My 15 yr old son has ADHD. He has come a long way since his diagnosis in the 3rd grade. However, he is not turning in his school work. He aces every test and quiz, never receiving anything below a 93. But his grades are never above a C (except for band) and frequently are E's. We have tried talking to him with his teachers and counselors. We have taken privileges away (which the only thing that even makes him think twice is taking away the computer) we have talked for hours, pleaded, you name it we've tried. We are just so frustrated. He says he want's to go to college, but no matter what we or the powers that be at school tell him he has to change his ways, here we still are! Please Help!
He's bored. He's absolutely bored out of his skull, which is the worst thing in the world for an ADHD child. He knows he has to do the work, but it's just too hard for him to stay focused when the work is so uninteresting.
If he's getting A's on his tests and quizzes without doing any homework, clearly he's not being challenged intellectually. Is there any way you can get him some more interesting work?
I was diagnosed at 19. In a way, you're lucky he was identified so early. I can tell you I was also dead bored in school, and no amount of punishment or "motivation" made a difference, not for more than a few days, anyway. College was better, at least there the work was more challenging.
Bored, I never thought of bored! Talk about a light bulb moment. Although from what I understand math isn't boring for him, he just doesn't like it, so he tells me. I'm going to talk to him tonight. The odd thing is I see he's completed his homework, but then he doesn't hand it in. He even has a folder just for work to be turned in. I can't tell you what a relief it is to hear from someone who's gone through this, I don't know anyone who can relate to his side of things, and it seems so hard for him to get it across to us. Thank you!!!
It may be that he needs the teacher to remind him to turn it in. Some teachers think they are teaching responsibility by not asking for the homework. This is an awful policy for the ADHD kids!
And you know, I hated math in high school, too. It was so tedious! All that repetition, doing the same problems over and over again with different numbers. Being creative meant points taken off for doing the problem the "wrong" way.
At age 21, I finished college magna *** laude. My major was... mathematics.
I still have trouble with the "tedious" stuff at work. What makes it easier now is:
1) I'm getting paid to do it. A paycheck is a darned good reason to do almost anything
2) Most of my job is NOT pointless and tedious, which makes the tedious parts easier to get through.
3) I'm in my thirties, not my teens. It takes us ADHDers longer to learn patience and emotional maturity, but we do learn some eventually.
He's still a few years away from graduating high school, so he has time to figure things out. If he doesn't get the grades to enter a top college, that's OK. You could send him to community college for a couple years, save some money. Make sure he winds up in the most challenging classes available. Then he'll have a chance to shine.
Or, maybe he's just not ready for school right now, maybe he'd do better with something more hands-on for a couple years. Any way you slice it, a kid as bright as he is, with involved, loving parents, is going to turn out OK.
I have to tell you, I get emotional every time I read your reply's. To actually talk to someone who has walked in his shoes is just so reassuring. I have a wonderful trust in my son. He has a wonderful set of friends, excels at band (although he doesn't want to go into music), is my computer go to person, and is pretty much an all around good person. It's just really hard to see this obstacle that could really have such a profound effect of his future. Why can I see this? It's me. My Mother always told me I practically said as I slid out of the womb, "I want to be a Veterinarian". I was in band, got good grades had good friends. But what my Mother didn't notice was, I didn't have any drive. I now realize that I may where my son got his ADHD. I don't feel guilty in any way for it, but I do see the area's that we match. My husband and I are exactly alike, we both have go nowhere jobs, and struggle each and every day. I, like any parent just want better for our son. But I DO NOT want to get all wigged out about it either. When you wrote about community college it really did get me to understand that no matter what he does, it will work out. One of the problems is, he currently lists his career choice as Astro Physicist, and admits he doesn't have the drive right now for this choice. I guess I don't want him to one minute literally be reaching for the stars, and then end up pounding the pavement. You have been such a blessing. I hope we will continue and each of us has time to communicate.