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DC aged 15 refuses to revise

(28 Posts)
RefusingRevisionGCSE Mon 27-Jan-20 18:29:59

HellAny tips on how to approach this? DC is 15, states they are non-gender binary, is ASD diagnosed - Asperger's syndrome. Says they have "brain fog" and can't revise therefore does very little, Over the 2 week Christmas period admitted they did 1hour - said they could not concentrate. Gets very upset when challenged on it. Wants to see GP to ask them to fix the brain fog. Says they read a question on the exam paper 8 times but it still didn't go in.

GCSE mocks results are coming in and it's not looking good.

Now, I know forcing someone to revise isn't the answer, they need to want to do it to be able to take the info in.

What am I missing to make it better for them? Any tips/tricks?

I'm also posting on the ASD boards here for advice from the Asperger's perspective.

OP’s posts: |
RedskyAtnight Mon 27-Jan-20 18:50:49

Not sure how the ASD will affect this, but this is what I'm doing for my DS (possible undiagnosed specific learning difficulty)

I have written DS a revision plan (with his agreement and supposedly his buy in). It's pretty detailed e.g. it doesn't just say "revise biology", it says "complete the practice questions about cells" - and I then print off (or send him a URL) to the practice questions.
or it will say "revise forces on Seneca".

The revision slots are meant to be about 25-30 minutes, which he finds less onerous than longer ones.

We spent a lot of time working out what worked for him revision wise (Seneca, practice questions) and what didn't (flashcards, reading a lot of text) so the plan is timetabled around that.

I agree that they have to want to do it, but I think the thought of it can be very onerous.

alexdgr8 Mon 27-Jan-20 18:58:12

tell them to contact GP to make appt.
they may have something describable as brain fog.
anyway, that is what they want to do, so suggest they do it.
you can be supportive, of course. but you cannot live someone else's life for them. try go on being supportive, open-minded.
say to them, if there is anyway you think I can help you, let me know, and i'll try my best.

Blankscreen Mon 27-Jan-20 18:58:50

Dss doesn't have learning difficulties but DH and I have had to sit and write a plan for/with him.

Eg. Maths - quadratics equations /simultaneous equations practice questions.

Took bloody ages but we have covered off the syllabus.

We have said he has to do 2.5 hrs a night and 3 hrs a day at the weekend.

It has been a real battle to get him to do it. We have ended up saying that if he doesn't do his work he doesn't get his pocket money £20 a week and that seems to have worked!

We also take his phone off him so he isn't distracted!

DinkyDaisy Mon 27-Jan-20 22:21:20

Goodness, sounds like a lot of revision Blankscreen.
My year 10 would expire...

Pinkbonbon Mon 27-Jan-20 22:27:31

Is dd planning on staying on in school? If so, worst case scenario she'll maybe be more are when the next exams come around.

Could you encourage her to focus on one or two subjects that she is good at or enjoys for this lot?

Then perhaps if she wants, she can do more in college at a later date (if school is contributing to her brain fog).

15/16 is a difficult age. I bombed those exams. But then I did 2 years in college and got 7 highers. I think some kids just aren't ready to do tests...especially when they have other stuff going on. And maybe school isn't the right place for them.

Try not to worry. She'll get there in her own time.

Pinkbonbon Mon 27-Jan-20 22:28:49

*my bad, 'they' will get there in their own time.

sleepyinsussex Mon 27-Jan-20 22:30:59

Is it possible they also have ADHD?

I do, but was only diagnosed recently. My inability to revise makes a lot more sense now.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-Jan-20 22:40:20

Is the brain fog anxiety? Very common in pupils with ASD, and also they can struggle to identify what’s going on with their body.

Ask for a bit more information about exactly what happens when they read the question - the school might be able to help here, and also take them to the GP to see what they suggest.

For revision it might help if you sit with them and work through it with them - do this question, now let’s look at the answer, ok what can you improve on. Executive planning can be an issue and organising something big like revision can mean that their brain refuses to even engage with the idea. Taking charge and taking that burden off them can really help.

MetallicPaints Mon 27-Jan-20 22:46:26

Blimey Blankscreen that's an exhausting amount of revision!shock
Little and often is the key, does the school offer any extra revision classes? My DS chooses to go to after school revision (around 40 mins extra) so that he can tick off that subject.

Blankscreen Mon 27-Jan-20 22:58:57

Things is he gets no homework and the school have held their hands up that they won't finish the syllabus in two of his subjects.
The school have not set homework since before Christmas!!
Government guidelines say 1.5- 2.5 hrs of homework a night.

He finishes school at 3:15 and doesn't go to bed until about 10:30/11.

He can easily do a decent amount of homework/revision in that time.

rocketleagueboy Tue 28-Jan-20 07:31:22

I would get him assessed for ADD. However to do it quickly you will have to go private. Ritalin could really help. NHS assessment could take 18 months to 2 years. You do need to do the planning for his revision for/with him. With ASD it's anxiety and the unwillingness to do things you don't want to do which makes it so difficult. Although the school sounds useless. It's really hard as without English and maths GCSEs it's hard to progress.

2020GoingForward Tue 28-Jan-20 11:11:30

Says they read a question on the exam paper 8 times but it still didn't go in

Could there be other co-morbid conditions - like dyslexia or vsiual processing disorder?

I'd go see GP and try to meet school SENCO.

Have you also tried on-line sites - Seneca, Tassimo, Dulingo, vocabexpress, memorize, quizlet or getrevising - see if revsising via computer is more tolerable?

PrinkingPreening Tue 28-Jan-20 11:20:12

Off topic here, but Blankscreen 's revision timetable sounds about right to me - not too much and not too little. That's pretty much exactly what I was doing at that age and it was entirely doable.

dietcokeandwine Tue 28-Jan-20 11:58:19

I would agree too-we have been told aim for 4 x 30 minute sessions (so 2 hours) per night during the week and 6 x 30 min sessions at weekends. So more or less the same. Not starting timetable quite yet but then we don’t have the unfinished syllabus issue.

Back to the OP- @RefusingRevision I would also suspect potential attention deficit difficulties from what you have posted. The ‘brain fog’ comment speaks volumes. Definitely worth approaching GP for a referral. FWIW my 15yo is on atomoxetine for severe ADD and whilst not a magic bullet it does help massively with his ability to focus and absorb information when studying.

dietcokeandwine Tue 28-Jan-20 11:59:38

DS also has Aspergers btw and it is quite common for children on the spectrum to have a second co-morbid diagnosis to the ASD.

Sending you sympathy OP it is not easy.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 28-Jan-20 12:03:36

Have they been assessed for anxiety / depression? These are fairly common amongst people with ASD / Aspergers and might explain the brain fog. I personally think you should address these issues first before pushing them to study

Reythemamajedi Tue 28-Jan-20 12:09:09

Could he just focus on maths and english and let the rest go for now. Like others have said, there's always college and study later on if he wants it. I've taken this approach with my dd and she's surprised me and actually done some other subjects as well.

Lovemusic33 Tue 28-Jan-20 12:56:16

How have they been told to revise? If it’s reading over old work and reading books then forget it, it’s the most boring way to revise and is proven to not be the best way.

Dd is also ASD/AS and has been attending after school revision several times a week, she finds this easier than revising at home, her teachers make it fun by doing roll play and activities that don’t involve reading.

Her teachers advice to do things such as watch films and visit places (for history), to do time lines and stuck them to the walls around the house, to watch YouTube videos and to practice with old exam papers.

The mocks are there to show the students where they need to focus their revision and for the teachers to know where more work needs to be done. Dd did hers in nov/dec and is now working on the areas she didn’t do so well in, she uses the internet for most of her revision.

Everyone learns differently so some revision techniques are not going to work (mainly the boring ones).

I remember having brain fog when I was at school because revision was boring and just involved read note and it just never imbedded in my head, it’s much different now and teachers encourage more fun ways to remember things.

vickibee Tue 28-Jan-20 13:08:31

DS is ASD and he does the bare minimum at home, he works hard at school but sees home differently. Once he is home he needs time off to dezone from the stresses of the day.
Kids with ASD have a high baseline of anxiety and need more time out generally, maybe this is his brain fog
It is so frustrating when your child is capable and does not reach their best

RefusingRevisionGCSE Wed 29-Jan-20 20:48:27

Thanks everyone for the replies.

DC is at a grammar school, has always worked well, never any issue with focus so I do not feel it's ADD/ADHD as there has been no previous behaviours that match this. They do present with anxiety over things, so can see that this could be the main issue re brain fog.

School have helped pupils to plan and revise effectively, and DC have created and coloured the most beautiful revision plan, they just don't do it!

Today DC got 17/80 on one the papers for their Maths Mock GCSE. Having previously been predicted a grade 7 target, it has shocked DC who has today come home and done some revision...

OP’s posts: |
EwwSprouts Thu 30-Jan-20 14:55:45

What about using something online like Seneca? DS likes it and it provides a confidence boost because it shows a cumulative total of questions covered. Even thirty minutes a night on a couple of subjects soon adds up.

dietcokeandwine Thu 30-Jan-20 15:08:10

Yep Seneca is great and popular with DS1 and several of his friends (who are also on the spectrum) - definitely seems a method they can gel with if that makes sense.

DinkyDaisy Thu 30-Jan-20 20:06:11

With Seneca, do you use the free or paid option?
If paid how much is it and is it worth it?
Thanks.

2020GoingForward Fri 31-Jan-20 09:37:21

Started out with the free seneca options - DD1 is year 10 but has some GCSE exams and course work this year.

She did free main courses over last half term for the January exams then I decided to pay I think £60 for the year for access to the hyper courses - so she'd go over it all again.

It doesn't have every course and board - but you can try the free option and then upgrade later if you think it necessary.

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