Getlifted08's picture
Getlifted08

Can a ADHD teen ever go out unsupervised??????????

My son is 14 yrs.  Everytime I try and trust him to do anything responsible he lets me down........I sit on pins and needles waiting for the dreaded phone call. I tell him your not capable to go away from home and be able to make the right decisions.  Last night after much debate I said ok I'll give it another try.  He was with another trusted teen friend.  We went through our normal drill of the rules and expectations.  Phone rings,  Maam this is security from the mall.  We have your son here for shoplifting!!!!!!!  Shoplifting I wanted to just DIE right on the spot.  He met up with someone totally different in the mall and decided to steal.  The trusted friend said mom I don't know why he did that.  I said i don't know why either.  I have such a great fear that he will end up in a Juvinile Detention.  What am I supposed to do keep him home with me at all times?????.  Can he ever be trusted again???????  I am praying for some answers?????? I prayed to God,  Lord this is your child,  You said you will not leave him or forsake him.  Show us the way!!!!!!!!   $300 later and a Down and out Mom. I can't even speak to him.  I have no words!!!!!!!! 

   



junieg's picture
junieg

It depends on the severity of the ADHD. I have two sons with this and they are leading normal enough lives now. My youngest son also has Asperger's. He is now 18 now and at college doing very well. Although not on medication now, he took Ritalin for nearly 7 years. I think that helped him enormously and gave him a good chance. Unlike his older brother who is still finding it difficult to fit in. Is your son on medication? If not, it might be worth considering it.

Getlifted08's picture
Getlifted08

Yes, Concerta.  But at a low dose 36 mg.  He could be on 54 mg according to his weight.  But the higher dose snows him.  We have not tired to rasie the dose in about 6-8 mos.  Maybe we should give it another try.  Once I explain that the impulsive behaviors are getting more severe.  Maybe my Pediatrician can change it to another med.  I will do some reasearch on a med called Strattera, and maybe even Ritalin.  It  really is hard to determine I don't like the side affects of any of them. 

junieg's picture
junieg

Good luck anyway. There are various meds that can be of help. Maybe just finding the right one will be all you need. I don't say this lightly because I know how medication probably saved my son's future. It was never easy, but it gave him the chance to focus and learn different strategies to help himself. If you get a chance, read some of Dr Christopher Green's work. He is a world renowned expert in ADHD but explains things in a very easy and clear way. He wrote a book called 'Understanding ADHD' which would be a good starting block. Hope things work out for you. You have my greatest sympathy because I know the hell it can be.

frankii's picture
frankii

I think the medication alone does not help your child...behavior intervention by a qualified professional can really help out. Sending out a positve message is important and teaching the child alternative behaviors is vital!!!

rhondaa's picture
rhondaa


I too find it hard to trust my 14 yr.old son to make the right choices.  He is ADHD, ODD and gifted.  He is also an underachiever.  He HATES school.  He started high school this year and I had such high hopes that a different atmosphere would change his attitude.  Needless to say it didn't.  He says he feels he is going to prison every day.  All the sitting and rules and people telling him what to do is not working.  His grades re-cently plummeted.  He was keeping a good GPA because we linked it to his motorcross racing.  At this point that will be out this year.  His interest are few and require a LOT of energy.  I'm at a loss.  He says he is not happy but refuses to use the word depressed.  He took med. in third grade for about a year.  We never did find one that suited him.  He says he will never take med. again or go to counseling.  He would rather die.  I just don't know how to help him anymore.  I worry about his future.  His dream right now is quitting school.  Any advice from anyone would be appreciated.  Good luck to any parent who has an ADHD child.  It truly is heart-breaking.

junieg's picture
junieg

I don't think that anyone said that medication alone was enough, but it will help the child to focus on the work that needs to be done by all involved. Yes a qualified professional's help should be sought. You have to be very careful in the way that you try to introduce alternative behaviours though.
Another thing which could help is introducing Omega 3 into the diet. I know there have been some very good results in children not only with ADHD but also in ASD and other areas. My son tried it and he noticed the difference himself as did all of his family and friends. Worth a try anyway.
Do you have some experience of ADHD Frankii?

rockdoc's picture
rockdoc

Sorry this is a month after the fact.  I hope you read it, and some of it helps. 


My son has ADHD (diagnosed at age 5) and is now 15.  I would say, given what your son has done, NO he should not go out unsupervised until both of you have worked through a behavioral modification program and he has EARNED that. If you want to keep him out of Juvie at this point, you need to get strong with this.  He will pressure, beg, plead, yell - what I have done is make arguing about restrictions earn more restrictions, such as "no you cannot go out with friends unsupervised.  You have not earned the privalege" and if he argues, "OK , now stop or you loose something else (TV, Computer games, whatever is meaningful to him)". If he doesn't stop, you have to enforce the consequences or nothing will work to help him modify his behavior.  He is the kid, you have to drive the bus. As others here have said, you need a behavioral management  program, with the big prize at the end, after much work , being allowed out with peers. If you cannot afford professional help, try clergy or other groups, or buy some books and get family involved. If you have any trusted adult males around, have him spend time with them alone doing guy stuff. Men find it much easier to call boys on whining, immaturity, and general disrespect.  The boys need that.


Otherwise, when he does something serious, the world will enforce the consequences without pity, and he will end up worse off. Otherwise he is going to follow his impulses, which are not good at this point (why don't they ever have an impulse to clean up their rooms? Take out the garbage?).  He may have actually planned to meet the other kid, so don't necessarily take the "I don't know why I did it " for an answer.  That can be just smoke, these kids can plan just fine when they are hyperfocued by sufficient motivation, and at this age have no problem using ADHD as an excuse.  He may just want very badly to succeed at something, to be accepted, even if its by a bad crowd.  ADHD kids ususally don't have many friends, they don't do all that well socially. So this may be his way to get into a peer group that would not otherwise take him. He may be trying to earn his "street cred".  Also, ADHD kids are often "late bloomers", ie clinically delayed in development.  My son is 15 months younger physically and mentally than his calendar age as determined by bone age Xrays.  This is a common problem, but unless you have been to an endocronologist or have a really good pediatrician, you might not know that.  Eventually they catch up, when their peers stop growing, in their early 20s, so its not permanent. But it does mean they are much younger than their Birthday age.  Your son might be 13 or even younger mentally and emotionally.  You have to factor that into everything.


Would you let a 12 or 13 year old go to the mall unsupervised?  One with impulse control problems, and a strong motivation to find a way to get attention from his peers?  I think not.  Don't let what other kids are allowed to do guide you too much - ourt kids are different, we have to find our own way. I don't really think any 14 year old should be going to a mall unsupervised, ADHD or not. There is too much opportunity for mischief, and risk of predation. Plus they get too into chasing "stuff" as a lifestyle. None of the mothers of my group ever allowed that, even for "normal" kids.


You can help your son.  But its going to take a lot of work on your part.  I know how exhausting it is, after 14 years you just want the load to ease a little (why can't they Grow UP already) but really they need us to be strong for them now more than ever, as mistakes now can be unrecoverable, even deadly.


 Stay Strong!

SJPrice's picture
SJPrice

I too have a situation with my grandson 17 yrs. He doesn't like school, did get into a vocational school but soon dropped out. He is now in the DH for 90 days viotating his probation. He stays in the yard and then all of a sudden disappears, last time for 9 days we were able to locate him through some of this friends. He seems to be lost and just wants to wander around from place to place. I fear that he will get in with the wrong people and something awful will happen to him. He will be 18 in Jan., so there won't be much I will be able to do for him. What are the best jobs for his type of personality? I know how easy it is to just want to pull away from them, you can only take and do so much for them. He has stolen from us, been to court to many times to count. My husband is not his biological grandfather which doesn't help at all. He feels unwanted and is very afraid.

debw6051's picture
debw6051

We adopoted 4 ADHD children, who all have other problems as well. Our 14 yr old son has many of the same issues as the original writer of thread. We have finally decided to start homeschooling within the next month.
These children have had such a horrible time trying to "fit in" in the classroom that it took much time away from actual learning. Knowing that at least 3 of the 4 will never go to a conventional college, we felt that hs'ing was best for us. They can be learning various skills which will help when they are ready to enroll in a trade school.
I too found this boy to be starting behaviors which were just not acceptable. These kids are normally very intelligent, just unconventional. We have no idea if he will ever be to the point where he can drive (it makes me way too nervous to even CONSIDER that) but we do know that he has many strengths and hs'ing allows him the opportunity to explore those strengths. Good luck.

debw6051's picture
debw6051

We've found that even though we love these kids, they are ALWAYS going to feel "unwanted" due to not being with bio parents. I'm 58 and still feel the effects of my parents having my g-parents raise me for several, early years. These children are also very susceptable to getting in with the wrong crowds, in trying to fit in. We can only do so much grandma. Please don't beat yourself up over this. He's going to do what he's going to do at this point. Just please do not enable his misbehavior by giving him chance after chance to steal from you. Let him know that if it happens again, he will be on his own to take the natural consequinces and DO NOT BACK DOWN!