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Advice for son who struggles with the details

So, after being out of school for 2 years then tanking a whole year, my 23 took two on-line courses. The usual happened again: overlooks details and loses critical points on missed assignments. He is so tired of making same mistake but doesn’t seem to know how to prevent. Do I stay out of it and let it bother him enough so he puts more effort into making sure he has all the bases covered or what? The kid had an A in calculus only to discover on the last day of class that he lost 50 of 450 points due to missed assignments. Never saw them at all! To be fair, there was no syllabus, but I’m not sure how hard he looked at the on-line class website.

He gets so easily discouraged and he’s had a lot of failures so to lose points due to missed assignments as opposed to not understanding is tough to watch. Any advice would be much appreciated. He may be open to some help as he recognizes this is a serious weakness for him.

Replies

YOU HAVE NOT MENSTION IF HE IS ON MEDS. IF HE IS IT HELPS. DONT WORRY ABOUT HOW. BUT IT HELPS.

ASK HIM TO USE TOOLS, METHODS TO HELP HIM. IF HE MISSES APPOINTMENT. ASK HIM TO USE MOBILE TO ASSING IT AND SEE IT DAILY. LIKE A ROBOT.

MAKING SILLY MISTAKE. ALSO TO JUST AFTER HIS WRITING OF ASSIGNMENT JUST RE-CHECK FOR BASES.

THERE IS ALLWAYS A TOMMOROW, FORGET WHAT HAS HAPPENED..

Posted by smhmis@hotmail.com on Dec 10, 2013 at 9:56am

Story of my high schooler’s academic life, and so common for our kids with ADHD. She used to get A’s on tests and quizzes, but C’s overall due to late/lost/missed work. Those zeros can really bury and frustrate a kid. She now has an IEP and support at school which has helped her tremendously. She was also tired of struggling despite knowing that she is very bright. She read a lot of books about ADHD and how to compensate, and has been very receptive to the help her school offers, especially the help with organization, time management, etc.

Can your son get help from the on line program, community college, or outside of a school program? Even a one time consultation with someone at a high school or college could give him ideas about apps that help, and other time management/organizational tips.There are ADHD coaches and therapists out there as well. Perhaps he might find books about ADHD comforting and helpful? What about support groups here on this site or in the community like CHADD?

My daughter was diagnosed just prior to high school and also benefits significantly from meds, in her case, Concerta. The first time she took it, she came home from school and said, “Mom, I’m smart! I was able to write a paper in 15 minutes, and it was good!I was able to pay attention through my whole math class without wanting to check out!” Leisure reading is now easy and fun for her. Homework is easier and her driving is significantly better on meds. Something else to consider.

Good luck and tell him to hang in there. He is clearly smart and no doubt has lots of gifts. The right support could help him reach his potential.

Posted by mcat on Dec 10, 2013 at 10:09am

Hi Mom2ADDSon,

It is difficult to watch but you are wise not to to jump in and fix everything. if that would have worked it would have worked already.

Support is necessary, though, to develop new protocols for getting things done. This support can come from study buddies, a friendly uncle or aunt, a coach etc. I think that mcat has laid out an excellent roadmap.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Dec 10, 2013 at 6:16pm

I would add that colleges have departments for helping students with ADHD and learning disabilities. This sounds like some executive functioning deficits (http://www.additudemag.com/q&a/ask_the_add_medical_expert/7228.html) and could very well be helped with some academic accommodations (like the teacher emails assignment list to him or something). As well, some therapy/counseling can help him develop strategies to overcome these continued obstacles.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 10, 2013 at 7:43pm

Thanks for the responses. He is on meds (adderall) and tried a coach although he wasn’t in school at the time. He was not ready to do the work with the coach (lied to her) and now it’s totally out of the question financially. Just an fyi, he was diagnosed at age 20 but was able to do 4.0 work at the community college prior to meds and diagnosis.

He did agree that accommodations would have helped and he is registered with the office of disabilities at the school, just not sure how it works with on-line courses. It certainly is worth a call to see what they can do.

In the past, he was resistant to help as he thought he could do it on his own. However, his experience and maturity have made him realize his past strategies haven’t worked. He won’t read books about ADHD but he is seeing a therapist so is not totally in a “lone ranger” mode.

I will broach the subject of developing strategies to cope with these deficits. I won’t do it for him, but I will see how I can guide him gently.

Posted by Mom2ADDSon on Dec 10, 2013 at 10:18pm

Good luck! It sounds like you and he are on the right track. My daughter’s special ed teacher/mentor at her school always tells me that these kids almost always get through the struggles with “time and maturity.” It’s practically her mantra.

If your son won’t read books, you could perhaps email him relevant articles from this site or others places. I have seen some especially good ones here about executive difficulties…what they are and how to deal with them. I’ve also seen good tips about helpful apps, etc I email things to my daughter from time to time. I don’t think she finds it too annoying, and sometimes she actually admits that they are helpful. smile She has also gotten a lot out of the articles about anxiety, which has also been one of her struggles. As your son figures out what works for him, things will get better and better. As high school graduation approaches, my daughter is just beginning to feel successful and happy, after years of struggling and not understanding why.

You sound like a great mom! Hang in there!

Posted by mcat on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:30am

I have a beautiful daughter who has struggled with ADHD since preschool. She has been on various different meds…all worked but she hated the way they made her feel. Very smart, but fiercely independent and hates asking for help and will not ask me for any help at all.
She is 20 now after bombing in a local community college because of poor organization skills, missed assignments but mostly because she just gives up. She won’t take her meds….
I am trying very hard to support her and not step in to solve it for her but it is so painful to watch and she has so much to offer.

Posted by ennarsitruc on Dec 30, 2013 at 9:58am

Hello Everyone, I’m new to this site and have a 15 year old son with ADHD.  I won’t go into detail tonight, but have already found encouragement and ideas from your discussion.  Many great parents of ADHD kids out there!  Hang in there!

Posted by Mom4Life on Jan 10, 2014 at 10:23am

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