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ADHD Parents Together
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Help with 12yr old son and school/home work!

My son is 12 years old, he is a 7th grader and we are struggling with his grades. Im trying as much as I can to help him, but also trying to make him responsible for his own grades. He is currently on Focalin XR, I've been considering CBD oil but I honestly don't know what else to do to help him be successful! He is not hyperactive he just has a really hard time focusing and remembering to do all his work. Any input would really be appreciated!

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I will tell you this. I tried CBD oil for a few months. I didn’t notice any difference, maybe my son was a little calmer, but he still wasn’t focused.

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I found out about homework coach on this blog site. They specialize in helping ADHD kids with homework and organization. So far, my daughter, who is also in 7 th grade, is doing well and her grade in math and science is better.

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Where can I find one?

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First of all, if your son doesn't have either an IEP or at least a 504 Plan, make this a priority. You can ask for either reduced homework, or no homework. Second, his medication is most likely completely out of his system by the time he starts his homework. I know the extended-release meds are supposed to last about 8 hours, but I don't think that happens much. My son needed a booster dose of a short-acting med like Ritalin to do any evening homework. Taking yourself out of homework help is also good - a tutor works well - we had a neighbor who helped my son with his homework in high school. I recommend doing something about this now because the "homework wars" in high school can get really ugly.

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Im really trying to stay away from the RX drugs, but its getting harder and harder. Kind of desperate now!

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By trying to stay away from medicating your child you are actually doing more harm than good. I was medicated in fourth grade, I'm just starting college now, with Focalin and by the time I was your son's age it wasn't working as well as it used to. At that point I was prescribed Adderal XR. I would encourage you to bring it up to your doctor as that might make things a lot better for your son. I found that it lasted longer than Focalin and it provided more clarity. As your son gets older I would recommend switching to Vyvanse as it is more consistent, in terms of providing clarity throughout the day, and it's harder to abuse (the amphetamine is bound to a protein that can only be broken down by an enzyme made in the stomach for digesting). That is what I am currently taking and it works wonders. I hope this helps and I wish both you and your son the best of luck.

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If your son can get his homework done at school or if he has a reduced amount, you may be able to get away with just his daily Focalin. However, if he has homework or other activities like sports later in the day, as he gets older, he will need something additional. Although ADHD meds do have some side effects, they allow our ADHD boys to function normally. I can tell you that my son would not be in college without his Vyvanse.

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If he is not on medication you may not be able to get an I.E.P

but you could talk to his doctor. We don't do homework with either of my grandsons in middle school..

One has a study period during school to do it ,the other stays for tutorials after school for a short time if he needs to.

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Hi, continue to try and help your son be successful by completing all of his work and ensuring he turns it in for credit. If you do not do all that you can do, you will be faced with the guilt when he comes home with lower grades on his report card. I have been in this situation more than once. I recently got my 11 y.o. son a tutor which has helped alleviate the stressful nights sitting at the dining room table. We seem to have a much better relationship now that the homework arguments have subsided. I still go through his bag on weekends and try to provide extra support.

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Hi does the Focalin XR help him focus during school? If yes then I agree he may need a short acting dose of Focalin to help with the afternoon. If he can’t concentrate during the day with the XR then he may need an increase in his dose or try a different medicine. My son chew through the XR dose in 4 hours so we switched him to the short acting dose of Focalin instead. It gets in his system quicker and he can focus with multiple doses during the day.

In middle school it gets much harder and the reminders from teachers generally stop. Definitely get him on an accommodation plan if his school allows. I hold my son accountable for grades but I still need to check up on him to endure his assignments are turned in and I help him study. Otherwise his grades would not be good. The maturity just isn’t there and he has a bad short term memory, I also agree with hiring a tutor if you can to help him get organized and provide help with subjects he struggles with.

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Homeworkcoach.com

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Getting a 504 is important, if you don't already have one. A tutor could also be very helpful. Another idea would be to have Study Hall instead of one of his electives and have him start/do his homework then. My son did this in 8th and it was helpful. He was motivated to get his work done in Study Hall, so he would have less to do at home. It depends on your child, but you could find out from the school if this is an option, and if it is, discuss it with him to gauge whether or not it could be helpful. You could do both, and he could use the tutor for subjects that are more difficult for him and also to help him with organization and planning. It's helpful to give ADHD middle schoolers support and set up the situation so that they are learning to be more responsible.

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I love all of these comments. My son has been on meds since he was 7, and they have helped him tremendously. Putting routines in place, like a planner, helped with keeping his homework written down and in one place. He also chose to carry all his books in his backpack so he'd always have them when he got home, so he wouldn't forget one. That helped. Organizing his locker with pocket trays helped as well. Organization is key. Having study halls in school helped, as well as a tutor, or aide. As others have mentioned, if they can get most of their work done while in school, especially in middle and high school, that is a big help.

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He has a planner, but he doesn’t use it or he forgets to write anything down! And he has really bad handwriting.

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My son is 13(ADHD) and has had terrible handwriting since 3rd grade. Also any extensive writing would cause major meltdowns. A spec ed teacher finally picked up that he could have dysgraphia! His neuro has requested an assessment. I never even knew this was a "thing". Perhaps it's something you could investigate.

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Is his homework online as well? We started printing my son's homework assignments off the web each week in case he forgot to write them down.

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I know how hard it is sometimes to study well. I remember when I was in school I didn't really like literature and when I had to write an essay I used and it saved a lot of my time and I was able to spend that time for something else.

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Hi my son was diagnosed last month of school in the 8th grade. He had a very hard time in school it was all focus. I worked with his guidance coumcler over the summer and we placed him in a study class Nd we also were able to put him in smaller classes. With the help of medication, exercise, therapy, and becoming his own advocate he made honor roll for the first time in his life. Call the guidance councilor and discuss your concerns . Good luck

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He is the 9th grade now

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