Any advice for a 15 year old antisocial boy with ADD?

Alison - posted on 08/05/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I am at my wits end. I am a mom of 3 kids who have really been through a lot in the last few years. I went through a really nasty divorce in which the older two boys have chosen not to have any contact with their father. Their little sister, 9 does see their father. There was a nasty criminal court battle that the boys had to testify in and the two boys have been through extensive counseling and are now just trying to move forward. It has been really hard. My fiance has been a huge part of that and is even trying to help them rebuild a relationship with their father. My 15 year old son, being the middle child, has always been the quietest in this. He has always been the one who does not want to talk about anything, keeps to himself, and really just avoids the whole situation. He has completely self medicated with video games, something I feel partly responsible for because I just flat out do not have a clue what to do. That said, this has completely gotten out of control. Here I am on the weekend, it is hot outside and there are two lakes within walking distance of my house. He is sitting in his bedroom with his door closed and his blinds closed glued to his TV. His so called friends down the road are "not home" and he is "bored". I bought a membership to the YMCA and have taken away all of his privileges with the intention of getting him to find something else to do. Maybe he might go hang out with his friends, find a girl to hang out with, go swim at the YMCA. His grades suck, he has no interest in anything, and I am worried about him. So the rule is, no TV or video games until 6 when I get home from work just so I can keep an eye on things and to my knowledge (based on his siblings letting me in on things) this rule is being followed. The problem is, he is not using it to his advantage. He has been going to the YMCA, but only because my fiance takes him and his sister and drops them off. When he comes home he sits in the living room and does nothing. We don't have a TV in there so he literally does nothing. He does have interests. He loves messing around with cars so I have been looking into getting him into an alternative school program that we have in our district that I do think would help him and he would learn automotive skills. This is not offered at his high school. Did I mention that he is diagnosed ADHD? He has not been on medication because I do not think that medication is the answer. I have been on medication myself and the side effects are dangerous and I won't subject him to that. However, I am wondering what the next step is. I am thinking psychiatrist. Any suggestions?

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Sammy - posted on 08/06/2012

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I would suggest three things then. Take the video games from him for at least one day a week and slowly work up on the days, get him to start keeping a journal and get him in to talk to a therapist. I would talk to the doctor about the different types of medication there is out there. There are some out there that are for ADHD/ADD now that have few side effects. Medication might be something that will help him even though they do have some side effects.

Alison - posted on 08/06/2012

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Sammy, thanks for your reply. I have tried that actually. He shoves things like that away in the corner. As long as video games are in my house, he will always revert back to them. I am not sure if it is my own guilt or the fear of what will happen to him that keeps me from taking them away.

Sammy - posted on 08/06/2012

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Have you tried getting him puzzles or models that he could put together? Sometimes people with ADHD/ADD can not focus on a lot of things. Video games do allow a person with ADHD/ADD to concentrate because the game is always changing. I grew up with ADHD/ADD and still have it but I am able to focus a lot more now than what I could. It may also help if he does talk to a therapist about how he is feeling. It may also help if he kept a journal about how he is feeling and what he has done and maybe what he can do to change things for him so he isn't always playing a game or sitting around bored. I would suggest first trying models and puzzles and seeing if he likes them or ask him what other things he likes besides games and try to get him into that.

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