Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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He puts his head down on the desk and pretends to go to sleep...

Greetings, Mark!

Your publications and web site have proven to be invaluable sources of information; thanks!

I am writing to seek assistance with my almost 17 year male child.

He has been diagnosed with ADHD with some depression symptoms as well. He is currently on Prozac and Straterra. The Prozac is for the depression and the Straterra is for focusing issues at school. We have noticed behavioral changes on those days when he forgets to take the meds (and it is a mild hassle to remind him every day).

He is currently in the 10th grade for the second time, and may have to repeat again because of failing grades. He is very well versed in creating rap songs using the computer and 'beats', and spends most of his waking hours working on these projects. Which leads to his poor performance in school.

We never see him doing homework at home - his response when asked about any is that he did it already. He refuses to write down assignments, and is almost always late in completing whatever assignments he does work on. He is constantly tardy to classes anywhere from 1 to 15 minutes on a regular basis. In some classes, he puts his head down on the desk and pretends to (or actually does) go to sleep.

He is being seen by a psychological social worker on a weekly basis, whom we have spoken to several times unbeknownst to him (no violations of client privileges have occurred during these conversations).

He is adopted, but he has been with us since he was two days old.

We are trying to stress the importance of education to him (without becoming overbearing about it), but he has a real passive motivation towards education. He has delusions (our feeling) about becoming famous in the rap world, which we temper as much as we can with a dose of reality without telling him to give up something that he really enjoys doing.

He has some anger management issues, but is not extremely "out of control" when compared to some of the stories identified in your publications. He has had two brushes with the law - both misdemeanors, and will be completing probation in September. Part of his probation agreement is performing at an adequate level in school.

I'd like to hear your thoughts about this situation; feel free to request additional information if you need it.




Hi D.,

I’m not trying to take a short-cut here, but as you may know, my stance is the more responsibility YOU take for your son’s academic performance, the less HE will take.

I’m not accusing you of the following, but I often find that when I provide my recommendation on poor academic performance (which can be read on the link below), parents email me again with the same question hoping for a different answer. Unfortunately for them, they get the same answer.

CLICK HERE to go to “Email From Exasperated Parents” and locate the post that reads:

"My son brings home straight F's on his report cards. I ground him for the entire grading period, but he continues to fail in nearly all subjects. I know my son is a bright kid and can do the work when he wants to. What can I do to motivate him?" -- B. R.


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