I recently attended your CALM Life Skills Seminar and bought the book "Students Steps To Success". My 11 yr old ADHD son has difficulty in making friends and thus finds himself becoming the "class clown" to attract attention. He is fine with one kid at a time but in a group he demands attention and puts people off. Other children reject, bully and humiliate him in these circumstances and he now has a belief system that he is unlikeable and will be isolated for the rest of his life. Can he have a goal about friends?
Regarding your son having a goal about having friends - it's a good goal and yes of course it does depend on other people being willing to be a friend. Remember the statement: "You put out for what you want". In other words, if you want more love in your life ... you give out love (in the face of difficulty - which of course can be challenging). In your son's case, he is going to need to hold the focus in the goal of having a couple of friends and at the same time he will need to be very friendly. Use what he is good at, that is "he is fine with one kid at a time" - expand this to include two and three friends - the visualisation process is good to use. This means he will need to do everything that a good friend does. Have a chat to him about this and see if you can reason with him about the demanding behaviour that at the moment he does exhibit. Teach him about goals, visualisation and positive self talk. All of this is in the book you bought "Students Steps To Success". There are no guarantees in life, but we do the best that we can do.
I am particularly interested in anything that might help my 13 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 7. He was put on Ritalin which really helped with his concentration and self control. Earlier this year we took him off Ritalin because he seemed to have improved so much but unfortunately this has resulted in him having major problems with his learning. He just can't concentrate long enough to learn things like multiplication, long division and all those things he will need when he moves up a Grade next year. The Ritalin certainly helped him with his school work but none of us want him to go back on it again. Do you have a book, seminar, course etc which might help him learn more effectively?
I can understand the challenge for you, your son and your family and I can also understand that you do not want him to continue on Ritalin. Interestingly enough though, just recently I heard a doctor in the field of ADHD speaking on ABC radio who said that if Ritalin does help a child to concentrate in his study then it is probably needed - he also said that one can come off Ritalin later in life (after completion of studies).
Is your son at a supportive school (and will it be supportive next year)? It is important to shop around for a supportive school - some schools and teachers are much better than others.
If possible, make it as enjoyable as possible for your son to attend school (does he enjoy it?). Is he doing any extra curricular activities that he really enjoys and looks forward to? And it's always good to focus on and praise the things that he's really good at. The ability to relax and release stress - especially for a 13-year old with ADHD - is a very helpful "tool" in study and coping skills. You could work through the techniques outlined in "Students Steps To Success", with your son (13 is sometimes still a little young to do it on his own) - and this will be very helpful, especially the "Peaceful Place" technique, Goals and Self Esteem.
Your son is old enough to understand goal-setting and to work with that concept. You will find information about this in "Students Steps To Success" which works with using both sides of the brain, relaxation, goals, self esteem and mind charting. All of these skills can be taught to children by parents and may offer some additional ideas to use with your son. On my website there are a couple of chapters of some of my books available for reading (unfortunately not "Students Steps To Success" however my book "Piece of Mind" is similar). Most of my books (and sometimes tapes) are available in local libraries and if they're not then quite often libraries will order in items for people asking.
There are a couple of tapes (or CDs) that complement this book - The Students Steps to Success Audio Pack (tape or CD double) which includes PP2 - Guided Imagery, PP10 - Self Worth and Confidence and PP11-Achieving in Exams and Effective Study. You can read brief descriptions of these at my website. Once again, the content of the meditation is suitable for younger or less mature children when modified (mainly shortened) by the parents.
If you attend the CALM Life Skills Seminar then you will learn the skills at the seminar, in an experiential way, and be able to pass them on to your son. I do conduct some Student's Seminars in schools and I recognise that students do not think that it is "cool" to attend. To overcome this I have filmed the seminar and reproduced it on Video which, together with a workbook, will replace the seminar.