents to help. But is it better for him to learn and fail now or have us push him through and he fails in college? It is sooooo hard as he is soooooooooooo smart....bad grades should not be an issue with him! I feel we spend so much time yelling at him to get his act together that maybe some day he"ll hate us for pushing him. Or maybe the opposite. He will hate us for not pushing him harder to succeed. And I worry that this kid who could be a top scholar will be flipping burgers for a living because he couldn't get his act together.
Then there is my second son. He is high functioning autistic. He doesn't process language very well and he doesn't interact with other kids. I volunteer every day in his classroom helping other kids struggling with reading and writing and I watch my son and his behaviors. Now he is cute as he's six and very handsome and fairly smart (in top reading group and math group, but he needs a lot of support) But will it seem so cute when he's 16? Will he ever manage to live on his own and have a successful life? Will he have a career? Will he find a mate? Or will we be taking care of him our entire old age and then setting him up somehow when we are gone? And again. Are we doing enough to help him? Where is that balance?
Today I'm just really feeling it. It hasn't been an easy 15.5 years of parenting. Neither of them slept as babies or toddlers. They wer both extremely clingy and I have given my all, but I don't think my all is enough. I thought, foolishly, that if I did things right, that all would turn out Ok. I waited to get married, got my education, married a good and intelligent and hard working man and waited to have kids. Even stayed home to help the kids...yet they struggle so hard and I just can't give them all they need and some days I feel it's so not worth it. So little joy and way more heartache than I could have imagined.
I look at parents with kids without these issues and I'm envious. They don't even realize they have it easy. They don't realize what sleep deprivation is. They don't know how hard it is to watch their child fail. And I still have years and years of it ahead of me. I"ll probably never stop parenting these two and I'm already exhausted.
Sorry for the long winded rant. It's just been a hard few days back off of Christmas break. Reality of it all is sinking back in.
01-05-2012, 03:45 PM
Oh Berry! A big :hug: for you!
Re: your older son....I have a 16 year old son and I had the same conversation with his school counselor. I mean, I can get him through high school but at what point does he need to step up and care enough to do what he needs to do? I actually witnessed a school project where he showed his teacher part of what he did but didn't bother to show her the other part he did! I said, "You did the work! Why in the world would you not show it to her?" He said he wasn't proud of the second part. I was astonished that he would rather accept a zero than turn something that he had already done in and get the credit.
I don't know. When he does the work he does well. He is intelligent, creative, sensitive, caring almost to a fault. When he does his work and turns it in, he gets A's. But then he doesn't do it or turn it in so he also gets zeros. He makes me crazy!
So back to my conversation with the counselor. She told me that teenagers need as much or more parent involvement as toddlers do. She said it is typical for some teenagers to need us to be there every step of the way, checking grades, communicating with teachers. Since she knows a lot more teenage boys than I do, I guess I'm taking her word for it.
I am concerned though. In a year and a half he will be out of high school. I can't hold his hand through college or trade school or whatever. He is also too bright to settle for drudgery. Frankly I don't care what he does when he's an adult as long as he can support himself and any kids he has. I would also love for him to love what he does. But there are so many people who are just scraping by. I don't want that for him.
Other people who have survived raising teens like my son reassure me that everything is going to be okay. So, allow me to reassure you that at the very least, you are not alone.
It is hard.
01-05-2012, 03:46 PM
I'm not a parent, so by no means can I really relate to the parenting side of this, but I do have a highly functioning brother who is 18 years old.
I can definitely feel you on the worrying about will he be able to live on his own, will he be able to handle day to day life on his "own", will he be forever alone; this is just a sample of what I worry about constantly for him. He's in regular classes and SO smart; he usually gets straight a's but occasionally a b, but he does awesome. People don't give him enough credit for how smart he is and it's so unfair. They wanted to put him in Special ED JUST because he has autism, not for any real "justification".
He's been made fun of MAJORLY because he has a slight speech impediment and just for other reasons I guess. People can be oh so cruel, especially kids. I'm always here if you wanna talk.
Just have hope for him and hopefully one day he will be able to do a lot more than originally thought.
<3 <3 Keep your chin up!
01-05-2012, 03:56 PM
I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with your boys. My son had/has ADHD but not to that extent. We did try a few meds when he was at his worst in middle school, but he didnt' tolerate them well.
At one point in high school a light went on for him and he started to take pride in both sports and academics. (Girls may have had something to do with this) or maybe it took that long for him to mature and start thinking about the future. Fortunately he did graduate with honors from HS and is now a Freshman in college studying Engineering. He's doing well, but is prescribed Adderal (sp?) for when he studies for exams or does complex projects and it really helps him focus and retain more. Every child is different, and your son can graduate and lead a productive life - after all, he made it this far!
All moms want the best for their kids but your boys were sent to your family for a reason - you are doing the very best you can for them but if you're religious at all, ask for God's help in this journey.
01-05-2012, 04:18 PM
Melissa : :hug: You've got a plateful, for sure! We had a thread over in the Maintainer's group just a couple of weeks back - it's in the "5-10 for the Holidays" thread. Around the 3rd to last page, there's a link to an essay called "The Disease of Perfection". It made a huge impression on all of us, and you might find some comfort in it.
I can empathize with you - I have a 12-yr old son who's very bright, but may be the least motivated human being on the planet. I think he's been sent to me and my husband to teach us how to relax ... but wow, it's been quite the opposite. The only thing that seems to have reached him is when I sat him down and explained (yeah, it was loudly) that it was a numbers game, and if he hit 90's in his classes, his reward was going to be having us off his back. I wasn't insisting on perfection - 90% was well within his abilities and even he knows it. He thought about it for quite a while, and did some mental gymnastics to figure out whether it was worth it or not, and decided he preferred not being yelled at or worse, "helped" for hours. What is working for us, since he's in the category of being unable to remember what work he's assigned, is to use a day planner. Each of his teachers agreed to initial his entries for each class to make sure he had all work recorded, even if it was completed in class. I initial it each night. He also is working with them to develop the habit of putting a neon Post-It flag on every piece of paper handed to him, even before he writes his name. It stays on until he hands the completed work back to the teacher (he was NOTORIOUS for doing work, and then forgetting to turn it in!). I have these little flags all over the house, my car, his locker, etc ... but this has been pretty effective.
Re the autism - I have nothing to offer in that arena, except for the not-so-comforting words that he's got a lot of company. I work for a large automaker, and we actually now have training for managers available to help them learn how to work with autistic employees (yes, we have several). We are learning to incorporate their unique traits - many are brilliant folks with a lot to offer; it just takes some different techniques to help them unlock their awesomeness.
I also wonder if we balance the right amount of pushing and setting back, and it sure does seem that the price of failure can be that they end up living in your basement for their adult lives. Or worse - being miserable! I made a huge mistake and picked the wrong career (took the safe bet with the least resistance from family) ... and I would just kill myself if he did the same thing. There's a huge difference in doing what you're naturally good at, and what you love! Is there something he does, even if outside of school, that he loves so much that the ADHD doesn't manifest? Maybe you could use that as a carrot to help him digest small bites of schoolwork in between?
On failure - I'm on the side of letting it happen now, rather than when it costs an arm and a leg in college. The sooner he works out a system for getting things done, the better. I know several adults with ADHD, and each one has a different way to work around it. But it's important to see how the reaction goes - does he hate failure and work to avoid it? Would he care? Mine: he'd rather fail than do something mediocre - he is paralyzed by the fear of imperfection. It's all or nothing, and if he can't visualize himself doing it perfectly, he won't do it at all. Maddening!!! It's getting better - he's started to realize that the world doesn't end, we don't hate him, and his friends won't shun him if he screws up. :D
Parenting is tough! Do read the Perfection essay if you have time - because we are definitely kidding ourselves if we believe that there are folks out there WITHOUT issues!!!
01-05-2012, 04:50 PM
Big Hugs!!!! Wow you are an amazing mom!!!!
I am so sorry for your situation. My daughter is 28 and son is 25, she was also add and could not focus in school to save her life, she has her grade 10 barely. I have had many friends with similar situations where their kids are not the regular learners but excel at other things. she was a meth addict for 3 years and I went weeks without knowing where she was and would go out looking for her. I wondered if there was any hope.... Ii moved out of province when she was 18 and she chose to stay there, then a computer support company opened up and were hiring and paying for their employees to go to school, she applied and got accepted and went to computer school and finished the top of her class and because of it got to pick her shifts of work. Who would have ever known.She then moved back in with me a year and a half later. She's been clean 8 years. She got a job here as a emergency responder person and was the always on the top 5 list at work as she could multitask better and deal with all the interuptions and computers that went with that job. Just because our kids don't learn like others doesnt mean they won't make it, he will find his place and excel at something for sure.
It is so hard for you to see ahead and see that he will be okay, it is so awesome you don't give up on him.
She is now married and is becoming a certified doula as she loves everything baby and has 3 little girls.
My son dropped out in grade 11, his father was a deadbeat and made no effort to contact him after we split when he was 10. He was also abusive and a drinker.
So my son partied for a few years, worked bits here and there and I wondered if he would make it. He did find he did like labour jobs and has worked at a steel plant and now works in oil drilling. He could not do math to save his life and I have to help him manage his bank account or he just goes and spends everything...... without knowing what he has or just doesnt care but i dont mind doing that cause I figure at least he is not being a bum living on video games and sponging off of me.
Then i got married and lived with my husbands severally mentally ill daughter for 4 years in which she threatened to kill my grandaughter and could not ever be left alone with other children and she was a threat to harm them. during the really hard times with these three children I feel God always put someone in my life who had similar issues with their kids. One of the best things was being able to talk about it and to have someone understand and to know you are not alone. We can only live one day at a time and it has taken me a long long time to be able to do that.
I hope and pray you will have peace and continue to have the amazing courage and strength that you do, you are an inspiration!
01-05-2012, 05:06 PM
I am the parent of younger children but one of them has a birth disability. I struggle with the same questions. Am I doing enough? Will she be able to care for herself long-term? Will she hate me one day for the decisions I did or did not make?
I have to remind myself that God gave me my child because He knew I had the skills and talents to give her what she needs. I may not be perfect but I am doing the best that I can right now. Every decision I make is with her best interest at heart. I may make some bad ones but it is never intended to hurt her. Even my failures/bad decisions come from a place of love. If there are any failures/bad decisions, they are not intentional. There isn't a "special needs" manual. My prayer is for God to give me the wisdom to make the next right decision. And for patience...I need to pray for that a lot. :)
01-05-2012, 06:17 PM
Thank you all for understanding. Some days it just overwhelms me and I don't cope as well. The blog mentioned above is so true and in many ways in life I try to live "real". Probably much more than the average person, but that still doesn't mean that I don't want perfection. Even the way i blog, i try to keep it real.... Pointing to my faults/weaknesses. Here is the link to the blog post about perfection mentioned above, http://www.danoah.com/2010/09/disease-called-perfection.html
And with "being real" I'll say this. I expected it to be easier than this. I work hard, but I can sense its not enough. That my own weaknesses keep me from doing as much as I would like. And I dislike that about myself. But then I look at some of the people around me and even think about the home I was raised in. Where would my children be in that environment? In a much worse place. Of that I am sure. I'm not saying that to be smug, but that I sometimes need to think that way toe realize that I'm not doing as lousy a job as I sometimes feel I'm doing.
Anyway... I think I'll blog about the perfection thing tomorrow. I definitely have a problem with it.
01-05-2012, 07:39 PM
I'm sorry you are going through so much. I think every parent has those "being a parent sucks" days. Heck, I'm having a "being a wife sucks" day today!
Re: Son 1 - My brother has pretty severe ADHD and I know his school years and especially his teen years where a struggle for him and my parents. He would do the same thing in school. He would get straight A's in art and science (his favorites), but get D's, F's or incompletes in everything else. If it didn't interest him, he simply could not focus enough to learn it. He was also very smart. Our parents had him tested and his IQ is genius level.
He did graduate, but not officially until a few months after graduation because he had work to finish. He still struggles now, switching jobs every few months because he gets bored (although that's not the reason he gives), but he living on his own, paying bills, etc.
I know he drove my parents crazy and my mom worries about him constantly still. Just know that, in a large part, he can't help it. He does need to learn to overcome some of it, but it's harder than for most people and may not work for years. But it's nothing you did or didn't do. Hang in there. :hug:
01-05-2012, 10:09 PM
HUGS to all that need it.
Don't have much time tonight to read or post but as far as the ADHD, I raised my nephew for 10 years and battled it with him....wish I had more time tonight to share but....
he just finished his 3rd year in the NAVY, doing well...doing VERY WELL!!! Using his brain for the country's good!
Don't give up moms!!!
01-06-2012, 12:38 AM
Hey berryblondeboys :hug:
I don't have any experience dealing with people who have autism, so I have no advice or anything to offer you for dealing with your younger son, except to say that there's a lot that can happen in 10 years and you can't control a lot of it. Just do the best you can now.
However, as a person with ADHD, a few things did come to mind while I was reading about your older son. The first is that, although you probably don't need to be reminded (:p), 15 is really, really young. You're worrying how he's going to be as an 18yo who could go to college or to war (hypothetically) - when his brain and body will almost undoubtedly be much different than they are now - while right now he's only just old enough not to be able to eat from the kid's menu and probably can't legally drive. Even "normal" kids his age can dig themselves pretty deep holes, especially if they don't have adults watching out for them and guiding them to adulthood - they generally don't have the reasoning ability or life experience to look at things like an adult would. And everything that I've read about the brains of children with ADHD says that their brains tend to mature more slowly than those of their neurotypical peers. They get to the same place in the end, it just takes them longer. I've read some estimates that ADHD kids have the maturity of "regular" kids 2/3 their age, although not all estimates I've seen are that low. If that were the case for him, it wouldn't be an excuse for his decisions, but it might help you deal more effectively with him. Even if he's not immature for his age, I'm not sure that trying to treat a 15yo like a reasonable, responsible adult is a good use of your (or his) time.
If he fails his English class he may learn that failing is a real outcome and something that he needs to work to avoid. If that's the conclusion that he reaches, does he have (or is he capable of developing on his own) the organizational and study skills needed to pass his classes and finish high school and get into college? Or do whatever else he may want to do and be suited for - college (especially done directly after high school) isn't an appropriate choice for everybody, even really intelligent people.
Or he may learn that not trying is an acceptable decision, that failing is an okay outcome, or that his parents and teachers don't think he's worth pushing to succeed. If those are the lessons he learns, what will you do then? Try to backpedal? Yell at him more? Punish him for being "lazy"?
If you "push" him the way you've been pushing him (which sounds like it hasn't been very effective as far as him learning to take responsibility for himself goes) and he passes his class, what will he learn? That mom and dad will force him to do things he doesn't want to do? Well, that's probably not a new idea to him. It would be kind of sad if that were the only conclusion he reached from the experience and he didn't learn anything else between now and the time he turns 18 about accomplishing things or taking responsibility for his life, but he'll still be that much closer to at least having a high school diploma. And yeah, you won't be able to force him to complete college coursework or go to work or bathe regularly when he's an adult. But if he tried to get by a week without taking a shower now, would you let it slide because in 3 years he'll be free to make that decision? Probably not, because it's only tangentially relevant to the problem at hand.
I'm not a parent, but from the information you've provided and my remembrances of myself as a teenager and my own parents' work to get my brother (also ADD) and me (almost entirely my brother, actually; I was pretty self-sufficient academically) through adolescence, I think this is what I might suggest doing for the English class:
Push him to succeed, but don't do it by yelling at him or just "harping" at him to do his work. I would probably start by looking for resources for dealing with teen ADHDers (ADDitude Magazine (http://www.additudemag.com)'s newsletters can be good; do you subscribe?) Find out what he needs to do to pass the class from him and from his teacher. Explain that failure isn't an option for him, that you will help him get the work done (that is, you'll supervise and support him), and that if he still does not pass the class there will be concrete academic and personal consequences (you'd have to follow through on this if he failed, of course) during the summer and/or next term. If this is the sort of thing that would keep him from graduating on time or keep him from being eligible for an extracurricular activity he likes, tell him that and explain what that will mean for him. Help him (or force him, whatever you have to do) to set up a plan that you and his teacher think will provide him enough time to get his work done. If he needs to start working on projects earlier than his classmates so he has adequate time to get them finished, then so be it. Then be there with him every. single. step. of. the. way. Every day: "What do you need to do for English?" "Let me look at that when you're done." "I notice that you haven't shown me a draft of that paper I asked to see last week, have you written one?" "I see you haven't gotten anything written in the 2 hours that you've been sitting at the computer, let's see what's going on." If he can't organize his thoughts well enough, stay focused for a long enough period of time, or gets so overwhelmed by the assignment that he can't make progress, sit there and take him through it calmly, step by step. Check in with his teachers as often as you need to. If he wants to fight you every step of the way - too bad for him (and you), but he'll be a sullen kid with a passing grade, a little bit of experience in how to make tasks manageable, and the knowledge that he can do it. If he cannot or will not apply that experience to his other courses, that's how it is. But he will still have learned more and have more to show for it than if he had been allowed to fail or simply yelled into passing/submission. I'm sure it's very frustrating for you and your husband, but don't give up on him.
More than the schoolwork (as important as that is), it sounds like your son needs help managing his ADHD.
Is he taking medication? Is it effective? Is the dosage correct?
"He simply can't find a system where he remembers everything." Well, is he being helped by his parents and his teachers to develop and maintain some means of organizing and remembering the important things? Since he is a 15yo with obviously impaired executive functioning abilities, is it really reasonable to expect him to be able to come up with something like that on his own in the near future? He should be encouraged to take responsibility for himself, but if there are some things that need to happen but aren't because of something like his brain structure, then close guidance for the time being with periodic reassessments might be appropriate.
Does he have any understanding of what it means, both generally and for him specifically, to be ADHD? Has he begun to take ownership of his condition? Is he at all familiar with the comprehensive approach to self-management that the things I've read about adult ADHD all seem to recommend? Medication is only a part of effective ADHD management for a lot of people, and ignoring the "problem" isn't usually a good long-term option. If he's not, is that sort of knowledge something he could reasonably be expected to learn on his own now, either under his own steam or by being yelled at or ordered around? Would other methods have a better chance of success?
Does he have any comorbid emotional or physical conditions? If he does, are they being appropriately and effectively treated?
Is he working with an ADHD coach or counselor to learn how to manage his brain?
Does he qualify to have a 504 plan or an IEP? If so, does he have one that's current and appropriate? Is it actually being used?
Is his life organized in a way that provides as much structure as he needs (most ADHDers need a lot, but not too much) and avoids unnecessary distractions, but still gives him some freedom to be himself?
Is he being praised for the things he does well, instead of just criticized for what he's not doing well at?
I'm not sure what you mean by him being lazy. Laziness is just a label. It's a type of label that I like to think of as a discount label - using it allows people to discount others and be freed from having to bother with them any more by ascribing to them some invisible, unchangeable (or extremely hard to change), negative quality. When people take labels that have been assigned to them by others to heart it seems to either make them miserable because they've discounted their own assessment of themselves and their common sense and become enslaved to somebody else's standards (which are frequently oh-so-hard to meet), or allows them to discount their own abilities and sets them up for real failure by discouraging them from ever trying. How many people on this forum struggle with the "I want to lose weight but I'm just so lazy..." problem? How many others have been unhealthily restrictive to prove to themselves and whoever they think cares that they're not lazy? Calling it laziness doesn't actually say what the problem is. He's willing to fail a class. Okay. Why? Because he has some innate unwillingness to do any work? Er...maybe. But is it possible that there's something else going on? That he doesn't understand the real world value of doing the work (and let's face it, if he's enrolled in a public high school there may well not be one), and therefore doesn't want engage in what seems like a waste of time? Does he feel so overwhelmed by the length or complexity of his assignments that he views them as an unconquerable mountain that he can never climb? Is all his attention focused on some other aspect of his life that may or may not have to do with ADHD?* Does he subscribe to the idea (mentioned by another poster) that it's better to turn in no work than embarrassingly bad work? Can he not remember what he read well enough to complete assignments? Does he see academic achievement as some sort of power struggle that he's fighting against his parents or his teachers without understanding the long-term consequences of his actions? Has he hit an intellectual wall that he doesn't know how to work through? Is he having a crisis of confidence? I dunno. Maybe he is lazy, and there are times when everybody (or almost everybody) wants to quit or drop out of life. But I think it's more likely that something, even if it's immature or irrational, is going on in his head and driving his decisions.
I'm sure you're working very hard to help your kids, and a severe ADHDer and a high functioning autistic must give you and your husband quite a lot of work to do. Things will probably continue to be hard for a long time, but that doesn't mean things will never get better. There are a lot of ADHD adults out there who are successful (at least on their own terms). Just because your son is having some significant problems now doesn't mean he's doomed to a life of failure. It may take him a few (or many) years to find his niche, but it can happen, and your love, support, and guidance will help him.
*A lot of people seemed to think I was lazy for being so fat in high school and college. I wasn't lazy. I was just spending all my time trying to keep myself together enough to get my coursework done, try to deal with the depression and anxiety that developed from untreated ADHD, and try to maintain some minimal level of functionality in society. I was briefly hospitalized for feeling suicidal in high school (and was probably pretty difficult and frustrating to deal with much of the rest of the time), and I find it difficult to imagine that there were times in college that I did not appear to be obviously mentally ill, at least to people who could recognize the symptoms, but I did quite well academically in both high school and college and usually found the coursework, as such, less challenging than I would have liked. However, since I couldn't manage my time or attention very well, even with the number of personal strengths and adaptive behaviors I stumbled upon, just staying afloat took all my energy. To a lot of other people that seemed to look like laziness, which was frustrating to me until I learned to give their ignorant opinions all the weight they deserved and focus on my own sense of how I was doing and on the opinions of a few trusted people who either knew me and cared for me, or who were less judgmental and more thoughtful advisors than most of my associates.
On a somewhat unrelated note, your comment about how bad grades shouldn't be an issue with your son made me tear up a little bit. It reminded me of something my dad periodically said to me when I was too obviously anxious about school (so..most of high school, all of college, and the beginning of grad school) until after the ADHD medication and other therapies started helping. "You're too smart for this to be so hard for you." He didn't say it in anger (what would he have had to be angry about - my grades were good); he just couldn't understand why I had to wind myself up so much just to function, and even though I tried I couldn't make him and my mom understand how difficult everything was for me.
Hang in there. "This too shall pass."
01-06-2012, 07:47 AM
You've tried your damndest, it sounds like you employed all the techniques you could to reinforce various attachment parenting, and you should be very proud.
My boy is barely 2 yet and so far, looks to be heading into the direction of your oldest son with a possible behavioural disorder. I too get angry at other women that complain about "problems" with their kids which are peaches & cream compared to my son's health problems. Sleep? Can't even go there.
I guess, I don't know what the plan was for us. Why you have it so hard, I don't know. It's not something you created, but it is something you are given. Maybe because you are capable of it, despite the low moments where you just want to run away or rip your head off. I don't know why. Maybe because you are capable of nuturing 'difficult' (spirited? lol) babies/boys/men, whereas other women would not.
Big hugs. I feel like I may be looking into a mirror. But you just keep doing it until the day you die I guess.
01-06-2012, 09:58 AM
Your 15 year old is becoming autonomous - I don't think I agree with the counselor that said teenagers should be treated like toddlers. That sounds a bit extreme. There is also an interesting evolutionary trait we all have that is expressed as we grow older: we (particularly teenagers) become especially weary of the authority figures in their lives, particularly their parents, out of self-preservation:
"Not even the genetic interests of parent and child are identical, because the parent's chances of propagating other offspring are jeopardized by too heavy an investment in one child. This leads parents to preach "honor thy parents" and children to selectively evade parental instructions, rightly intuiting that some of them are nonoptimal for the child as a biological individual."
I just want to say: you are doing a really good job. Your hard work is already paying off. You are your own expert now - you are actually the best person to advise yourself at this point.
01-06-2012, 11:10 AM
I have a lot to do today (tomorrow is my husband,s birthday and orthodox Christmas), so I don't have time for personals.
I just want to make it clear. I don't just yell at my son. But I do more of it than I like to. Every single day I tell him to start homework, go over what his homework is, make sure homework makes it back into his backpack and so on. He has a system of writing assignments down, but he forgets to write them down. He has a 504 plan where he is to get an extra day with homework butnhe doesn't like to use that extra day because the teachers make him feel lazy and make him feel like its an excuse. He doesn't want to accept that he has a problem. He is on medication and it helps, but he resists having to work on things. Like, he won't write notes to himself to remember. Or use his phone for notes to mind him etc. Every other day I check online to see what he has missed for homework on the online grade book too. Problem is, assignments are t updated daily, so all I can see is damage done.
I am in the middle of talking with the school now about updating his 504, but again, I really think teachers think ADHD is an excuse and not a real disorder. Omg how wrong they are. He doesn't just forget schoolwork. He forgets to invite kids over for his birthday - fun things too.
And we tell him we are proud of him and that is is creative and funny and brilliant (he,s a 99th percentile kid on iq testing), but that like I need to take meds to help with my thyroid and exercise to control my blood pressure, he needs to do things for his brain. He can't just ignore it. We've talked about what he may need in class for help and he doesn't want to be singled out, he doesn't want the attention of teachers by having a notebook signed. Heck, that was on his 504 plan in 8th grade and do you know how that turned out? It was his responsibility to remember to have his teachers sign it. Not the teachers responsibility to make sure it was signed. If he was capable of remembering to have his teachers sign the notebook, then wouldn't he also be capable of writing his assignments down? I just feel like I'm hitting my head against the wall.
Then today while dropping off my younger son to school the teacher pulls me aside and says that on march 7 they're having testing for extended school year and would that date be good? What?? This kid reading at 3rd grade level? This kid who can spell words many adults can't? This kid who they have stuck in an at grade math level, but really should be in the top group but isn't because he can't do word problems well, but yet he understands multiplication and straight math well. (when did math become so heavy on word problems?) why? Because he needs support to gt started because he doesn't process language well... But that is not the same as a kid who is a slow learner.nif it we an extended school year for kids like my son, ok, but putting him in a class with slow learners won't help him with the problems he has. He's a very quick learner with language processing issues.
So double head banging today. Ok.... Off to call the school counselor at high school and the speech therapist for my others son, again.
01-06-2012, 02:26 PM
:hug: That is tough. It's wonderful that you're so active in advocating for them with their schools, and unfortunate that they're not being very supportive.
Your older one sounds like my brother in high school - wouldn't accept that he's different from the type of people the system was designed for, wouldn't willingly accept help, and wouldn't accept the evidence that he couldn't get it done on his own. :rolleyes: He also allowed ill-informed, judgemental teachers (many of whom he was probably more intelligent than) to make him feel bad about things that there was no need to feel bad about. I hope your son can achieve a better understanding of himself and become more educated about how his brain works than my brother did in HS; it will make things easier on both of you.