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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Hi, We have a 13 1/2 years old son. His interest in school

Customer Question


We have a 13 1/2 years old son. His interest in school started to vanish about a year ago to the point of failing.
We always watch his progress and try to guid him, however, I am realizing it is something out of his control. He wants to do good in school, but he can't get himself to do the work.

We had him see a doctor when he was 9 for ADHD and OCD, but the side effects of medication made us decide to stop it when he turned 11.

Can you please advise if we need to take him to a doctor or if this can be solved through counseling.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.


Good morning, I would like to assist you today.


I do understand your concerns for your son. Many children who have been diagnosed with ADHD have the capabilities of learning and doing well in school just like children without the diagnosis. Getting your son to focus and do well in school will take effort and consistency, but it is definitely achievable. I also truly understand your concern about the medication, and how that may have affected your son. I think as a parent, it is never a bad idea to get a second (and sometimes third) opinion of how to best manage your son's ADHD. I think that a good idea would be to take your son to his pediatrician and make him or her aware of your concerns about your son's focus in school. Make him or her aware that medication is not something that you want for your son, and that you are interested in any alternatives that can help your son along the way, including counseling. It might even be a good idea to research and find a pediatrician who specializes in a holistic medicine. Research has shown the holistic (non-drug/natural) approach to ADHD to be effective:


Here is a link to the Holistic Pediatrician Alliance:


You can search in your area for a holistic pediatrician that may suite your family's needs. There are also steps that can be taken with your sons school, at home, and in advance that can help him to achieve at school. This article has a wealth of tips for helping your son in school, including staying in communication with teachers to set up a strategy for your son's learning, learning to manage his ADHD symptoms, as well as methods outside of school that can be used to encourage your son to focus and learn:


If there are any other questions or comments that you have, or if you feel that I have not provided a sufficient answer, please message for "earthsister," and I will do all that I can to assist you.

Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I do feel your frustrations because I have experienced the exact same situation myself with my own child as well as with my students. First of all, it is perfectly normal not to want your child to rely on medication due to the such side effects of weight issues, sleepless nights, etc. It is the parent's ultimate choice to select medication or not. So I do applaud you for adhering to your personal choice regarding the medication.

Nonetheless, there is an OUTSTANDING website,, that can help you with so many of your issues. It is for parents with children with ADD/ADHD. They provide advice, resources, support groups in your area, etc. Even if you email one of the experts with your specific concerns, they can tell you specifically which direction to take. You will be extremely happy with such a thorough site. Even if your son has an IEP or a 504 plan, you can get assistance with necessary modifications and accommodations that need to be added or deleted for your son.

Nonetheless to help you now, since your son is not taking medication and you would like him to improve academically, another alternative would be behavior modification therapy. That seems to be the only alternative to not taking medication. Under the guidance of a pediatrician and/or a psychologist at school or outside of school coupled with the support of the teachers, your son will be placed on a behavior plan specific to his behavioral challenges. The goal of any behavior plan is to focus on the positive to eliminate the negative and be rewarded for the positive behavior. The key to behavior modification plans is consistency as well as follow through.

I certainly hope that this has provided you with more insight. Please contact me, proexpert37, for your future educational concerns and I would be more than willing to assist you.

If I have met your needs, please feel free to give me a positive rating. My number one goal is to make sure that you are happy. If you need further clarification, please let me know.

Have a great weekend! Take care!
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.
Hello, I wanted to provide a better link than I did in my original reply in regards XXXXX XXXXX research that has found natural methods as being beneficial in dealing with ADHD. I lost the original article that I was supposed to provide you (and mistakenly sent the same link to you twice), if I find it, I will give that link to you as well. This link however is somewhat close to the one I lost, and it addresses the fact that there are several alternatives to giving your child medicine for ADHD:

Talk to your pediatrician, and definitely use the link to the Holistic Pediatrician website that I provided above in case you would like a second opinion. I hope this helps. Thanks
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
The best website is in fact CHADD as any professional can tell you. It is referred to in medical books, educational resources, and by pediatricians and school professionals as well. It is a highly valued and you will be provided with a plethora of resources and valuable information to help you and your child.
Expert:  earthsister replied 5 years ago.
I found the link for you:

There are two professionals commenting on this thread, as I am the original one, "earthsister" who answered your query. I apologize if there is any confusion, please feel free to rate or accept whoever you please. There are many views on what is best for children with ADHD, and as I am sure you yourself are aware, often the most medically recommended by doctors and the like is not always what is best for you and your family. Please let me know if you need any further assistance.
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Also, I was just wondering if there are any behavioral components stated in your son's IEP if he has an IEP?