Advice to woman whose 11 year-old son has ADHD.  She can't afford his medication and he's getting harder to handle. 

On a daily basis, your son struggles with his particular way of judging and trying to cope in the world around him.  It is extremely difficult, as you well know, for a child with ADHD to listen and ponder when his mind and body are geared to do something else.  It seems you have pretty much run the gamut on trying to figure out how to bring some peace and sanity to this situation, but have encountered many roadblocks.  These are a few suggestions that may help: 

Although a structured regimen is the standard way of dealing with a child with ADHD, here is another similar approach you might consider and, hopefully, get a better result.

 Include him in the schedule planning, be it homework, social events or chores.  Use a daily calendar to put it in writing.  Now you have let him in on some negotiating, and it sneaks in structure but not in your face structure. The daily calendar is accessible, but not blatant.  If he is made to feel that his intelligence and reasoning will be taken into consideration in the planning stages, it will give him the opportunity to feel in charge of his life and take pride in the decisions he makes, and his completed tasks.  A lot of praise is paramount for self-esteem when projects are completed well, or he does anything that shows initiative.  "Now that's what I love to see.  A guy who takes charge!" 

If homework is hard to complete in one session, consider asking him if he thinks small breaks are the answer.  Spanking is not the solution for an 11 year-old -- he's beyond that stage.  At his physical and emotional level, it's not only a demeaning form of punishment,  it also propagates internal anger. You want to avoid this, at all costs, because it opens the floodgates for physically acting out during the teen years.

Make sure that when you spend quality time with your son, you are completely engaged in the activity.  Let him know, as an adult, you have commitments, but when you do take time to relax and have some fun with your family, it's going to be with a freedom devoid of the stress you experience from your own hectic life. Kids know these are economically difficult times, but it need not be the focus of family time together.  A board game takes no more than time, and cost next to nothing.  

A go in the backdoor method of engagement is a good approach.  By that I mean, avoid accusations and knee-jerk reaction to his rebellious behavior.  Instead, let him know that you are human and have feelings too.  Don't evoke any type of pity, but tell him that you know how he feels because you've been there.  Relate it to a childhood experience of yours, as long as it relates to the subject at hand and how you handled it, or should have handled it. Non-judgmental conversations can also lead to pearls of wisdom, and valuable advice.

Frequently ask him about his feelings on a subject, and you'd like his opinion on the world around him and how he relates to it.  Share ideas, no matter how inconsequential.  Remain as calm as humanly possible, and show him you are in his corner when it comes to making life work for him, not against him. 

He may not be able to have the father figure he needs in his life, but if you accept that as an unfortunate fact, you will fulfill your role in his life with great honor.  The effort you put into these formative years will not only serve him well, but you avoid years of potential conflict with him. 

And finally, get him involved in music!  The best way to start is with a group like the Beatles, if he's not already into them.  There is a new, resurgence of popularity because of a recent release of a compilation of their albums. Start with "Meet the Beatles" and go from there.  Music allows an active brain to find a positive escape from everyday stress  -- as long as the subject matter is relatively benign for a boy his age. Play it in the car, to start, and reward him with CDs for good behavior. 

And finally, remind him, when he gets frustrated, that disappointments can be nothing more than a blip on a large radar screen.  Life is full of problems. But they only last as long as the time it takes to solve them.