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From Choctaw, Oklahoma, USA:

My 14 year old son is experiencing a lot of problems at school. His main problem is that he does not do his work. He will sometimes go to sleep. This sleeping happens only in his first hour, but the other happens in most of his other classes. He just sits there, he doesn't disrupt class, but the teachers are mad because he just sits. When he remembers his homework, he brings it home and does it without problem, but then he almost always forgets to turn it in. He has been treated for ADHD with Ritalin, but then the teachers complained that he was lethargic.

His grandmother, father's side, has sugar diabetes, mostly controlled by diet. His great uncle, mother's side, had severe sugar diabetes. His first cousin, mother's side, has an enzyme in his stomach that as a baby could not handle any kind of sugar at all. They almost lost him during his first year till they found this enzyme. His cousin is now 21 and still has some problems with sugar but nothing like as a child. His problem was controlled strictly by diet.

I have asked his doctor to do a physical, but she would only run a blood check, which did not show any problems. She wants to send him to a psychiatrist. I've been going through this for six years, and its only getting worse. It has recently been suggested that he has low blood sugar. He does have some of the symptoms. He has trouble going to sleep and then he doesn't sleep all night. He doesn't have seizures. Are there home methods to check his blood sugar and what numbers should I look for?

My son is very bright, he can do the work, and he wants to find an answer to all of this. The school is threatening to kick him out. He doesn't cause an disciplinary problems; it's just his lack of attention in school and not turning in his homework. They make him keep the work for a week before he turns it in, and I'm wondering also, if this could be a short term memory problem.


Your son requires a comprehensive history and physical regarding his sleepiness and school problems. This would best be done by and interested pediatrician or psychiatrist (who are quite adept at treating these disorders when they are interfering with schoolwork). Based on your question, I would suggest that a sleep or behavior disorder is the most likely cause of your son's problems rather than a blood sugar disorder.


Original posting 15 Nov 2000
Posted to Diagnosis and Symptoms


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:16
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