View Full Version : 15 year old with ADD


PinkOwl
11-13-13, 02:47 PM
My daughter was dx with ADD(non hyper) in 4th grade and dyslexia in 3rd grade. She did not qualify for special ed when we had the school have her evaluated in the 6th grade. We started her on Strattera, then Vyvanse, then Concerta, then Daytrana patches. Last year she didn't want any more meds, so we took her off. there was no change in her grades with or without meds. So now here we are...9th grade and I don't even know who this child is any more. she is defiant, disrespectful, she refuses to do homework, or lies to me saying she is doing it, but doesn't....or when she does do it, it never gets turned in. She is failing 5 subjects...all out flat out failing. Teachers email me that she is not productive at all. She is nonchalant about everything and everyone. She has no goals and doesn't care about school anymore. I put her into counseling because our arguments were getting so bad I was ready to kick her out of our home. All I hear from her is, "your always on my back about school and homework, you control my life, everyone hates me...." and so on. But I explain to her til I'm blue in the face that if she took care of her business where homework and school work was concerned, I wouldn't be on her back at all! I love her! I don't control her life...but I'm her mother and there has to be rules and boundaries. She has very low self esteem too. I don't think there has been a time she hasn't had a boyfriend. Her last boyfriend she had for a year. Broke up with him one day and 4 days later has a new boyfriend. If we ground her for bad grades when progress reports come out, she doesn't do anything to get them up. She'll even have lunch detention at school for bad grades at progress report time, and that doesn't phase her either. Then when report cards come out, she's still grounded because she failed a whole classes..or in this case FIVE classes! She's about to fail a whole semester on all of her core classes.

What do I do to make her do her homework AND turn them in???? How do I get her to get motivated and light a fire under her? I don't want her to fail the whole year! Her sister is right behind her in the 8th grade, but she gets good grades and there is no problem with her education. I feel like I have a horse I'm leading to water but she won't DRINK! I've asked if she'd try add meds again..but she all out refuses. I'm at a loss and don't know where else to turn.

She's sees a couselor outside of school once a week, but she's been going a month and even though her temper is better, she still has an I don't care attitude and still isn't doing her work and taking care of her business education wise. I don't want her to drop out of school and I don't want to put up with her at home if she did. I have two younger children who need me, and I am so tired of putting all my energy and focus just onto her and her needs. Its not fair to my other daughter or their little brother. I'm at my wits end. The high school counselor called her in last week to talk about her grades and she said my daughter basically looked at her like "who the f are you?" and said "my mom knows about my grades and I won't get in trouble anyhow..my mom just lets it go". But I don't just let it go. Its hard to keep enforcing rules and punishments for something that blatantly just doesn't give a D about anything.

Please help.

Today all three of my kids were told this morning that starting today after school, the wifi will be turned off and all cell phones must be off or turned over until homework is done and physically shown to me that its complete. If there is no homework, they must read a library book or chapters in their class books for 15 min. Not sure if it will work. My fear is even if she does the work, will it even get turned in?

How do you handle a teen who refuses meds, refuses to do homework, and just doesn't care about their grades or being productive in classes?????

Lunacie
11-13-13, 05:09 PM
My daughter was dx with ADD(non hyper) in 4th grade and dyslexia in 3rd grade. She did not qualify for special ed when we had the school have her evaluated in the 6th grade.

We started her on Strattera, then Vyvanse, then Concerta, then Daytrana patches. Last year she didn't want any more meds, so we took her off. there was no change in her grades with or without meds.

So now here we are...9th grade and I don't even know who this child is any more. she is defiant, disrespectful, she refuses to do homework, or lies to me saying she is doing it, but doesn't....or when she does do it, it never gets turned in. She is failing 5 subjects...all out flat out failing.

Teachers email me that she is not productive at all. She is nonchalant about everything and everyone. She has no goals and doesn't care about school anymore. I put her into counseling because our arguments were getting so bad I was ready to kick her out of our home. All I hear from her is, "your always on my back about school and homework, you control my life, everyone hates me...." and so on.

But I explain to her til I'm blue in the face that if she took care of her business where homework and school work was concerned, I wouldn't be on her back at all! I love her! I don't control her life...but I'm her mother and there has to be rules and boundaries.

She has very low self esteem too. I don't think there has been a time she hasn't had a boyfriend. Her last boyfriend she had for a year. Broke up with him one day and 4 days later has a new boyfriend. If we ground her for bad grades when progress reports come out, she doesn't do anything to get them up. She'll even have lunch detention at school for bad grades at progress report time, and that doesn't phase her either. Then when report cards come out, she's still grounded because she failed a whole classes..or in this case FIVE classes! She's about to fail a whole semester on all of her core classes.

What do I do to make her do her homework AND turn them in???? How do I get her to get motivated and light a fire under her? I don't want her to fail the whole year! Her sister is right behind her in the 8th grade, but she gets good grades and there is no problem with her education. I feel like I have a horse I'm leading to water but she won't DRINK! I've asked if she'd try add meds again..but she all out refuses. I'm at a loss and don't know where else to turn.

She's sees a couselor outside of school once a week, but she's been going a month and even though her temper is better, she still has an I don't care attitude and still isn't doing her work and taking care of her business education wise. I don't want her to drop out of school and I don't want to put up with her at home if she did.

I have two younger children who need me, and I am so tired of putting all my energy and focus just onto her and her needs. Its not fair to my other daughter or their little brother. I'm at my wits end.

The high school counselor called her in last week to talk about her grades and she said my daughter basically looked at her like "who the f are you?" and said "my mom knows about my grades and I won't get in trouble anyhow..my mom just lets it go". But I don't just let it go. Its hard to keep enforcing rules and punishments for something that blatantly just doesn't give a D about anything.

Please help.

Today all three of my kids were told this morning that starting today after school, the wifi will be turned off and all cell phones must be off or turned over until homework is done and physically shown to me that its complete. If there is no homework, they must read a library book or chapters in their class books for 15 min. Not sure if it will work. My fear is even if she does the work, will it even get turned in?

How do you handle a teen who refuses meds, refuses to do homework, and just doesn't care about their grades or being productive in classes?????

Sheesh, what is it about that age?

My 15 year old granddaughter also refuses to take any more meds to treat
her ADHD. So we're back to arguing about stupid stuff, and not turning in
the homework we saw her getting done. *sigh*

What we ended up doing was telling her that if she chooses not to take
meds and ends up failing this year and having to repeat, that's her choice.
If she gets tired of struggling and wants to start meds again, she has our
support.

We're also looking into switching her to an online school where she can get
more direct help and can turn in her homework electronically.


If you haven't checked out Dizfriz's Corner (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130) in the sticky threads yet, I do
recommend that you do that. It will give you a better understanding of how
much of this your daughter can and cannot control. ADHD is very much a
disorder of self-regulation or "output."

You can also look for videos on youtube by Dr. Charles Barkley, he lays
things out very clearly for parents so they will understand what it means to
have this disorder.

ccom5100
11-13-13, 05:59 PM
I've got a 14 year old dgs who is still taking his meds, but in the same exact boat. I think it is a combination of his age and starting high school, which is a real adjustment.

We've tried everything to help and motivate him. At this point, we are exactly where Lunacie is = telling him that it's his choice if he wants to fail and end up repeating the year. We are also looking into switching him to an online school.

dvdnvwls
11-14-13, 01:33 AM
I think in general these kids really do "give a D", but are using "I don't give a ..." as a defence mechanism. Defence against what, is the question - I don't know the answer.

Lunacie
11-14-13, 12:35 PM
I think in general these kids really do "give a D", but are using "I don't give a ..." as a defence mechanism. Defence against what, is the question - I don't know the answer.

Defense against not being able to fulfill everyone's expectations?
Defense against not being able to control impulses, emotions.
Defense against feeling different from others.

Which are things every kids starts to feel at age 14 or 15.
Remember when eye-rolling and "Whatev" were driving parents crazy?
Having ADHD just magnifies the feeling of defensiveness.
Unless the child gives up and becomes depressed. Like my granddaughter.

jojo4321
01-02-14, 01:21 PM
I realize that this thread is a month or so old, but I just recently joined this forum and making my way through some of the threads in hopes of finding help and support.

I have an almost 15-year old daughter (Grade 9) who was diagnosed with ADD a year ago. She also has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and insomnia. Our situation is almost exactly as you have all described above. We are lucky in that the school has so far been willing to make accommodations, but the process to get here has been extremely time consuming and exhausting. Our daughter experiences extreme frustrations and anxiety about not being able to get homework done. Her answer to that is to procrastinate and "hide on social media" until the homework is due in the next few days and then she panics and has an anxiety attack (hyper-ventilates, cries uncontrollably, etc). When we try to help her, she just lashes out at us, like we clearly have no clue about the subject, or about what the teacher asked for. It is like trying to hug a porcupine. Yet we try to stay calm and not take it personally (also exhausting), and look through to the issue underlying her behaviours.

Our daughter saw a therapist for a year, but recently decided she was done with that. She is on meds (currently straterra, but before that we tried Concerta, Vyvanse, Prozac, all gave her strong side effects). She says she only takes the meds to make us happy. (I take bit of comfort that she still wants to make us happy.)

Most nights, she cannot fall asleep unless I stay with her until she is asleep. She hates needing me there to fall asleep, it affects her own sense of self-esteem (she already has very low self-esteem). So she tries to go to sleep on her own, but usually ends up calling me in the middle of the night. Often, when this happens, the middle of the night is when her internal struggles come out - how alone she feels, how unhappy she is, how she wishes she could be different, how she is so awkward and does not know how to carry a conversation, how nobody gets her, how she is not close to anyone, how she cannot even keep up with school work... she cries and cries telling me this, and I hug her and tell her that I love her, and try to not let all of this bring me down because I know she needs me to be strong for her.

I cry as I am writing this because I am so, so tired, and I feel so helpless. Yet I know that I am lucky that she talks to me.

It helps to know that I am not alone in going through this. Thank you.

Johanne

Modafinilguy
01-06-14, 11:15 AM
I'd try Clonidine (Catapres). The dose needs to be moved up very slowly to avoid low blood pressure (dizziness) and tiredness.

You can take the larger dose at night, and hopefully that will help with sleep.

It also treats ADHD symptoms and is often used for anxiety/ high emotions.

Another options, is Abilify. This medication may scare you, but it has an outstanding serotonin receptor profile. It increase activity in various areas of the prefrontal cortex that regulate emotion and process stress, so that calm and rational thought can prevail over easily triggered emotion states. It has powerful antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, and can be combined with an antidepressant like prozac (and may reduce side effects of prozac).

In low doses (approx 5mg per day), significant side effects are unlikely.

If your daughter has high anxiety, a low stress threshold, and is easily provoked into emotional states which overpower her better reason, I am telling you, Abilify could be a damn miracle. I could quote a great deal of research. It works within a week! Some times within 3 days.

However Abilify will not help with disorganization / inattention. But if your daughter has emotional type side effects to other meds, she may be able to tolerate them better on Abilify. Also Clonidine can reduce side effects of stimulants such as anxiety and physical tension, rapid heart rate etc.

Of course, emotional support, and addressing any real life issues as best as you can, these are important too.

Modafinilguy
01-06-14, 11:24 AM
Feel free to PM if you want more information. Abilify is classified as an atypical anti-psychotic, but it really isn't. It tends to increase dopamine, not block it (except when levels are abnormally high), and it has outstanding anti-depressant effects. Honestly it is superior for many people to all the anti-depressants. Indeed the latest anti-depressant drug, Brintellix has a very similar receptor profile. If you can get Brintellix in you area, I would recommend that.

These are effects to look out for in a drug to help with emotional regulation in the prefrontal cortex (the brain area most associated with ADHD):

5-HT1a agonist (activates it)
5-HT2b antagonist (blocks it)

5-HT7 antagonist (blocks it)

Please note a partial or weak agonist, may actually act as an antagonist.

Abilify when combined with an SSRI like Prozac, apparently acts as an antagonist of 5-ht2c, which also is a good receptor for targeting.

SSRI's like prozac, especially taken by themselves.. well there are scientifically based reasons why they can WORSEN the problem. Because they agonize (activate) all the serotonin receptors, at least until down regulation occurs.

So especially during the first few weeks, they can activate 5-HT2B and 5-HT7 (and others), which may worsten emotional control in the PFC.

Although activating 5-HT1a is good.

Try Abilify 5mg or Brintellix just for a week or so (Brintellix may take longer to work up the dose). Abilify will cause sedation initially due to antagonizing the h1 receptor, but she will fully adapt to this within 1-2 weeks.

You could try a tri-cyclic (some of them), but they have some potential nasty side effects if your unlucky.

edit: I have not checked for metabolic interactions with the medications you listed, doctor will need to make sure no interactions, probably not.

someothertime
01-06-14, 11:31 AM
Must be that "in the moment" dynamic...

When goals start to exceed friends... then slowing down to speed up will become a higher priority...

What does she earn? You cannot make her do anything tho' you can have some clear and consistent expectations. Sprinkle in a little love, and you've got a meeting point. Your less on her case, yet slowly slowly she begins to realise the washing basket does not get collected by pixies and returned in the morning.

First though, you gotta relate / find a way to separate her lifestyle and living skills from you and her... so it's time to have some fun!

Fraser_0762
01-06-14, 11:40 AM
15 year olds are defiant, disrespectful and difficult. I'd be more worried if they weren't.

Modafinilguy
01-06-14, 11:40 AM
Sorry I mixed up my threads, I was talking to jojo4321 (http://www.addforums.com/forums/member.php?u=78771) not the op.

In regards to the OP, I think you need to reduce the pressure on your daughter. School may not be the right thing for her at this time.

Your daughters emotional well being, and your relationship with your daughter are MORE IMPORTANT than the schooling.

She is doing well compared to the youth I have cared for, none of them made it past the first year of high school (age 13).

Indeed one of them never attended, the other was expelled within a week, and all of them were in and out of juvenile detention (aka youth prison).

One of the 15 year old girls, once in a rage, kicked the door fully off the hinges (a heavy, solid wooden door) and it came flying down and cracked me on the top of my head. She then ran in, tore my top off while attacking me (it ripped up while she was grabbing and roughing me up), well you get the picture... She is an angel now though, loving and caring.

Sounds bad for them? They are all doing outstandingly well in life now. No I am not kidding!

jojo4321
01-10-14, 07:56 PM
Thank you for the information on Clonidine, Abilify and Brintellix, it looks like they are available in Canada and I will ask my doctor about them. We are tapering off Straterra right now because of unmanageable side effects (nausea and increased difficulties with sleep).

Regarding school, we are dealing with similar issues with our daughter, and she is now not going to school most days. It is so difficult to accept that already in just Grade 9, school may not be the right thing for your child. However, I see it, and for the past few weeks have been slowly bringing myself to accepting that my daughter may quit school now, and will hopefully go back at a later date, or find something (legal) that she can earn a living doing later in life.

It is great to hear success stories of other youth who ended up well. Thank you for that, and thank you all again for the sharing, advice, and support.

Johanne

Dmitri
01-10-14, 07:58 PM
For a second I read this wrong and thought you were 15 with a daughter in the 4th grade.

That woulda been messed up.

I can't really give you advice because I'm only 18

But

I like girls

CrazyLazyGal
01-13-14, 04:36 PM
Wow, that's tough.

What you're describing seems unlikely to be caused by ADHD alone. It sounds like there's something else going on. Has she been diagnosed with anything else?

RobotInDisguise
01-13-14, 10:01 PM
I would argue that untreated ADHD alone would play a huge part into this "all adults care about is homework/school/grades" thing. That's exactly what I've told my parents. If there's anything besides ADHD, it's probably frustration, and a huge ton of it. At least that's how it was with me when I was in that situation. Your description of your daughter sounds like me, only with better grades and no dyslexia.

CrazyLazyGal
01-14-14, 09:20 AM
I would argue that untreated ADHD alone would play a huge part into this "all adults care about is homework/school/grades" thing. That's exactly what I've told my parents. If there's anything besides ADHD, it's probably frustration, and a huge ton of it. At least that's how it was with me when I was in that situation. Your description of your daughter sounds like me, only with better grades and no dyslexia.I agree that ADHD plays a huge part, and it's so unfortunate that she refuses to take her medication.

Based on the description, I suspect some depression as well.

Twisties
01-30-14, 08:03 PM
JoJo, I understand completely where you are coming from. If I were to name the single thing in my life that makes me the saddest, it is watching my 15 year old son struggle with ADD. I cry ALL the time. Teenagers can be cruel to anyone and everyone, but for a child with ADD who already suffers with self esteem issues, it can be devastating. A small social slight can seem like the end of the world to them. I feel so powerless and worry about how he will survive in a college dorm when the time comes. I just try to take it day by day and continue to hope for the best.

jojo4321
02-02-14, 09:38 PM
Thanks Twisties, I hear you! One of the things that I am learning to do now with our new parent coach/therapist is to be able to be there with my daughter when she is feeling emotional pain, and to just listen, be there with her, but not take her pain and suffering on... Wow, that is so hard for me to do. Each time we have a distressful moment (eg. if she starts to talk about how sad she feels, how she has no friends, how nobody gets her, how messed up she feels), I just want to tell her how amazing she is, how loving and caring she is, how beautiful and special she is... but I listen, and I keep reminding myself that she is strong, very strong, and able to get through this pain and come out the other end. The time when I break down and start telling her how amazing she is, how loving and caring etc... things usually get worse, because me telling her these things unfortunately does not make her believe them, so the words don't tend to help in the moment... However the times when I have been able to stay strong and just be with her and listen, empathize, those are the times when after a bit of time, could be an hour, or the next day if this was going on during the night, she seems to be happier and stronger, she seems to come out the other end OK, maybe even stronger. So that encourages me and gives me strength for the next time (there always is a next time).

Keep being strong for your son, and feel free to send me a personal message if you want to chat.

Arei
02-13-14, 06:53 AM
This was me at 15 years old, and sometimes (no ALL the time, when I think about it!) I just wish I could go back and shake myself and say "If you would just PLAY ALONG and not be so defiant, you would've gotten everything you wanted!!!"

If I just did the stupid assignments, no matter how asinine. I missed so much school but still made better grades than a lot of my classmates because the material was just that pathetically easy. I could've easily been valedictorian if I gave a ****, I'm the only other person in my class who scored just as high on tests and on AP exams as the actual valedictorian. No one else came even close. I hated being at school, being bored out of my mind, my mom was emotionally distant and blew off all of my concerns.

This didn't build into an epic breaking point until near the end of my 1st semester of senior year. I had an epic meltdown, my mom was going postal on me, my grandparents had to come get me and take me away for a week. In the end the school was super nice about it, and I got to take the rest of my classes (and the 2 that I had failed in the past) on the computer and when I was all done, I didn't even have to go to school! Man I wish I had done that from the start I wouldn't have needed an entire year :)

I definitely do not think teenagers in this situation need to be screamed or berated over their actions. They need a counselor, someone neutral to intervene and help them get to the bottom of their behavior. Before they get medicated or doped up, they need someone that will listen and try to get to the root of their problem and help them turn around their own attitudes, by themselves, under their own power. During that bad time for me, a book about cognitive behavioral therapy was shoved at me, and it changed everything.

Kids are definitely happier when someone listens to all of their concerns, who know how to get them to open up without pressure or ulterior motives. I don't know if it really can come from a parent, maybe someone else the child is close to or looks up to, but a parent who's been continually lashing out at them for their shortcomings is just as bad as "those evil teachers".

I'd stop going ballistic at your kid, but you can't stop screaming at them and then just demand they start talking to you and telling you what's wrong because you stopped yelling at them. You'll get mad they aren't cooperative and the cycle will restart.

If there's any kind of counselling program at the school, see if they can get into it, or reach out to the counsellor of their grade level and see if they can talk to them, though school counsellors aren't always the best. I really found cognitive behavioral therapy ot be extremely effective in my situation, I started by reading some books and then I saw a counsellor who specialized in it who got me further along. It's always worth looking them up, and most of them are reasonably priced wether they take insurance or not, it won't be like paying for an expensive therapist.

Stopping and realizing that your "don't give a ****" attitude is hurting you more than helping is a good first step to accepting the fact that if you just shut up and do your work, you'll get what you want and you'll be left alone. Have had to struggle with this in the work place too, it's not something that's ever fully gone away for me. But I'm sorta glad I'm going through all these struggles now, so when I finally go to college/get into the career I want, I'll be prepared.

I definitely have been emotionally and behaviorally behind my peers since middle school. I wasn't mature enough to start college after high school (and I still don't think i'm 100% to the point I want to be, that and I'm waiting to be able to file as an independent) and that's ok. I think part of what I thought with that "definant attitude" WAS true: The education you get in the real world is leaps and bounds more significant than your book smarts.