Parents of ADHD Children
How medication helps at school
I just got back from meeting with my son’s teacher and thought the discussion was interesting enough to share and get feedback on.
My son is 11 and just started Biphentin (ritalin type medication) in December. Up until this year, he was considered mild/moderate ADHD and some accommodations at school and at home were enough. This year I believe that a combination of things made things explode for him, so that his grades had dropped two grade levels and he was getting into trouble, etc. I think it was the new environment (middle school vs. elementary), the age (lots of brain development at this age according to his psychiatrist) and harder work (e.g. math can’t be done in his head anymore, but requires several steps and planning).
Since going on the medication I’ve noticed a drop in anxiety at home, but not a whole lot else. To be fair, I don’t get to see the effects much… the medication hasn’t kicked in yet in the mornings before he leaves for school, and I’m pretty sure it’s worn off or wearing off in the afternoon when he gets home (Biphentin starts strong then fades off to avoid the crash that many of the medications have). So basically I’m having to rely on his teacher for feedback as to how it’s going in class. She filled out another questionnaire for his doctor and it showed positive improvements in many areas. She said it’s huge.
Well he took a math test last week and got 58%. Not good. He knew it really well all weekend when we were studying, but… So I was thinking “How can she be saying she’s seeing all this progress and he’s still getting these grades?!?”
The difference, as I understand it, is that he is now WILLING to do the work, where before he would just completely shut down. He’s still getting overwhlemed by word problems (there’s a lot to sort out before you can even begin to answer the question, plus there are usually multiple parts). And he’s still not always answering every question to the fullest (e.g. on a three part question, he may only answer the first two parts). And he still tries to rush and isn’t always giving his best work. But she said he wasn’t the first one finished this time. He’s willing to go back and recheck his work. He’s involved in discussions and not making random comments anymore. He’s not just walking out of class, but will come and ask her if he can go. He’s staying on topic more and participating more, and she says his peers are noticing (or not noticing… he’s fitting in more, rather than standing out).
Are these the types of things you (or their teacher) see in your own kids? A willingness to try, but not necessarily trying as hard as they can? Or a willingness to try, but maybe not succeeding yet?
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