ADHD

Question
Posted by: Johan | 2010/10/17

Q.

Self-discipline and motivation

My son is 15 years old (grade 9) and has been on medication for ADD since he was 7 years old. Currently he is on Concerta 54 mg.

He has now been tested on several occasions and all tests indicate that he has an extremely high IQ –  in the range of a genius. However, he’ s results at school is far from it. He gets all the help he needed, including a specialist after school, to assist him.

The problem is that he has no self-discipline and motivation. For him it is the worst punishment on earth to sit down and study. If I eventually get him to sit down and study, the result is much better. We are constantly fighting about this. He has already suffered the consequences since he was denied the opportunity to take a specific subject in grade 10 –  all due to his marks.

This situation is very frustration –  he is wasting away his future. If he didn’ t have the potential, it would be acceptable. But he is more than capable of getting good marks, but this problem is preventing that from happening.

My questions:
1. Can an increase in the dosage of the Concerta help with self-discipline and motivation to the extent that it resolves the issue?
2. If not, what is the best cause of action to resolve this issue?

Expert's Reply

A.

ADHD Expert

Dear Johan,

Increasing your son's medication will not help his motivation. Many children diagnosed with ADHD have high IQ's, and the situation is much as you have described.

Unfortunately, hiring all the personal tuition under the sun is unlikely to help as the difficulty is not his understanding.

Developing a reward system, where study time and coopertaion in class are both required to be rewarded may help. You will need the schools cooperation here too. At his age, rewards can take the form of sports outings, movies with friends etc. The difficult part will be in denying him his reward if he does cooperate: for example if he has been working toward tickets to a rugby game and he does not achieve a realistic gal for a test, he does not get to go to the game regardless of how much the tickets may have cost hopefully they can be sold).

If you require more assistance on this matter, and are in JHB or CT, please contact me via Email.

Best wishes,
Delia

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3
user comments

C.

Posted by: Linus | 2010/10/25

Johan - you need to investigate if your son has Aspergers Syndrome as this goes hand in glove with ADHD.

Reply to Linus
Posted by: ADD/ADHD Expert | 2010/10/20

Dear Johan,

Increasing your son's medication will not help his motivation. Many children diagnosed with ADHD have high IQ's, and the situation is much as you have described.

Unfortunately, hiring all the personal tuition under the sun is unlikely to help as the difficulty is not his understanding.

Developing a reward system, where study time and coopertaion in class are both required to be rewarded may help. You will need the schools cooperation here too. At his age, rewards can take the form of sports outings, movies with friends etc. The difficult part will be in denying him his reward if he does cooperate: for example if he has been working toward tickets to a rugby game and he does not achieve a realistic gal for a test, he does not get to go to the game regardless of how much the tickets may have cost hopefully they can be sold).

If you require more assistance on this matter, and are in JHB or CT, please contact me via Email.

Best wishes,
Delia

Reply to ADD/ADHD Expert
Posted by: Sarah | 2010/10/19

I felt that you are speaking about my daughter! She is currently 12 years old and has been receiving medication and remedial for 2 years. The point is that they have to want to do the work. I live with an affected daughter and husband. My husband tells me that we have to find something that sparks her interest, because that will be her motivator. I think what is frustrating for non-affected parents is that we don''t understand how their brains work, which I know for a fact is very different to how my brain works. It takes a lot of patience to have an affected child. I have found that having a rigid routine for homework times has helped. I involved my daughter in setting these times.
I found that increasing the concerta dose did not help, in fact it made things worse as she was not getting enough sleep at night.

Reply to Sarah

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