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Thread: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Bristol Bay area Alaska
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    Default parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    I have read the school problems thread but thought I'd start this slightly different one seeking insight. My nearly 11 yr old, TS mild, FAE mild, smart but Extremely oppositional. He is doing very well to average in school but it is increasingly difficult to get him to do homework, especially math. He knows the math but hates to do the writing. Sometimes my wife will agree to do the writing if he will talk through what has to be done - like long division. But its a real struggle to get him to even start work without turning into a major, sometimes physical battle.

    We've tried all sorts of reward systems. We are tapering off from 8wks of trying Prozac hoping reduced anxiety would improve compliance - helped for a few weeks but then he was no better and finally complained the meds made him feel sick much of the time.

    So- ways to encourage doing school work - or other chores when a kid is very oppositional are welcomed.

  2. #2

    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    heh well for a while what worked for me was listening to music cause it would block out other distractions and relax me but I dunno now because Im having massive troubles focusing lol so you could try music I keep falling asleep lol

  3. #3

    Smile Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    I just have to say I know how you feel. My son has been becoming oppositional more and more with homework. I had a social worker come to my house last week and show me the steps to success. We set up a place in his bedroom to do his homework. We proceeded by having my son go and work, he isn't to come out of his room unless he is willing to accept help if he doesn't know how to do something, or finish what he does know. If he comes out something is removed from his room or other priviledges that mean something to him. My son owns a gerbil and loves it to death so we used that. It took 21/2 hours the first day but it worked and he broke down and did it. Halleluia!!! We have continued this strategy for a week now ,it still may take an hour before he gets started but it gets done. My son is 11 also and hadn't wrote anything on paper for a long time and now is producing some. It was a step in the right direction for us. good luck , it takes an enormous amount of patience and consistency , but you feel like you are the one controlling the situation again,not the other way around.

  4. #4

    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    eeep Im glad I dont have anything like that although Im worried my mom might start so I should prolly get to work lol

  5. #5

    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    Just to provide a different perspective---My son, now 13, was not able to complete homework when he was younger. He was diagnosed at 11 1/2 years. The psychiatrist explained that my son spent so much time trying to succeed in the school environment that by the time he got home there was nothing left. My son was unable to function usually by the time that he got home. I had to work with the teachers to ensure that the expectations were reasonable with the diagnosis and then I had to help my son succeed.
    If the teacher hasn't read Handbook for Educators he/she should. There are ways to help a child with Tourette (and accompanying disorders) succeed but sometimes just getting through the day is the reasonable goal.
    I wish you luck. I had to learn to work with the ebb and flow of Tourette (and advocate with his school) so that my son could feel success and so that he could learn to manage his symptoms more effectively.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    Hi Jenny again here. Thanks to others for comments too. Our guy seems pretty immune to music, can't carry a tune and doesn't seem to respond to music much at all. Some days its like you describe Jenny and lots of days it seems he's mostly just determined to do what he wants. He can sit and work quietly and very very intently on something of his own choosing but can't (won't?) do 5 simple math problems that I know he can almost do in his head.

    It can also depend on if he ate enough lunch - too often doesn't eat much at all so he can play longer at recess, then he's on what I call a caloric deficit all afternoon and highly explosive until well after dinner when he finally catches up. This is after completing his lunch on the way home, often eating huge snacks up arriving home. Lately I see the school is holding kids at lunch until all have eaten then letting them play. Might be helping. I think our guy does a lot of muscle tensing tics that aren't obvious - like he's doing isometrics much of the time. He burns a lot of calories, is hot much of the time and has eaten like a teenager since he was about 6 - like 12 six inch pancakes, 2 eggs and several slices of bacon - or 3 huge bowls of cereal and several slices of toast are not uncommon for breakfast. His muscles are rock hard and he's lean as whip.

    He's in a very small private school, has 5 class mates (15 total in the school) and a teacher very willing to work with us. But like I've learned- but have to relearn regularly - he has a real ebb and flow. Periods of calm and periods of storm and I'm real poor at predicting them. Like I mentioned in the Parent's thread managing computer time. Right now access to the computer is close to the Gerbil incentive Jenny uses. For this past weekend he managed to get the homework done and get his 2 hrs of computer time reward. No bruises, no new holes in the wall. No way can we make him stay in a room. Just the threat of it will incite a major battle. He seems to have a compulsion that if we try to confine him, he HAS to get out. Taking away things just sets off an ever escalating cycle of vengeance. Contrition is something our guy seems to experience very rarely if at all.

    Tonight went pretty well though he waited until 9 pm to start his work. At least it wasn't a battle all evening and I feel sane.

  7. #7

    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    This age can be difficult as hormones begin to play a factor in our TS children. I've been through this - can be just as stressful on the child as is the parent. I learned something that worked for us........it's called "When-Then". If you can find some small reward for your child after finishing homework, this may work.

    You simply state, "When you finish your homework, Then .............. you can have your friend over. or "When you finish the first question, then I will help you with the second question".

    I hope this helps - all the best.
    Tictalkmom
    Being different is special.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    I was horrible with homework. now I know why, of course. My dad had to contain me in the kitchen and watch me do my homework. Perhaps you could get him involved with your schools resource centre and have him do outstanding homework in school a few periods a week to help him along? It seems to me like if he gets good marks in school, Maybe it would be easier to do most of his homework at school. Its a win win, because he doesn't have to waste at home time.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan
    I was horrible with homework.
    What's it like for you now when you have to focus on intensive work?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: parent looking to teens for insight on 11 yr and homework issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    What's it like for you now when you have to focus on intensive work?
    I honestly never do my homework. I find impossible to concentrate. If i'm at school, I do my work easily. at home, not so much. If i'm doing a stressful job at work, I do it right away. (like an exam, soldering, culminating activities, log sheets) When its a absolutely neccesary to do them, I do them. Usually i procrastinate though.

    On all my report cards since grade 1 the comments have always said " has trouble consistantly handing in assignments" or "distracted easily"

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