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ADHD Parents Together
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Need help with going to school

I battle everyday for an hr to get my son to school. He is 11yrs old. He had a meltdown today because he says he is a failure and that he is lazy(something his father tells him!) and he will never go anywhere. I tell him that he can do anything he wants. The only thing he is failing is ELA. Everything else is good but he just is so upset. I work full time. Which everytime I have we have a problem and I've had to go part time. My husband won't really help. He asks Carter if he has done his homework but doesn't check. Says he is old enough to do it responsibly. But with his ADHD he gets distracted easily and then forgets. Can anyone help? Just getting overwhelmed trying to make him a success. I even home school him over the summer so he wouldn't lose any skills.

5 Replies

I'm so sorry that it is such a battle for you in the mornings. I can relate and it's so incredibly frustrating! Here are a couple ideas that might help...

At 11 years old, he is probably ready to learn more about his ADHD and what it means and how it affects his brain and his learning. This might help him to understand that he is not a failure and not lazy, his brain is just wired differently.

His teachers might be able to help with the homework piece. They could adjust it so that it really is something he can do without help at home. Or, reduce the amount so that he can be successful. You, your son, and his teachers could work together to implement a system where is writes his homework down and checks it off when completed at home. I found this to be very successful with my daughter when she had input in the organizational system.


Barb_H- Thanks for bringing this issue to the group, I am sure that other parents can relate.

I am curious what type of resources do you use to help him? Thearpy? Rewards?Medication? Etc..

Does he have accommodations on a school plan? ( 504 ot IEP) ?

I am sure it doesn't feel good that anyone tells him he is lazy( children with ADHD lack motivation, are often not lazy, anyway you can discuss another way to approach that with his dad?

Hope this helps..


I assume you medicate...? Give him the medication earlier, even before he has to wake up, and then he can go back to sleep. That way it is effective when he needs it. Be careful... the downside of that is decreasing appetite for breakfast or even stomach upset; it can bother an empty stomach.

Kids with ADHD need I’m mediate consequences AND rewards for their actions. EG, we use a poker chip system; if the child leaves the house on time having gotten his chores done, he gets a poker chip which can be used for different “prizes”. A list of prizes and their poker chip cost is posted on the fridge after we developed it together.

If he doesn’t have an IEP or 504 plan, get one if at all possible! Work closely with the school on accommodations that give him success, even if he doesn’t qualify for one of the above. EG, doing only the even number problems instead of all problems for homework. If he is tardy, let the school give him consequences....then stop nagging him in the mornings and be prepared to calmly dole out consequences if late, depending on the age (EG, loss of privileges -tell him ASAP- doing an extra chore(s) after school because he made you late, etc). It can be rough at first, and that is SO HARD! You have to decide, based on his maturity level, how much prompting he needs. Sometimes the parent has to BE the executive function for the child that doesn’t have it, but sometimes we get into a negative pattern of pushing too much because of the inconvenience to us. I hope you have a good school that will work with you.

I hope some of those ideas work for you, but I know it gets complicated. 🙁 Best if luck to you!


Hello friend, mornings are tough for me as well. My son will not get out of bed until 5 minutes before departure time. It makes my days stressful.

He is frequently saying that he is dumb, will fail all his classes and will not graduate. It is sad that their disabilities prohibit them from having positive thoughts about their educational success. I'm sure they suffer from low self-esteem and depression.

All we can do as parents is provide them with additional educational support at home, tutoring, computer aids, etc. Sadly the schools do not always provide the level of academic support that is needed, even when a 504 or IEP is implemented.

Continue to praise your son and let him know how awesome he is. Find daily activities that are fun and will re-charge and lift his spirits. I find that helps me a lot. If I see his happy face, I know that I have made a difference.


I’m sorry to hear your struggles, it’s definitely a struggle but know you’re not alone. The most important part of raising a child with special needs, is having the right support and encouragement from all parties involved or you’re going up a brick wall. Your husbands lack of understanding will affect your son drastically. It may be time to have a heart to heart with him and try getting him to understand being a team.

I’ve had to remove my son from all negativity that was affecting his true ability to feel nothing but great about himself. Special needs is not a child’s fault but what we create for them or surround them with can make it harder for them to cope.

They need encouragement, hope, sense of security and support.

If you find it a struggle in the mornings put together a rewarding routine, show him if he can get ready for school that he’s rewarded, encouragement only leads to wanting more good things to happen.

I struggled with this with my son, and I started with a daily routine that was consistent every day then reward him for gettin ready and starting his day constructively.

I use iPad time as long as he’s ready for school or picking something he’d like to do before school after he’s all ready to go.

I hope this is helpful.


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