Archive for the ‘Raising a child with ADD’ Category

Homework has always been a struggle in our house, except for my 7 year old which is a blessing in that he does it and finishes it without me ever knowing most of the time:)  But for my two older sons, now both in middle school its been more of a struggle to focus, complete, and turn in their homework consistently.  Some told me its their maturity, some think its cause they’re boys…for whatever reason, its been an issue.

This year my son that has ADD started Middle school (5th grade).  I knew there would be adjustments and was nervous to see how he would adjust.  But to my pleasant surprise, in school itself he has adjusted and is blooming 🙂  But homework is a major struggle, and leaving it status quo was not going to work! 

so i did the following things:

-I contacted his pediatrician and discussed his meds.  He takes focalin 15 mg XR (extended release).  We had settled on this amount after a few tweaks, 10 wasn’t enough, and 20 was caused him side effects of loss of appettite and his eye would twitch.  This dosage works well for him, but I had concerns it was wearing off by the time he got home, got some food, and started his home work.  She gave me 3 options which I am considering, but to be honest its my last option if possible:  first we could up his dosage, two we could give a half dose in the afternoons, or we could switch him to a new drug, vyvance, which is suppose to be more consistent throughout the day. 

My biggest problem with any of these, even though I struggle with him so much to get things done, is losing who he is.  He is so much more muted thru the day, and that makes it more convenient for everyone else, but its like seeing a black and white rainbow.  He is so much more animated, alive and full of smiles and giggles in the afternoons and evenings.  And one day I know this energy will be channeled into something, so to always be in control of him and not let him just be, doesn’t make sense to me.

-I also talked to his school therapist who sees him twice a month in group and once a month individually.  She gave me some suggestions and information.  And it was somewhat helpful, but still wasn’t the right fit.

So I continued my quest…

-I then did some research online, finding the following sites/articles extremely helpful:



And yesterday we ended up with a breakthrough day in my book.  He got his homework done, he had a positive attitude and he was so much more efficient, getting the work that previously took sometimes 3 hours to do done in almost half the time:)!! 

Here is what worked for us:

-We took an hour break after school.  I told him go eat, go play, do what you want, but then you start on your work.

-He then worked for 20 mins, and took 5-10 min breaks.  And we kept doing this till he completed his work. 

-He also has daily reading, so as a reward for him getting done so fast I let him do that after dinner

-And throughout I praised him for his efforts and encouraged him.


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