The sun filled the living room and a cool breeze gently made its way into our living room. The brightness of the sun would fool you into thinking it was actually warm outside—but the air was considerably crisp, and I shuttered with a chill. From the cold? Perhaps. More so, I believe it had to do with the task at hand. We sat there with the laptop open to the online access to my son’s school grades. Dumbfounded, we had to inquire about what we were witnessing and I could see the frustration build and the tears swell.
My son is bright in ways that my mind doesn’t work. I guess you could say I always had an “academic mind” however his mind works from the abstract. He’s creative in ways that I can’t imagine until I’ve seen them. He’s a true creator—he can take nothing and make it into something— and he’s innovative. Yes, he’s quite the artist. His creativity has been noticed by most of his teachers, peers, and family members. He’s a gentle soul. He’s a pleaser. And he’s firmly grounded in his beliefs and will stick up for himself when no one else will. As a mother, I can only be proud at the fine young man I am raising.
He’s only 15 and soon to be 16. He’s taller than me now. He’s good looking if I do say so myself—and sometimes it is hard to think of him as a teen. His maturity, respect for others, and his lack of teen rebellion would have even the best of the best fooled into thinking he’s almost an adult. And so it surprised me to learn that academically he is struggling to the point of frustration. It only happens to be in two primary courses—but these subjects are tough even by my standards.
The thing is—while bringing up the subject of grades and what is going on—he felt the burden of it all weighing down on him. I was in every way possible trying to explain that I want to help—and I just needed him to tell me what he needs help with. Unfortunately that mounted in more frustration—because he can’t point to where he’s having the issues. He’s living in a cloud of confusion so it appears and I felt quite baffled until I remembered at some point, a pediatrician from his earlier childhood had thought he might have mild ADD. I didn’t want to believe it at the time—but still went through with the parent evaluation forms and had his teachers fill out their evaluations. I sent them all in—and I never heard back on what those results were, figuring that if they had not contacted us then he must not have had it. We were back for well being visits with this pediatrician—and nothing was ever said about it again. Later, I switched pediatricians and it wasn’t something I worried about, yet it has always been in the back of my mind.
I’m thinking we might need to have things re-evaluated.
I did a little research on A.D.D. and in particular the Inattentive portion of the disorder. According to the DSM-IV evaluation the symptoms of Inattention are:
- often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities;
- often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities;
- often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly;
- often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions);
- often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities;
- often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework);
- often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments,pencils, books, or tools);
- is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli;
- is often forgetful in daily activities.
I see a few here that really stand out—forgetfulness, losing things, disorganization, and lacking close attention to details. I guess I’m uncertain if this is a teen thing or if he really has an attention deficit disorder—but the frustration he felt yesterday has me set to the task of finding these answers as soon as I can. All I know from a mom perspective is that – I have one hell of a
good great kid on my hands, and I can’t take that for granted. I’m going to forge ahead and see what the doc says—and if necessary help him out in any way possible. He deserves the best…and only the best. I just wish I would have picked up on this a little sooner.
Do you or someone you love have A.D.D.
Any tips for the forgetful, disorganized teen?
I’d love some feedback if you are willing to share.
For More about Attention Deficit Disorder visit this link.