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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Rehab therapy

Hi I am new to this board. My husband and I have our 24 year old son still living with us. We encouraged him to attend college right out of high school but that didn’t work out due to not attending class. He went to another college as we were hoping he would do better but the same thing happened there. He has been arrested for drug possession and is now on probation. He is not actively looking for work. Just barely looking.  Sleeps late and doesn’t pull his weight around the house. We have been very controlling parents even his bank account so it seems harsh to put him on the street. We have talked about encouraging him to admit himself into a treatment center. It is so overwhelming with so many out there. We think he would need intensive stay busy all day.  With self esteem building and life skills.  We are in GA but could possibly go out of state. Any advice? -


No advice….but can understand some of what you feel.  We have a 20 year old at home because school is not his thing right now.  We’ve had him in counseling and with the past few months have been given the diagnosis of being on the Autism Spectrum.  That’s a whole new world .... off to a new psychiatrist shortly.  After our son gets some guidance from the new expert in ASD/ADHD, I see family counseling in our future.

We, too, keep a close eye on our son’s money because he would spend it on computer games.  Fortunately he has not gotten into any drug issues.

Would he consider working with a counselor/would you all consider family therapy?  He may be depressed on top of the ADHD?  We know our son will be with us awhile now…years….and we know the three of us are going to need to work on how we communicate with each other and come to grips with the new reality that none of us planned on.

Hang in there…

Posted by greyhairedmom on Nov 25, 2013 at 1:24am

I feel your pain. Though my son doesn’t use drugs (thank God), he is not working and has dropped out of college. He is extremely isolated and I worry about the drugs and alcohol coming in to play eventually. There are not a lot of support groups to help these young adults with ADHD issues unless it costs a lot of money. Prayers that things work out for you. Long term treatment would be wonderful. Of course, it would be better if you could find a program that deals with the drugs, alcohol and ADHD…Good luck to you and your family…

Posted by msell120 on Nov 30, 2013 at 10:01pm

Generally it is best to pay attention to what your son does well and, insofar as it is possible, ignore the rest.

And, as far as the controlling is concerned, the really difficult piece is deciding what to let go. But, bit by bit, we need to let go. Eventually there is no choice about this so sooner is better than later. The idea is to stop worrying about one or two small issues at a time until your son gets the sense that he is in control. This is not an instant fix but I have seen it work.

The other important piece is for parents to ensure that they take care of themselves fostering their own needs and perusing their own interests.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Dec 01, 2013 at 10:19am

I am so sorry to hear of your struggles. Although we have different issues with our 23 year old, I can totally sympathize with what you may be feeling.

If he’s still an active user, that should be the first issue to address either through AA or another program.  Al-anon will help you and your husband deal with that. So long as he’s using, nothing else can be addressed and it makes everything worse.

What I’ve learned in dealing with my son is that I cannot make him do what I want him to do nor stop him from doing what I think is wrong. I have learned to detach in love (not easy!) and to focus more on me than on him. I’m not responsible for him, only he is responsible for him. After all, he is an adult. I’ve also learned that there are limits to the behavior I will tolerate if I am to keep my sanity and integrity.

Please let us know how things are going. Hopefully, your son will agree to enter a drug treatment program.

Posted by Mom2ADDSon on Dec 06, 2013 at 6:01am

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