Reply To: How can I encourage my daughter?

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I have a 19 year old daughter that I couldn’t figure out how to support. She dropped out of high school. I also have a 16 year old who is going to be a junior at an alternative high school. He’s been able to go there since 7th grade and it has been wonderful. The teachers and admin understand the kids and know how to support them; plus they’re very easy to talk to.
I’m also an occupational therapist for a public school system. I work in a middle school twice a week. If you can I’d recommend finding an alternative school; smaller numbers and the teachers have time to support the students like they need to be support. If you can’t, I recommend finding out who is going to monitor the 504 plan. They tend to get lost and no one follows them, unless a parent is a squeaky wheel. Go to back to school night and really meet the teachers and find out from your daughter who she thinks will be a good fit for her and talk with those teachers. I personally think it’s better to talk via email, so that when they’re ready and have time to answer emails they can. It eliminates missing each other and leaving messages. Give those teachers a couple weeks or so to get to know you’re daughter before contacting them, so they’ll know who they’re talking about.
As an OT I support kids with assistive technology needs and organizational strategies; these can be on the 504 as accommodations. Assistive Technology can provide read/write program which allows students to have text read to them and voice type when using google docs. The trick is to have a computer that allows for the program to be installed. As for organization; I liked the ideas on the webinar that was held this week.
I wish I had answers for you as a mom. I say, let her know you love her, the way she receives love. Offer her choices, so she feels in control and somewhat independent. I’ve learned from Mark Gregstone at HeartLight in TX books and youtube, that parents need to move into a coaching role once their child is 12, and let them take chances knowing you there when they fall and there’s nothing they can do that will make you stop loving them.