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ADD/ADHD - need a magic fairy? ...

(14 Posts)
lhrmum Wed 16-Nov-16 11:21:07

Good morning!

My ds was diagnosed with ADD 4 years ago. He has managed very well to date with some minor accommodation in the classroom, good advice from doctor and medication. Very proud of him!

He is in Y7 (after a torturous year of 11+ last year!) and landed in his first choice school. I think the school is the perfect fit for him - academic without being pushy/competitive and very sporty & social. Lots of outlets for his energy throughout day. A vast improvement over his school for the past 3 years. All good smile

Suddenly the wheels have come off academically. He cant get organised (obvs), missed home work, falling behind because he is 'missing' some of the lessons, forgetting sports equipment on the day, etc etc. Of course all of this is classic ADD.

We have managed successfully so far but clearly our existing systems no longer work and I feel completely overwhelmed. Honestly, I just dont know how to help as much as I want to!! (Sorry for the long rant)

Help! Does anyone have someone ... a tutor or someone ... not sure who ... that can help us get a system in place that will work?? Maybe he needs a weekly/daily tutor to organise his work, maybe we need to rearrange where and how he does homework at home ... I dont know but something needs to change. (we're in SW London BTW).

Thank you in advance for being gentle and your wisdom!!

donajimena Wed 16-Nov-16 11:27:02

I think you will probably be expected to step into the role of organising kit etc.
As for homework I went to the school and said homework would unlikely be done but they needed to do it and found that there is a lunchtime homework club.
I feel your pain because I have two boys with ADD but unfortunately I also have it so making sure we all have clean clothes for school etc is about as good as it gets!
I do make sure they go off with the correct kit.
I think a meeting with the school would be a first step

donajimena Wed 16-Nov-16 11:28:33

Obviously I didn't present myself saying they aren't going to turn in homework- deal with it!
I explained the difficulties

PolterGoose Wed 16-Nov-16 11:32:22

Y7 is hard enough, add on extra problems and it's even harder.

TBH I think you just need to start by doing it for him and then pulling back very slowly until he's more or less doing stuff for himself. Ds is in Y9 (autism not ADHD) and I mostly pack his bag, I get his PE kit ready, make sure he's got everything and check the online homework portal thing. With most things either he does it and I check or I do it and he checks, so he takes responsibility.

Ds does homework on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings unless he manages to do it at school or it's a quick turnaround piece he has to do on another day. He has a plastic envelope folder for each subject/group of subjects e.g. one each for main subjects plus humanities, arts/tech, MFL. So everything is kept together. He keeps his calculator and maths kit in his bag all the time so they never get forgotten. I have a box of spare everything in case things wear out or get lost (amazingly he hasn't lost a thing... yet!).

We have several laminated copies of the timetable too. It's basically belt and braces, but also very low key. His school stuff is in a cupboard in the dining room which is where he does homework so everything stays in one place.

I don't understand how your ds is missing lessons though? Do you mean literally missing them?

lhrmum Wed 16-Nov-16 11:35:11

Thank you @donajimena. 2 boys with ADD? That is a challenge - you must be a great mum! LOL re homework. I wish I could say 'no homework, deal with it!' smile

I just called the school for some suggestions as well. If I hear anything new, I will post here. I am finding the preteens years are a bit more challenging because I want to give him some independence and freedom -- but I have obviously given him too much. Delicate balance.

lhrmum Wed 16-Nov-16 11:42:30

Thank you @PolterGoose. I think I need you as the magic fairy! Sounds like you have done a great job of organising. My ds is not literally missing lessons ... he has just 'zoned' out on a few critical ones that have been foundational. Of course, I didnt know that until weeks on so he has been weeks behind by the time I have realised the problem. The school has started to communicate with me more regularly (it started as a 'wtf? your son isnt completing his assignments') so I think they understand we really want to support him.

Laminating several copies of the timetable for the bathroom, dining room, front door is a good idea. We have just kept a copy in his backpack - but I like your idea to scatter it so nothing is missed.

lhrmum Wed 16-Nov-16 11:43:30

(posted too soon) also, I love the idea of concentrating homework efforts on 2 specific days!

PolterGoose Wed 16-Nov-16 11:46:13

Ds has a laminated mini timetable in his bag, in his blazer pocket and I have spares in the school stuff cupboard.

Has your ds ever seen an OT? The Alert Programme is really good at helping kids find their own strategies to encourage concentration.

lhrmum Wed 16-Nov-16 11:57:06

I am not familiar with the Alert Programme - but just googled it and it looks amazing! Will look into it

zzzzz Wed 16-Nov-16 12:42:31

I drop mine at school and have his timetable so we discuss the lessons he is about to have, and the associated homework. We also do the homework plastic folder, he has a desk downstairs and keeps all the calculators etc in his bag.

Be aware that it is classic y7 to be ditzy so while he might be worse he WONT be the only one.

Help and then fade away seems great advice.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 16-Nov-16 18:31:30

Another who recommends alert. My Ds with ASD did this and it helped us see things we hadn't seen. (Well the OT picked them up!)

We also have laminated timetables and spares, a weekly wipe clean planner on the unit that houses school stuff. It says pack PE kit etc for the right days.
Maths stuff stays in bag and folders for homework, reading book and planner. (Not that Ds yet manages to get the stuff in them!!)

Ds homework app is on his phone. I remind him to check but have same app on my iPad so can stalk him double check what he's doing.

I also help with homework. So this week was maths and conversions. Ds did the maths bit and I recorded answers. I take the attitude they were testing if he could convert the amounts - that's the only bit he needs to actually do.

With posters (why do they insist they make posters!) Ds googles and prints out pictures. I write text from dictation in text boxes and then print. I cut the stuff up and help it lay it on a sheet of A4 and help him organise a decent and logical order. I'll glue it for him.
Again - I figure they are testing he can find and write about the correct information - not if he can cut and stick!

Has he grown suddenly? Could he need a meds review?

lhrmum Thu 17-Nov-16 17:48:52

Thank you, youarenotkiddingme. Great suggestions! I like your approach to focus on what he really needs to learn and not get caught up in all of the other 'stuff'.

He has not grown recently - but I have considered that it might be time for a meds review.

Appreciate your ideas.

youarenotkiddingme Thu 17-Nov-16 18:18:17

I always <try!> to remember that despite Ds having a great capacity to learn he doesn't have the calm body state to always be learning - hence focus on the things he is meant to learn and will benefit from learning from a task.

I guess it's the equivilent of "pick your battles" grin

StarlightMcKenzee Thu 17-Nov-16 19:40:44

Hiya,

Have the school given you any feedback on what they are doing to support him?

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