A 12-Year-Old Boy With Falling Grades and Forgetful Behavior

Stephen Soreff, MD; Foad Afshar, PsyD, EdM


June 25, 2019

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Michael is a 12-year-old male who lives in an intact family, including a sister two years his junior. He is in the fifth grade, and over the course of the last year, his grades have fallen significantly. He avoids school, claiming to be sick, and when he is in school, he is disruptive and frequently visits the nurse. Michael’s parents report that getting their son to do any homework is difficult and that he has “meltdowns” and “tantrums” when confronted with any tasks that are time-consuming or cognitively demanding. His favorite hobby is playing video games.

His parents also note that Michael can be very forgetful. At home, by the time he gets to the top of the stairs in the evening to engage in before-bedtime routines, he literally forgets why he is there and instead begin playing with his Legos or entertaining himself with the cat. Moreover, although Michael is interested in helping his father work on mechanical machines and engines, he often forgets the tools he is sent to retrieve. Michael’s parents have sought consultation after meeting with their pediatrician at the urging of Michael’s teachers and guidance counselor.


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