Tearing my hair out!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    :9-07tears:difficult child 2 is just incredibly inattentive and S-L-O-W in the afternoons and it's sheer torture getting him to remember things and get his work done!

    He forgets to go to the office for medications at lunch.
    He forgets textbooks even when I send him back to school to make sure he has everything.
    He forgets to write assignments down.
    He takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get homework done (and it's not that he doesn't get it -- he just has no focus and gnat-sized attention).

    It's driving me batty and this is only week 3!

    I'm calling psychiatrist tonight to leave a message about this. Right now, difficult child 2 takes 600mg Seroquel XR at night and 100mg Seroquel (regular) at 12:30pm. Mornings are great with him! I really mean it! He gets up right away, gets dressed, makes his breakfast, rinses his dishes and is ready to go on time nearly every day. But by the afternoon, he is forgetful, unfocused and generally scatter-brained.

    I personally think he needs more Seroquel in the afternoon. Opinions?
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If he is forgetting his noon time medications, I would start there. It may be he just has to TAKE these medications for them to work?

    So, how to get him to remember? A note in his locker? Can the teacher who has him just before remind him as he leaves that class?

    You have to make sure that all medications are being taken on time everyday to determine if they are working or not.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok- no perfect answers here, but here's where we are with this- you may have already tried some or all.

    1) Extended release or time release versions- no medications need to be taken at school, unless it's prn. Even with this, difficult child gets medications in am and pm- unless it's prn.
    2) Get it in his IEP- one set of books at school and one set to be kept at home- no transporting books. It's common.
    3) Our school uses a website, teachers put homework assignments on a link that student and parent has a password for. In the absence of that, teachers should be able to email you once a week what the weekly assignments are. We email as often as it takes- "difficult child didn't turn in homework today" I email back "I can verify he did it; I'll have him turn it in tomorrow". It's a struggle, but teachers have learned the problem really is memory, executive functioning, etc., not defiance or poor parenting. (That took over 2 years.)
    4) Yep- F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Soooo, we put difficult child in learning stratgies ( astudy hall for kids on an iep). He is to do any assignments missed in there and do at least some of his assigned homework and projects in there. They can help him if he needs it. And, it's in his iep, in times of stress or absences, the learning strategies teachers deletes some homework and coordinates with teachers how difficult child can get it made up. The adults are still controlling this- it isn't up to difficult child- but if I verify that he has truly shut down at home, they pick up the slack.

    We're still working on all this- it is a work in progress, but these things have helped difficult child's grades and both of our stress levels at home.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2008
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Ok. First of all, they just forget their textbooks and forget to write their assignments down. All the way through the 8th grade in our SD, the homeroom teacher checked the kids' agendas everyday to make sure they had something written down for each class (if there was no homework then NO HOMEWORK should be written).

    So, I would ask the teachers to check his agenda to make sure assignments are written down. (Does he have an IEP, by the way? I can't remember.) They can also do a reminder at the end of the day for him to check his agenda and make sure he has his textbooks. I had that written into the IEP because even though it was done, it was actually carried out more in the junior high than in middle school. Imagine that.

    As for the medications at lunch, I think you were going to check in to that watchminder thing.

    Doing homework at night...I would break it into 10 minute increments. Do 10 minutes, get a 5 minute break or something like that.

    No help on the medications, though, sorry.

    It is soooo frustrating. I feel your pain.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Andy, the medications he forgot three times since last Monday. The first time, he ended up taking them late. The second time he didn't take them at all. And today, he forgot, but I went to school to remind him and he ended up getting them like he was supposed to. All the other days last week he took them. The week before, I went to school every day and gave them to him. The teachers are supposed to remind him, but they don't always. I'll probably get him an alarm watch, but I see this as a symptom of medications being ineffective.

    Klmno, I'm not sure if he can take the extended release Seroquel twice in one day. He gets about 16 hours of coverage with it. Not sure if we can overlap.

    I think if the textbook situation doesn't improve, I will ask that we write that clause into his IEP.

    His teachers do not use their web pages for assignments (unfortunately). He was told to get the numbers of other classmates to call, which we've done before. Tonight he was 0 for 4 so that didn't help :(

    No study hall -- he's still in elementary through grade 6. But I use email religiously to let the teachers know what's going on. I think I've sent one four out of the last six days.

    I just left a message with the psychiatrist, so hopefully he'll call tomorrow with a dosage adjustment (PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE)!:please:
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Heather, the teachers have said "he has to remind me" to remind him. WTH? Maybe this does need to be in his IEP. My 8th grader is on a planner contract in middle school, so why can't they do that in elementary school? His teachers sign it to show he's got the assignment down. I sign it to show that he's done the work. Not rocket science here!
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oops- you said difficult child 2 and I was thinking difficult child 1. So, this kid is in elementary school and they are expecting him to manage his medications there? I'd be griping about that- and more.

    In elementary school- I'd go with Heather's suggestion about writing assignments down. When my son started middle school, teachers simply refused to initial agendas, iep or not, but in elementary school with an iep, I think you can get them to do this.

    As far as completing work at home- email them about it until they are going crazy and they'll probably think of some solution since study hall isn't an option.

    one more thing {{HUGS}} - take a break!
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thanks klmno :)
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    You can also write in his IEP that he does x amount of homework a night and then he stops. Say 30 minutes. You sign his agenda that he did 30 minutes and whatever doesn't get done doesn't count against him. Our SD offered that to me, but with Wynter's anxiety it was a no go for me. For me, it was school work during school hours only. IOW, no homework. She tests above average in all subject areas, so I wasn't worried about her slipping academically.

    Our SD has K-4 in elementary schools, 5 and 6 in Middle School, and 7 and 8 in Intermediate School (Junior High is what we called it growing up). Since Devon is 4 years ahead of Wynter, I found quickly that the Junior High was checking the agenda's everyday, but the Middle School was not. When I brought it up when Wynter was in 6th grade - Middle School - they said that kids at that age should be responsible for writing down their assignments (this was before her IEP). So, I pointed out the difference in expectations in the same SD - they expected MORE out of the younger kids - and they went.....OH. Then they started to make some changes. It wasn't like my kid was the only one having an issue with it.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    We have the opposite problem. My son is incredibly slow, sleepy and inattentive in the mornings and "wakes up" in the afternoons. But he takes 800 mg regular Seroquel all at night.

    Do you notice a difference when your difficult child 2 takes 100 mg Seroquel in the afternoons and when he doesn't? Is he more "on" or "off"?

    I do think some of the expectations are unreasonable given his age and disorder. Definitely time to rework the IEP.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    "I personally think he needs more Seroquel in the afternoon. Opinions?"


    Also, I think you need to call a Learning Team meeting ASAP to discuss URGENTLY the need to modify his IEP. You need to include - THE TEACHER must ensure that the medications at lunchtime have been taken. IT IS LUDICROUS to insist that the child (in this case) must be the one to be responsible - he needs the medications, in order to BE responsible.

    I would also include homework issues in the IEP. Now, if it turns out tat taking his lunchtime medications properly fixes the homework problems, then no worries. but chances are, it won't. In which case - either increase the medications again, or take a later dose to deal with homework, or minimise homework, or ask that homework be restricted to weekends only.

    As for the school being lax about medications - I HATE THIS! We went through this with difficult child 1 also. He now takes a morning-only sustained-release form of dexamphetamine, privately compounded. I would ask the school if they would be so insistent on difficult child reminding them, if he had epilepsy, or diabetes. I would ask them specifically - if they failed to follow-through on ensuring a diabetic or epileptic child took his medications and the child subsequently had a crisis as a result, would they feel responsible? And if so, then why can they not do the same for difficult child?

    This is serious stuff. Teachers cannot, and should not, expect a child like this to learn personal responsibility like any other student, when this is part of the syndrome. As I've said before, it is as unreasonable as expecting a blind child to copy accurately form the blackboard. The trouble is, too many people see ADHD as "not really the same sort of problem" as something more clearly medical, like diabetes.

    We went through this sort of problem when difficult child 1 was about 10 years old - in our entire state, the public schools refused to medicate ANY kids until the legality of it all was sorted out. Parents had to go to the schools and medicate their own kids. In our case, difficult child 1 had to leave his school, walk through inner city ghetto streets to where his father worked, and get his medications from his father. At 10 years old. Of course, they made exceptions for a kid with epilepsy or similar.

    Another thing we did - we bought difficult child 1 a watch with multiple alarms which we set to remind him to take his medications (once the schools went back to medicating the kids). It helped a lot, but didn't fix it.

    Good luck with this one.

  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Marg, he may not need more Seroquel in the afternnoons. Instead, he may need more Seroquel XR at night (to cover him completely throughout the day). Regular Seroquel at low doses (100 mg to 200 mg) can cause a lot of fatigue. In any event, it does sound as if a medication adjustment needs to be made, but what is not entirely clear to me until gcvmom answers the question I posed.
  13. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    SW -- yes, the afternoon dose of Seroquel does help a bit, but not enough. I've found that no matter what the level of the XR, it only lasts 16 hours for him. It was like this at lower levels, too.

    I'll let you know what the psychiatrist says! And yes Marg, I'll need to address the workload if the medication tweak doesn't do enough.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    GCV....do you think something to catch his attention would help him remember noon medications? Like a stretchy arm band thing that had medications written on it. I wear two of them that say Support the Troops. I play with them constantly. If I was in class I would imagine I would be sitting them tugging on them and go...oh yeah...MY medications!

    I do like the books at home thing too. And having someone getting his assignments. He is still young, someone else can make sure he has those written down.
  15. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Why doesn't the nurse call him down when he forgets his medications? In our school, they need to go to the nurse for the medications and she should be aware of who has/hasn't been in. I would think it is her responsibility to remind him when he forgets. Hearing his name on the public address system might embarass him a bit and help him remember better himself.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    The suggestion house of cards made about the nurse calling seems to be reasonable. Can they write that into the iep? Of course, maybe she isn't there every day. husband and I take a lot of supplements and every week I put them in a weekly pill think like old people use. ;) I know that they need an active RX to be able to distribute to the kids, but is there some way that you could put the label on the weekly thingie? That way it would be easy for the person administering medications to just look at the box and say "difficult child didn't take his medications today, he needs to come to the office."

    The homework? I don't know. Having fought this battle all the way through high school, all I know is that nothing I did worked. All that happened was that we fought. We had study halls and study buddies and daily/weekly homework sheets. Nothing worked. The only thing I didn't try (refused is more accurate) was to stay out of it. So, I honestly can't say whether that would have worked either. But, in hindsight, if he was going to fail at it anyway, maybe I shouldn't have made it a bone of contention between us.
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    HOC & Witz, we don't have an RN, just a health clerk, and she's only part-time :( Plus, they are required to keep the medication in a labeled rx bottle that has his name on it. I went down yesterday to give them more tablets since I only wanted to give them one week's worth at a time. They have our one and only rx bottle since we just got the rx for the 100mg filled this month, so I had the rest of the tabs in a baggy. She made a big deal out of the rules she's supposed to follow and that she technically cannot accept pills out of a baggy to replenish the bottle. Of course, who's to say that what I gave her originally in the bottle is the right medication anyway? There was one pill left in the bottle, so I showed her that it matched what I was giving her. The whole thing is a royal friggin' pain, and it all boils down to liability issues for the school. I get that. It's just ludicrous to expect an 11yo with executive function problems to take total responsibility for taking a medication that he's only been on for two weeks. Grrrrrr.

    Okay, well 'nuf of that and I'm definitely working on these issues one little bit at a time. I have to go down there today to help in the library and need to talk to his case manager about some of the finer points in his IEP as well as the results of his Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation this summer.

    Yesterday I was just feeling incredibly overwhelmed because of husband's possible health problems and the boys just not doing what they're supposed to do school-wise, coupled with not having coffee for two days!!! (WHY I did that, I'll never know, but I had my joe today and am feeling much, MUCH better!):coffee:
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I might be getting off-topic, but thinking about this (the sd and medications) really starts getting to me. The people at school want these kids on medications yet, can you imagine what they (or any judge in a court room) would say to us parents if we said "well, I didn't have time to give him the medications" or "I forgot- and after all, remembering to take the medications is the kid's responsibility, not mine"? What do you think they would say to us parents?
  19. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yeah, I know what you mean Klmno. It's a bad case of "that's not my job/problem" in people. Heaven forbid they stray one inch outside their job description to help someone with a reasonable request!
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I just thought of the perfect solution- who ever at that school is the one who forgot to give difficult child his medications should be assigned to help difficult child during the afternoons with assignments, gathering all necessary materials to take home, etc. Do you think maybe they'd learn to take five mins to administer medications after that?