View Full Version : New Member-Mom of 18 year-old seeking help


Nittany1
12-27-15, 03:25 PM
Hello!

Our 18-year old son is a college freshman. A little background....."A" has always been a very athletic kid, with a sparkling personality. He has been popular and very well-liked among all age groups, teachers, etc, since he was a young child. He is very smart (scored in top 8% on SATs). He is opinionated, and can discuss any topic intelligently. He is also stubborn and believes that he "knows everything". He does not welcome advice. All through elementary school, middle school and high school, we have met with his teachers throughout the year, to discuss his significant underachievement. His grades have always been very mediocre....low to middle Bs. We always hear the same phrase "he has so much potential". We argued all last year about his grades. His comment was "HS doesn't matter. Once I'm in college, I will be a totally different student. That's when it matters". Of course, I knew that he was not going to be able to just "flip a switch" and develop successful habits. We had often questioned his teachers and very well-respected pediatrician, as to the possibility of A having ADD. He exhibits poor prioritizing/planning and organization. He cannot get on track or stay focused. We are heartbroken and at our wits end. If he doesn't figure out how to manage, he will fail out of college. He obtained a 2.23 in his first semester. He is also an athlete. His sport has been side-tracked due to a back injury. He may not be able to continue, and he will be crushed. With everything, seemingly, moving in a negative direction for A, we are very concerned. Another issue is the fact that he is a very small-boned, slight-framed young man. This has impacted his sport as well, as it is very physical (soccer). We feel that trying an ADD drug may be his only hope. One of the side-effects is a decreased appetite, and that has him really worried about taking it. He has been trying, desparately, to gain weight. We do not think that he has hyperactivity. He just can't get his act together. And thoughts/advice would be very appreciated. Thank you!

dvdnvwls
12-27-15, 06:07 PM
Hello, and welcome to the forum.

Has A been to a psychiatrist? If not, why hasn't he, long before now?

DJ Bill
12-27-15, 06:58 PM
The first thing that ran through my head upon reading your post is the following: I know he won't want to hear this but I have read that repeated blows to the head such as one would have playing soccer is apt to cause damage.

If you are footing the bill for any of college you do have the right to tie the $$$ to his seeing somebody for the concerns you have. While it may have been beneficial to have him on meds way before now, today's a new day and you can start the path to mental health with a thorough workup and testing. If the college has a student services department it would be worth talking with them to see what they recommend. Most universities used to have counselors and folks whose job it is to coach the kids with issues. Hopefully your son can find a good one.

As an example of what can happen I know someone who did pretty good in High school but when he went to engineering school he failed miserably the first semester, and dropped out after the second one. He went through life unaware of some of his problems causing the failure in college and had to live with the shame of dropping out. He never seemed to live up his potential after that, and also had depression every winter , sometimes treated, other times not. At 56 years old he has no money and an income at the poverty level. A month ago he reads a book about ADHD and ends up on this forum. Now all the pieces are starting to fit together and there have been quite a few AHA moments. He's about to go in for a diagnosis.. He's hoping that knowing there is another factor in his lack of focus and inability to finish anything will cause him to move in the right direction.

And yes, the someone was me. You don't want him to follow my path. :o

Read up on ADHD - PI....Primarily Inattentive... It sounds like that is what you are dealing with...you do not have to be hyper to have ADHD.

BellaVita
12-27-15, 10:02 PM
Welcome to the forum! :)

He definitely should see a psychiatrist as soon as possible. Stimulant medication is first-line treatment for ADHD, and it might help him greatly.

About the weight, the psychiatrist will probably keep an eye on that, and adjust meds accordingly. He will probably have to force himself to eat. The good news is that in many cases the decreased appetite wears off over time.

There are also medications that the psychiatrist can prescribe to increase appetite if it is absolutely needed.

Best of luck!

Nittany1
12-27-15, 10:53 PM
Thanks so much everyone. It is all very worrisome. A's friends are very accomplished and going to top-notch schools. I know that he is really embarrassed about his situation....yet, he seems unable to do anything to turn it around. I did have another individual suggest the counseling center at school. They are back in a week, and we will definitely be contacting them. He, ironically, has a yearly physical tomorrow. It will be his first time with this Dr, due to just moving on from his pediatric practice physician. I, honestly, never even thought of having him see a psychiatrist...although a psych might well be best at medication administration for this type of problem. Also, to discuss any other issues that might be going on. He has always seemed like a very happy and secure individual....but, who knows? He has truly had this personality (unorganized, poor time-mgmt...all the things I mentioned) for as long as I can remember. We just assumed it was immaturity and/or laziness. I was sure that he would be "getting it" by now. Clearly, that hasn't happened. Of course, we now feel very panicked, as he is already in college and things are not going well. Hoping to find some answers.....

dvdnvwls
12-28-15, 12:04 AM
I've had ADHD all my life, though my parents and teachers didn't know it. (They did sense that something wasn't quite right, but they didn't know what.) I was the top student in my little high school, but as university went on I discovered that more and more I was in over my head. I struggled through and was able to graduate, but certainly not as the top student anymore. Everyone thought I was lazy or something, because I was always very smart and insightful but still couldn't seem to finish things or get organized. The help that people gave me with organization and study habits (even though they were very good people with the best of intentions) was frustrating, demeaning, and absolutely worthless.

My ADHD wasn't discovered until I was over 40 and in a sad and collapsing marriage and a career that was tiny and going nowhere.

My suggestion is to get your son to a psychiatrist right away, but to make very sure that this psychiatrist is one who treats ADHD on a regular basis with good results.

University- or college-based psychiatrists, or even psychiatrists near those schools, are often suspicious that non-ADHD students are coming to them and faking ADHD symptoms in order to get a stimulant prescription. It would therefore probably be prudent to find an independent psychiatrist far away from school. Psychiatrists who say they avoid prescribing stimulants, or who don't prescribe them at all, are irresponsible doctors - what they are really saying is that it's their policy to withhold the main effective treatment. If you have a broken arm and the doctor says "I don't believe in casts, let's just let this heal naturally", you'd immediately go to a better doctor. Let it be the same with ADHD.

BellaVita
12-28-15, 12:34 AM
:goodpost:

I agree with everything dvdnvwls wrote.

Finding a good psychiatrist is important. And the ones through university do tend to be suspicious and often reject treating the ADHD individual.

If you go online(through Google), you can research different psychiatrists in your area. You can read up on them and see what other patients have said about them, and also see what mental disorders they treat.

That helped me find the best psychiatrist I ever had - found him through the internet.

College might be very difficult for him, even with medication it is important to realize that yes, some things might become more manageable, but ADHD is a daily struggle and he might still have a difficult time.

Once he gets the diagnosis(if it is indeed ADHD), he should talk to the person at his college who is in charge of accommodations. Medication in combination with accommodations(and possibly therapy) will help him get on track and stay on track.

dvdnvwls
12-28-15, 12:40 AM
Once he gets the diagnosis(if it is indeed ADHD), he should talk to the person at his college who is in charge of accommodations. Medication in combination with accommodations(and possibly therapy) will help him get on track and stay on track.
I agree with that.

Nittany1: Keep in mind that accommodations and therapy without medication are proven to not be effective in the majority of cases. Medication does not solve any of the problems of ADHD - but none of the problems of ADHD will get solved without it, either.

dvdnvwls
12-28-15, 02:37 AM
We are heartbroken and at our wits end.
If your son getting B's in school leaves you "heartbroken" and your entire family is "at your wits end" over the fact that he may be struggling in university, perhaps you yourself undergoing a significant and permanent attitude adjustment might be a major and necessary component in your son's recovery. I'm sorry to say that, but it's difficult to keep tiptoeing around the truth.

BellaVita
12-28-15, 02:38 AM
I have a recommendation: If/when he does go in to see a psychiatrist, it would probably be best for him to go in alone and describe his symptoms to his doctor.

Since he is 18, he is an adult and going in by himself will boost his confidence and help him learn to be an adult.

My parents forced themselves into my appointments, even after I was a legal adult, and that just made everything worse. I couldn't even get a word in. And I felt uncomfortable talking about my symptoms around them.

Although - perhaps do tell him to bring in a list of symptoms that he writes himself and to take it in when he sees the psychiatrist - that way he won't forget anything and he will be prepared. :) (no coaching, no telling him anything to put on the list - let him do it himself)

Providing him with copies of his grades and school reports to bring in could be helpful too, this could help the psychiatrist determine if his history shows signs of ADHD.

Nittany1
12-28-15, 10:59 AM
Hello All,

Yes, I totally agree that A has to begin to take matters into his own hands, as an 18 year old. He will be going into the Dr alone, today. He was just going for a physical...in the meantime, this possible ADD issue has come to the fore front. I did read in some articles, that it is often helpful, to have a person close to the subject come along to the initial appt to describe some of the symptoms and patterns that they have observed as well. Not in a critical way.....just to give the physician a more complete picture of the situation.....perhaps things that A hasn't observed (for example, his room is always a disaster....he always has to make homemade holiday cards....which is fine, in and of itself....but it is due to the fact that he never made it to the card store on time, etc). His HS guidance counselor told us that his HS grades would translate to about a 2.2....which is considered academic probation. That is exactly where he is at. So, yes, we are panicked about it. Such a shame that the guidance dept never considered looking into the ADD possibility. As I mentioned, I did ask his teachers and pediatrician, who did not feel that this was the problem. We had a more thorough talk with A last night. He says that when he sits down to study it takes him forever to get going, because he just can't focus. Thanks again. Appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Nittany1
12-28-15, 11:06 AM
One more question that I would really appreciate hearing your feedback on. After the grades came out (on his birthday, no less!), we have placed some consequences on A. He was to be going on a trip (he is now, not going) and he has an 11:00 curfew. If this situation ends up appearing to be more of an ADD issue vs a lack of effort, do we just excuse all of the behavior?? We have given him ideas on how to manage his challenges (phone app reminders for assignments, etc), but of course they are not being utilized. To what degree is it reasonable to hold one accountable for their actions/results, when ADD is in play? Thanks!

Matador
12-28-15, 12:36 PM
Interesting!!

I am a soccer fanatic and used to paly at a HIGH level like your son.

He sounds similar to me...but I didn't score as high in HS with SAT scores..struggled with school and was a solid 2.7 student :p

With that said, I think he needs to go to therapy/coaching to develop better habits along with combining that with medication, he can get his life together better.

But...as someone with ADHD who ALSO is stubborn as hell and knows a lot about many things...it's only going to click once he sees it himself. Is he a reader? Probably not...like me :p

But Send him articles to show that he indeed has it. My issue is I always thought I had ADD but thought it wasn't that 'serious'. Even in College it took a slap in the face like your son to 'get it' but I never got medicated and figured 'tricks' on how to slip through and pass college.

I wish I would have chosen a more challenging major but instead picked one that worked 'easiest' for me to get through.

He needs to get it first. Until then, you can force him into therapy, medication, etc. but until HE sees it...he's not going to WANT to make a change or 'feel' the need.

As a former soccer player, I do get where he's coming from. While the lack of appetite is an issue, I have to force myself to eat...

It's not like one where you CAN'T eat...you just have to sit down and do it. I would suggest he talk to a nutritionist to figure out how to add weight in a healthy way.

Lunacie
12-28-15, 01:12 PM
If your son getting B's in school leaves you "heartbroken" and your entire family is "at your wits end" over the fact that he may be struggling in university, perhaps you yourself undergoing a significant and permanent attitude adjustment might be a major and necessary component in your son's recovery. I'm sorry to say that, but it's difficult to keep tiptoeing around the truth.

Even more telling is whether he consistently gets B's.

Just going on my own experience and what my adhd granddaughter has been through, inconsistency is the name of the game with adhd.

She gets great grades the first quarter, they fall off in the second quarter, and then she manages to pull most of them up again.

Homework gets done but then gets lost or forgotten and not turned in.

And most significantly, there is generally a strong family history of adhd.

My daughter's symptoms are much less impairing than mine or my granddaughter's, but she clearly has some symptoms of adhd.

And there is a lot of extended family on my mom's side with adhd or autism.

My youngest granddaughter has autism with a side helping of adhd and anxiety.

Nittany1
12-28-15, 06:13 PM
Matador, great to hear from another soccer fan! I come from a family of highly-accomplished players and coaches. We love it. Thanks for your input and I will pass it along to my son.
Lunacie....wow, you described A perfectly. In HS, his grades would be.... 90, 95, 100, 10, 0..... total inconsistency! He would do very well for a period (when under the gun) and then figure that he earned a couple of weeks of "coasting" time. There is an awesome book...."Why Do They Act That Way?" by David Walsh, as well as an online booklet, "Motivating Your Intelligent But Unmotivated Teenager", by Dennis Bumgarner....both of which I have have taken the time to read and study. They say that the bottom line is exactly what you have mentioned. Until it is important to the individual, nothing is going to change. Actually, the "Why Do They Act That Way" is more about the brain development, which is to take to age 25 to fully mature. Clearly, there are many issues that need to be addressed. It is a multi-faceted problem. We did come from A's first meeting with his new Dr today. He feels that A should just try behavioral changes to address his problem. A was very distraught on the ride home, feeling as though that will not be the only answer and I agree (which I, respectfully, relayed to the Dr). Now, the problem is where do we go to find a very competent physician/psychiatrist that specializes in ADD? I have looked at all of the online resources that I can find, and there is not a single person listed in our area, fitting that description. My goal is to get him into treatment with someone who can provide both therapy and medication management. We do plan on meeting with his advisor at school, next week. We will also ask about getting him into the counseling center. I do not see anyone, listed, that will be able to provide medication though. Perhaps they will have some ideas.

BellaVita
12-28-15, 07:38 PM
Hello All,

Yes, I totally agree that A has to begin to take matters into his own hands, as an 18 year old. He will be going into the Dr alone, today. He was just going for a physical...in the meantime, this possible ADD issue has come to the fore front. I did read in some articles, that it is often helpful, to have a person close to the subject come along to the initial appt to describe some of the symptoms and patterns that they have observed as well. Not in a critical way.....just to give the physician a more complete picture of the situation.....perhaps things that A hasn't observed (for example, his room is always a disaster....he always has to make homemade holiday cards....which is fine, in and of itself....but it is due to the fact that he never made it to the card store on time, etc). His HS guidance counselor told us that his HS grades would translate to about a 2.2....which is considered academic probation. That is exactly where he is at. So, yes, we are panicked about it. Such a shame that the guidance dept never considered looking into the ADD possibility. As I mentioned, I did ask his teachers and pediatrician, who did not feel that this was the problem. We had a more thorough talk with A last night. He says that when he sits down to study it takes him forever to get going, because he just can't focus. Thanks again. Appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Good job for him to go to his doctor's appointment alone. :)

Although, I was *actually* talking about his psychiatrist appointment.

I get it that as a parent you want to make sure that he says the right things - but please, still let him go in alone.

Don't coach him, don't tell him "remember to say _____" just let him decide all of that on his own.

The only thing he needs from you are past report cards and notes from teachers etc - that can be your part to play by finding those things to give to him.

Definitely have him go in alone.

At 18 it is extremely strange for a parent to go in with their young adult son/daughter, and it might make him feel very uncomfortable and perhaps make him feel like he can't speak.

If it's a good doctor - they will know the questions to ask him and will be able to tell what symptoms he has.

And after his appointment, please don't ask him for details, only let him share if he wants to.

dvdnvwls
12-28-15, 09:13 PM
Hello All,

Yes, I totally agree that A has to begin to take matters into his own hands, as an 18 year old. He will be going into the Dr alone, today. He was just going for a physical...in the meantime, this possible ADD issue has come to the fore front. I did read in some articles, that it is often helpful, to have a person close to the subject come along to the initial appt to describe some of the symptoms and patterns that they have observed as well. Not in a critical way.....just to give the physician a more complete picture of the situation.....perhaps things that A hasn't observed (for example, his room is always a disaster....he always has to make homemade holiday cards....which is fine, in and of itself....but it is due to the fact that he never made it to the card store on time, etc). His HS guidance counselor told us that his HS grades would translate to about a 2.2....which is considered academic probation. That is exactly where he is at. So, yes, we are panicked about it. Such a shame that the guidance dept never considered looking into the ADD possibility. As I mentioned, I did ask his teachers and pediatrician, who did not feel that this was the problem. We had a more thorough talk with A last night. He says that when he sits down to study it takes him forever to get going, because he just can't focus. Thanks again. Appreciate everyone's thoughts.
I have been exactly the kind of 18-year-old that you're talking about. What I'm about to say might be unpopular, but please keep in mind that I've been there - I've been your son.

He is waiting for you to stop pulling the puppet strings. He is waiting for you to let him fail. He is waiting for some autonomy, for his successes and failures to be his own. He can - and will - continue to wait forever, if that's your choice. For as long as his success or failure is ultimately in your hands, he will be a complete loser with occasional weak little flashes of adequacy. Until he knows that his outcome is firmly his own and will happen without your intervention, he will not feel free to help himself. Maybe it sounds crazy. Maybe your instinct is to argue. Maybe what I've said is technically incorrect or unrealistic in some way. But... I don't think arguing will really help, and I don't think technical distinctions or reality lectures will help either.

I urge you to really take the irrevocable and counterintuitive step of truly backing off and letting your son handle everything to do with his own future, with you in the role of the kind and understanding coach who respects the fact that only the players are permitted on the field.

Nittany1
12-28-15, 09:37 PM
I get what you're saying, dvdnvwis. And, yes, I can see him possibly taking that attitude. Hoping that things work out for him.

Little Missy
12-28-15, 09:58 PM
:goodpost: Right there may be the best advice you'll ever get. This and DJBill's. It is time to cut the cord.

dvdnvwls
12-28-15, 11:17 PM
Yes, it is good for someone close to come into an appointment - but for a few minutes at the end only, only on invitation of the subject, and not necessarily the first appointment. Having his mother introduce him to the psychiatrist is exactly the wrong thing. Having his mother explain his situation to the psychiatrist is exactly the wrong thing. Please don't get the situation backwards - this is his situation, his appointment, with you tagging along as an auxiliary helper at most. This may sound silly, but please, as the mother of an 18-year-old at his psychiatrist appointment, consider yourself to be in a "You speak when you're spoken to, young lady" type of situation.

mctavish23
12-29-15, 12:43 AM
I sincerely wish you (and your son) the best of luck in finding treatment.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

dvdnvwls
12-29-15, 01:21 AM
I get what you're saying, dvdnvwis. And, yes, I can see him possibly taking that attitude. Hoping that things work out for him.
That isn't "taking an attitude"; it's being himself. When you get the urge to stop his being himself by taking charge again, resist it. Every time that you want to step forward, take a step backward instead.

sarahsweets
12-31-15, 05:08 AM
There is a lot of information in your posts so I will do my best not to repeat everyone. Have you ever considered the fact that maybe school is not where its at for him? I dont mean he shouldnt be at school but I mean that grades will never be an effective way to measure whether he is learning and how he can apply that knowledge? I say that because when you mentioned his success with the SAT's it brought me back to how horrible I did on both of my SAT's in high school. I had sh*tty grades until my junior year and barely got into college because of my scores. I jacked around for a year and a half and it wasnt until I got married and had a son that I realized I had better graduate or get out of school- I scraped out a graduation. Now I can say that what I can do and if I am smart or not has nothing to do with any tests I have ever taken or any grades I have ever gotten. I dont work, but when did I was fortunate that the employer never required my transcript or else I would never have gotten a job.

The other thing to look at is, is your desire for him to do better more than his own desire? Ultimately it is up to him and if he isnt placing value on the things you are then you will always be disappointed.

Pilgrim
12-31-15, 10:20 AM
Great advice above. Goodluck to him and I hope he will make you proud.

finallyfound10
01-03-16, 02:38 PM
Hi Nittany1,

Welcome! It would be worth it to explore psychiatrists in Hershey or even Philly since there are tons of great resources there.

This is link is to the PA CHADD Directory. CHADD is <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> <w:UseFELayout/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]-->Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

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I saw that there is a Male social worker/therapist in private practice in York with 25 years of experience whose spouse and two children have ADHD so he may be a great resource locally.

Good luck!!!

Matador
01-04-16, 03:47 PM
I have been exactly the kind of 18-year-old that you're talking about. What I'm about to say might be unpopular, but please keep in mind that I've been there - I've been your son.

He is waiting for you to stop pulling the puppet strings. He is waiting for you to let him fail. He is waiting for some autonomy, for his successes and failures to be his own. He can - and will - continue to wait forever, if that's your choice. For as long as his success or failure is ultimately in your hands, he will be a complete loser with occasional weak little flashes of adequacy. Until he knows that his outcome is firmly his own and will happen without your intervention, he will not feel free to help himself. Maybe it sounds crazy. Maybe your instinct is to argue. Maybe what I've said is technically incorrect or unrealistic in some way. But... I don't think arguing will really help, and I don't think technical distinctions or reality lectures will help either.

I urge you to really take the irrevocable and counterintuitive step of truly backing off and letting your son handle everything to do with his own future, with you in the role of the kind and understanding coach who respects the fact that only the players are permitted on the field.
This is harsh...but correct.

It's hard for a parent to let their son 'strugg'e and figure it out on their own...I had a mom who was like that. She is a 'giver' and did everything for me and even my dad (and still does) and in her 60s it's finally taking a toll on her and weighing her down.

It took me to my first year of college to figure out that her 'helping' me with picking my college classes, doing the 'tedious' things I didn't care to do...was actually hurting me because that responsibility is what taught me how to be more independent. As someone with ADD, you learn to use others to cover up your weaknesses like I used classmates, my mom, friends, etc to get me through things...I graduated HS. Did great wtih subjects I enjoyed, not so great and god C's and relyed on others to copy off of to get me through that.

I thought all kids were like that and I was normal....until I got to college and it hit me all in teh face. I did HORRIBLE my first year in college because...it was nothing like HS and outside of history (which I find fascinating) Istruggled hard with.

To get to the point, I actually gained more 'control' of my issues once I started doing things on my own and not dependiung on others. I did well in classes I loved and it didn't feel like work (History, Psych', computer stuff), but struggled with subjects that I didn't find that interesting. I tried and tried and tried...but no matter how much, I struggled. I gradated with a 2.7 and decided to go with an 'easy'/interesting degree because initially Accoutning was too challanging and I found myself struggling (when it got too hard, my interest went away).

The best things I would say from my experience you can do is, let him 'do everything' himself. Homework, projects, things around the house, dishes, laundry, learn to cook for himself, etc. It's these things that he needs to learn that he can do also in order to get his 'life' in order.

Second thing is medication. On medication, I have FAR longer attention span and ability to 'focus' on things I find disinteresting like I wish I had with school work. I took the easy way out wtih my degree, and wish I didn't. Oh well. Live and learn.

Nittany1
01-07-16, 12:53 AM
Thanks for the updated responses. I appreciate the feedback. We did look into the research program at Univ of Penn, as well as programs at Hershey Med and Hopkins. All have a long waiting list. In the meantime, we did get our son scheduled with a psychologist that has extensive experience with ADD testing. He has had his first appt. He liked the therapist. We were also given a checklist of symptoms to evaluate. My husband and I were almost in 100% agreement on the many questions (CAARS long version). I'm going to post a question re medication concerns. Thanks!

BellaVita
01-07-16, 03:12 AM
Thanks for the updated responses. I appreciate the feedback. We did look into the research program at Univ of Penn, as well as programs at Hershey Med and Hopkins. All have a long waiting list. In the meantime, we did get our son scheduled with a psychologist that has extensive experience with ADD testing. He has had his first appt. He liked the therapist. We were also given a checklist of symptoms to evaluate. My husband and I were almost in 100% agreement on the many questions (CAARS long version). I'm going to post a question re medication concerns. Thanks!

Awesome! How did your son do by himself?

I'm sure he did great.

Also just so you know there is no test for ADHD, anything that claims to be a test is just wasting your money. But hey, if you can afford it, maybe it will help out in some way. But a psychologist generally can't prescribe meds, so you might have to find a psychiatrist OR perhaps the psychologist can write down the dosage/medication and he could bring that to his regular doctor to prescribe.

Socaljaxs
01-07-16, 04:18 AM
Lots of good advice here! One thing that I noticed just by reading this, is you need to stop doing all and everything for "A". You are enabling his unsatisfactory (in your opinions) behaviors.

Your son is an adult, and with that he needs to learn adult responsibility, and be free to make mistakes and fall. You can help him get back up, but you can not continue to hellacoptor him. For you to go with him to see his college counsler. Is classic hellacoptor parenting behavior ... and it doesn't help your son at all.

I don't mean to be rude, or harsh. Just very real here.... 11:00 pm curfew at 18? Not letting him go in a trip? Trying to dictate what he should and shouldn't do or where he should or shouldn't be!

By You telling him everything he can and can't do. He has no reason to learn or do more for himself. Since he knows you will be there to do it for him.. This comes from a girl that didn't learn to do laundry until 26 years old.

Loosening the strings and having him fend more for himself is a blessing for him and it will not make him think you care or love him any less. But you do need to let him be an 18 year old, that will make mistakes. Holding on too tight I've seen many times, backfire and when your son gains any sense of freedom at all... it can get out of control.

Think about a person on a very restrictive diet of only chicken and broccoli.ext And all the sudden cake is around. And the dieter has been denied cake for years.. What do you think a forced restriction that may not be wanted will do when options becomes available! Dieter is eating cake and going overboard on the cake as well.

So, right now just based on the information. I really don't know if your son is ADHD or just a product of upbringing or if something completely different is happening. You seem to have already disgnosed him with add. So regardless of what is actually going on. That's what you believe will fix him.

The fact he's an athlete with a back injury. In my expeirence( which happens to be an athlete with a lumbar condition) depression and anxiety and chronic pain do exist and can mimic add as well

sarahsweets
01-07-16, 07:27 AM
Thanks so much everyone. It is all very worrisome. A's friends are very accomplished and going to top-notch schools. I know that he is really embarrassed about his situation
Who gives a crap what his friends are doing? Is he embarrassed or are you actually the one embarrassed?
yet, he seems unable to do anything to turn it around. I did have another individual suggest the counseling center at school. They are back in a week, and we will definitely be contacting them.
He is an adult. How do you think it would make him feel for his mother to reach out for psychological help for him, in place of him advocating for himself?

Of course, we now feel very panicked, as he is already in college and things are not going well. Hoping to find some answers.....
The level of panic you speak of is inappropriate. If he is panicked thats one thing, but if you are panicked then you are taking on his problems as your own.
I know for me, I only learn to change if there is pain or consequence, otherwise I would have no interest in changing my life. The same applies to him. He doesnt have to worry about his grades or mental health or eating habits because you are doing all the worrying for him.
Try not to compare him to his friends. Try not to enable him.

BellaVita
01-12-16, 01:16 AM
Nittany - how is your son doing?

dvdnvwls
01-12-16, 03:47 AM
In the meantime, we did get our son scheduled with a psychologist that has extensive experience with ADD testing. He has had his first appt. He liked the therapist.
Did he end up introducing himself to the psychologist alone, and having the appointment alone, or were you in with him?

Twiggy
01-12-16, 09:00 AM
I don't want to sound negative, but this is the truth:

Moms/parents need to relax and not micro-manage their children...or else you get a son/daughter that won't know what to do in their life and feel confused with personal aspirations.

I am jobless, uneducated, (late 20's) and currently am trying to figure out what I want to do in life...so yeah...I was always the kid that had parents that did everything for them...I hated it.

I have to re-learn to get things done without getting cues constantly from my parents or anybody. Or without someone doing stuff for me.

BellaVita
01-12-16, 10:10 AM
I don't want to sound negative, but this is the truth:

Moms/parents need to relax and not micro-manage their children...or else you get a son/daughter that won't know what to do in their life and feel confused with personal aspirations.

I am jobless, uneducated, (late 20's) and currently am trying to figure out what I want to do in life...so yeah...I was always the kid that had parents that did everything for them...I hated it.

I have to re-learn to get things done without getting cues constantly from my parents or anybody. Or without someone doing stuff for me.

Not to mention he is a legal adult.

I know I mentioned this...but just need to say it again.

When I was a legal adult (18) one of my parents said they HAD to go in to the psychiatrist with me.

I wanted to go in alone, I said I wanted to go alone and stated that clearly several times.

Well, when the psychiatrist called me to go back, my parent went back too, I stopped and said "no I want to go alone" and the psychiatrist said in a nasty tone "well if you don't have your parent go in now then I'll just pull them into the back room after the appointment and discuss the details."

So I was forced to have my parent go back there with me.

Guess what?

I researched that later, found out that the psychiatrist and my parent violated HIPPA laws. My medical information at the age of 18 was my medical information and no one else should have been allowed any form of access to it or my appointments - especially not told that they will discuss things about me after the appointment!

I probably could have had some legal action taken.

I didn't though because I was in an abusive situation and any action I took against my parents would surely get me punished.

My parents enjoyed going in to my appointments, taking over and saying a lot of bad stuff about me. About how I was such a bad kid, had emotional issues etc. They wanted to be in every bit of control as they could be. They wanted to be sure the information my psychiatrist was told was told according to their story. They also didn't want me to say any bad things about them. (And sometimes I would get questioned after appointments if I "talked bad about them") They controlled the situation to make sure things turned out just how they wanted, and so the psychiatrist would get this false idea of me according to their made-up crap and lies.

So yeah:
1) An adult at 18+ needs to go into the appointment alone. Don't coach him on what to say, don't ask even in an innocent voice if you can "come in with him", don't tell him in any way, shape, form, or hint what he should say.
2) Don't ask him innocent questions after the appointment seeking details, and don't try to get information from him after the appointment. If he offers it by himself, that is okay. But do not pressure him to say any thing that happened.
3) Don't play doctor over his medications. He's an adult. Don't make sure he takes them, don't pill count, don't keep an eye on his medications. That is his job and something that is supposed to be between him and his psychiatrist only.

Sorry for writing so much and with passion, this topic obviously means a lot to me and I am just wanting another person to not go through anything that could be bad for them.