With adulthood comes a lot more demand on the executive functions that are often deficient in individuals with ADHD. That can explain why things seem to be getting worse — he’s not changing as much as the life demands and independence are increasing.
The good news is that he knows what he wants to do and he wants to take the steps to reach his goal. You really have to support him in this to keep your relationship and trust intact.
The ADHD is motivated by interest and urgency, not importance. So, while he thought Comp Sci Programming was an appropriate field of study for him, it wasn’t interesting and engaging enough to help him succeed, or even finish. His intense interest in gaming will help him do better in school, preparing for that career.
The gaming field is actually growing rapidly. My daughter starts college this fall (she has anxiety and is not diagnosed with ADHD, although we highly suspect it), and is majoring in animation and interactive design for the sole goal of working in the gaming industry, on the art side of things. At first, we told her she needed to major in programming and minor in the art aspect to broaden her horizons. Fortunately, an AP class in programming in high school this year revealed that she doesn’t have the aptitude for programming. But, she is a talented illustrator and this animation program, even though a BFA, is a career-readiness degree. We support her fully in this choice, because we know her deep interest will motivate and spur success.
Treatment can help your son a great deal, and there are several options. That could provide the clarity he really needs to access success in college.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism