I am trying to be patient with this medication, but it’s obviously not helping One. Single. Thing.

Dylan hasn’t turned in his lab work from October 30th – the day before we took him off his medicine.  He did it in class.  He just hasn’t turned it in.

He had a take-home quiz on Chapter 1 of Call of the Wild due a week ago.  He didn’t even know what it was, when I pulled it out of his binder.  It had pencil marks, as if he’d started to answer the questions and then just erased everything he’d written.  After pestering him for several days, he finally turned it in yesterday – a week late.

His algebra homework was due on Nov. 8th – and he turned it in, after constant prodding, yesterday.  Today is the 21st.

Three weeks into the new quarter at school, Dylan’s got a D in science and he’s failing algebra.  The algebra grade will be the first one on his college transcripts.

The reason he’s doing so well in engineering, chorus and P.E. is because there isn’t any paperwork to turn in.

He loves to give food to the homeless, but he forgot to take his items to school every single day of the food drive.  The drive is over now.  Anyone need a small jar of peanut butter and a can of stewed tomatoes?

At home, he’s just as unresponsive.  He doesn’t wipe the table after dinner – ever.  This has been his job for two years.  He doesn’t practice piano – although he plays it for hours.  He is engrossed by very small things, and has no idea what he’s supposed to be doing if he gets stuck, say, making some sort of pulley out of a piece of yarn and a yardstick.  He forgets to brush his teeth, wear deodorant, put on long sleeves for the cold weather.

He forgot to take his pill so often that I made a chart to keep track of the pill-taking.  His job is to mark the chart while the pill is in his mouth.  Yesterday, he forgot to mark the chart.

We call him for dinner and he doesn’t come.  Sometimes he doesn’t even answer to the sound of his own name.

Yesterday, interestingly, we were talking and he blurted, “What?”

I said, “What do you think I said?”

Then he repeated it, almost verbatim, and said, “You don’t really need to answer me when I say what? because sometimes it just takes my mind that long to figure out what you said.”

I remember – again – that Dylan tested in the 9th percentile for processing speed.  He may be brilliant, but he can’t process what is said until everyone else in the room has moved on to something else.

Until this month, and for several years, I believed he would outgrow this.  I believed his brain would catch up, develop properly, eventually fill in the gaps of ability that he didn’t have when he was younger.  I watched it happen with his half-brother in 7th grade, after being diagnosed early as “borderline” ADHD.  Chris went on to become studious, attentive and an honors student at college – with no medication.

But for Dylan, I’m not so sure.  For all those years, we didn’t give Dylan any medication at all.  I hate medication.

Now I am just waiting for a pill to do something.  Please!


  1. WOW, Chad, that is considerable consolation! I consider you not only a success in life and family, but a real inspiration for Dylan – so knowing that you have similar struggles makes me feel a lot better. Thanks so much for the tip and for sharing!

  2. Chad Austin says:

    If it’s any consolation, I’m very slow at processing information too. It drives me insane at work, because people are constantly shifting to new topics and interrupting me, and 10 minutes later I’m like “Well, I actually think this premise we came up with 10 minutes ago is wrong, and here’s why.” I’ve found it’s much easier for me to work out thoughts in writing rather than in person.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *