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Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Teens, Preteens, & Young Adults > Disorganized, Forgetful Teen/ Executive Function Impairment
My 13 yr old daughter is a great kid and bright too but she procrastinates and get distracted when it comes time to get homework done. I have lectured her endlessly about getting homework done quickly and efficiently so she can have time to relax at the end of the day rather than trying to cram it all in just before bedtime. I'd love to teach her how to be a better time manager but all of my talking doesn't seem to be getting through. Any suggestions?
Some families say they plan out their kids' evening hours but this never worked for us since some days the homework load really was light but other times it was overwhelming. However the kids learned to first review all the homework assignments before starting in. If they needed to talk to classmates about assignments, we had to monitor that so they wouldn't get sidetracked. Been there, too
Expectations: My 13-year-old son is never going to run home to do homework. Actually, I'm not sure I even would, to be fair, and I am actually very good at time management as a self-employed person. Make sure you give your daughter some cooling-off, relaxing time before she has to do work upon returning home. She is a person, not a machine, and school is stressful. Let her relax a little bit.
Instilling useful behavior: What I have found most effective is to create the structure that will work for my son. So, no computer games before homework. Bedtime is firm; he can't stay up until 1 a.m. doing homework. Because he loves to get on the game, he will get down to his homework fairly quickly in order to play afterwards. Because of our son's other issues, we also used tutors last year four nights/week, mainly so that he knew that at 5 p.m., there would be someone waiting to do homework with him. He couldn't procrastinate (or, in his case, work himself into a panic zone). He just had to sit down and do it. You probably don't need tutors, but you can create a homework zone of certain hours, using her favorite activities (texting? phone calls? computer time) as the carrot. think long-term improvement
We are struggling to figure out which direction to pursue in terms of getting help for our bright but very disorganized daughter who will be starting high school this Fall. She is a smart girl who was diagnosed with moderate level sensory integration issues in kindergarten, received 3 years of occupational therapy and several years of tutoring to address challenges with her writing, (mechanics, spelling and grammar.) She attended a private school K-5, and then we tried public school 6 and 7th, but for social reasons ended up removing her from public middle school and sending her back to private school for 8th grade. She is a bright girl and has mostly done well in school as long as she receives appropriate support. In 4th grade we were about to do a full neuropsych evaluation for several thousand dollars but just prior to the eval at a meeting with her teacher decided to hold off on the eval since she was doing so well in school and her test scores were so high except for the specific areas where we new she would have challenges and she was already receiving tutoring. Last year, upon returning to private school, she needed quite a bit of help organizing a major final year project. While she ultimately did well, the kinds of things that were occurring included her completing homework but then forgetting to turn it in, loosing things constantly, having a binder that is a fright to look at etc. etc. Definitely major challenges with executive functioning. She is about to start high school where the challenges for organization will only increase, and the expectation of increased independence will as well. We plan to hire a tutor to help support her but the confusing part is should we get her evaluated, and if so what kind of evaluation, the full 6,000.00 neuropsych evaluation? I have read reviews on this site about behavioral pediatricians who evaluate for ADHD and LD. I do not, however, think that we would be wanting to pursue medication, as she does too well to warrant this, but clearly has something going on and not sure how best to address this. A rambling confused post here but that is representative of our uncertainty about what is going on and what makes sense to pursue. Anyone have similar experiences? Its not that we need a label, but want to make sure we are supporting her in the most appropriate way possible to give our bright daughter the best chance of succeeded in high school and beyond. Confused
My son has had neuropsychological testing, which he needed for accommodations. If your daughter needs accommodations, a neuropsychological evaluation is the best option, particularly for the testing bureaus and colleges. However, testing for accommodations needs to be current, so timing is key. There are many options for testing for ADHD that are less costly. Her pediatrician should be able to give you a referral. If you suspect learning disabilities, it probably would be.better to do the neuropsychological testing. Good luck. Anon
This is the very reason I **finally** took my teenage daughter to have a neuropsych eval. I am so very glad we did it.
After extensive research, we went to the Eide Clinic in Seattle. What impressed me the most about our visit was that, while one of the doctors was testing my daughter, the other doctor was chatting with me. This was the first time in my life I got to sit with a doctor for hours at a time discussing my child! I came away with pages and pages of notes.
You might want to read the book The Mislabeled Child by Fernette and Brock Eide. I found it very helpful and it gave me an idea of their approach to LD's. BTW,the Eides are neurologists (M.D.'s), not psychologists. There is a lot of info about them on the internet. Their website is www.neurolearning.com.
The bad news is that my daughter does have a learning disability. The good news is that it is very specific, so no further testing is necessary. At least now we know what we're up against and how best to help her. BTW, my daughter is very glad to know. It helped tremendously to have the doctors explain it directly to her.
The total cost of the trip to Seattle, including the evaluation, airfare, hotel, car rental, etc. was $5000. To keep costs down, only the two of us made the trip. Best wishes to you and your child. Anon
That being said, if your daughter's functioning requires this kind of intervention, wouldn't you want to get as complete a picture as possible? Why not get a full evaluation? Like any parent would be, we were very reluctant to consider medication, but if you have a child with ADHD, we have found it can really be helpful in a way that nothing else is. Best of luck! Been there
My 14 year old/8th grader is continually turning assignments in late - and has recently "forgot" about a take home test. His actual work is good - usually an A or B+, but he is marked down a letter-grade for lateness, and so his morale is down and his overall GPA is really suffering. We have tried everything we can think of to help him get organized - offering bulletin boards, and date books, and printing out class weekly assignments. We have taken away privileges or had calm discussions, we have left him alone to take the consequences or have intervened to give him structure. NOTHING seems to help. I know this hormonal and somewhat age appropriate - but it is really concerning us. He wants to go to Berkeley High next year rather than private school, but I am reluctant because he doesn't seem to be able to be responsible and handle his basic obligations - and I know he needs to be "self-motivated and self-disciplined" in order to do well there. PLEASE offer any suggestions on how we can help him get his act together.
I need some advice on how to handle my daughter's lack of organizational skills. Mainly she needs help in getting her school work and supplies together. We have tried almost everything...therapy, lists, folders, organizers, etc. etc.... Because of this problem, she is getting very low grades in her classes since she is forgetting her homework, equipment, books and other things she needs for classes. I should mention that my daughter is 16 and is a sophomore. She has had this problem since she started school. I have had her tested and she doesn't have ADD or any other "disorder". We are at our wit's end. Punishments don't seem to help, neither does praise or positive reinforcement. She and I can sit down and talk about this, and she always says that she wants to do better, but nothing seems to last. Also, I should mention that she is very responsible and together when she babysits and people like her to take care of their children. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated. I have run out of ideas. Thanks,
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