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Posted on other forums... but really need as much help as possible here.


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Okay, I am at my wits end here with Ds#1

 

As posted before... he is a borderline genius dx with asthma, Asperger Syndrome, Sensory Integration Disorder, and ADD.

 

In 8th grade he placed into college level courses. We tried him with a course 2nd semester of 9th grade. It was a introductory computer course and academically he did fine. He struggled a bit on the ethics papers that were required but he got through them. He was late turning in some assignments but the work itself was good. The issue is that he struggles with the independence and organizational aspects of college course.

 

But the college course isn't the big issue here.... the issue is with his courses he does at home!!!!!!

 

He wanted to graduate high school early and then attend CC full time for two years before transfering to a university. He wants to study astrophysics. All through public school (we started hsing 9th grade) I was told that homeschooling would fit better for him as he could go his own accelerated pace. Repeatedly I was told by his teachers (especially math and science) that he learns/master the material in first 10 minutes of class and then sits the rest of the time bored (and refusing to do "wasting time" assignments). So for years the ps waived many of his assignments if he did well on the exams. I think that he was able to do this because he was receiving some information in the lectures and it was enough for him to get by on the exams.

 

But at home it isn't working out. The issue is he is so very.very.very.slow at getting the assignments done. What takes most people 45 minutes takes him 8 hours!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:willy_nilly::willy_nilly:

 

He says he wants to do the work on his own. He hates having anyone around him when he is doing school work. But he gets nothing done!!!!! He is so far behind in his education and the pace he is going... he will be lucky to graduate high school by the time he is 21 years old!!!!!!!!!!!!:confused:

 

I really don't know what to do. :confused: :crying: :banghead:

 

I am so worried that I am ruining him. For right now the only courses I am having him do are:

 

Composition Essays: We do a "3 week cycle". We are using "Writing Clear Essays" as a text. It has 14 chapters. Week 1: He is to read a chapter and do a few assignments. Week 2: Write a 2 page essay based on what chapter topic was covered in the essay text. Week 3: Do an practice SAT essay prompt (Monday, he gets 2 hours to write the paper like if he was taking the SAT test, then he can edit it, rewrite it, and type final draft due by Friday of same week.

 

World History II: Read the chapter, do section homework questions in text book. Do on-line quizzes/chapter tests from publisher site. Do a unit project (there are total of 5 units this year).

 

Precalculus: Read and practice problems for each section (up to him how many problems to do), do the chapter tests on line, and every 3 chapters or so do a cumulative exam. That is it. The problems he completes for assignments is all up to him.

 

Chemistry (17 chapters): Read the Chapter, Do homework problems, do chapter quiz on line at publishers website, Do 7 cumulative exams. We haven't even attempted the labs... he is only on chapter 5!!!!

 

Science Fiction Literature: for 1/2 credit he is to read 5 books, Complete a reading journal for 5 books, and write 2 book reports. He has 4 weeks to complete each book.

 

And he still needs to finish some 9th grade courses: Health,World History I, and World Literature. He is about 3/4 of the way done on all of these.

 

I know that sending him to ps is not what is best for him, he isn't ready to handle full college courses, but homeschooling him isn't working!!!!!! I have no other options!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Oh and it doesn't help that Dh is saying I absolutely cannot put a grade lower than a C on the transcripts and that Ds will graduate on time no.matter.what. But how??? The kid isn't going to finish hardly any of the courses fully. And it absolutely would not be right nor fair that his twin sister is getting all the work done (actually more!!!!) and doing her best to get good grades. I refuse to do what the ps has done for 9 years.... letting Ds go on without getting the work completed. Just isn't right IMO.

 

Thank you for letting me rant and vent my frustrations.

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This might not be what you want to hear but have you tried medication? Honestly, it makes ALL the difference for my 14dd. She is not highly gifted but on the meds she can sit and do her work and complete it alone. Without the meds EVERYTHING was a battle to get through.

 

If he is struggling this much and it is really hindering from working at his full potential it might be worth a trial.

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Is he doing his work in front of you, so that you can see what's possibly distracting him?

 

 

No... he is having fits when we make him do it around us. He says everything is distracting him.

 

I have tried taking him to public library... he got nothing done.

 

I have let him do it in the basement, in his bedroom, in the kitchen, in the living room... no where seems to work.

 

I have let him do the work at CC in study area when he was taking the CC course last year... he still didn't get the work done although he did get a tiny bit more done than at home.

 

He is asking for us to have the doctor "fix" him. But Dh is adamently opposed to medicating for ADHD, etc ... and I am in agreement (although for different reasons to do with health issues). But IMO as Ds is almost 16 yrs old... he should have a say in it and I think we should have him talk to doctors. But Dh won't allow prescription medications. Ds can go to all the therapies, chiropractor, naturalists available in the world.... but no medication is allowed. I would take him to chiropractor but Ds hate.hates.hates to be touched. So that would only stress him out more. Therapists will want to medicate (BTDT with another of our kids in past and he had to be medicated... it was a mess for many years (in and out of hospital, major drug reactions, etc) and when he turned 16 he refused anymore medications and his therapists/psych refused to treat him anymore).

 

So I have to figure something out for Ds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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I agree with Ottakee. My ds sounds very similar to your ds. Meds have made ALL the difference in the world. He will be the first to tell you that it is a relief to finally be able to focus.

 

 

I would at least consider it... but Dh says absolutely no to medications for this.

 

But Ds has severe chronic asthma, allergies, and extremely underweight as it is. His pediatrician says that medicating is an option and is willing to give a trial run with a few milder options... he is concerned also that the side effects could do more harm.

 

But Dh says no.

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I still stand by my suggestion to try medication as at least it has been studied extensively in kids where many supplements have not.

 

I do understand about negative reactions as we have had some here but it was worth it to find the right medication.

 

Here are some ideas though you can try:

 

1. Exercise---30+ minutes of vigerous exercise a day

2. Good sleep habits---same sleep/wake time each day

3. Limit electronics

4. Eat a diet higher in protein and good carbs and lower in processed foods.

5. Try headphones even with quiet music playing

6. Omega 3s---1000mg or more of EPA can be hepful. Make sure it is 1000mg of EPA, not just total fish oil

7. Vitamin D

8. Caffeine

 

If you are willing to reconsider his request to see a doctor for meds, check out the posts here from adults that finally started on meds and how it changed their lives for the better.

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We have the same medical issues here as well but dd is not underweight anymore.

 

Has your doctor ever check his thyroid and sub thyroid levels? Sometimes thyroid problems can look like or go along with other issues and might play a role in his weight. I would also check for anemia, blood sugars, etc. to see if anything else is going on.

 

I would at least consider it... but Dh says absolutely no to medications for this.

 

But Ds has severe chronic asthma, allergies, and extremely underweight as it is. His pediatrician says that medicating is an option and is willing to give a trial run with a few milder options... he is concerned also that the side effects could do more harm.

 

But Dh says no.

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I would at least consider it... but Dh says absolutely no to medications for this.

 

But Ds has severe chronic asthma, allergies, and extremely underweight as it is. His pediatrician says that medicating is an option and is willing to give a trial run with a few milder options... he is concerned also that the side effects could do more harm.

 

But Dh says no.

 

Normally I would recommend Dr. prescribed medications but in this case may I recommend some natural supplements that have been shown to help people with ADD? Of course this would depend on if he has food allergies. Both zinc and fish oil (2000 - 3000 mg of refined fish oil for someone his age) are known to help with ADD. Usually they take longer to start working.

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We have the same medical issues here as well but dd is not underweight anymore.

 

Has your doctor ever check his thyroid and sub thyroid levels? Sometimes thyroid problems can look like or go along with other issues and might play a role in his weight. I would also check for anemia, blood sugars, etc. to see if anything else is going on.

 

 

I will bring this up with his ped. He was checked when much younger as he was so underweight... but blood tests were fine.

 

He is currently about 5'7" and weights about 110lbs. We celebrated when he broke the 100lb mark-:lol:. He eats constantly too-LOL. He is trying to bulk up but so far not happening. He keeps growing taller instead.:tongue_smilie:

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Here are some ideas though you can try:

1. Exercise---30+ minutes of vigerous exercise a day

2. Good sleep habits---same sleep/wake time each day

3. Limit electronics

4. Eat a diet higher in protein and good carbs and lower in processed foods.

5. Try headphones even with quiet music playing

6. Omega 3s---1000mg or more of EPA can be hepful. Make sure it is 1000mg of EPA, not just total fish oil

7. Vitamin D

8. Caffeine

 

 

Thankyou... I will try these out... if I can get him to do them-LOL.

 

He does exercise often doing Kung Fu and bowling... and he often walks with me in afternoons the mile to elementary school to pick up his little brother. But it may not be vigorous enough... but it also depend on his asthma.

 

His sleep habits have been rough lately.. But not sure why. He used to be a very good sleeper but only sleep about 6 hours a night (even as a baby he sleep less than "normal"). He has been having troubles getting to sleep lately and we tried melatonin. He says it didn't help. But he is a teen and lately he has been very irregular in going to bed... getting up is regular time though.

 

The electronics are off during school days... although he says that being able to fiddle around with his computer programs, etc helps him. He says he needs several mental breaks and that is what he does. But I don't see it and so I am putting a stop to that... again.

 

Dietary issues is a problem... due to his sensory issues he refuses some foods. But I think I can up his protein.

 

He primarily only wants to eat carbs and cheese. Cereal (no milk in cereal) or bagel in morning. He loves pasta and rice... plain with parmesan cheese and garlic, he doesn't like sauces. He does like Kraft Mac and Cheese (but we try to keep this limited).

 

For meat products he will only eat... deli sliced ham, boneless/skinless chicken, boneless/skinless butterfly porkchops, Gortons Italian breaded fish filets, fish sticks, cheeseburgers, beef hotdogs, and bacon. That is it on meats (before he was 5 yrs old it was no meat at all except cheeseburgers). He will not eat roasts, steaks, or whole chicken or turkey, or whole hams. Nor meats/foods that are mixed with something (stew, chili, soup, casseroles). He does like peanut butter.

 

Veggies/fruits are difficult too.. he only eats green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, peas, onions, bell peppers, bananas, canned peaches. That is it.

 

I will try the headphones... he doesn't usually like things on his ears (he can't even stand his hair touching his ears)... but he may try it.

 

I will try the supplements... how long should I expect it take before finding if it will help or not... a month or so? He takes a children's multi as prescribed by his ped.

 

He won't drink caffeine products. 90% of the time he only drinks water. He isn't much on milk either.. but he forces himself to drink a cup a day-LOL. He only likes a specific brand milk and prefers it to be 1% (but he tolerates 2% since that is what everyone else in house prefers.. other than Dh who only drinks whole milk) and never ever puts flavor mixes in it.

 

So the dietary issues could be a major factor in all this. But so hard to get him to try new things and if we take out a lot of it that is high calories.. I worry he will loose weight that he can't afford to loose.

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If he was getting the material under his belt in the first 10 minutes of class in school - was it lecture material? Is he an auditory learner? Sounds like having to read by himself is bogging him down.

 

And I agree - in two years he can get medicine w/o his father's permission. If he does then, and finds a med that truly helps him focus, etc., ....how will he feel towards the dad who would not let him try meds a couple years earlier, and thereby just made his life more difficult than it had to be?

 

All my four kids have been on one med or another at one time or another from our pediatric neurologist (although only SillyAutismMan is still on anything).

Edited by JFSinIL
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Can he do some of the work orally?

 

My son has mild SPD and writing is very hard for him. We do most of the work orally and work on writing as a separate subject.

 

Can he type vs handwriting?

 

Also, I agree with pp that the format of read, write is very difficult for an auditory learner. I am like your son. I made honor roll in college without textbooks or notes. Everything I needed to know was in the lecture. Maybe try a DVD type curriculum where he can listen instead of read?

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Also, he sounds like a prime candidate for gluten free/casein free diet. Many kids who eat limited foods like your son (starches and dairy to the exclusion of other foods) actually have a metabolic problem that causes the foods to be brokwn down into toxins which increase or even cause their symptoms outright.

many families have seen huge improvements in their children simply by eliminating these foods.

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I did not encourage him to take medication for ADD. In fact, he did not know he even had ADD until he did some online research himself when he was 15, approached us, and said he thought he had ADD and wondered if we would take him to the Dr. for a trial of medication. He had totally forgotten the testing he had at age 10 that clarified this as well as some other stuff.

 

He is like a different person on meds. It helped him so much to overcome some major social anxiety and function more normally socially. His personality seemed more like the sweet person I'd always known he was, but was often obscured with oppositional stuff (we had a lot of problems with this). School changed from a daily, huge challenge for me and him to him being able to self-direct 90% of it with minimal input or guidance from me.

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First off... how do I do several individual quotes in one post so that my responses can be easier to read?

 

you realize that ds will be able to walk into his dr. and get a script w/o your knowledge when he turns 18, right? If you think that ds should have some say in the situation, point out to your dh that your time to monitor side effects and that kind of thing is quickly waning.

 

Yes I know... but Dh isn't willing to discuss this topic. I think watching nephew (whom we raised from age 8 to still raising him at 21-LOL) go through some major side effects with medicating that has really turned Dh off any medications for ADHD issues. Dh's sister tried talking to him (her 21yr old is ADD). So really I don't think there is anything I can do about this. Going behind his back... it just isn't right IMO.

 

You can't expect a child to go from having a teacher to teaching himself overnight. Everything you are doing is a "read the book, write something" set up. Maybe this doesn't fit him very well. Maybe he needs auditory input. Can you teach any of these subjects? Dialogue about the writing, get his science text on tape. Yes, he can read it but it might help to hear it.

 

LOL, because his school teachers never really "taught" him much. He has always been a voracious reader and soaked up the material by reading. All through school he just read the text books cover to cover in the first few weeks and then wouldn't touch them again later. He learned the material well enough to nearly ace the tests. But the texts were at his grade level, not his academic level. So the material was very easy and most of it he knew already. He enjoys discussions and so that is what we try to do... but honestly... I can't meet his intellectual level for how he thinks.

 

The issue is getting the writing assignments done... he has always needed a lot of redirection. We thought it was due to boredom and that the assignments were "wasting his time". After all, writing out 8th grade astronomy terms on index cards for him to "study" was a waste of his time since he was reading college level astronomy books since 3rd grade and knew the 8th grade material like the back of his hand.

Also , consider the difficulty level. Is it still too easy? Is it too hard? Is he checking out for one of these reasons? I can't really tell from the descriptions, but most gifted kids do better with open ended things that allow them to explore and work at their own pace.

 

I don't know... the text books we are using are college level text books. But he has been reading college books since 3rd grade. So I can't see them being too hard now. And if they are too easy... I don't know what I can do about that.

But the work we have him do... are college level work.. I think. Except the essays... he is only required to do 1-2 page essays ever. Never required to do more as we just know he will never get them done... at this time in his educational development. He doesn't like to write (and he isn't fond of doing it on computer although that was an accommodation in school that he had... do all writing on computer).

If he is ready, can he just take all of his classes at the CC? Can he do some of them online from home so that you can help more with the organization and such? Just because he is ready for college level work and instruction does not mean he is ready for the organizational requirements (especially with unmedicated ADD). Can he just go to the college and you act as his support system to keep him organized and moving forward. gradually passing off those responsibilities to him over the next few years?

 

We did try this for one course last year (second semester of 9th grade). He still struggled. He found that he actually needed to study and he has no idea how to study. We had the Student Accommodations center work with him and he did get a C+ in the class. He struggled with a few ethics papers (what can he write with experience/knowledge about professional ethics as a 14yr old boy?). Part of the issue was that Ds couldn't/wouldn't ask for help with his professor nor go to his professor if he needed anything explained. I really don't know if the autism issues was too much at this time. Also, Ds can't read cursive (we did let professor know this) so if professor wrote cursive on board... Ds may not have understood it all.

I am seriously reconsidering online cc courses. The CC he attended was more than willing to let him take courses even when Ds was only 14yrs old. But I worried that he wouldn't be able to handle a full college course load when he struggled with the one course (and all he had to do was attend lecture/lab twice a week, all the quizzes/exams were open book and done at home via blackboard). And since he still didn't get the homeschooled courses completed... well we opted to not spend the $$, and we are trying to move from Chicago to northeatern PA.

Just so much that I need to figure out and I just don't really know for sure either way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What is it that we did wrong that we could have done to help him succeed more in the CC class?

How do I know what curriculum, or teaching process is best for him???????? So far what we thought was better didn't work.. and the ps way didn't work either.

How am I going to get him prepared to attend a university as an astrophysics major?????!!!!!!

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Can he do some of the work orally?

 

My son has mild SPD and writing is very hard for him. We do most of the work orally and work on writing as a separate subject.

 

Can he type vs handwriting?

 

Also, I agree with pp that the format of read, write is very difficult for an auditory learner. I am like your son. I made honor roll in college without textbooks or notes. Everything I needed to know was in the lecture. Maybe try a DVD type curriculum where he can listen instead of read?

 

 

But I don't think he is an auditory learner... He just read all the text books in school during the first few weeks and then that was it. He tunes out lectures (at least that is what his ps teachers always told me), that he would just cover his ears and read. But he does love discussions... just not lectures I am thinking.

 

Unless I am way off here...

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He is asking for us to have the doctor "fix" him. But Dh is adamently opposed to medicating for ADHD, etc ...

 

But Dh won't allow prescription medications.!!

 

Oh and it doesn't help that Dh is saying I absolutely cannot put a grade lower than a C on the transcripts and that Ds will graduate on time no.matter.what.

 

These issues jumped out at me. :001_huh: To me, they signal a possible major issue.

 

Your nearing adulthood son says he wants to work on his own, but he's not doing the work. His brilliance is ahead of his maturity. To the extent you *can*, I would match his unwillingness to focus/work with the greatest amount of supervision until his maturity and discipline match his academic needs.

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These issues jumped out at me. :001_huh: To me, they signal a possible major issue.

 

Your nearing adulthood son says he wants to work on his own, but he's not doing the work. His brilliance is ahead of his maturity. To the extent you *can*, I would match his unwillingness to focus/work with the greatest amount of supervision until his maturity and discipline match his academic needs.

:iagree: As a former schoolteacher and parent of a special needs child/Asperger's/ADHD/etc, I do think there is a huge issue with what ds is saying he wants to accomplish versus reality. The gap he is in -- is due to that he is not able to do this successfully without some intervention, accomodations, or help.

 

One thing I have learned as a teacher and parent working with Asperger students, is that many are very challenged with organizational skills. And the classic portrait of an Aspie teen is very immature. Learning to be independent workers at the High School or College setting is a challenge. But it is possible.

 

OP: Have you had ds evaluated for mild learning disabilities (i.e. working memory, organization skills, etc.) to better understand what type of processing, ADHD, and type of learning style he has? I would do this before quickly resorting to medication. (I'm not knocking meds -- but suggesting to better understand what is going on neurologically first -- academically finding out what is the problem.)

 

And have you registered him with the community college office of disabilities? I know they work with Asperger's (I'm about to do dual enrollment with my Aspie teen) and make a BIG point of training the Asperger student communication skills to be able to approach the professor should there be a question or concern with grading. They will even deal with the professor if the student is unsure or not able to communicate effectively. (This is what our local jc/cc program does.) HTH

Edited by tex-mex
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I've said this before on other threads. My son is ADD and age 23. HIS biggest regret is that WE didn't put him on meds when he needed them at age 9. He is on them now. He called me after his first college class on meds, CRYING. He went on and on...."Mom, it's so amazing! Mom, I CAN do this! Mom, I'm NOT a looser!"

 

I used to be you. It's MY biggest regret. So I can say all this and I'm not judging. I'm telling you what a big mistake I made and recomending you don't make the same one.

 

Kids who NEED meds...um....NEED meds. If you won't get him the meds that will help him, then don't expect him to do things that ADHD kids can't do without meds. It just doesn't make sense. If you are going to stick with the no meds rule, then, other then making what ever lifestyle adjustments you can that will help a little, accept him as he is. He might just take till he's 21 to finish high school. That's the choice. You need to own your choice. There is no secret, healthy, fix for this.

 

Remember this. An ADD/ ADHD kid FEELS like an idiot ALL THE TIME, even if his parents don't harp on his failures and inabilities. Add in parents' huffs, eye rolls, and visible frustration (and possible yelling, anger and punishment) and your kid probably literally hates himself. Can you imagine the daily life of TRYING so hard, with all your might, day after day to "do school" and being completely unable to? Meds give a kid the chance to feel NORMAL for the first time in his life! Meds give a kid the chance to BELIEVE that it is a mixup in the brain and NOT HIS FAULT. You can tell him all you want, "It's not your fault, honey, it's brain chemistry." But if you expect him to "change" or "get better" without REAL help, then he won't believe a word you say. He'll just believe he's an idiot.

 

Meds work for the vast majority that take them. Period.

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I've said this before on other threads. My son is ADD and age 23. HIS biggest regret is that WE didn't put him on meds when he needed them at age 9. Meds work for the vast majority that take them. Period.

 

 

This is a very good point. You wouldn't ask a kid who needed glasses to go without them but yet do the same level of fine detail work or a child that needs a hearing aid to listen and take notes in a lecture without it.

 

Meds also are not a life long decision. I would seek out a top notch adolescent psychiatrist (not just your reg. doctor) to work with you on this. They have tons of experience with medications. Yes, it might take several trials to find the right medication and dose but when you do, the difference can be amazing.

 

I am not all for putting every active little boy on meds just to make them sit still in class but I have seen when I was a special ed. teacher kids who needed meds and once they started them their grade, social behavior, etc. all went WAY up. Then there was one boy whose parents took him off the meds again and once again he was struggling.

 

Obviously we are not telling you to go against dh's wishes but would he go to a doctor with you to discuss this? Another risk is that as the kids get older they turn to other things in place of properly prescribed meds---alcohol and drugs are big ones.

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I have a ds14 with Aspergers in 9th grade with little organizational skills. The bane of his education is writing. We took over a week to start a research paper on Wounded Knee for American History just before Christmas break. I wrote the outline for him. He wrote the introductory paragraph. I was about in tears and gave up because I needed a long break. We're picking up where we left off on Monday. I'm so NOT looking forward to this!

 

One thing that has helped me help him is a book called Organizing the Disorganized Child. It had lots of info, some of it not relevant to us. I just skipped those parts.

 

One thing that helps him stay focused is choosing times to do things. I have to have him pick a time to take a shower or start school work. He won't complain when it's time because he knows when it will start. Sometimes we pick a time when he can take a break. It helps him focus if he knows there is a stopping point. Also, we always look at his work. If I leave him totally alone, he'll daydream and procrastinate. He's just not ready to be completely independent yet. I'm hoping he'll get there by the time he graduates.

 

We started him in high school in 8th grade, but he's on track with peers. It's going to take 2 years to finish 9th grade. Next fall, he'll be a 10th grader and I've already started warning him that he will have a full load of 6 classes. I'm NOT looking forward to that either!

 

Editing to add: I'm so jealous that your son has such a repertoire of foods to eat!! My son is WAY limited. It's exhausting!

Edited by Night Elf
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my ds has ADD, sensory integration dysfunction, nonverbal learning disorder, and a near genius IQ. The thing that is standing in his way to college is executive function deficits. My ds is in a public high school in an IB program. Until now he never had to study or be organized to get by. I tried and tried to teach him how to study and how to organize. He's completely arrogant about how brilliant he is, his teachers all say he is brilliant, but he can't do the class work and can't get the grades. He'd probably have similar or worse issues in "regular" classes.

 

If I had to do anything over I would have pushed harder on organization and I do wish I could go back to first grade to do this. I recently read a study that said executive function deficits were a bigger predictor of failure in college than the inability to read. My ds does take meds, but we've recently switched and haven't found the thing that really works for ds yet. We were against meds for a long time too. I would like him to improve his diet (he is gluten free and we have no dyes at home, but he eats junk and no veggies). I would like him to exercise daily. And I would like him to have better sleep hygiene. Diet, exercise and sleep play major roles in attention, anxiety and depression.

 

I done some reading and talked to a few people and the only thing I can conclude is that ds has to figure it out. And that may mean big failures. That may mean ds decides to go to college and wastes his money failing out. That may mean he gets more depressed because he sees himself as so smart and yet can't do.

 

I do think you dh needs to rethink his position on meds, if your ds wants to consider meds. I do think your dh is wrong for saying you can't assign grades that match your ds's work. You do your ds a disservice "giving" him grades. My ds already knows he's not going to get into some of the competitive top tier schools he feels he's worthy of. However, that may be to my ds's advantage--some of the "lower tier" schools have big programs for students with LDs, including executive function deficits. So, if my ds is ready to admit a need for help, help is there. What my ds wants to do will require grad school anyway, so the other advantage of a "lower tier" school is that ds can be a stand out and make it easier for him to be noticed by professors and form relationships/connections/get in on special research projects. Doing those things might be harder for a kid with social problems at a more competitive university.

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There is no motivation to get the work done in a timely manner.

 

Both my boys did the same thing your ds is doing - taking forever to complete their work (they were homeschooled k-8 and k-7). It became a HUGE struggle to get the daily work done. It magically disappeared when I enrolled them in school (gr. 9 & gr. 8)! They learned that they had to use their time efficiently. They also became organized!

 

I suggest finding a school in your area that will challenge him academically while giving him the motivation to get his work done.

Edited by MIch elle
typo
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There is no motivated to get the work done in a timely manner.

 

Both my boys did the same thing your ds is doing - taking forever to complete their work (they were homeschooled k-8 and k-7). It became a HUGE struggle to get the daily work done. It magically disappeared when I enrolled them in school (gr. 9 & gr. 8)! They learned that they had to use their time efficiently. They also became organized!

 

I suggest finding a school in your area that will challenge him academically while giving him the motivation to get his work done.

 

I believe attending a typical school can be a wake up call for the need to be organized with time, assignments and materials. However, for a student with serious organizational issues it is not enough. And I found high school age is too late for me to have an impact on teaching organizational skills to a student (albeit highly intellectually gifted) with serious problems in this area. Now, my dd who is gifted, mildly dyslexic and mildly ADD (identified, but not using meds), the structure of the school day in combination with high achieving friends was just the wake up call she needed --all A honor roll in all honors classes. Her brother has the higher IQ, but has much bigger problems with ADD, anxiety, executive function, etc. Going to public school did not magically make him organized and able to deal with structure imposed upon him. The only thing I can say is it wasn't just me and home, but that doesn't help.

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This is a very good point. You wouldn't ask a kid who needed glasses to go without them but yet do the same level of fine detail work or a child that needs a hearing aid to listen and take notes in a lecture without it

 

:iagree: I was thinking it's like telling an ampute to run the 5K just as fast as everyone else, and no, you may not have your prosthetic leg. It just makes no sense.

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OP: Have you had ds evaluated for mild learning disabilities (i.e. working memory, organization skills, etc.) to better understand what type of processing, ADHD, and type of learning style he has? I would do this before quickly resorting to medication. (I'm not knocking meds -- but suggesting to better understand what is going on neurologically first -- academically finding out what is the problem.)

 

And have you registered him with the community college office of disabilities? I know they work with Asperger's (I'm about to do dual enrollment with my Aspie teen) and make a BIG point of training the Asperger student communication skills to be able to approach the professor should there be a question or concern with grading. They will even deal with the professor if the student is unsure or not able to communicate effectively. (This is what our local jc/cc program does.) HTH

 

He hasn't been evaluated for anything more since he was dx when he was 9yrs old. At that time he was seen by several specialists, was tested for IQ, Sensory Integratrion, ADD, and learning disabilities. They found he he has Asperger Syndrome, border-line genius IQ, ADD, and a writing disability (something about executive functioning of getting things written on paper).

 

He had an IEP from 4th through 8th grades in public school. His organization skills were nonexistent. The schools "promised" many things but didn't follow through even though it was in his IEP. We fought for years. Finally we just pulled him to homeschool him when it was obvious that the high school was NOT going to help him.

 

The special ed director even said that because Ds was to be in honors classes that he shouldn't NEED any accommodations or assistance and that he will just need to get over his attitude not doing all the work and just get it done on time. Um, everyone else in the IEP meeting jaws dropped!!! It was so obvious that this person did not understand Asperger Syndrome.

 

At CC he was receiving disability accommodations (audio recorder in class, note takers, extended test time) and they gave him tutoring and counseling. They gave Ds a letter to give to professor and we did meet with professor before enrolling him in the class. So the professor knew about Ds's challenges and strengths. We also had Ds sign the disclosure that allows Dh and me to talk to professors, check his grades, etc.

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I used to be you. It's MY biggest regret. So I can say all this and I'm not judging. I'm telling you what a big mistake I made and recomending you don't make the same one.

 

Remember this. An ADD/ ADHD kid FEELS like an idiot ALL THE TIME, even if his parents don't harp on his failures and inabilities. Add in parents' huffs, eye rolls, and visible frustration (and possible yelling, anger and punishment) and your kid probably literally hates himself. Can you imagine the daily life of TRYING so hard, with all your might, day after day to "do school" and being completely unable to? Meds give a kid the chance to feel NORMAL for the first time in his life! Meds give a kid the chance to BELIEVE that it is a mixup in the brain and NOT HIS FAULT. You can tell him all you want, "It's not your fault, honey, it's brain chemistry." But if you expect him to "change" or "get better" without REAL help, then he won't believe a word you say. He'll just believe he's an idiot.

 

Meds work for the vast majority that take them. Period.

 

Yes I know... I have ADHD and learning disabilities. I KNOW what it is like. :crying:

 

But there are other issues here that makes medicating him very risky. He has other medical conditions that put him at risk for complications in drug interactions.

 

Also we have gone through disasterous medicating nephew for ADHD and Bipolar. Literally at the age of 10 he was put in the psych hospital for extremely violent behavior (to himself and others) and we found it was due to improper medicating him for the ADHD.

 

So please understand that the medicating for ADHD is a very difficult choice for us. And then add in that even the pediatrician is hesitant to medicating our boys for the ADD/ADHD issues, it just isn't simple at all. The ped is very knowledgable about ADHD and has been very supportive with us when going through all we have with nephew. He recommended us homeschooling to nephew and then Ds#1.

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I have a ds14 with Aspergers in 9th grade with little organizational skills. The bane of his education is writing. We took over a week to start a research paper on Wounded Knee for American History just before Christmas break. I wrote the outline for him. He wrote the introductory paragraph. I was about in tears and gave up because I needed a long break. We're picking up where we left off on Monday. I'm so NOT looking forward to this!

 

One thing that has helped me help him is a book called Organizing the Disorganized Child. It had lots of info, some of it not relevant to us. I just skipped those parts.

 

One thing that helps him stay focused is choosing times to do things. I have to have him pick a time to take a shower or start school work. He won't complain when it's time because he knows when it will start. Sometimes we pick a time when he can take a break. It helps him focus if he knows there is a stopping point. Also, we always look at his work. If I leave him totally alone, he'll daydream and procrastinate. He's just not ready to be completely independent yet. I'm hoping he'll get there by the time he graduates.

 

We started him in high school in 8th grade, but he's on track with peers. It's going to take 2 years to finish 9th grade. Next fall, he'll be a 10th grader and I've already started warning him that he will have a full load of 6 classes. I'm NOT looking forward to that either!

 

Editing to add: I'm so jealous that your son has such a repertoire of foods to eat!! My son is WAY limited. It's exhausting!

 

LOL, about the food. It took years and it is a pain at times. Holiday meals... he literally eats none of it except green beans and biscuit/rolls. Going out to other people's parties... Ds eats before going-LOL.

 

Yes the writing is major difficulty for Ds. I am trying to limit him with it, and he can use a computer. He can do the essays... when he wants to and when it is a topic of his choice. So I try to allow him to choose the topics. He just has to follow the grading guidelines. And I try to get him to do the organizing steps before he writes... but he fights me as saying it is a waste of time when he can just write it out. Ugh!!!!!

 

So yes, a lot of the issues I think is immaturity!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He just can't see the other side of things also... that is an Aspie issue. He can only see what he can see. I have to help him see what others can see. KWIM?

 

And that is where I am having a problem. His reality is not what he wants it to be and he can't see that. He has lofty ideas and goals... but he can't see that there are other things that he needs to work on first. He has so much going through his head that he just can't get it all straightened out.

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There is no motivation to get the work done in a timely manner.

 

Both my boys did the same thing your ds is doing - taking forever to complete their work (they were homeschooled k-8 and k-7). It became a HUGE struggle to get the daily work done. It magically disappeared when I enrolled them in school (gr. 9 & gr. 8)! They learned that they had to use their time efficiently. They also became organized!

 

I suggest finding a school in your area that will challenge him academically while giving him the motivation to get his work done.

 

He was public schooled from K through 8. It didn't work out at all.

 

The public high school we are zoned for is not going to help/work either. BTDT with two other kids we put through there. Homeschooling is the only option. And if we had the money, there would be more options. But the money just isn't there.

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I have very little personal experience with ADD or other similar issues, so take my comments with a grain of salt.

 

To an outsider, it sounds as if your dh and your ds are doing the same thing; they are wanting things to be a certain way that, given the current circumstances, is not going to occur in reality. From your description, there is no way your ds (as is) will graduate on time with good grades. Not.Going.To.Happen. Nor will your your bright ds be able to apply his intellect so long as he is unable to master organization, communication, and self discipline. Just.Won't. Happen.

 

It seems that you are beating yourself up about not being able to make the desired realities happen, but I don't see any way that any human being could work within the circumstances you have and be successful with this.

 

Obviously, something has to change. Your dh needs to realize that individual biochemistry is very different. That's why one child can practically bathe in peanut butter and eat it every single day, while a strong whiff of it could send another child into life-threatening anaphylactic shock. It is unreasonable to assume that the particular meds used for your nephew would have the same effect on your ds, or even that those same meds would be utilized given his unique situation. There are many options for starting your ds on meds, perhaps even while keeping him under close medical supervision for a few weeks.

 

Your son needs to face the fact that his actions are not leading him to the goal he desires. He will either need to work with you to change the actions or change the goal. It doesn't matter who or what is at fault. What matters is reality. The situation will not change unless he does.

 

I can imagine that you would have spent much of his life responding to accommodate his special needs. I mean this gently, but have you accidentally placed a bit too much emphasis on this and not enough on his personal responsibility? I agree with other posters, this does tend to improve with age and mental maturity, and certainly, proper medication might help. Can you all work together to identify any steps that he could realistically take to help himself?

 

My 12yo dd doesn't have any processing issues that I know of, and yet we still are having to do a lot of work to help her recognize that unless she is willing to apply herself to subjects that are boring and no fun, in addition to those she likes, that she will have no realistic chance of attaining her stated career goals. I don't know if it is kids in general or our society at large that fosters the idea that dreams will materialize without the application of a great deal of old fashioned hard work to make them real.

 

I wish you the very best in all this and hope that it will be resolved soon.

Edited by hillfarm
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Also we have gone through disasterous medicating nephew for ADHD and Bipolar. Literally at the age of 10 he was put in the psych hospital for extremely violent behavior (to himself and others) and we found it was due to improper medicating him for the ADHD.

 

So please understand that the medicating for ADHD is a very difficult choice for us. And then add in that even the pediatrician is hesitant to medicating our boys for the ADD/ADHD issues, it just isn't simple at all. The ped is very knowledgable about ADHD and has been very supportive with us when going through all we have with nephew. He recommended us homeschooling to nephew and then Ds#1.

 

I Do understand as my 15 year old daughter is bipolar at at one point when she was much younger she was homicidal/suicidal and psychotic. Honestly, if she had been older than 5 at the time, she would have been hospitalized.

 

IF there is a mood component/possible bipolar at work here, then there ARE meds that can be used that may help him all around and with the attention that are NOT stimulants. Mood stabilizers can treat the ADHD (which is some cases is more mania than true ADHD) or as in our case, you can treat the ADHD AFTER using a mood stabilizer.

 

You are right though, this is nothing to just "play around" with which is why I suggested a top notch psychiatrist. ADHD meds for a bipolar kid (sounds like what happened with your nephew) can be a DISASTER or worse.

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So please understand that the medicating for ADHD is a very difficult choice for us.

 

I DO understand. Completely. But you are missing my main point. If you are not willing to try it, OWN your choice. Why are you frustrated with his progress? He is who he is. How can your DH say, he's not getting meds, but he must perform as though he is? THAT'S what's wrong with your picture. I am sorry for your situation. But don't blame the kid. He will never get over it. If he is not going to get meds, then let him take how ever long it takes to write the dang essay and however long it takes to finish high school and let him get what ever grades he gets. (Assuming you've implemented simple behavioral and organizational helps of course) But realize there is no FIX. Meds are the fix for what's wrong with his brain chemistry. Other choices are just coping skills which are fine and good, but they are not going to do what you want. God bless you and I hope you figure out what's best for him. It's obvious you care deeply and that's saying a lot.

Edited by katemary63
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He hasn't been evaluated for anything more since he was dx when he was 9yrs old. At that time he was seen by several specialists, was tested for IQ, Sensory Integratrion, ADD, and learning disabilities. They found he he has Asperger Syndrome, border-line genius IQ, ADD, and a writing disability (something about executive functioning of getting things written on paper).

 

He had an IEP from 4th through 8th grades in public school. His organization skills were nonexistent. The schools "promised" many things but didn't follow through even though it was in his IEP. We fought for years. Finally we just pulled him to homeschool him when it was obvious that the high school was NOT going to help him.

 

The special ed director even said that because Ds was to be in honors classes that he shouldn't NEED any accommodations or assistance and that he will just need to get over his attitude not doing all the work and just get it done on time. Um, everyone else in the IEP meeting jaws dropped!!! It was so obvious that this person did not understand Asperger Syndrome.

 

At CC he was receiving disability accommodations (audio recorder in class, note takers, extended test time) and they gave him tutoring and counseling. They gave Ds a letter to give to professor and we did meet with professor before enrolling him in the class. So the professor knew about Ds's challenges and strengths. We also had Ds sign the disclosure that allows Dh and me to talk to professors, check his grades, etc.

I'm glad your DS is getting help at the cc level.

 

It sounds like your ds is struggling with expressive writing disorder? That is quite common. It will affect any type of output (i.e. expressing thoughts on paper, keeping notes, organizing, and keeping tabs on when reports are due -- for example.). My Aspie son also struggles in this area too.

 

He can still retrain himself:

 

- Break down large tasks into smaller chunks. Lists are handy for this. A daily "to-do" list posted in his work area or bathroom mirror helps. Have him transition to making the notes on his own, if possible. Technology gadgets work too. My son likes to see the whole month/week charted out for him. We use a whiteboard calendar system for him.

 

- With a report or essay: Give yourself plenty of time to organize. Again, break down the assignment into smaller, manageable tasks by day -- not all in one seating. (Never allow him to wait til the last moment to begin an assignment, BTW.) Software like Dragon Speech Recognition REALLY helps with writing tasks. He will need supervision to get this done. Down the road, he can accomplish a basic academic essay on his own. But for now, you need to guide him. Or if he is being stubborn -- have him take the rough draft to the cc writing lab and have them review or make him revise it before turning it in. Many times, our kids will ignore our advice, but when a complete stranger says the SAME darn thing... it is listened to! LOL

 

- Have him learn to keep track of assignments in a reminder binder or iPhone app like Dragon Speech.

 

- Begin keeping a log of what you are observing with a typical assignment. Note the time ds took (or wasted) with the task. Note the date and keep it factual, no emotions or diagnosis. After 2-3 weeks, submit the notes to your pediatrician and then ask for his opinion on getting ds to be able to stay on task with an assignment. The doc will look at your notes (bring the assignment too) and be able to fully understand the ADD issue. Bring DH to the appointment and begin a dialogue of what options you have. DS has to make the final decision as this is a quality of life issue (i.e. college goals) for him, despite dh's objections. Research as much as you can on the subject and begin to ask parents of kids who take meds for ADD/ADHD. HTH

Edited by tex-mex
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It sounds like your ds is struggling with expressive writing disorder? That is quite common. It will affect any type of output (i.e. expressing thoughts on paper, keeping notes, organizing, and keeping tabs on when reports are due -- for example.). My Aspie son also struggles in this area too.

 

 

Yes!!! This is it!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Thankyou for the suggestions and the link. I am going to print this out and study it and get it implemented ASAP.

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Thank you everyone for you help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I have talked with Ds and he is more than happy to try some dietary changes. He went with me to the store to get the fish oil and omega 3 supplements. Also we got him adult mulitvitamins in place of the childrens chewables he has been taking. He is going to try to avoid processed food and food dyes.

 

I am going to print out many of these responses you all posted so he can read through them himself and see what he thinks will help.

 

I am also going to set up an appointment with his pediatrician about the possibility of medication for the ADD. Maybe something else is available that wasn't before. I don't know if this will be an option due to the other health issues Ds has, but we shall see.

 

Again thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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That you are making some changes, etc.

 

My one thought was that IF you decide to try medication that esp. with your concerns and your ds's medical background that you might want to:

1. get a full panel of blood work done---blood sugars, cholesterol, thyroid, liver and kidney function, etc. That way if there is something there, you can address that and then you might know which meds to avoid or which ones would be better to try.

 

2. If there is any chance of petit mal seizures---one to several second blank outs, etc. then get an EEG done just to rule that out.

 

3. See a psychiatrist that is well versed with teen with Aspergers and ADD, etc. They will have way more experience with the various meds, possible side effects, interactions, etc. than your regular doctor will. Once you find a med that works you can go back to the regular doctor for follow ups.

 

[

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That you are making some changes, etc.

 

My one thought was that IF you decide to try medication that esp. with your concerns and your ds's medical background that you might want to:

1. get a full panel of blood work done---blood sugars, cholesterol, thyroid, liver and kidney function, etc. That way if there is something there, you can address that and then you might know which meds to avoid or which ones would be better to try.

 

2. If there is any chance of petit mal seizures---one to several second blank outs, etc. then get an EEG done just to rule that out.

 

3. See a psychiatrist that is well versed with teen with Aspergers and ADD, etc. They will have way more experience with the various meds, possible side effects, interactions, etc. than your regular doctor will. Once you find a med that works you can go back to the regular doctor for follow ups.

 

[

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

I would strongly recommend a Pediatric Neurologist who specializes in Aspergers Syndrome & ADHD. They will be able to diagnose the severity of the ADD/ADHD and be on top of the latest advances in meds for it.

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I don't have any advice about ADD or Aspergers. But one thing that I've seen help a few gifted kids was to talk to someone in the area that they want to go into. You could find an astrophysics professor at a nearby university and have them have a short talk about education, career etc. It might help motivate your DS. I have several science professors in my family and they are usually willing to talk with any young person about their field of study and give advice. Astrophysics takes a lot of physics, lots of math and he'll need good advice to go into that field.

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I'm glad to read that you are trying some food changes, and might have some good ideas to help! My Aspie is only 7, but the GFCF diet has worked MIRACLES here. It was difficult, since he had a limited diet too. He was a carb and cheese-aholic. But the difference it has made in his life is tremendous. All the stimming, sensory issues are gone. He still doesn't understand cliches, but in all other ways he is a normal boy now.

 

So please give it a try, at least. It might be the big change you need that will give him new life.

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