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My son was diagnosed with ADHD and learning disabilities at the end of third grade. He is now in ninth grade and gets very frustrated to the fact that he can’t concentrate and do well in school. I feel frustrated myself because I don’t know how to help him get out of his frustration.

He used to take Concerta until last year. He now refuses to take the medicine because it makes him feel a different person and he gets angry and aggressive when he takes it. I stopped giving it to him.

Please provide me with some feedback as to how I can help him succeed.


Let me focus first on the ADHD. Maybe he can’t concentrate in school because his ADHD is no longer being treated. You should know that there are two consequences of being on too high a dose of Ritalin (Concerta). First, the individual may be more emotionally fragile - more angry or upset. Second, the individual may feel spacey - like someone flattened his personality. Perhaps if he saw someone who knew how to adjust the dose and monitor the medication, he would not resist. Discuss this with your physician.

Second, he has learning disabilities. And, now he is in high school. Does he have the compensatory strategies to handle high school work? Does he have the necessary accommodations in class? Could his frustration also be because he is no longer receiving adequate services?

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