Mayo Clinic Connect
I have a teenage son w/ ADD and we are struggling with the challenges affiliated with ADD. He is struggling in High School can not remember his assignments. Just wondering if anybody out there has any advice on how help him get more organized etc.
I was on here looking for some advice on how to help my 14 yr old son, he has liver faliure and is waiting on a transplant.
dr believe (and so do we) the medication he was taking for ADHD is what’s caused him to have liver failure.
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I’m really sorry to hear that, what kind of medicine was he taking, and how much, if you don’t mind me asking? My son is 16, and has switched medication many times over the past 2 yrs. (both type of medication and dosage, right now he’s taking Vyvanse.
I worked with lots of kids with that problem. You might find success with forming a team with his teachers, him and yourself. Assignment notebooks help – he needs to write down the assignment (writing helps put it in the cognitive path), balance at home time with breaks every 15-30 minutes with homework. Get the diagnosis recorded with school and get an IEP. If he is computer based – get him to input the assignment in his electronic device – this is to be reviewed with you and the teacher, daily. All activity must be positive to keep him interested in getting the “game ” of school working for him so that he can enjoy the good stuff he likes. Repetitive motion sports are a great outlet – skate boarding, snow boarding. It is also important to remember that he is a teenager, as well – he is struggling to have balance as well as control. Also, establishing a purpose for the value of learning what the assignments are teaching – establish relevance. Many people with ADD can be quite accomplished with good supportive teachers and parents. And above all, at home keep the environment and schedule stable and predictable – to give him the mental break that he needs after school. Also encourage some sports or positive activity that interests him to be his mental dessert. Good luck.
PS: Remember that ADD has nothing to do with his basic intelligence. Capitalize on his strengths.
For 3 yrs he’s been taking stratera. He started getting sick 2 yrs ago but dr didn’t know what was wrong. 2mo ago he was rushed to children’s for liver failure. Like you and your son he was on different meds. He took adderall for several yrs. Before the stratera. When he was on low dosages of adderrall he done the best. He was able to actually pay attention in school and keep up with the other students in a regular class room.
The doctors put my son on meds by time he was4! In the beginning they put him on several different kinds of meds. Including anti depressants, anti siezure, even anti psychotic medicine. They were prescribing these meds for ADHD! We have no none liver problems in the family and he was a healthy baby and child. He didn’t start getting sick till he was 12. He would get nauseated from time to time. Occasionally would vomit, then he started staying tired and gained a lot of weight, which he has lost now due to be so sick. He also had suicidal thoughts and often complained of not feeling right. Dr ignored all these signs. I knew something wasn’t right and could tell he was really sick. They even said a couple months ago the only thing wrong was 5th disease. It was 2 wks later when his liver shut down
Oh, I know this all too well, having lived it. First, I totally agree with “the good wife”‘s comment about intelligence. Remember that a great number of people with ADD are actually quite brilliant – (there is strong evidence that both Edison & DaVinci had ADD).
I wasn’t officially diagnosed until I was 25 and have been on meds since (am in my 40’s now) and have always done behavior modification.
If you have not tried meds, don’t be afraid to. Sometimes behavior mod is not enough and the right med in the right dose can make such a difference. My life would have been completely different had I been diagnosed soone and started meds. Crashed and burned in college.
In HS, I had a little notebook that I wrote down all my assignments in and hen they were due. It went to every class every day. Long term assignments would be transferred to the following day so that it stayed on my radar screen. It takes repetition to make the habit.
You and he also have to figure out how he best retains things. For me, I am tactile. If I don’t write it down, most likely I won’t remember. That is why
A) I have a dry erase board in my shower….where do you think of all the things you have to do? I can write it down then transfer it to my master list
B) I have learned there is something about pen to paper for me – so I have a paper calendar. PDA’s or electronic to do lists don’t work for me. Tried and tried and finally accepted it. Maybe he’s more wired for the electronic age, if so, use phone or tablet or whatever. But it has to be one thing and it all goes in that device. No exceptions.
C) find ways to develop habits that become automatic and save wasted time. For example, if always losing keys, find a place for them to live. Since he age of 18, the first thing I do when moving into a new place is ask “where are my keys going to live?” and then they live there – doesn’t matter how full my hands are, what time it is, how tired I am, whatever, my keys go on the hook first thing I walk in he door. Period. Might seem anal and OCD but I’ve only misplaced my keys about 4 time in the last 20 plus years and it was when I didn’t put them in their home.
I have suggestions, but hey will have to wait. My hubby needs his table back
Our son does kumon – it’s a japanese learning system which is systematic, repetitive and has to be done and marked every day. Our son is only eight, but has moved up seven reading grades in the current year, and one spelling grade. We believe the kumon gives a structure to work with at home, which encourages him to focus on one task to completion. We hear even kids in year 9 (Australia) i.e. aged 14, benefit from kumon. My first son was also ADHD, but not diagnosed until he was 14. He is now 27 and still cannot read or write properly. For example, he had to redo his passport application four times before they would process it, because he did not understand the forms. So I would recommend you just focus on making sure your son can read and write and do basic arithmetic. Kumon can achieve this if you have the time, as parents, to supervise. You have to be disciplined and prescriptive. Our son knows he gets treats and other rewards just as long as he completes his kumon daily. School can only do so much for ADHD kids. You need to step up. Hope that helps.
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