Skip to main content

Help! I am a sophomore in a private school. When I was in first grade I was diagnosed with ADHD and a visual processing disorder. I got help, medication, and accommodations so I eventually worked my way up through the system.

By eighth grade I was a straight-A honors student with almost no late assignments and not that many late nights. The perfect success story… until this year. It was like I hit a brick wall a quarter into the year.

All of a sudden I was staying up until 2am or 3am every night trying (and often failing) to get my work done. I frequently only had time to eat one actual meal a day. My parents and I were a little less than pleased and talked to my guidance counselor and the learning support teacher at school. We are pursuing retesting. I now have preferential seating and can get extensions on due dates.

But the problem isn’t gone. At all. I am still up late and stress and my parents and I still donít like it. Can learning disabilities and ADHD get worse? I didnít think that they could. What can I do to work better and focus better? I’m really tired of it taking me up to an hour to write a one-page paper. I’ve read everything on this Web site about visual processing and have done extensive research on ADHD. What do I do now? What else can I try? I’m running out of ideas.

Here’s what I have tried: multiple types and doses of meds; assistive technology with reading; keeping a planner; prioritizing; using a timer when working; outlining and other organizational techniques for papers; taking notes; placing an object under the text; quiet work space; consistent work time; taking breaks; taking notes/ highlighting while reading; writing on the computer or with different paper/pens/pencils; being well rested; no cell phone distractions; working early in the morning after sleeping; caffeine; different lighting; classical music; enlarged print; underlining; reading/saying it aloud; and color coding.

I suspect that you have executive function disorders. These problems often become an issue starting in middle and then high school. Problems might include difficulty organizing your school materials, papers, reports, and assignments. Thus, you might lose or misplace things or leave things at home when you go to school.

You might also have difficulty organizing and keeping track of your personal belongings (backpack, coat, pencils, etc.) and keeping your personal space organized. Often, there is a problem with monitoring time.

Added to these problems might be difficulties with retaining what you have read or with organizing your thoughts when you need to write something.

If this description sounds like you, you will need updated psycho-educational testing to clarify how best to help. Usually, an organization coach is needed but often more is necessary. Show my answer to your parents and ask that they arrange such studies. Good luck!

Back to Top