Teen son with ADHD: Hello, I am new to... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Teen son with ADHD

fartheron68 profile image

Hello, I am new to this community and this is my first post. My 16 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD back in July and he started taking Vyvanse in September (started at 30mg and now at 40mg). The remote learning is not ideal for him and he doesn't have a lot of friends supporting him at this time. Some things that I am noticing are the social anxiety (tougher during these COVID times), his inability to make the positive changes and make a daily schedule for himself. I am trying to learn as much as I can, mostly from reading articles from ADDITUDE website. There is a lot of conflict between us because of my efforts to help and his unwillingness to do the things he needs in my opinon. I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. Please ask me for more details too. I would be happy to share. Thanks!

10 Replies

I have a 12 yo with ADHD and anxiety. We also have a lot of conflict around what her dad and I think would be helpful and what she’s willing to do. I’ve been reading a book called “What Your ADHD Child Wishes You Knew” by Sharon Saline which really gets into the causes of this kind of conflict and what to do about it. I’ve also been watching the free webinars that ADDitude puts out and finding them really helpful additudemag.com/tag/webinar/. Finally, is your son seeing a therapist? Therapy can help if the therapist is trained to understand ADHD. Also a tutor or coach can take the pressure off so you can focus on being a parent. Good luck!

im a 16 year old myself, who has had ADHD since 1st grade. Ive studied ADHD as well as gotten involved with CHADD. from my perspective, as much as you are concerned about you son now, I think inside he acknowledges his ADHD and just gets annoyed when you bring it up. maybe try to not bother him and let him bring it up to you, or maybe a support group would help for him to get to relate to kids his age that feel the same way. also good bonding if you would like him to make some more friends. i hope this helps!

adhdteen_mom profile image
adhdteen_mom in reply to cjc2729

Thank you for your advice! My son started with focus issues in 1st grade also. He's in 8th grade and struggling with school right now. Do you think medications help? Do you take meds (such as Focalin)? If so, do they really help?

Welcome to the group! We are here to support you, many of us are on the same journey. I am not sure if your son sees a therapist, but many children benefit greatly from having someone listen and try to "mold" them, especially since he is on the doorstep of becoming an adult.

The chronological age of children with ADHD is not the same as their maturity age, its about 2 years so he is really acting 14 years old.

I would suggest you try to get him to "teach" you about how he is managing ( or not) his online school work. You can then ask him what he thinks is best for doing his work. When you flip to power to him he will feel like he has control.

I don't discuss school with our freshman son. I have access to all of his online school accounts and I review all assignments and grades daily. There are no surprises and I say " when will you study for your math final" I also allow for plenty of outside time/breaks especially as soon as he is done in hours and hours of Zoom classes.

Our son is not very social, he has team mates on his sports teams, but not really close friends and I think this is common for our children. But honestly there is only so much I can do, when he gets older he will have to figure things out on his own.

I have really learned a lot from Penny Williams podcast "Parenting ADHD".. she has guest speakers and talks about her experience with her son, who is about the same age as your son.

Best of luck!

I have a freshman too. I have such a hard time and vacillate between helicopter and letting him fail. He refuses to take meds because of all the side effects. I will check out the podcast. Thanks for the recommendation!

Do you mean he tried one medication and didn't like the way he feels or someone told him the side effects? Just curious, our son could not function without them, and the one day he forgot to take it we got calls and e-mails from school so he knows how much it helps. There are many types of medications, stimulants and non-stimulants. Maybe a therapist could be helpful with this.

I am new here too. I can relate about conflicts with simply trying to get my son to do what he has to and his unwillingness. We just started therapy and he will have to make a weekly schedule of how he breaks up his time, before his next session. She is working with him, and he enjoys going to see and speak to her. I'm learning how to deal with him as well. Good luck to us all on this ADHD journey.

Our son was diagnosed with ADHD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder at 13. He also suffered from depression but we treated this at age 11 with nutrients on the recommendation of Mensah Medical (mensahmedical.com) which made it totally disappear. The nutrients made a huge difference. He was diagnosed with a zinc deficiency which prevents him from making his neurotransmitters. This not only causes anxiety & depression (low seratonin and GABA) but also helps cause ADHD. Treating the depression in this way caused no side effects and made him so his mood was really buoyant. With this treatment he wanted to do better and believed he could be successful. Before the treatment he really struggled with his self-esteem which got in the way of school success and self-advocacy.

Eventually he rebelled against his vitamins and then really needed treatment for depression and anxiety. A psychiatrist prescribes him an anti-depressant now which is also really helpful for the depression and also helps him overcome the anxiety impediment. He still has ADHD and it is not treated--he didn't want meds for it--but he is managing it well and is hitting all his goals. He just got accepted into two good schools for college, so that is very exciting.

I know our son would be healthier if he took his vitamins. It is not healthy to go through life low in zinc. Zinc not only helps make neurotransmitters so your brain works better, but it is an important element in fighting cancer and in the immune system in general. Without zinc you can't get rid of toxins. There isn't enough support for this method in the community though, so when he got older and looked around, no other kids were taking vitamins and he didn't learn about this in school (why not?). This made him feel like the odd man out and rejected them. He's pretty strong-willed.

Anyway he's on track and hopefully someday he will realize Mom wasn't off base with all that vitamin stuff.

best of luck to you. Hope that helps!

I have a 15 year old grandson who has ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is on medication for all which really helps. He has suddenly matured so much but is also starting to rebel with "adult" interference or advice about his life. He often vents to me but gets mad if I make any suggestions so trying to keep my mouth shut and just let him let off steam.He sees a counselor off and on and gets along well with her. It just depends on his mood if he will go see her

I have a 13 year old, but we are also facing many challenges because our son doesn't want to be helped, and it is very hard for him to cooperate. We recently started therapy, as an outlet, and I think it will take a while for it to affect change. Right now, she is helping him to be aware of his thought processes, and of how he is spending his time (e.g.Fortnite vs getting HW done). We have an appointment coming up with a doctor, to discuss starting MEDS. I posted that he took meds when he was younger and we stopped it, erroneously believing he was better. No, it gets worse during this MS/HS years. One suggestion (from the therapist) is having him fill out a weekly schedule oh how he is spending his hours during the day, so he can visualize. Good luck to you as well.

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