Penny, I’m so very sorry your son is going through this. It breaks my heart…and it’s all to familiar. I hated school, especially math. I was intelligent enough that I could slide by under the radar (and I didn’t want to get grounded), but I can’t even tell you how many times I missed recess for staring off into space or was told I could do/be so much more if I would just put the effort in. It got to the point, I did the bare minimum to get by in the classes I was disinterested in (math, chemistry, biology), and got straight A’s in the classes that did interest me (English, history, art). I firmly believe us neurotypical kids have a hard time functioning in the typical school environment. It’s literally torture.
I’m living this right now with my son. My soon-to-be 6yo son has struggled with Kindergarten this year. His grades aren’t the issue; it’s his behavior (behavior, I might add, he does not exhibit at home). Just this past Saturday he told me he wished he were never born. I was stunned. When I asked why, he said “Because I hate school.” He’s such a sweet, smart boy, but he will shut down if he encounters criticism. He’s also extremely hard to discipline, as he just DOES NOT CARE. He’s not been diagnosed with ADHD yet, but I suspect he has it, given the research I’ve done and the fact that both his parents have ADHD. I’m currently struggling to convince his father to 1) get him tested and 2) move him to a non-traditional school, where he will be more engaged with learning.
I have several friends with children with ADHD or SPD who have pulled their children from school and done the home school route. The transformation in their children is nothing short of a miracle. Your son is special and amazing in his own way, and it breaks my heart that our “fit in this box” educational system is breaking his spirit. I’ve felt that way my entire life (and often still do because the typical job just isn’t a good fit for the way I’m made). The fact that he has you in his corner…that makes all the difference. As a person struggling with ADHD, to be loved, and most importantly, truly understood by someone can make all the difference in the world.
Hugs to you, Momma. Keep advocating for your son and trust your gut. You know your son better than anyone else.