Teen with ADD: Struggling Academically..Need Direction


While my husband has  ADD… doesn’t lose things,  is helpful  with chores etc., nice guy, just he struggles mostly with processing of information and gets overwhelmed and cannot plan things well or move forward. He is going to CHADD meetings and finally “seeing the light”, because he has finally identified with someone who understands his struggles etc….I feel blessed we have found some direction and answers to stop our madness.. BUT……

Our 2nd  child,  a son, age 16 seems to have similar patterns. I think I’ve always known it, but was in denial as I couldn’t bear to have my child going through the same as his dad for the last 15 year…I was overwhelmed with my husbands situation, and impact to ur marriage... let alone having my sons issues as well which arent terribly pronounced except academically.

When he was younger age 3-6yrs  he was constant motion and we suspected ADD.  Had him tested and his pschologist thought he had ADD.  We put him on 18 MG of Concerta ( low dose from what we understand)into 4th- 6th grade and it helped. No longer did it take him 1 hour to write a simple 5 sentence thank you note, and the meds helped his focus ability….

As puberty hit around 13 we took him offConcerta for the summer months as he didn’t need to highly focus unless it was academics in the school year….He seemed calm, on task etc, so we guestimated the change in hormones during his teen years didn’t warrant staying on the meds….His school work as easy, so we didn’t notice  the lack of concentration, focus ability etc…He is not on meds and he has been doing fine  over the last 2-3 years…He’s helpful, 6”2’ 215 lbs, a good kid, sports Jock… football  & wrestling, is highly social, has many  friends and does average in school. He does chores, is mostly conscienscious, follows directions and can get a little obstinate at time, but we chalk that up to general teenage behavior nonetheless. 

Now that he is in high school I see many parallels to my husbands ADD behavior which concern me  and appear to be blossoming. Last  year as a freshman, his grades were average (3.6 GPA weighted due to advances classes but can go from getting as A to B  to C to D to F all in a 2 week period…. He is bright and does the work..His teachers comments are that he is “ excelling in mediocrity” right now….We aren’t expecting straight A’s by any means, but B’s are certainly reasonable  for his ability level and we’d like him  to eliminate the D’s and F’s for greater consistency. He has the ability and has demonstrated so….Just not consistently.

A few days ago my husband asked him to complete a learning ability question assessment  and check the boxes….He identified 5-6 areas by himself, yet when I ask him what he needs help with, he cant articulate it well…He knows high level details, yet when it gets to details he cant express or write them well….( this also sounds like my husband)….So as an example in Algebra…He knows the answer, gets it right,  but cant readily show his work( details) so he loses test points.

My son knows the material, studies, thinks he did well on a test, and comes home with  D!  Punishment doesn’t  work, taking away his sports actually hurts him more, as the sports regime keeps him on schedule and busy and active which is better for his brain and focus levels. Sports motivates him to  keep active and on schedule…

Have talked to the teachers and were not getting a lot of distractibility concerns…If we ask him how his focus is, he says o.k…He tends to like to get done quickly because he thinks he knows the work, and doesn’t check his work.....Also has problem with 3 part questions..Gets to the first part, and never answers 2nd or 3rd part….so he loses points. He appears to have “ processing” issues….

This year we put him in a special study hall program with tutor help so if his grades  due take a dive he has tutors to help with study skills, test taking etc…..This just started….His curriculum will be harder this year, and I’m concerned there may be other underlying things going on here…Im temped to try him  back on Meds but I’m not sure my son will be receptive at this point…Next steps are to get him reevaluated with ADD….

Any insights for Teens with ADD..?

I’m grateful we are figuring out my husbands ADD but am overwhelmed and want to get my son some help quickly in school…..

Blessing to you…I’m trying to count mine!