"Children learn whatever you teach them, whether you've intended for them to learn it or not. "

12 YO with ADHD, Tics, Hair Pulling, Low Self-Esteem

Question

My son is 12, he has been on about every ADHD med in the past 6 years. The non-stimulant med would only "help" his behavior/focus for a short time (couple months) before the inattentive and hyperactivity returned. Doctors would put him on another, same results. Then came the "stimulants", pretty much the same results as non-stimulants. However, within months we started to see side effects. He began "rolling his eyes" back/ cutting his eyes to the side. Doctors claimed it was a "tic" he already had, but anxiety brought it out. NEVER seen him do this before. They "treated" this with meds. I changed doctors, she tried a different stimulant. The eye rolling slowly went away, but started pulling his eyebrows/eyelashes out. When that became noticeable he started pulling his hair out to the point that I simply shaved his head because of the large bald spots on either side/top of his head. When I began calling attention to the pulling, he began pulling the thread out of clothes. He has mutilated all but about a couple shirts, his closet is bare! The same with underwear, sock and pants. Doctor sent him to a ADHD specialist. He said my sons body couldn't handle the stimulant meds and put him back on a non-stimulant and he did have anxiety, so also put him on Prozac!! NOTHING! I have stopped ALL medications, he only takes vitamins now. He is failing most subjects at school, he has a hard time focusing and even more now because he is distracted by the hair pulling. We have tried many things and cant seem to remedy the "picking". My son has had such distraction during school this year and so many problems from "side effects" of the meds that I decided to hold him back next year. I do not feel that he has gotten what he needs to move ahead, even if he happens to pass. His problem now is focus and motivation, he is no longer hyper (no more than most 12 year olds BOYS). He spends hours on homework each night just trying to complete it, or studying and still fails the test because he has such trouble focusing. His self esteem is low from all this. With the warmer weather, he still wants to wear a coat to cover up how he has picked his shirt. He gets embarrassed, leaves the room and cries when u catch him picking and I simply give him a look or just say his name or tap his shoulder if others are around. He says he wants to stop but he does it without realizing. My questions is do you have any tips on motivating a kid who has gotten so frustrated with "the situation" that he just gives up and doesn't try.He is in a small private school with very low teacher-student ratio and they are willing to help him in any way. We just don't know what to do anymore and I do not want to put him back on meds. I am a tough parent, I do not hold back with discipline and do not want to be my childs friend. I am not afraid to be his mother, If he doesn't "like" me... so be it. I am told by most people that i am too tough on my kid, but he doesn't get any discipline from me that my mother wouldn't have given me 35 years ago. I have also been told by strangers that i have some of the most well behaved kids they have been around these days. I am just at a point that i don't know what to do and I just really want to help him get through this.

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