Child behind due to ADHD: Hello my son... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Child behind due to ADHD


Hello my son is 8 years old he was diagnose with ADHD two years ago. He is so behind in school. He is on a a kindergarten level and he is in the third grade. It's like his has a learning disability. The doctor advised to put him on focalin during school hours. The medication seems to work sometime however he is still behind in school. Will he grow out of it or is it forever ?

21 Replies

Kgibbs- these struggles are not easy to deal with and I am sorry the educational system has not helped you.

Have you had him assessed for educational need? Put something in writing and send it to the schools special education office to get him assessed.

This is the best place to start.

Hope this helps.

My son is 10 and suffers from ADHD as well. I had him assessed at school and found out he is also dyslexic. That was in first grade. We got him in a program and now he currently reads a grade above level in 5th grade. I also got him an iep. He still struggles but he is on the a/b honor roll. My advice is get him tested and get safeguards in place NOW!!

Hi, I'm on the same boat with my 7 y.o. son in grade 2. His math is still on Kindergarten level and I brew it the other day after tutoring session at home. He didn't listen and follow her instructions and she said that he has to complete his work with me.... which didn't end up well.... I lost it!!!!

Like onthemove said, I'll get him assessed for his intellectual level. My son has diagnosed with mild intellectual disability before ADHD diagnosis. ADHD for sure, but I'm not sure about the diagnosis of intellectual disability due to lack of attention. Also, I'm suspecting he might have Auditory Processing Disorder since he easily distressed by people's voice and laughter.

Anyways, if he has learning disability, the meds won't help for his cognitive skills but will help him focus. There is no meds for learning disability.

I really feel bad for my son because I yelled and threw his work (I have to be a good role model but I lost it...). Just realized that I shouldn't make the learning process in a rush.... He will learn at his own pace and tutoring will help him understand and be more calm with him.

My son has IEP and an assistant teacher is staying(I hope) with him during math work. That really helps him staying on task. So, yeah, I encourage you to get him another assessment to get IEP. Good luck.


I would have the school test him for learning disability and request an IEP. They could provide special services to help him. When my son was in 3rd grade he was also at kindergarten level. He is now 12 and in the 7th grade his reading is at 3rd to 4th grade level and his math is at 3rd grade level. He has had IEP and received special services every since the 2nd grade

He has been diagnosed with a learning disability. I myself have a learning disability so I do feel for my son . Hang in there it is a struggle for both of you. Always be your child's avocate.

Alliea79 in reply to Hidden

I am also in this position. My 11 year old, 6th grader is reading at MYBE a second grade level. On really good days. I breaks my heart seeing this and how it affects everything from math word problems to science and social studies where most lessons are taught first using a text book with more unfamiliar words.

We are still figuring out solutions by trial and error. I sadly don’t have any one thing that stands out as worth suggesting. And in school solutions … sigh. Like you guys my daughter isn’t showing as intellectually challenged but has such very low reading levels. Placing her into a spot where her peers who get pullout time are too far ahead of her and those with all around special needs are below her, and as she is new to her school/town/state and super social and friendly, this grouping puts her into an isolated day. My heart is stressed.

I absolutely wish you best. We need so stick together and brainstorm as a group maybe.

Has she been tested for dyslexia and dyscalcula? Usually adds does come with a learning disability. Even when ID scores are high. Our schools MTA program ( dyslexia) has helped tremendously. Good luck

Ugh, over the years I have been told by a variety of professionals that she is not dyslexic, though she definitely does have an unnamed reading disorder. My heart breaks for her every day now being in middle school trying to both blend in and make friends and at the same time ask for and receive the help and services she absolutely needs


Oh my son is also on focalin which seems to help his adhd

My son has a learning disability, and is behind his peers. He’s in special ed, and also on a IEP. It’s important to remember these kids are typically 3yrs. Emotionally, and academically behind other kids. I know it’s hard, but you just have to take a deep breath, and try not to worry how far behind he is. Find a good tutor for reading and math. Try to focus on his day to day gains. My son is still behind his peers in the fourth grade, and he was held back in second grade. This year his reading has improved greatly, and his math scores are up. This feels like a victory to me. Not where he needs to be by any means, but he has continued to improve. Help instill that confidence, and remind him how smart, and bright he is. I know my son will probably not be a road scholar, but he is so much more then just a math or reading score, please try to remember that. I know it’s hard. I used to be so worried too. At the end of the day it is what it is. I know I’m giving my son all I have, there is nothing I won’t do to help him. That’s really all that matters.

Kgibbs in reply to Madmarie

Thanks for sharing your story with me .

My son is 9 ,focalin did not work for my son,he had bad headaches and tummy aches,

They changed him 2 more times last was Aderall Xr and got really violent had to choose if i wanted a focus violent child or an unfocused sweet boy..chose the non violet ,with that said I had to quit my dream job to focus 100% on what my strategies were going to be...I started some natural options, no sugar,watched what he ate ect..nothing has worked,he started a new district this year and it has been awful,homework was a nightmare!mind you i forgot half of all subjets, husband and I would end up beat ,we literally ended up doing it. We had to wait a month to get the 504 going and after that meeting it has gotten better..he has been getting 70s (not great but passing)

Also teacher has not send any homework!!

works for me!we still read together...

Have communication with principal,teachers and even lunch ladies..if you do not reach out and speak to people then nothing will happen.

There is a lot of programs that you can ask about...Specia Ed,IEP,504...ask ,get involve let them know that he is having a hard time but he is not alone..

Not sure if you yall ever tried quillivant cr. This med worked for us and hes been on the same minimum does since kindergarten ( 5th grade now). Its 1 of the first 2 be approved for pediatric use

Please get your son an IEP with his current school to address his educational needs. If he attends a public or charter school they are legally required to have him on an educational plan to ensure his needs are met. If he is attending a public school, they are not required to provide the same services of an IEP.

Kgibbs in reply to Janice_H

He has a I E P

Oh, how I understand! Remember that ADHD is a learning disability, a child has a hard time focusing and that makes it hard to learn.

I agree that if you feel you need to try meds and doctor for help, see how that goes.

I also agree with talking to your school about an individualized education plan, directed to your child's needs. That is what the IEP is.

Also, an assessment by a behavioral therapist may help. They can identify if there are further things going on with your child and work on strategies with you to best help.

As a mother of an adult child, that tried it all and learning was just not happening (by school standards)... We focused on his strengths and creativity just as much as the struggle to do his school work.

He is now building his career as a chef (without culinary school) and grown and out on his own with his wife. He is happy and love's his career so to me this is the ultimate goal.

We often feel like if our kids don't do exactly what their peers are doing it may be hopeless, and we fear what will they do if they can't get this. But let me encourage you, there are so many giftings these kids have, and often they need time to explore them and we parents are working so hard to help them that they don't have time for the physical outlets they were created for. I know this first hand, we would try to get homework done for hours. It wasn't until I relaxed that he was able to. We looked at his differences as a blessing for the first time when he was 14 and it was life-changing. I wish I had grasped it sooner. I pray you get answers that work for your family. We are all so very different and that is what makes us pretty awesome.

I would be happy to answer any more questions.

Best wishes~

Kgibbs in reply to writingforjoy

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. He has a I E P however he still behind . However the new school he attends really have been doing a good job with him. Sometimes it just gets overwhelming. I’m trying to be as patient as possible with him while doing homework.

writingforjoy in reply to Kgibbs

I do understand! You are doing a great job even when days don't feel like it.

He is exactly who he is supposed to be and that in itself can bring peace.

OH one thing I recently read... setting a timer to keep them on track and then a walk away for a few minutes and come back every time the timer goes off. One mom said it did wonders. May be worth a try.

Very well written. I can remember my sons sweet first grade teacher, pulling me out in the hall to look at a drawing with a story students had written about the drawing. She said look what Max did. I immediately looked at his, and my eyes shifted to the other kids. She said don’t look at theirs look at Max’s. Look how much he’s improved with his writing. I found out later that she had 2 special needs daughters. Sometimes it takes another person who’s gone through the journey. To help teach those of us who are still in the thick of it. That day I decided not to compare him to his peers, to just embrace his differences, and help him every day to reach his potential. He’s 10 now. Still has his struggles with school, but he makes me laugh every day! He’s a really great basketball player, and he’s very determined with things he cares about. Thank you for your post.

How long have you been using the medication?

Though the medication helps give him the ability to learn what he is behind in, he still needs to go through the process of learning it. As others have mentioned, hopefully the school can help you out here, and keeping the prescribing doctor in the loop so they can make any medication adjustments they feel is necessary.

We were in the same boat with my 10 year old son. He was going backwards in his reading once he hit 4th grade. That is when we decided to take him to the pediatrician. He was originally placed on Metadate, which is a non-stimulant adhd med— this just didn’t work. We decided to switch him over to Adderall extended release, this worked wonders for my son right off the bat. He went up 200+ Lexile points in his reading in 2 months. I highly recommend talking to your sons pediatrician about this.

We have also started Cognitive behavioral therapy- which he loves. Something to think about.

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