step-son with ADHD and dad in denial

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2008
step-son with ADHD and dad in denial
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 8:51am

I am having a really hard time here and I don't know what to do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2009
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 9:38am

I'm a step-mom, and I totally understand your frustration. My SS is mildly ADHD, and has been assessed as mildly mentally handicapped. This assessment was only done when he was 17 yo. My DH and his EX kept their heads in the sand until they were blatantly told by the high school that my SS would never be able to graduate. It was only then that they acted on his behalf. They got him involved with an organization (that he could have been involved with since age 12), but by that time SS wanted no part of it, wanted no talk of him being challenged. If SS had only come to terms with it earlier...

Really, the only thing that you can do is continue to talk to your DH. Coming to terms with a diagnosis is difficult and add to that the fear of medicating ones child. I understand that as well. My DS is severely ADHD and I worried about meds making him a zombie. I agreed initially to start him on a super-low dose of Ritalin and then later agreed to have it increased when I was satisfied that it would neither harm him nor change him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 12:03pm

Well, if he won't put him on meds, maybe he needs to have an aid or be in special day class so that he gets more one on one attention to keep him on track? Which is worse to your husband? Medications or special education? The aid and the special education would not go unnoticed by his peers.

What does BM think should be done? If she is wishy-washy about it too, then you probably need to sit back and be as supportive of your step son as you can without going against what they want. It can be very difficult to watch, but may be what you need to do.

You may want to keep a notebook of what step son says about school if he is staying with you or coming home from school to you. It may help convince his dad that this is indeed harming him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2008
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 12:28pm

This seems to be a common problem. Men seem to think we can "parent" this away and oppose medication. What worked with my husband was having him go to the appointments, talk face-to-face with teachers and administrators, talk face-to-face with the doctors. It's the only way they "get" it. They need to hear it right from the experts exactly what's wrong, how it's not normal and how it can't be corrected through any parenting strategy. If they hear it from a spouse/ex-spouse, it doesn't seem to hold as much merit.

Go to the website for ADDitude magazine. It's full of resources. Also get a subscription because you'll find it really helpful as you manage this condition. They have some great articles about the benefits of medication.

Best of luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2007
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 12:38pm

Hi, and welcome1

Has your Dh spoken to the

A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Thu, 07-29-2010 - 1:19pm

I want to "ditto" a lot of the responses you've already received.