Don't know what more to do

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by topsyturvy, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. topsyturvy

    topsyturvy New Member

    First I would like to say that I am new to the board and I look forward to getting to know everyone and learning more about how to help my son.

    My son was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD and anxiety disorder when he was 5. We have had a constant struggle with him especially at school. He is basically in trouble at school, I have spent more time meeting with his teachers then I have not. Last year we tried homeschooling and for the most part it worked except for the fact that my husband thought that he needed to be in school. So this year we enrolled him back in school. We live in a smaller town so it is a small school. He has an awesome teacher and she knows that he has ADHD and she is working with him.

    But when we had his parent/teacher conference, which I made sure that my husband went to so that he could hear from the teacher what I have heard every year. Well when we sat down she first said that he is a very polite little boy but he is just not applying himself in school and that he is very capable of doing the work that is presented to him, which he is totally capable of. On his mid-quarter report he had 3 D's and we discussed a plan that we currently have in place. But it seems that with all the extra work that we have put in his math grade is continuing to fall because he just slops down an answer just to be done and he does know the answer cause both the teacher and us can ask him the question and he will give the answer without batting an eyelash. At this point his grade will be an F on his report card for his Math.

    I really don't know what to do anymore. I don't know what more we can do other then let him face the consequences of him not doing his work. We have tried everything. We ground, we give reward for positive things, we've tried not grounding. We have tried everything but nothing seems to be sinking in and I am just beyond frustrated. I appreciate any ideas or thoughts because at this point I feel like a total and complete failure.

  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Welcome! How old is your son? Which grade is he in?

    What kind of work is he doing in Math?
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Welcome!! You've come to a great place and there are a lot of wonderful people here to offer support and advice from their own experiences. It sounds like maybe the diagnosis he got at 5yo just scratched the surface of things and might not even be entirely accurate. This is pretty common, so don't sweat it at this point. I'll ask some questions that can help everyone understand the current situation a little more. Feel free to tell us whatever you'd like- I'm sure it has been written here before!!

    1) how old is he now and is he currently on any medications?
    2) Has he ever had neuropsychological testing- I think he needs it because it will "uncover" the cause of his struggling with schoolwork. (If possible, having it done privately instead of by the school will be more thorough, usually.)
    3) Does he see anyone now- a psychiatrist or therapist?
    4) Do you notice anything at home that appears out of the norm- like late development in any area, extreme moodiness, etc?

    I would suggest not treating him like a behavior problem- I don't think that's what is going on. I know it's hard and frustrating sometimes, but I don't think this is defiance, based on what you posted here. There is a book by Ross Greene called The Explosive Child and it is very helpful for many parents with kids who have similar problems- it isn't all about kids who "explode" like the name suggests. It might help you understand your child a little and provides strategies for coping with them so we aren't quite so frustrated and they are learning better ways of handling things.

    Others will come along with more suggestions and questions, I'm sure. Look around and post more when you are comfortable. Hang in there!!
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh, I forgot to mention- if he isn't already on an IEP, i think you might want to start the process. The school will offer to evaluate him, but again, I think you'd be better off getting complete neuropsychologist testing done privately just to ensure that the school doesn't do the typical adhd evaluation then stop.
  5. topsyturvy

    topsyturvy New Member

    Thank you all for your responses, at least now I don't feel like I have totally lost it.

    He is 9 years old, is in 4th grade and is doing the saxon math method. When he actually applies himself he can excel at the math.

    We did get him diagnosed by a private physician and it was a long process. We also went through extensive therapy with him in which we still use the same techniques in the house.

    He is not on any medication at this point but that is going to change here really soon. My husband didn't want him on them anymore but now he has come to realize that maybe he needs them. So back to the doctor I go.

    We do not notice anything out of the ordinary here at home. We can handle his behavior here at home but it's when he hits school that he starts this stuff. In fact we had a major issue with homework tonight. I also noticed that when dad is around he turns on the water works and turns it into a major theatrical performance. But as soon as dad went to bed he got his homework done the way it should have been done in the first place.

    It's just so frustrating and getting the extended family to follow suit is hard to do. We have issues with my husbands mother not making excuses and blaming everyone else but where the blame lies. She undoes everything we try to do and try to accomplish.
  6. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    <<<Hugs>> and welcome from one weary mum to another
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board topsy. by the way I love your screen name. lol

    Natural conscequences won't hurt him. Actually, it's a very good way for a child to learn certain behavior is unacceptable. I'm a firm believer in natural conscequences. :) And if nothing else is working, I'd say you don't have anything to lose. No one likes their child to flunk a grade, but if that's what it takes to get their attention that one has to do and put effort into the work to receive a passing grade........Then by all means do it. It won't traumatize him for life. When he's 30 no one's going to give a hoot if he got held back a grade. lol

    From one who's already been there done that, I'm glad you found us.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I know you already had him evaluated, but, as I've found, diagnoses tend to change and evolve with age. Did he see a neuropsychologist for his testing?
    How was his early development, including speech, eye contact, and socialization with his peers? How does he socialize now? Does he ever seem clueless or spacy or "not with it?" Does he seem to understand when he is being inappropriate? Being sure that you have the right diagnosis and know the reasons for his behavior will be far more important than medication (which can make things worse if it turns out to be the wrong medications). We've played the medications game.
  9. topsyturvy

    topsyturvy New Member

    Thank you everyone for your replies, it doesn't make me feel so clueless or feel like a failure. He has been seen by several people, all that everyone has asked about. His early development was right on track if not ahead of. He socialization is pretty good, he tends to want to be too touchy feely for a lot of kids, his anger does get the best of him and he says things that are totally inappropriate. He does get angry when things don't go his way and he puts the blame on others. For example he tried to blame me yesterday because he didn't put his homework back in his folder, in which I told him that's not my responsibility he knows that he has to put his homework in his homework folder. He turned on the water works last night when he had to sit down and correct a lot of assingments that the teacher sent hom for him to redo. He knew how to do the assingments but he was choosing to just slop down an answer. He has also learned who to manipulate and who to try and put the blame on. He does not seem spacy in fact he pays close attention to things, well the things that will benefit him anyway.

    What frustrates me the most is that he knows how to do his work, he knows what he is doing but we play this game everyday. Much of the time me and husband end up fighting cause husband likes to take the side of DS until he figures out that Ds knows what he is doing or when he lies to him. Then we have the issue of my mother in law and how she baby's him and puts the blame on me and his teachers. It's so frustrating that I have migraines everyday.

    I have my daughter who has a learning disability which affects everything that she does so it's not like I don't know how to work with different things and I know how to handle things. But she doesn't play the whole poor little me game, she knows that she just has to work harder then everyone else and she feels prouder of herself when she achieves what we expect and we expect the same things out of both of them when it comes to academia.

    UGH it's just so darn frustrating.
  10. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. You have found home, believe me. You will love this place, I do. This website has given me so much. You will find that you are not alone, there are quite a few of us in this struggle. It really helps to communicate with people who really do understand what you are going through.

    Hang in there. :)
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Just wanted to add my welcome! I am in the middle of the obsessing over Halloween with my 4 yo... severe anxiety. So I have no time! But I wanted to say Hello...
  12. topsyturvy

    topsyturvy New Member

    Thank you all of you, it does make me feel better to know that I found a place where people understand and don't deem me as being mean.
  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Hi Topsy, You will soon see that I don't have much experience with the medications and signs of various diagnosis. I do however, like to help in other areas. So, I am going to ask if your husband is home when your son gets home from school. Is there a time after school that your difficult child is home before dad gets home? Can homework be done at that time?

    I wonder if your difficult child is using this as a way to get dad's attention? When dad wasn't around the home work went smoother. Can you encourage your husband to spend a few minutes every night with difficult child? Maybe reviewing the homework and praising that it got done so quickly? Maybe just watching a show together or going for a walk? Maybe they already do something every night and I am way off base?

    I have part of the same issues with my difficult child who can also do the work correctly when he puts his time into it. He wants to just write down whatever and checking work is a waste of time to him. I get so furious because math was always my favorite subject - I wish my kids enjoyed it like I did. And when you are able to check your work, you should not get any or very few wrong. But, my kids don't care. How do you motivate someone to want to do their best?
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Topsy Turvy, you said, "It's just so frustrating and getting the extended family to follow suit is hard to do. We have issues with my husbands mother not making excuses and blaming everyone else but where the blame lies. She undoes everything we try to do and try to accomplish."

    Oh boy, do I know this one! But to reassure you - I am now on very good terms with my mother in law who has moved to live near us. She took a long time to accept the diagnosis, as did a lot of our friends. I understand that often it is the people who love us the most, who would rather believe we're crazy, lying or mistaken, than that there could really be a serious problem. Especially in-laws - they have no vested interest in loving us, but they DO have a genetic investment in their offspring and grandchildren. If there is a flaw in a descendant, then they see it reflecting badly on them. It is so much easier to first deny there is a problem; then blame it on parenting; then blame it on YOUR genes.

    Ignore it. You have more important things to deal with. Hopefully your mother in law will come round, once she sees more for herself and can no longer deny what is increasingly obvious. After all, your mother in law is the mother of the person you chose to have children with - you at least have some things in common. Hold that thought, then put the rest of your energy into your children.

    Don't be too critical of your son. I have found that girls can have very similar learning problems to boys, but show it very differently. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was at first considered to be a highly gifted but otherwise normal child. We know now that she's probably Aspie, but more socially competent (in some areas) than is usually seen in Asperger's. Her high IQ helped her adapt amazingly fast in some areas. At other times she seems almost BiPolar (BP) in the way she can change moods and suddenly see everything as overwhelmingly dark. However, I still tink Asperger's explains it all. If only I could get her reassessed!

    With my three difficult children, they each expressed basically the same disorder, in three very different ways. The tantrums, the bargaining, the histrionics - that was my younger two. difficult child 1 would just sit and "veg out". difficult child 3 had significant language delay issues but now argues logic with the vocabulary of a High Court judge.

    As far as schoolwork is concerned - in mainstream, difficult child 3 was failing. So was difficult child 1. We have access to a correspondence option and both boys were transferred there and drastically improved.

    Homework has been a HUGE issue for us, especially when the kids needed medications and didn't have any, or enough, on board. I posted in detail on homework issues on someone else's thread today.

    Read "Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Even if you feel you're an expert with your child (and I certainly felt I was, since I not only had already raised easy child and difficult child 1 (to a large extent) but I had also helped my sisters raise their children and undergone teacher training. Yep. I knew it all. And I still say, I was even then, a very good mother, one of the best. But I was doing it wrong, for difficult child 3. Almost the opposite of what he needed - dead wrong.

    Not my fault - how could we know? We were parenting the only way we knew, according to how we had been taught and according to all the best books.

    Read the book. For us, it made life easier. More enjoyable. And difficult child 3 - the changes are amazing. He is still autistic, but now his self-esteem is so much better, he is in much better control of his anxiety and academically, he actively works on his lessons and goes looking for answers. He is an independent learner in most subject areas.

    Yes, we had the whining, raging battles over homework. We were finding ways to cope. We now cope in different ways. What has helped - teaching difficult child 3 to take personal responsibility. And yes, natural consequences are a very big way to make this work. After all, that is life.

    Try to find my other post. It saves me clogging up this one.