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Homeschooling an ADHD, ODD, and anxiety 9th grader

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM
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Was wondering if there is anyone out there who is homeschooling a 9th grader with ADHD, ODD, and anxiety disorder/phobias? Today I was about to run away from home and if it wouldn't have been for my 2nd grader I might have. My 9th grader is so argumentative and knows everything better and it just goes on and on! We had lots of trouble in her school therefore to keep my sanity we took her out. She was not a bad girl in school, but just always showed up in class late, didn't bring her needed stuff, and started to be disrespectful to authorities. I got several calls a day and it was driving me insane, then she would call and tell me this and that, and it was like I was under her spell or something like that. She is smart but just pretends not to know when I know she knows. When she was in school and we paid lots of money for her books they looked like crap a few weeks later or she would lose them and we would have to buy again it went on and on. Now at least the books look good. She was in counseling for years and we finally took her out, it was a waste of time and mainly money. Nothing changed. She is a little better since out of school though, but not enough! If someone has a child like mine and has any ideas or has tried things that worked, please let me know. If you have never been around an ODD, ADHD, and bug phobia child I am not sure you would know or understand the frustrations that we are dealing with.  We have tried everything the docs suggested and other people suggested, but nothing works for her. She cannot be on meds, they made her crazy and very aggressive and we can't have that with our seven-years old here also. She is easy and does all her homeschooling work without problems. We praise our 14 years old when appropriate and we do all those things to make her feel good, but nothing works!

Thank you, Doris

by on Aug. 7, 2012 at 10:22 PM
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Mom2Kaylie
by on Aug. 8, 2012 at 3:29 PM
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What are her strengths and interests?  Having a lot of energy can be a strength if directed in a positive direction.  If she has trouble focusing on one task, it can be a strength as a multitasker.  Having several projects going at once and maybe make a list to make sure they all get completed by a certain point.  Try viewing her through a different lens.  Each day write down 3 things you like about her and a short story about something she's done that you enjoyed.  even if it was the cute way she used to talk to her dolls. You did mention getting her homeschool work done was a positive thing about her.  You don't need to praise her for it, it might come across as you trying to control her.  Discuss what she may be interested in doing with her life and have her figure out what she would need to do to reach HER goal.  Then let her do it or let her change her goal. 

She may be difficult for you to like right now but if you can keep those loving positive feellings for her present for you than it will be easier for you to react the way you want to and she will notice and it may help her be more agreeable some.  If not, well it won't hurt her and will help you feel better about her.

blue52
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:53 PM
Oh those days...(rolling eyes)...of wishing to run away for a break...LOL!!

I homeschool a 13 yr old ADHD son.

It helps to have a support system of others that know what its like dealing with an ADHD child even before discussing homeschooling!

You didnt mention your "house rules". Do you have any? Are they clear and concise? Do you have them posted so she can see them visually??.....Does it tell what the consequences are??

Blue
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blue52
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:59 PM
Since you cant medicate do you do any supplements or special diets?

I also wanted to mention...that I constantly am role playing with my son on how he should act and react....like for her know it all, argumentative behavior. She needs to be constantly reminded that in the adult world things are different.

Its fine to praise a child but dont over do it...getting to stay home and be educated just because she is ADHD, ODD is not a positive ....you need to be strict..

Blue
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southernwldchld
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 8, 2012 at 8:54 PM
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DS was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD/Bipolar/Anxiety/Depression. We wrapped it all up into Sensory Issues. If we don't do his daily therapy, I want to sell him to the circus. Hell I'll just give him to the circus really. Take him already. 

You have to be strict, you have to have house rules that are visibly posted and fully understood. Praise only when truly appropriate, but make sure your praise is directly related to what was done. No blanket statements. 

I appreciate that you remembered your book, we can finish our work faster this way. 

Thank you for responding respectfully, now I can do the same.

Try to get her into things that interest her. Volunteering with animals is a great mood lifter. My oldest volunteers once a week and it does wonders for her attitude. 

Involve her as much as possible in her own life. Have an open talk where she is allowed to express what she wants/needs and you are able to respond respectfully with what you can/will do for her.

We pulled ds off meds when they put him on depakote at 6. We used a hemp protein supplement that had lots of omega 3. We made smoothies with it, and also added a small drop of vitamin b12. It really helped with mood and attitudes. I keep the b12 in my purse and have been known to put a drop under the tongue of an anxious, hyper kid. 

Do not respond in kind. Nothing gets my teenager more annoyed and stops an argument faster than if I refuse to engage with her. I keep my voice and mood level and devoid of emotion until we've passed the whinefest.

Just some tricks that have worked with us, Good luck Mama!

SusanTheWriter
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 9, 2012 at 8:51 AM

My 15yo is ADD and depressed. We pulled her out of school when things reached a critical low. The depression is cyclical and right now she's doing really well, but I know enough now to wait for the next low to hit.

She does take Concerta for her ADD, but hates taking her depression meds. She took one that they gave her at the hospital, but it made her manic. We switched to one that works better, but once she stabilized, she stopped taking it. Her therapist says that if she's truly okay, then she doesn't have to take it, so I'm going with it.

The one blessing is that I don't have to deal with attitude. No ODD. But the blessing of homeschooling is that we can adjust for good days and bad, for manic periods and times when getting out of bed is a struggle. There aren't many high school classrooms where it's okay to do jumping jacks in the middle of the lesson to get the heebie-jeebies out!

Staying on track with her ADD is a struggle because I'm also ADD. I have a hard time staying on task and on track myself, but we manage. I teach her coping strategies that work for me and encourage her to come up with her own. She sees a therapist every two weeks and we talk regularly about how she's doing, what her ups and downs are and how to deal with them.

Hugs and prayers!

wendythewriter
by Helping Hands on Aug. 9, 2012 at 9:16 AM
1 mom liked this

My boys both have ADHD. I have just pulled them off their meds, initially due to an insurance/doctor screw up, but then discovering that a. their appetites improved massively, and b. their behavior wasn't that much worse off the meds than on.

I have been doing some research into natural methods of treatment for ADHD, because my youngest still struggles. They are taking fish oil and evening primrose oil daily, which definitely seems to be helping. I'm about to get them back on a multivitamin to bring their zinc levels back up, because I read that it's possible that low zinc levels can make the symptoms worse. And they'll also be drinking green tea because someone on this site mentioned it can help and my own research indicated it might. These are all things you could try to help ease the ADHD symptoms.

The ODD I don't have any experience with, so I can't give you any advice there.

I personally suffer from anxiety, too. I find some valerian root can sometimes help ease that. Also sometimes just sitting there and letting myself be anxious for a few minutes can help - my brain worries but then starts finding those "buts" that negate my anxiety.

One other thought, for the ADHD. I've read that some antidepressants can be used (off label, of course) for treating ADHD. If the meds that are for ADHD can't be used, maybe you could ask her doctor about trying an antidepressant to see if it can help, and avoid the side effects that you find with the other meds you've tried.

Wendy Miller
Single mom of 2 boys
Author of Tangled Deceit for Kindle and in paperback
Learn more about her on GoodReads

doriselm
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 9, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Yes we have all that in place and posted and we tried different ways, stricter or more lenient. Her ODD is always present no matter what we do. Good questions though, I appreciate it. We had to take her out of school because she was not focusing and she got bullied and teased and it was a private school! They did handle it, but not enough to make a difference in her mental state. I am happy to homeschool her, but it is soooo difficult!

Quoting blue52:

Oh those days...(rolling eyes)...of wishing to run away for a break...LOL!!

I homeschool a 13 yr old ADHD son.

It helps to have a support system of others that know what its like dealing with an ADHD child even before discussing homeschooling!

You didnt mention your "house rules". Do you have any? Are they clear and concise? Do you have them posted so she can see them visually??.....Does it tell what the consequences are??

Blue


RealWorldSchool
by Tanza on Aug. 9, 2012 at 2:50 PM

1st off - lots of love & hugs to you! I hope you have outlets for YOU time to restore your peace and focus on your interests as well. We have 2 kids - similar situation. Don't forget besides all that you are dealing with a TEENAGER! Our daughter had anxiety issues and signs of OCD when she was in elementary. She was on medication for 2yrs and weekly therapy. My husband stayed home while I worked. Once I got laid off we pulled her from school and homeschooled the last 3yrs.( all of middle school) 1 thing may be finding the right therapist. ( Now I know with that said..depending on where you live the pool may be limited or insurance wise, etc. We ended up out of pocket to get the right one. ) If she is gifted and has these other issues ( also known as Twice Exceptional or 2E), try looking up SENG to find a therapist who specializes in gifted or 2E kids.  We are so grateful for our therapist. Our daughter went from medicated and hiding behind the couch while talking from behind pillows to being off the meds, talking sitting on the couch. She still struggles with anxiety and is extremely shy - but she requested returning to school this fall for 9th grade. 

Hang in there and find those supports for you! Esp moms who can relate with the 2E and the teen years!

group hug

doriselm
by Welcome Squad on Aug. 10, 2012 at 1:54 AM

Thank you all for your ideas, it really helps. If you have any other ideas please let me know, taking notes. Thank you. :)

Cemommster
by Jenny on Dec. 8, 2012 at 11:29 PM
I am, only my ADD/ODD/Anxiety son is an 8th grader.
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