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Old 03-04-10, 03:09 PM
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Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

My son, 16, was diagnosed with ADHD-NOS. No learning disabilities, IQ is in the high range of normal. He started on Vyvanse and that helps his personality tremendously, he's not longer sluggish, tired, lethargic. But his studies and homework have only increased from D's and F's to mostly C's and we're still seeing D's and missing homework.

The psychologist said that talk therapy doesn't help, to start monitoring his homework, remind him, check to see if it's done every night, etc. If that doesn't work, then many times there is nothing we as parents can do but to wait until something motivates them, and sometimes it doesn't. That many have to just wait and mature to catch up, many times in their mid 20's.

He's become very annoyed and irriatable with the constant micromanaging at home and it's only working slightly and now he's being angry and huffy, so it isn't working.

He says he wants to go to college, but the disorder really is standing in his way and I can't seem to help him, and he doesn't try very hard to let me or help himself.

I'm looking for advice from you, who have ADHD, who were like him and your stories and advice to me as a mom (as to how to help him if I can). What is your story. He's not hyperactive nor does he have any other behaviorial issues, so I'm basically looking for advice from those who were like him as teens. Thanks. Tisha
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Old 03-04-10, 11:01 PM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tisha View Post
My son, 16, was diagnosed with ADHD-NOS. No learning disabilities, IQ is in the high range of normal. He started on Vyvanse and that helps his personality tremendously, he's not longer sluggish, tired, lethargic. But his studies and homework have only increased from D's and F's to mostly C's and we're still seeing D's and missing homework.

The psychologist said that talk therapy doesn't help, to start monitoring his homework, remind him, check to see if it's done every night, etc. If that doesn't work, then many times there is nothing we as parents can do but to wait until something motivates them, and sometimes it doesn't. That many have to just wait and mature to catch up, many times in their mid 20's.

He's become very annoyed and irriatable with the constant micromanaging at home and it's only working slightly and now he's being angry and huffy, so it isn't working.

He says he wants to go to college, but the disorder really is standing in his way and I can't seem to help him, and he doesn't try very hard to let me or help himself.

I'm looking for advice from you, who have ADHD, who were like him and your stories and advice to me as a mom (as to how to help him if I can). What is your story. He's not hyperactive nor does he have any other behaviorial issues, so I'm basically looking for advice from those who were like him as teens. Thanks. Tisha
Teenagers can be difficult to deal with as it is, let alone adding ADHD to the mix. As you pointed out, teenagers do not like to be micromanaged. My son is 18 and a senior in high school. I can't seem to get him motivated either but in our case I think it is related to other factors (his father has been out of work for almost 2 years and is depressed, finances are severely strained, and my son and his girlfriend have been on and off in their relationship).

Has your son been on medication from a younger age or was he recently diagnosed? My son was diagnosed when he was 10 and like your son, he has no learning disabilities, hyperactivity or behavorial issues. My daughter who is 28 has the same type of ADHD and so do I, although both my daughter and I have GAD as well.

It helps when they can find something that they are passionate about to motivate them. But how do you help them find that? I wish I knew the answer to that.

I wish I could be of more help but I am in a similar situation with my son. My daughter has improved considerably so perhaps time will make the difference.
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Old 03-04-10, 11:06 PM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Have you looked in to trade school? A career path more hands-on?
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Old 03-05-10, 01:56 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Pardon my ignorance...but what does BTDT stand for?

Thanks in advance for the answer!
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Old 03-05-10, 05:56 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

BTDT means Been There Done That.
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Old 03-05-10, 06:01 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

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BTDT means Been There Done That.
Thanks! I've said that expression probably tens of millions of times...never made the connection. True ADDer "duh!" moment.
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Old 03-05-10, 06:32 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

You could try getting him some tools so he can self regulate and not feel like he has parents coming down on him all the time. Stuff like the fancy ADHD timers they sell these days and a PDA/iPod touch with a really good "to do" list application. Although when I use it my life becomes all about conquoring that list it is effective inhelpin me organize and reminding me of things I have to do. Might help. Might not, ymmv. Good luck to him.
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Old 03-05-10, 07:34 PM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tisha View Post
The psychologist said that talk therapy doesn't help, to start monitoring his homework, remind him, check to see if it's done every night, etc. If that doesn't work, then many times there is nothing we as parents can do but to wait until something motivates them, and sometimes it doesn't. That many have to just wait and mature to catch up, many times in their mid 20's.

He's become very annoyed and irriatable with the constant micromanaging at home and it's only working slightly and now he's being angry and huffy, so it isn't working.

He says he wants to go to college, but the disorder really is standing in his way and I can't seem to help him, and he doesn't try very hard to let me or help himself.
This sounds somewhat similar to how I was in high-school. My parents tried to micromanage my schoolwork as well, and I remember finding the constant checking and pressure overwhelming and distracting. I often felt that sticking to the prescribed schedule of work was impossible, and that I spent a huge amount of effort trying to manage the micromanaging as a consequence. One possible difference is that I was also depressed, so my motivation was sometimes non-existent even with medication.

Ultimately, I told my parents they had to stop, and that I would fail or not on my own, and I actually started doing much better. I don't know if it was the relief of not having to worry about being checked up on, or the fear that, now, I really could fail, as nobody was checking to make sure I wasn't going to. This is just my experience, and as I mentioned I had issues other than ADHD, so I'm not suggesting that it would be the same for your son.

I should add that I've never mastered doing things in a timely manner. Honestly, I'm not a whole lot better than I was in high-school, but I did get better and better at getting things done at the last minute, sometimes literally the last minute. It's certainly a very stressful and clearly not an optimal, way to go through school. Are your son's academic problems entirely or primarily related to scheduling and actually getting work in, or is the work itself particularly challenging or time-consuming even when he remembers it, and starts it in a timely manner?

I would also second the PDA/timer idea, particularly if he's into technology, as that is something that I've found helpful. It's remarkably satisfying to be able to check things off on the electronic 'to-do' list.
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Old 03-06-10, 11:31 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Thank you for your post. I agree the micromanaging is becoming almost a torture for him, I think...and it's not working. DH had a long talk with him the other night, because our son is having doubts that he really does have ADHD. He doesn't understand what the medicine is supposed to be doing for him, because it's not working. So, of course he doubts that he has it. Plus, not teenager wants to see themselves as not the same, abnormal in any way.

I'm goint to back off for all of our sakes. If he ends of at the end of high school with C's and D's...well, I guess we'll take it from there. A psychiatrist client of my husband's told him that we need to keep our family close to each other, because if we start losing him emotionally, then it opens itself to him going astray for all sorts of reasons (feeling like a disappointment to us, low self-esteem, etc.). I see that happening with his feelings of self-worth and staying away from us as much as possible. Not good..

I have to let go of MY dream for him. He will take his own path. I just want him to have options, and feel good about himself.

Thanks for sharing your teen years, and how you felt being micromanaged. I need to hear stories like yours. Tisha
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Old 03-06-10, 02:30 PM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

He's not abnormal, his brain just works differently than the oppressive, bigoted, ignorant, ruling majority.
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Old 03-07-10, 06:55 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADHD Ceilidh View Post
You could try getting him some tools so he can self regulate and not feel like he has parents coming down on him all the time. Stuff like the fancy ADHD timers they sell these days and a PDA/iPod touch with a really good "to do" list application. Although when I use it my life becomes all about conquoring that list it is effective inhelpin me organize and reminding me of things I have to do. Might help. Might not, ymmv. Good luck to him.
I highly suggest anyone with ADD to use such devices, it helps me alot when I have to do homework, it's alot easier to organize things. I started using my iPod to write my homework down, it has helped me alot. It was before I figured out I had ADD, so I guess i've been randomly lucky.
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Old 06-09-11, 12:21 PM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
partial quote from Tisha:
... A psychiatrist client of my husband's told him that we need to keep our family close to each other, because if we start losing him emotionally, then it opens itself to him going astray for all sorts of reasons (feeling like a disappointment to us, low self-esteem, etc.). I see that happening with his feelings of self-worth and staying away from us as much as possible. Not good..
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thank you to all who are involved in this discussion. I feel great that there are people going through the same issues that we are.

Tisha, your sentence about emotionally losing your son really hit home with me. Our son is almost 15 and will be a freshman in Sept. (egads). He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7 and it has been a long road of medications and trying everything under the sun to help him. I am sure this is a familiar pattern for everyone here.

My fear is losing him emotionally now that puberty has hit full force. He can swing in and out of a mood within 30 minutes. I know we micromanage him at times , I know we are hard on him at times , I know that our current family way of interacting with him is NOT good. We just keep trying.

I belong to CHADD, attended the Parent to Parent classes, have read everything I can get my hands on, done therapy, etc etc and although he has had many successes in his life thus far, he is truly frustrated by our family dynamics as are we. We praise, we organize, we talk... but many of the days we are just all worn out. Poor grades, forgetting to write down, do or turn in homework, his room is a mess, his closets and drawers are a mess. He tends to act out physically when he has impulsive moments.

He is a bright, smart, funny, handsome kid who excels at sports, is strong as an ox and when he is feeling comfortable with himself and happy... a true joy to be around.

To make matters worse, his 11 month younger brother is a 4.0 student and very popular in school. Of course, we know better than to compare, and each child is praised for their individual talents and accomplishments but sibling rivalry is there.

In addition, we are an adopted family and have been together since 2000. The boys know and it is a freely discussed subject so we don't encounter many on the surface issues. I know there are still some underlying emotions and we do talk about feelings when they come up.

I am at wits end some days and other days have high hopes.

I just joined this discussion group today and hope to learn much from everyone here.
thanks
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Old 06-09-11, 09:34 PM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

I am not a parent, but I was a kid with ADHD, who had siblings with ADHD.

I myself was high achieving, getting good grades in honors classes, etc. My sister felt like she could never do anything as well as I could (she was also pretty depressed). She cut school, forged signatures on her report card, got C's and D's and F's, and finally decided to pull it together enough to graduate, barely.

After graduation, she spent a year working and taking the community classes she needed to apply to college. Her time spent working, at some sort of light-industrial temp job, convinced her that she really, really did not want temp jobs to be her life. She went to the local public university, was on the Dean's list by her second term there, graduated with honors, and found a well-paying job.

My parents were incredibly worried about her and frustrated with her when she was in high school, but eventually she found her own reasons to turn it around. If your son really wants to go to college, he'll probably do the same.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:56 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Just wanted to throw in my $.02...

I am 40 next month and diagnosed just before 39th birthday.

ADHD was not diagnosed when I was in high school, so I couldn't tell you anything about that, but I made rotten grades in high school with a very high IQ.

I would have flipped out if my mother started to micromanage my life at that point in my development. I would have resisted with every single ounce of energy I had. We are kind of programmed to pull away from our parents at that stage in our development.

I also think that there isn't much you can do once a kid reaches a certain age. If they want to do it badly enough, they have enough mobility and cash to do most anything an adult can. Both the good and the bad.

I made both good and bad decisions. I'm sure you did, too. Without any kind of acknowledgement of my ADHD, some of mine were pretty bad. Vyvanse is supposed to help him avoid the worst of the decisions.

But whatever "worst" means depends on your kid.

If you think his worst might get him or someone else killed (drunk driving, car surfing, that kind of stuff), then you are within your rights as a parent to save him from himself with the hope that someday he will be around to thank you for it. But it you can bet it probably won't be very much fun.

If his worst decision is that he goes to auto mechanic school, or community college, or beauty school instead of college, then I think you have to let him make his own decisions as much as you possibly can.

Allowing him to make choices and experience the consequences of his decisions when the stakes aren't as high will help him make better decisions in the future.

I didn't know what it meant either, but I have BTDT.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:12 AM
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Re: Need advice from BTDT adults concerning my teen son.

Talk therapy can really help im not sure why its not worth a try
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