View Full Version : My 14 Year Old Son has just been diagnosed.....advice


Mom2tnx
07-26-17, 10:06 PM
My 14 year old son has just been diagnosed with ADD (inattentive). The diagnosis was made privately through a psychiatrist and neurologist. While he's had lots of frustrations in school, it seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for the school and in speaking to parents of his peers....but as a parent I know my child so I had him assessed. He also sees a therapist, which he requested. As we go through the motions of diet changes, restrictions on video games, etc. I don't think m he quite understands the seriousness of this diagnosis. Any tips on how to get him to embrace the lifestyle changes that he needs to make? Should I encourage him to join a teen support group?

He's a bright, A/B student, ambitious, involved in sports and school clubs, etc.

someothertime
07-27-17, 12:58 AM
Yeah, that is tough age....

Slightly younger and i'd say that not "understanding the seriousness" isn't such a bad thing....

This age group is particularly difficult..... even with an earlier diagnosis.... and effective management for several years, the majority of mid/late adolescents like to "run their own show"....... in a general sense..... but also when it comes to managing ADHD.....

Without preempting too much...... i'd say two things.....

1) Tread lightly -> wherever possible avoid "imposing" anything, and consider ways to make it a partnership or "them initiated" kind of thing that you encourage and support when they express a need for you to be there.

2) Well, I already said two. But i'll expand. The best way I can explain it, is "treatment" is a thing that helps them achieve in their world. They set what is a priority where they want to work and improve.... and how to a large extent. Support groups would need/work better if they fit into that context. Tying efforts into accomplishing dreams works very very well, and rewards for milestones both consequential and additional can be a very empowering thing.

Finally, an open, accepting, empathetic and empowering ear/hand on your part will keep you included, and valued. It's almost like you take off your "you" hat when this type of discussion occurs.... and you become more like a friend. And yes, breakdowns, might require distance or another shoulder......

Language helps too.... i.e.;

"things that are hard / you need help with / to improve"

might work better as;

"these tasks i'm calling on some augmented toolsets with"....

or

"understanding the seriousness"

to

"recognize relevant constraints" etc. etc.


All that said, nothing is Black and White..... so patience and flexibility ( and love :) )will help lots.

sarahsweets
07-27-17, 03:11 AM
You say you are making diet changes and video game restrictions, what are they for? Is it a punishment for bad behavior?

Caco3girl
07-27-17, 08:37 AM
My son was diagnosed at 14 as well, primarily inattentive. However, in my sons case he was barely passing because he didn't hear when tests were, or quizzes or half of what the teacher said.

What are these dietary changes and video game changes you are talking about. I didn't "change" anything except give him medication and the school let him in co-taught classes which made it easier for him to follow along.

This is going to come off as confrontational, but I can't think of another way to say it. What do you mean he doesn't understand the "seriousness of the diagnoses"? I'm getting the impression you are treating this like it's stage 4 cancer or a 99% blockage in his heart....why don't you explain how YOU feel about the diagnoses and the ramifications to your son.

Mom2tnx
07-27-17, 09:37 PM
You say you are making diet changes and video game restrictions, what are they for? Is it a punishment for bad behavior?

Absolutely not. We are against medicating him so therefore we took him to a naturopathic doctor who suggested some diet changes along with vitamins, fish oil, etc. He has a serious addiction to video games that does not help this situation at all...so we decided on a two hour per day limit.

Mom2tnx
07-27-17, 09:44 PM
My son was diagnosed at 14 as well, primarily inattentive. However, in my sons case he was barely passing because he didn't hear when tests were, or quizzes or half of what the teacher said.

What are these dietary changes and video game changes you are talking about. I didn't "change" anything except give him medication and the school let him in co-taught classes which made it easier for him to follow along.

This is going to come off as confrontational, but I can't think of another way to say it. What do you mean he doesn't understand the "seriousness of the diagnoses"? I'm getting the impression you are treating this like it's stage 4 cancer or a 99% blockage in his heart....why don't you explain how YOU feel about the diagnoses and the ramifications to your son.

Nope - we are absolutely not treating this as such. I meant that now that we have this diagnosis, we must make some changes. We must acknowledge that certain things are beyond his control. This is new to me - please don't analyze my choice of words. To each its own, but I do not agree with medicating him. While some children do require it, he doesnt....We will be continuing with therapy, diet change, natural medication, etc. I'm also in the process of requesting a 504 plan in place for him at school.

sarahsweets
07-28-17, 06:40 AM
Absolutely not. We are against medicating him so therefore we took him to a naturopathic doctor who suggested some diet changes along with vitamins, fish oil, etc. He has a serious addiction to video games that does not help this situation at all...so we decided on a two hour per day limit.

Medications are the best, most recommended first line treatment for adhd in addition to what youve mentioned. Alone, the things you mentioned havent been proven to treat adhd. Why are you against medicating him? Have you had a bad experience with medication?

Caco3girl
07-28-17, 10:52 AM
Nope - we are absolutely not treating this as such. I meant that now that we have this diagnosis, we must make some changes. We must acknowledge that certain things are beyond his control. This is new to me - please don't analyze my choice of words. To each its own, but I do not agree with medicating him. While some children do require it, he doesnt....We will be continuing with therapy, diet change, natural medication, etc. I'm also in the process of requesting a 504 plan in place for him at school.

Um....why do you think he doesn't require medication?

I have to say, this plan sounds like a LOT of work on the part of everyone, also expensive. Wouldn't one little pill fit in with your family life better? What are your reasons for not wanting to medicate him? There is a LOT of misinformation out there about what ADHD meds do to kids, I just want to make sure you aren't worried about some of the myths that have been spread around.

My son is 14, 6'1, 165 pounds. He lost a bit of weight during the school year because he wasn't eating enough and working out all the time. He didn't become a zombie, on the contrary, rather than fixating on one thing for hours he was able to put down his fixation. His focus became better in school and in baseball. His reaction times were not slowed, and I know this because he plays HIGH level baseball, he himself pitches 80mph, if his reactions were slowed we would have picked up on it since the game is much faster at the level he plays.

His personality was actually able to come through for the first time since about 5th grade. Before it was all "Huh", "What"....now he is getting the jokes and really being a part of the conversation. It's been great, he's been great. He has more self esteem because he understands what is going on around him now, he isn't lost in his own head unsure if he followed the conversation, or what his next move was suppose to be. He is on Adderal XR 40mg, he takes it at 6am and that's it for the day. He takes melatonin to help him go to sleep as well as 1/2 a clodonine, and there has been no grogginess, no weird dreams, no side affects other than his appetite. The medicine has been amazing and a true life saver for him.

Lunacie
07-28-17, 11:46 AM
My granddaughter was diagnosed at age 11. Until she started meds, Concerta
at first, she would argue about anything and everything she heard us adults
saying. I don't think she actually heard us or thought about it, arguing was just
her default mode. It was SOOO annoying.

When she started the meds it was like a connection was made in her brain that
let her hear what people were saying and actually relate to it in a real way. No
more default arguing. We had a real, thinking girl in our house again.

Her dad didn't believe in adhd, but once he saw the difference the meds made
for her, he was the one who insisted she pack them when she spent the week-
end at his house.

On the other hand, I started taking Omega 3 for something else before she
was ever diagnosed (although I was sure we both have it) and found that it
was very effective in treating my brain fog and improving concentration and
focus. It did not help my granddaughter however.

There is no real research that shows that diet changes improve adhd in any
meaningful way. Some diet changes may improve hyperactivity, or help if the
child actually has an allergy or sensitivity rather than adhd. Those are some-
times misdiagnosed as adhd.

So diet and supplements are worth trying, but please don't rule out meds just
yet. They are easy to try, and easy to stop. The only thing is that even with
genetic testing it's a guessing game to know which med at which dose will
work for each person, so it can take some time to sort through all of that.

Mom2tnx
07-31-17, 01:18 PM
Medications are the best, most recommended first line treatment for adhd in addition to what youve mentioned. Alone, the things you mentioned havent been proven to treat adhd. Why are you against medicating him? Have you had a bad experience with medication?

To each its own on medicating...I'd rather not debate that at this time - I would love some advice on how to get him to understand his diagnosis, etc. from a parents point of view. Thanks

ginniebean
07-31-17, 02:27 PM
To each its own on medicating...I'd rather not debate that at this time - I would love some advice on how to get him to understand his diagnosis, etc. from a parents point of view. Thanks

Understanding ADHD as an adult is difficult. So much of it is so counter intuitive. You can try diet changes, some people (with adhd) have reported a difference on a ketogenic diet in terms of being more clear headed. Certain dyes in various foods can also cause a hyperactive effect, if he's not hyper I doubt you have to worry about that.

He's good in school, he appears to have no social impairment, from what you've said. I kinda think any iep is going to be pretty darned difficult to get. A 504 is pretty automatic with a diagnosis for all that it means, it's basically not followed up on with paperwork as an iep is.

Your sons age leaves most schools feeling, he needs to be the one responsible. All of the talk about responsibility can be really TOUGH, it's a never ending spiel that people with adhd hear all their lives. ADHD is not a deficit in responsibility tho the impairments can interfere with normal functioning and result in what looks like irresponsible behaviour. Don't be too quick to think you even understand ADHD, it's a very subtle beast with long ranging implication that a cursory view cannot begin to comprehend.

Please avoid loading words like lazy and irresponsible, (not saying you are, but it's really common) because that has it's own unpleasant and long term side effects.


You are right, ADHD is actually a serious diagnosis, most of the impairments may even at times seem insignificant until you look at the long term. It may seem like a small deviation from the norm when we are young but as we get into adulthood the full effects of the impairment start to fully manifest. The significance becomes much more apparent and what seemed small now looms large. ADHD is fundamentally a disorder of the brain. Not mind. Brain function and architecture are different. When a person has a different and more physically apparent architectural difference we are well aware that supports have to be put in place. Adhd is hidden, the brain functions and architecture cannot be seen. The impairments often seem like annoyances, and if only he'd just...... of course not realising he has no access to normal brain pathways that make such things possible, with only access to limited secondary pathways of just getting things done. The effort is real, the struggle is real, and so is adhd.


He feels normal, he's been this way his whole life, he doesn't know any other way. Asking him to bridge a gap he can't even see, intellectually even, is a tall order. Most people go for help because they feel a change in thier baseline of well being. I used to feel good, now I feel unwell. For people with adhd, our baseline is something we're born with.

I'd be real careful about restrictions, they can and often are punishments for having adhd. I'm not saying you're doing that, but there are an awful lot of adults on here with adhd who experienced being punished for having symptoms. Something akin to "you're sneezing again" when someone has the cold. And followed by a lecture of we have a plan in place to deal with your sneezing.

No medicaton, and most certainly no alternative therapies have ever proven to give any sort of global symptom relief. Medication of course, has by far the better track record and there is really no hard evidence that alternative methods do anything.

To each his own, and to be honest, your son is doing quite well. So, I think you're going to be on an extremely uphill battle getting him to understand his normal state is actually deviant (from the norm) and needs to be taken seriously.

It took me years of combing thru scientific papers and reading non stop to really grasp how adhd affects me and my life.

Good luck.

Mom2tnx
07-31-17, 02:45 PM
Understanding ADHD as an adult is difficult. So much of it is so counter intuitive. You can try diet changes, some people (with adhd) have reported a difference on a ketogenic diet in terms of being more clear headed. Certain dyes in various foods can also cause a hyperactive effect, if he's not hyper I doubt you have to worry about that.

He's good in school, he appears to have no social impairment, from what you've said. I kinda think any iep is going to be pretty darned difficult to get. A 504 is pretty automatic with a diagnosis for all that it means, it's basically not followed up on with paperwork as an iep is.

Your sons age leaves most schools feeling, he needs to be the one responsible. All of the talk about responsibility can be really TOUGH, it's a never ending spiel that people with adhd hear all their lives. ADHD is not a deficit in responsibility tho the impairments can interfere with normal functioning and result in what looks like irresponsible behaviour. Don't be too quick to think you even understand ADHD, it's a very subtle beast with long ranging implication that a cursory view cannot begin to comprehend.

Please avoid loading words like lazy and irresponsible, (not saying you are, but it's really common) because that has it's own unpleasant and long term side effects.


You are right, ADHD is actually a serious diagnosis, most of the impairments may even at times seem insignificant until you look at the long term. It may seem like a small deviation from the norm when we are young but as we get into adulthood the full effects of the impairment start to fully manifest. The significance becomes much more apparent and what seemed small now looms large. ADHD is fundamentally a disorder of the brain. Not mind. Brain function and architecture are different. When a person has a different and more physically apparent architectural difference we are well aware that supports have to be put in place. Adhd is hidden, the brain functions and architecture cannot be seen. The impairments often seem like annoyances, and if only he'd just...... of course not realising he has no access to normal brain pathways that make such things possible, with only access to limited secondary pathways of just getting things done. The effort is real, the struggle is real, and so is adhd.


He feels normal, he's been this way his whole life, he doesn't know any other way. Asking him to bridge a gap he can't even see, intellectually even, is a tall order. Most people go for help because they feel a change in thier baseline of well being. I used to feel good, now I feel unwell. For people with adhd, our baseline is something we're born with.

I'd be real careful about restrictions, they can and often are punishments for having adhd. I'm not saying you're doing that, but there are an awful lot of adults on here with adhd who experienced being punished for having symptoms. Something akin to "you're sneezing again" when someone has the cold. And followed by a lecture of we have a plan in place to deal with your sneezing.

No medicaton, and most certainly no alternative therapies have ever proven to give any sort of global symptom relief. Medication of course, has by far the better track record and there is really no hard evidence that alternative methods do anything.

To each his own, and to be honest, your son is doing quite well. So, I think you're going to be on an extremely uphill battle getting him to understand his normal state is actually deviant (from the norm) and needs to be taken seriously.

It took me years of combing thru scientific papers and reading non stop to really grasp how adhd affects me and my life.

Good luck.

THANK YOU for all of this...I appreciate it. I am obviously very new at all of this and trying to adjust and do as much research as I can. We don't think that he can be "healed" ...we are just considering alternative ways for now. As a parent it is scary to simply medicate your child - depending on the severity of any illness. We took him to a naturopathic doctor who did an extensive exam and gave us a list of suggested vitamins, diet changes, etc. He also sees a therapist to help with anxiety and frustrations once a week. We are learning ways on how to cope and do what's best for him and the entire situation.

Caco3girl
07-31-17, 03:27 PM
You say it is scary to simply medicate your child depending on the severity of any illness, and I agree. However, then you want to know how to explain the severity of his condition to him? Since you haven't taken him to a medical doctor for treatment don't you think that is sending a double message?

You have ADHD, this is a severe and life debilitating thing, but it's not bad enough for you to be on medicine....I think I know why he's not embracing the lifestyle changes. My son is literal, as in when the test said "Why did Mercutio die in Romeo and Juliet, and how could it have been avoided", he didn't write about the age old family battle that was silly...nope...he said "Because he was stabbed, and he could have avoided it by moving to the side.".....seriously, it's what he wrote because he is a literal being.

If your son is also a literal being he knows when he is sick you take him to the doctor, he gets a prescription, and his throat feels better. Grandparents have heart conditions, they are on pills, blood pressure issues are pills, even allergies are pills. You are monitoring parts of his diet...in my sons mind he would think this can't be that serious. It's like trying to get him hyped up that your property is being invaded...by one bee hive.

maple17
07-31-17, 07:49 PM
The choice re medication is yours. Well, at 14 I'd say that your child has a say as well; my daughter is 12 and is onboard with medication because she knows how she feels off of it and how much harder everything is in her life without it.

No parent reacts to the recommendation of medication for their child with, "Hurray! That's wonderful." No parent "simply" medicates. When the behavioural paediatrician recommended a trial to us shortly after her diagnosis, I declined for the first month, cried a lot, Googled everything, cried more, came here, and then looked at my child and how she wasn't coping and agreed to try it.

Part of that was not just sifting through the Russell Barkley videos on YouTube or reading all the books, it was listening to post after post all over the net from people diagnosed as adults who started meds and had the lightbulb go on and the angels sing and they regretted that they'd not been diagnosed and treated when they were much younger. They realised that they had been struggling needlessly for years, blaming themselves for shortcomings that were not their fault. They lamented the years they'd "lost."

I also read the posts from parents who had done the hard yards and tried diet, fish oil, supplements, essential oils, whatever over the years and had not seen a measureable improvement.

I was reluctant to try medication for my daughter. But in retrospect, of all the treatment choices available to us (we also do counselling, group therapy, exercise, supplements), it's been the most helpful. It made a night and day positive difference and you could see her shine now that she wasn't overwhelmed all the time, struggling to cope, and frustrated. Her grades have gone up. She's made new friends, joined clubs, and our home life is better for all concerned. I have no doubt that doing the counselling etc without meds would have been a lot less successful because we saw what it was like with private tutors when she was unmedicated. They would try and work with her while she hummed songs that were in her head and she drew cartoons in the margins of her notebook.

Good luck with your path forward. It's commendable that your son is willing to seek out support with the therapist etc. and shows that he is willing to try options that work for him. I hope you get the results that you are hoping for.

Little Missy
07-31-17, 08:47 PM
Some of us here practically ruined out entire lives until we became medicated in our 30's or 40's or even 50's.

Medication changed my life.

Mom2tnx
07-31-17, 09:24 PM
You say it is scary to simply medicate your child depending on the severity of any illness, and I agree. However, then you want to know how to explain the severity of his condition to him? Since you haven't taken him to a medical doctor for treatment don't you think that is sending a double message?

You have ADHD, this is a severe and life debilitating thing, but it's not bad enough for you to be on medicine....I think I know why he's not embracing the lifestyle changes. My son is literal, as in when the test said "Why did Mercutio die in Romeo and Juliet, and how could it have been avoided", he didn't write about the age old family battle that was silly...nope...he said "Because he was stabbed, and he could have avoided it by moving to the side.".....seriously, it's what he wrote because he is a literal being.

If your son is also a literal being he knows when he is sick you take him to the doctor, he gets a prescription, and his throat feels better. Grandparents have heart conditions, they are on pills, blood pressure issues are pills, even allergies are pills. You are monitoring parts of his diet...in my sons mind he would think this can't be that serious. It's like trying to get him hyped up that your property is being invaded...by one bee hive.

My son was seen and is under the care of a neurologist and psychiatrist. As this is a very recent diagnosis, both of which have respected my wishes as it relates to medicine at this time. In fact only the psychiatrist (clearly) suggested medication. This post isn't about whether to medicate or not. I will ask for opinions on medication when I get to that point. Please do not judge. Thank you.

Mom2tnx
07-31-17, 09:31 PM
How did this post become a pro-medicine post? I didn't ask for anyone's advice on medicine. I simply came here for a bit of non-judgemental support from Parents that perhaps have faced a situation similar to mine.....nothing more, nothing less.

And just a note - we've discussed treatment at lengths with my son and he is terrified of taking medicine....I think someone mentioned their daughter wanting to be medicated and assumed that I didn't discuss all alternatives with my son.

Mom2tnx
07-31-17, 09:33 PM
Some of us here practically ruined out entire lives until we became medicated in our 30's or 40's or even 50's.

Medication changed my life.

Do you have a child that's been diagnosed? Any advice you can lend towards the actual post?

namazu
07-31-17, 09:47 PM
My 14 year old son has just been diagnosed with ADD (inattentive). The diagnosis was made privately through a psychiatrist and neurologist. While he's had lots of frustrations in school, it seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary for the school and in speaking to parents of his peers....but as a parent I know my child so I had him assessed. He also sees a therapist, which he requested. As we go through the motions of diet changes, restrictions on video games, etc. I don't think m he quite understands the seriousness of this diagnosis. Any tips on how to get him to embrace the lifestyle changes that he needs to make? Should I encourage him to join a teen support group?

He's a bright, A/B student, ambitious, involved in sports and school clubs, etc.
If his frustrations don't seem unusual among his peer group, and he's doing well in school, in outside activities, and with friends, then it seems likely that his ADHD is fairly mild. That's good!

Are there areas in which he feels like he's struggling? If so, those areas might be where you have the best "hook" to start talking about ADHD management strategies and self-advocacy.

That he chose, of his own volition, to see a therapist suggests that he's taking his needs seriously, so maybe you don't need to worry so much about that. Therapy can be especially helpful with secondary things like anxieties and self-esteem issues that often accompany ADHD.

There are some ADHD books written specifically for teens, some of which come in audio format, if your son isn't much of a reader. I haven't looked at that particular segment of the ADHD pop literature for a while, so I don't have specific recommendations, but maybe someone else can jump in (or browse the rack at your favorite bookstore or look at ratings on Amazon).

As Ginniebean suggested earlier, even milder ADHD can become more difficult as people reach adolescence and adulthood. If your son is planning to go to college (and at 14, I know it's a little early) it could be helpful to start thinking about that as well. Many teens with ADHD struggle with the freedoms of college -- no set schedule, no one nagging them to wake up and go to class and do homework, and much greater demands overall for independence and self-discipline. With this may come a greater need for support. When the time comes to look at colleges, encourage your son to look into available support services -- just in case. If he needs academic accommodations in high school, hang onto to the documentation, as that can make the transition easier. But that's probably a bit further down the road, if he's planning to go to college.

EDIT: One more thought, probably closer than college, is driving. Teens (and adults) with ADHD tend to have more difficulty, on average, with safe driving. Starting from the day he gets his learner's permit (or before, modeled by your own driving), ensuring that distractions in the car are kept to a minimum can help. Absolutely no texting while driving, ideally phone off entirely and inaccessible (or used only as a GPS unit), and limits on the number of passengers, can be helpful in reducing dangerous distractions.

Best wishes to you both.

Lunacie
07-31-17, 10:11 PM
How did this post become a pro-medicine post? I didn't ask for advice on medicine. I simply came here for a bit of non-judgemental support from Parents that perhaps have faced a situation similar to mine.....nothing more, nothing less.

And just a note - we've discussed treatment at lengths with my son and he is terrified of taking medicine....I think someone mentioned their daughter wanting to be medicated and assumed that I didn't discuss all alternatives with my son.

You posted that you are against medicating your son.
It was a blanket statement. It didn't sound like there a possibility of looking
into that option later on. It didn't sound like you'd asked your son what he
thought about his treatment options.

So what looks to you like pro-medicine responses are simply sharing some
information that you might consider from people who have already been
through this and are willing to share their experiences.

It IS a difficult decision. My daughter waited too long to get her daughter
diagnosed and begin treatment from my perspective as someone who had
struggled undiagnosed and untreated for 53 years. But I respected that it
was difficult for her to make the decision.

This forum seemed very pro-meds when I joined after learning that my GD
had inherited adhd from me. As I read more, here and elsewhere, I learned
that meds are the only thing that have any definitive research backing them
up in treating adhd. Diet and limiting screen time has no evidence of helping.

Is that worth trying? Sure, as long as you don't keep tweaking and trying for-
ever if they don't work. I myself take Omega 3 which works very well for me
although there are only a few studies showing that it helps some kids.

Little Missy
07-31-17, 10:32 PM
Do you have a child that's been diagnosed? Any advice you can lend towards the actual post?

No, fortunately, I do not.

I have nothing to offer except my own experience.

namazu
07-31-17, 11:01 PM
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maple17
07-31-17, 11:13 PM
This is bizarre. How did this post become a pro-medicine post? I didn't ask for anyone's advice on medicine. I simply came here for a bit of non-judgemental support from Parents that perhaps have faced a situation similar to mine.....nothing more, nothing less.

And just a note - we've discussed treatment at lengths with my son and he is terrified of taking medicine....I think someone mentioned their daughter wanting to be medicated and assumed that I didn't discuss all alternatives with my son.

Happy that you all have this all figured out.

If we have figured it out, it's because we've been there, on the exact same steep learning curve as well.

IMO this forum has some of the best and most knowledgeable laypeople around who have a wealth of experience to share. And most of these members support the option of medication as it is the treatment with the most evidence behind it. I don't see a lot of judgment, just advice from parents who have also been there, as you asked.

My post illustrated that I did face your situation. I went with what was evidenced-based and recommended by our specialist (who told me that if it was her daughter, she would choose medication). I know what this year would have been like if I had deferred it: hour-long nightly battles over homework, more emotional volatility that had repercussions for the whole household, forgotten and misplaced homework, half done homework full of errors and mistakes, teachers telling me she's staring out the window again or talking non-stop. This year, I have a kid who has gone from Cs to As, who does her homework ahead of time without me even mentioning it, who complains that the other kids in class are now the ones talking and distracting her. That was our experience and what worked for our family. As you mention, you may choose to do things differently.

In your other post, you mentioned his lack of organisational skills, forgetfulness. Sometimes tech can help with this. I don't know if his school is tech savvy, but everything here is online, from their assignments to schedule to due dates, so that organisational aspect is taken care of. Even if they are not, I'm sure there are apps that can do much the same.

Hope you find the solution that works best for your son and your family. All the best.

sarahsweets
08-01-17, 07:07 AM
You asked for help. You didnt say you wanted help only if it went with what you already believed in.

Mom2tnx
08-01-17, 10:06 AM
If his frustrations don't seem unusual among his peer group, and he's doing well in school, in outside activities, and with friends, then it seems likely that his ADHD is fairly mild. That's good!

Are there areas in which he feels like he's struggling? If so, those areas might be where you have the best "hook" to start talking about ADHD management strategies and self-advocacy.

That he chose, of his own volition, to see a therapist suggests that he's taking his needs seriously, so maybe you don't need to worry so much about that. Therapy can be especially helpful with secondary things like anxieties and self-esteem issues that often accompany ADHD.

There are some ADHD books written specifically for teens, some of which come in audio format, if your son isn't much of a reader. I haven't looked at that particular segment of the ADHD pop literature for a while, so I don't have specific recommendations, but maybe someone else can jump in (or browse the rack at your favorite bookstore or look at ratings on Amazon).

As Ginniebean suggested earlier, even milder ADHD can become more difficult as people reach adolescence and adulthood. If your son is planning to go to college (and at 14, I know it's a little early) it could be helpful to start thinking about that as well. Many teens with ADHD struggle with the freedoms of college -- no set schedule, no one nagging them to wake up and go to class and do homework, and much greater demands overall for independence and self-discipline. With this may come a greater need for support. When the time comes to look at colleges, encourage your son to look into available support services -- just in case. If he needs academic accommodations in high school, hang onto to the documentation, as that can make the transition easier. But that's probably a bit further down the road, if he's planning to go to college.

EDIT: One more thought, probably closer than college, is driving. Teens (and adults) with ADHD tend to have more difficulty, on average, with safe driving. Starting from the day he gets his learner's permit (or before, modeled by your own driving), ensuring that distractions in the car are kept to a minimum can help. Absolutely no texting while driving, ideally phone off entirely and inaccessible (or used only as a GPS unit), and limits on the number of passengers, can be helpful in reducing dangerous distractions.

Best wishes to you both.

Thank you so much for your feedback. Great points. I will definitely look into ADHD pop literature!! This is something that I think can help him understand, learn and grow...us too. We are in the process of requesting a 504 plan for him - we have recommendations from his therapist, neurologist and psychiatrist.

Caco3girl
08-02-17, 12:16 PM
My son was seen and is under the care of a neurologist and psychiatrist. As this is a very recent diagnosis, both of which have respected my wishes as it relates to medicine at this time. In fact only the psychiatrist (clearly) suggested medication. This post isn't about whether to medicate or not. I will ask for opinions on medication when I get to that point. Please do not judge. Thank you.

Part of this forum is getting people to think outside of their box, it's why many people come here. They want to know "My kid is doing ______, is that normal?"....and 9 times out of 10 it is normal. They want to know "Now my kid is doing ____, does anyone have advice on how to make that less destructive?" Most of us either have ADHD or have children afflicted with ADHD. i.e. we have been there and done that. We try to share our experiences so it is easier on others.

We are all standing in the pouring down rain with ADHD. ADHD affects school work, relationships with family/friends, what jobs a person will be miserable in, the parents relationship with each other, and about 1 million other things. We are offering you the umbrella of our knowledge and experience, but for now, you like the rain. That's fine, you can like the rain. You can continue to attempt to build your own umbrella, you have that right. When you, or your spouse, or the child become overwhelmed with something we will still be here with our umbrella. It's not completely waterproof, but we have a lot of hard earned patches on there that are.

Mom2tnx
08-02-17, 09:15 PM
Part of this forum is getting people to think outside of their box, it's why many people come here. They want to know "My kid is doing ______, is that normal?"....and 9 times out of 10 it is normal. They want to know "Now my kid is doing ____, does anyone have advice on how to make that less destructive?" Most of us either have ADHD or have children afflicted with ADHD. i.e. we have been there and done that. We try to share our experiences so it is easier on others.

We are all standing in the pouring down rain with ADHD. ADHD affects school work, relationships with family/friends, what jobs a person will be miserable in, the parents relationship with each other, and about 1 million other things. We are offering you the umbrella of our knowledge and experience, but for now, you like the rain. That's fine, you can like the rain. You can continue to attempt to build your own umbrella, you have that right. When you, or your spouse, or the child become overwhelmed with something we will still be here with our umbrella. It's not completely waterproof, but we have a lot of hard earned patches on there that are.

That's all good and all, but you all have to understand that this is not black and white for most. Please allow newbies to have grey areas and figure out what works best for their child all while coming onto the forum and asking questions, seeking advice, etc. Newbies should not be made to feel as though this is a one dimensional illness. There are many different factors and every child is different. It's easy to shout "we've been there, done that".....but it's nice to step outside of your personal experience and see things from another persons perspective. Thank you

mildadhd
08-02-17, 11:35 PM
Hi Mom2tnx

I understand your frustration, and I take ADHD medication.

Imagine going to a forum meant to discuss about different types of treatment for different types of diabetes, and being being told the only treatment option to discuss about is insulin.

Even if your doctor does not recommend insulin.

I really appreciate ADDForums, my issue is not with the creators moderatoring of this forum, it's the one demensional medication only treatment approach by some members that can be bewildering.

If your son is happy, maybe he will be more interested in learning about ADHD when he gets older?

It's great that you are learning now, to possibly help him if he finds himself struggling or interned, in the future?






M

Mom2tnx
08-03-17, 03:02 AM
Hi Mom2tnx

I understand your frustration, and I take ADHD medication.

Imagine going to a forum meant to discuss about different types of treatment for different types of diabetes, and being being told the only treatment option to discuss about is insulin.

Even if your doctor does not recommend insulin.

I really appreciate ADDForums, my issue is not with the creators moderatoring of this forum, it's the one demensional medication only treatment approach by some members that can be bewildering.

If your son is happy, maybe he will be more interested in learning about ADHD when he gets older?

It's great that you are learning now, to possibly help him if he finds himself struggling or interned, in the future?








M
But the thing is that I did not ask about treatment. And just because I did not ask about treatment doesn't mean that I'm not treating him. It's crazy to make that assumption. I asked for advice on getting my son to understand his diagnosis, perhaps a support group (I see that this forum has something for teens), etc. I was hoping that perhaps some parents would have some ideas.....this wasn't about whether to medicate or not. Or what approach I should take in addressing his diagnosis. I'm sure that folks are eager to share their knowledge. I'm thankful for the advice I've received thus far.

sarahsweets
08-03-17, 03:52 AM
Hi Mom2tnx

I understand your frustration, and I take ADHD medication.

Imagine going to a forum meant to discuss about different types of treatment for different types of diabetes, and being being told the only treatment option to discuss about is insulin.

Even if your doctor does not recommend insulin.

I really appreciate ADDForums, my issue is not with the creators moderatoring of this forum, it's the one demensional medication only treatment approach by some members that can be bewildering.

If your son is happy, maybe he will be more interested in learning about ADHD when he gets older?

It's great that you are learning now, to possibly help him if he finds himself struggling or interned, in the future?






M

One dimensional?

Caco3girl
08-03-17, 10:12 AM
That's all good and all, but you all have to understand that this is not black and white for most. Please allow newbies to have grey areas and figure out what works best for their child all while coming onto the forum and asking questions, seeking advice, etc. Newbies should not be made to feel as though this is a one dimensional illness. There are many different factors and every child is different. It's easy to shout "we've been there, done that".....but it's nice to step outside of your personal experience and see things from another persons perspective. Thank you

You are coming from a different place than most of us. Your kid was not failing all his classes, was not kicked out of several schools for behavior issues, was able to relate to others socially, and was coordinated enough to play sports. For MANY of us one, or more, of these things was happening to our child, or us.

Can you put yourself in our shoes? I sat at work crying from the 10th phone call that week about my son....actually crying because he isn't a bad kid he just does crazy non destructive things that the school won't allow. He's failing every class, he's in in school suspension weekly, the phone calls won't stop and I'm trying everything to be a good mom but he's slipping through the cracks, I'm failing as a parent, he will NEVER have a good job, never graduate high school, oh my God will someone please help me....and then he started ADHD meds, and my life, his life, our whole families lives changed.

When you find a miracle you share it. You didn't need a miracle which is why we aren't on the same page.

mildadhd
08-03-17, 11:10 AM
But the thing is that I did not ask about treatment. And just because I did not ask about treatment doesn't mean that I'm not treating him. It's crazy to make that assumption. I asked for advice on getting my son to understand his diagnosis, perhaps a support group (I see that this forum has something for teens), etc. I was hoping that perhaps some parents would have some ideas.....this wasn't about whether to medicate or not. Or what approach I should take in addressing his diagnosis. I'm sure that folks are eager to share their knowledge. I'm thankful for the advice I've received thus far.

Sorry, if it appeared i was implying that your son was not receiving treatment.

I am not familiar with the teen or groups section here at ADDForums.

I was getting caught up with my own agenda in the off topic debate.

I think it is great that he decided he wants to discuss things with a psychiatrist, that's a pretty big step, in regards to learning more about himself.






M

Lunacie
08-03-17, 11:18 AM
Hi Mom2tnx

I understand your frustration, and I take ADHD medication.

Imagine going to a forum meant to discuss about different types of treatment for different types of diabetes, and being being told the only treatment option to discuss about is insulin.

Even if your doctor does not recommend insulin.

I really appreciate ADDForums, my issue is not with the creators moderatoring of this forum, it's the one demensional medication only treatment approach by some members that can be bewildering.

If your son is happy, maybe he will be more interested in learning about ADHD when he gets older?

It's great that you are learning now, to possibly help him if he finds himself struggling or interned, in the future?






M

I have never seen members of this forum tell anyone that meds are the ONLY
treatment option for adhd.

It did seem that way to me at first, but in time I realized that what they were
actually saying is that treatment with meds is the only treatment that has
good research results to back up their effectiveness, safe long term results,
and the majority have found them to be effective.

Nothing else compares to the effectiveness of stimulant meds in treating this
disorder. So why not start with what has been proven to work safely in most
patients with adhd?

Maybe because there is still a stigma around mental disorders and treatments
for them? There is very little stigma to the illness of diabetes or the need to
use insulin to treat it.

We certainly do have members who post about alternative treatments that
have worked well for them but simply don't work as well for as many others.

mildadhd
08-03-17, 11:25 AM
I have never seen members of this forum tell anyone that meds are the ONLY
treatment option for adhd.

It did seem that way to me at first, but in time I realized that what they were
actually saying is that treatment with meds is the only treatment that has
good research results to back up their effectiveness, safe long term results,
and the majority have found them to be effective.

Nothing else compares to the effectiveness of stimulant meds in treating this
disorder. So why not start with what has been proven to work safely in most
patients with adhd?

Maybe because there is still a stigma around mental disorders and treatments
for them? There is very little stigma to the illness of diabetes or the need to
use insulin to treat it.

We certainly do have members who post about alternative treatments that
have worked well for them but simply don't work as well for as many others.

Sorry I was off thread discussion topic.





M

Lunacie
08-03-17, 11:30 AM
Sorry I was of thread discussion topic





M

:lol:

You post about that, but then chastize me for responding to your post.

:rolleyes:

mildadhd
08-03-17, 11:38 AM
:lol:

You post about that, but then chastize me for responding to your post.

:rolleyes:

I reread the thread this morning and I was off topic.

If you want to discuss a different topic start a new thread.


M

Lunacie
08-03-17, 12:55 PM
I reread the thread this morning and I was off topic.

If you want to discuss a different topic start a new thread.


M

I don't agree that discussing medication along with other treatments is off-topic.
The OP herself mentioned being resistant to meds without explaining why she
has this opinion. Naturally some of us were curious about that and wanted to
share some of our own opinions on medication.

Mom2tnx
08-04-17, 07:50 AM
You are coming from a different place than most of us. Your kid was not failing all his classes, was not kicked out of several schools for behavior issues, was able to relate to others socially, and was coordinated enough to play sports. For MANY of us one, or more, of these things was happening to our child, or us.

Can you put yourself in our shoes? I sat at work crying from the 10th phone call that week about my son....actually crying because he isn't a bad kid he just does crazy non destructive things that the school won't allow. He's failing every class, he's in in school suspension weekly, the phone calls won't stop and I'm trying everything to be a good mom but he's slipping through the cracks, I'm failing as a parent, he will NEVER have a good job, never graduate high school, oh my God will someone please help me....and then he started ADHD meds, and my life, his life, our whole families lives changed.

When you find a miracle you share it. You didn't need a miracle which is why we aren't on the same page.

I am truly so sorry for what you're going through. I can only imagine....I went through a really rough time when my son was around 4-5 years old. It's heartbreaking as a parent to face any type of challenge with your children. We all want them to be healthy, happy and prosperous! I posted this thread seeking a bit of advice and support for my particular situation but I'd never want to come across as dismissive of others situation.

Caco3girl
08-04-17, 11:51 AM
I am truly so sorry for what you're going through. I can only imagine....I went through a really rough time when my son was around 4-5 years old. It's heartbreaking as a parent to face any type of challenge with your children. We all want them to be healthy, happy and prosperous! I posted this thread seeking a bit of advice and support for my particular situation but I'd never want to come across as dismissive of others situation.

He's better now, has 3.3 GPA, and ISS was down to only 6 days last year, all of it for stupid impulsive stuff that would have been fine outside of school. He has improved greatly and is a MUCH happier person. I told you all that to explain why we all jumped on the medicate him bandwagon, which frustrated you, and I wanted you to know where we were coming from.

Many kids on this site were much worse off than my son, medicating our kids ADHD...well I'm not exaggerating when I say it altered the course of their lives for the better. You have every right to choose your sons path, we just are all so relieved our kids have a chance at life now that the thought of not medicating them...well we didn't want your kid to have the problems our kids had. My son actually told a teacher he was too stupid for school and he was going to drop out after 10th grade, when he legally could. YOUR kid isn't having these problems, but many of us thought of our kids. Hope that makes sense.