HELP: Middle School Aspie Struggling in School

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schleppenheimer
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19 Oct 2009, 8:13 pm

DenvrDave, I can SO RELATE to what you're going through. My son is the same age and grade, and this has GOT to be the most frustrating year we've ever had. At least in our school district, 8th grade is expected to be hard, and they just pile on the work and expectations in order to prepare the kids for high school. Trouble is, on top of that, my son has grown quite a bit, and his meds aren't working like they used to.

Somebody else on this thread mentioned that your son is most probably ADD. I don't know if you've already alluded to this fact. My son has ADD -- inattentive type (no hyperactivity). We seriously thought that his meds were going to take care of everything, as he hasn't had any problems for two years. BUT this year is different -- maybe due to his sudden growth, maybe due to hormones. Who knows. But we have been wasting our time using a General Practioner to prescribe meds. I made an appointment today for a Psychiatrist to help us out -- hopefully a psychiatrist will have a better handle of how things work for kids on the spectrum.

I would recommend trying some meds. I don't think they are the complete answer, but they may be a short-term solution while maturity is waiting to kick in, or while you try to find alternative solutions to ADD.

Good luck -- I truly know how painful this is for you and your son.



gramirez
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19 Oct 2009, 8:26 pm

Why so quick to label him and throw pills at him? It's probably just boring for him.


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DenvrDave
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19 Oct 2009, 8:56 pm

Schleppenheimer, thanks for the encouragement and suggestions about ADD, ADHD, and meds. To this point I've kept him off meds, but I'm pretty open minded about things and am not stuck on a philosophical position against meds. So maybe now is a good time to start to inform myself about the options, beneifits, and side affects. Again, many thanks for your kind words.

Hale Bop, many thanks for your kind post also. Your message really resonated with me, and is still sinking in. I will follow up soon.

gramirez, thanks for the comment. I don't think he's bored. He really wants to do well, but I feel that some of the "spaciness" and lack of organization are beyond his control, and my goal is to help him sort this out and learn coping strategies.

One main concern I have is for his self-esteem, moreso than grades, spaciness, and organization.



Di5
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19 Oct 2009, 11:40 pm

....only reason I sent it private, by the way, is I'm new here and saw that link before seeing the post reply link...


anywhooo.....

I have another son, (11th grade) this one's my bio, who is not Aspie but who is BIG time ADD NOT ADHD....we have struggled with his schooling since kindergarten ended and "real work" began...

I was never so inclined to medicate a young child, but, I have to say that a combination of Vyvanse, (an ADD med) and maturity are finally producing some results...but perhaps too late for acceptance to college...

So, in retrospect, I wish I had medicated him sooner, but again, he is also showning signs of maturity that our same - age Aspie is not there for, so take it as you will.

Again, Best of luck and keep us posted on progress,,,we are all facing the same concerns..

Di and Joe



hale_bopp
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20 Oct 2009, 3:47 am

gramirez wrote:
Why so quick to label him and throw pills at him? It's probably just boring for him.


You can't help people who wont help themselves. What an ill throught out, ignorant reply. Waa waaa I don't want to be labelled, but i'll continue to make mediocre progress in life.

People need to stop playing the victim and do what they can to be their best.

If you had bothered to read the orgininal post you would know that this member and the son of this member both want to help him improve.



gramirez
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20 Oct 2009, 9:11 am

hale_bopp wrote:
gramirez wrote:
Why so quick to label him and throw pills at him? It's probably just boring for him.


You can't help people who wont help themselves. What an ill throught out, ignorant reply. Waa waaa I don't want to be labelled, but i'll continue to make mediocre progress in life.

People need to stop playing the victim and do what they can to be their best.

If you had bothered to read the orgininal post you would know that this member and the son of this member both want to help him improve.

Oh, but you have all the answers to everyone and everything. :roll: First of all, it was never clearly defined what the cause of the problem was, only that he couldn't pay attention. Could have ADD? Sure, it's certainly possible, judging by the OP's post. However, there may be something else that he needs so that he can focus better - such as a different, less-distracting environment for him to do his work. Or like someone else said, knowing what will be covered in class that day BEFORE it's taught, so that he can prepare and listen for key details. Or maybe some sort of assistive technology, so that he can easily organize his thoughts and notes. Is the class just plain too hard for him? These are the kinds of things that need to be thoroughly assessed. I'm not saying he shouldn't be diagnosed or prescribed anything, but it's important to remember that drugs are a tool, not an answer. It's still important that the cause of the issues are addressed.


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peacenik
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20 Oct 2009, 9:41 am

Have to agree with Hale Bopp. Your son sounds EXACTLY like my daughter (also aspie) and she is definitely ADD. But I'm not sure having this diagnosis would help much except that it may help him to know down the road "Why am I like this?". Or if you needed it to try stimulants/Strattara. I am very ADD and have not been helped by medication, and the only other advice I ever got was "Be more organized" or "Write everything down" . Which is akin to asking a...... hmmm..... Hey Tracker.... I need an analogy here!



IMForeman
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20 Oct 2009, 1:26 pm

peacenik wrote:
Have to agree with Hale Bopp. Your son sounds EXACTLY like my daughter (also aspie) and she is definitely ADD. But I'm not sure having this diagnosis would help much except that it may help him to know down the road "Why am I like this?". Or if you needed it to try stimulants/Strattara. I am very ADD and have not been helped by medication, and the only other advice I ever got was "Be more organized" or "Write everything down" . Which is akin to asking a...... hmmm..... Hey Tracker.... I need an analogy here!


... a deaf person to listen harder?



Tracker
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20 Oct 2009, 3:15 pm

Which is akin to asking a sleep deprived person to stay awake? I already made that analogy here:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp2396401 ... t=#2396401

Although, while 'writing everything down' is bad advice, setting up an effective organizational system is indeed useful. The trick of course is making it simple enough that you dont get lost and forget what to do and how to use the system. Any effective organizational system should reduce the amount of effort needed to stay organized, not increase it.



IMForeman
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20 Oct 2009, 3:56 pm

Tracker wrote:
Which is akin to asking a sleep deprived person to stay awake? I already made that analogy here:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp2396401 ... t=#2396401

Although, while 'writing everything down' is bad advice, setting up an effective organizational system is indeed useful. The trick of course is making it simple enough that you dont get lost and forget what to do and how to use the system. Any effective organizational system should reduce the amount of effort needed to stay organized, not increase it.


What a great and should-be-obvious point. A coping mechanism ceases to be useful when it creates more stress than was already present.



hale_bopp
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20 Oct 2009, 4:41 pm

gramirez wrote:
hale_bopp wrote:
gramirez wrote:
Why so quick to label him and throw pills at him? It's probably just boring for him.


You can't help people who wont help themselves. What an ill throught out, ignorant reply. Waa waaa I don't want to be labelled, but i'll continue to make mediocre progress in life.

People need to stop playing the victim and do what they can to be their best.

If you had bothered to read the orgininal post you would know that this member and the son of this member both want to help him improve.

Oh, but you have all the answers to everyone and everything. :roll: First of all, it was never clearly defined what the cause of the problem was, only that he couldn't pay attention. Could have ADD? Sure, it's certainly possible, judging by the OP's post. However, there may be something else that he needs so that he can focus better - such as a different, less-distracting environment for him to do his work. Or like someone else said, knowing what will be covered in class that day BEFORE it's taught, so that he can prepare and listen for key details. Or maybe some sort of assistive technology, so that he can easily organize his thoughts and notes. Is the class just plain too hard for him? These are the kinds of things that need to be thoroughly assessed. I'm not saying he shouldn't be diagnosed or prescribed anything, but it's important to remember that drugs are a tool, not an answer. It's still important that the cause of the issues are addressed.


Im sure making excuses for the problem like a "distracting environment" are going to get the person far. I'm not suggesting they are an answer. I am suggesting they are an option and should not be over looked. p**** footing around trying to improve an underlying problem with things like you suggested imo is a waste of time. If you're doodling in class all the time, it's not beacuse you can't organise your notes or because the other kids are being loud. There is no reason not to try the medication, for all know it could completely do the trick. If it doesnt then take him off it. Plain and simple.

I am probably biased though because everything about this members some completely hits home for me.



DenvrDave
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20 Oct 2009, 5:37 pm

Hi everyone, I appreciate all the advice and suggestions here, and I just feel so grateful to you all for sharing your thoughts with me. I am open to any and all suggestions when it comes to improving the quality of life for my son.

As you all know, there is no "magic" formula when it comes to helping people. What works for one may not work for another. I'm a very open-minded person, yet I am also cautious and like to learn everything I can about new things before trying them, especially when it comes to health-related issues. So as far as I am concerned, every sincere suggestion is potentially a winner, and I am listening to you all even though I may not be very good at providing timely feedback.

Thank you all again, I really cherish your input.



DenvrDave
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22 Oct 2009, 9:52 pm

Di5 wrote:
....only reason I sent it private, by the way, is I'm new here and saw that link before seeing the post reply link...


Hi, I never received a private message from you. Thanks for you comment though :D