13yr old son Adhd/odd: He is a great... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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13yr old son Adhd/odd

NycLiMom profile image

He is a great student academically. He has a transition issue and can't get refocused when going from class to class. Has a social building issue component. He also has an ODD (defiant) issue only at home with me. Rules and consequences for Social media and phone.

He is currently on 2 meds and they want to put him on a 3rd. I don't want him to feel bad about what's happening to him.

School is not stepping in. They don't want him in their school. I'm going in every direction research, schools, meds, camps trying to help my son, while I need my job to pay for 2 therapists and possibly a retreat program. Insurance doesn't cover any of it.

I cry everynight and I look for a good day tomorrow. I know he is hurting and I don't know what to do.

I'm lost.

10 Replies

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

I am so sorry that you are having to struggle like this. It sounds like you are getting help from a psychiatrist? Could you ask that professional to write a letter to the school asking them to support him with either an IEP or a 504 plan?

We were told that medication should help with about 60% of the symptoms. Do you feel that the medication is helping that much? I assume you guys have tried changing doses, timing and type of medication?

You could always tried the 3rd and see if there is a difference. It could be the magic.

I hope you find something that helps him.

I will say middle school years were the worse ever. While high school is very hard and that bring a lot of stress it is so much better than middle school.

We are here for you and feel your pain. With time children with ADHD gain maturity and get better/understand how to manage symptoms.

Could you find something he enjoys to balance out school? Does he have any hobbies?

Just want to give you a big virtual hug for all you tears, stress and pain. Hope it gets better soon.

Take care,

Hi- what do you mean they don’t want him in their school? Did they say what they recommend for next year? My daughter adhd/odd age 12 ( nyc) is having a hard time this year. I totally understand you. My daughter says the big school, loud hallway, school yard , lunchroom, gym class…. really make it hard for her to focus. When she feels overwhelmed she tends to manifest negative behaviors. She keeps saying she wants a smaller school and class and unfortunately the older the kids get it seems

like the schools get bigger!

As for camp JCC has great programs.

NycLiMom profile image
NycLiMom in reply to MeadowLane5

Hi. The school doesn't want responsibility for him anymore.I'm putting him in private high school in sept 22 in long island.

There are so many schools in the city (i just found out) now that I'm out east that are smaller in size and deal with adhd/odd, IEP and 504 services (none of which I have). I couldn't allow him to be in a large school setting anymore 1900 kids.

His meds are helping, but still figuring out amounts, therapy and now camp.

My colleague has son same age as mine. Just recently found out she also has adhd/odd in private school paid from the city.

There are city advocate lawyers that work for the kids and their needs, against the school system. I was late to that finding this out. He is accepted into private school already.

Have the school social worker help get the information to you. They have that information.

It has given me other areas to research all the help he needs.

I'm looking forward to the break of summer camp. He needs to be out doors without a phone in hand.

Start you homework for a smaller school in the city. I think Roosevelt Island has a small school that I liked. I've researched a ton.

I hope this helps.

MeadowLane5 profile image
MeadowLane5 in reply to NycLiMom

Hi,Thank you for those suggestions!

I’m so happy to hear that your son found placement in a private school in Long Island - it’s probably such a relief for you to know he will be in a place that will help him thrive.

We are currently at a loss / confused as to what will be for our daughter next year let along until end of June. It’s so stressful! On Friday she finished her psych eval to get more insight and I actually spoke to a parent advocate this past week. Was very helpful but not a lawyer.. I need to find more information about that.

I will look into Roosevelt island school- Checked their site and maybe I should schedule a tour- thanks!

Hi NycLiMom,

I am so sorry to hear about what you and your son are going through. I want to add to the encouragement and support others have given you here.

Have you tried Intuniv? This has made all the difference for my 13 year old son with ADHD and defiance (only with me). I found that the stimulant helped with focus but made the emotional regulation worse. Intuniv was like a miracle. He is able to regulate his emotions better, manage his time better and is mostly respectful. He also has difficulty with transitions at home and school and this has helped immensely. An very thorough IEP also helped.

His defiance and treatment of me for a couple of years were nearly unbearable. I am a single parent and felt totally helpless and overwhelmed. I too have cried every night. I want to throw some encouragement your way and tell you that things have improved dramatically this year. If you've already tried Intuniv then ignore this post but also - just know that it does get better. There are many other things that we have tried that have helped but for us Intuniv was a game changer. Big hugs.

I related to your post so much. My son is also 13 years old with ADHD. His school also seems to be at its wits' end as he seems to make the same mistakes over and over again. They complain that they see no growth, despite the fact that last year he struggled academically and this year his grades are great. I try to explain to them how he has been feeling this year--high anxiety that has impacted his stomach (constipation/vomiting) and depression (coping with stress in negative ways like cutting). They complain about his moodiness and I seriously want to bang my head against the wall. They want to seem sympathetic, and a few are, but everyone is frustrated and I feel as though they'd rather me just pull him from the school.

My son feels like they don't want him at school, which of course makes it harder for him to try in class or trust the adults. He feels very alone.

After the third meeting with them in the past month, I created a daily report card and emailed their team as a way to measure my son's progress or lack thereof. They seemed receptive and are going to adjust the daily report card to a weekly system with goals tailored to his greatest needs for improvement.

We'll see how it goes. I'm just trying to be proactive.

I'm hoping to have his medicine reevaluated this summer. He's on 20mg of Focalin. While it does help some, I have a feeling something better is out there. Right now we're just counting down the days until summer.

Hang in there!

NycLiMom profile image
NycLiMom in reply to jarboes

My son is on no name brands of concerta (day) and abilify (night). I think it helps in some instances but in others it doesn't.

But he is very in tune to the fact that he needs to take it.

First, a huge hug to you. It’s exhausting, feeling like you’re running as fast as you can but getting no where.Can you clarify what it means that he can’t get refocused after transitioning between classes? What does that look like? Does he leave the first class with his classmates? Does he have to go to his locker or straight to next class? Once he’s in the next class, what does he do and what is he expected to do? Sorry to pepper you with so many questions. I’m an OT and we ask a lot of questions (!) to try to pinpoint when in a process of things are falling apart or presenting difficulty.

Also, can you say more about some coal building issue?

You are clearly working very hard to support and advocate. Give yourself a big hug, mama 😊

A big hug to you. My son is almost 15 and has ADHD and ODD, and a lot of anger towards me. 13yr was very bad for him, as he felt as he didn't fit in the school at all, he was bullied in the second half of 7th grade, when covid hit in spring of 2019, and he basically never stepped foot in his middle school again. He felt like he didn't fit in at all, and was telling us he can't go back to our high school of around 1500 students. He just couldn't manage it all and just the thought of talking to him about it, made his anxiety go out of control and just get even angrier with me. So, for high school, we moved him to a private school, and it has been a world of difference. Smaller school, smaller classes, not as easy to fall through the cracks. I know that a lot of families may not be able to afford a private school, but there is a lot more financial help out there for private schools than people know about. He is on the soccer team, the kids are kinder to him, they have a small tight knit community and he feels like he belongs. Kids on the team hold him accountable, as well as the coach, I am in constant contact with the school. After all of this time and all of this information about ADHD, I feel like a lot of people still don't take it seriously and the worst part is that some educators have truly no idea how to deal with it. They just say kids are being bad, but they lack the ability to see how brilliant their minds are and can't come up with ways to challenge them and keep them engaged.

Middle school years are tough - he is 15 now like I said, and things are getting better, so hang in there, don't get discouraged - you are not alone.

We have all the same issues going on here; distance learning last year made things really bad, no structure and now basically lost 2 years of school. Intuniv at night, Vyvanse and Lexapro during day. We are hoping we can just make it through 8th grade and are focusing on a plan for summer and next academic year (private school). Defiance is the worst. I have found my 13 y/o daughter escapes now to the phone and it acts as a pacifier for her anxiety. Encourage anyone to read "Reset your child's Brain" by VIctoria Dunckley. Its eye opening. Hang in there, you are not alone.

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