Hi Trish, like so many others in this discussion, I’m experiencing very similar problems to yours, with our 18-year-old son. We have been told a variation on the Rule of Three….that is that kids with ADHD are two or three years behind, socially and emotionally. Well that is very true over here; our son had high-functioning Autism, ADHD and anxiety and OCD to a certain degree. He is a senior in high school and we have looked at a variety of schools, from big and small mainstream to highly supportive schools, some created especially for kids with LD (learning differences). In recent months we have been zooming in on two options: one is a college-transition program with 75 or so students, a residential program where you take some college classes but also college-prep, study-skills, life skills classes. There is a high degree of supervision, and academic and social skills support.
The second option is a very small college (350 students!) specifically for LD kids, where, in a very small number of majors/minors, you can get both Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees. Unlike your son, our son is not driven or focused and is reluctant to pursue healthier patterns of study and self-care…although he IS making some progress. It’s just very slow. He is more concerned with “why” he is this way than how he can cope with it. Like I said, making progress but slow and not always steady.
So I was thinking that you might possibly check into a program like one of these, in case you decide you want something different than the community college route. That is a very good way to start, of course! It’s just that some kids need even more structure and support to find their “drive”, and in our case, his staying at home and taking some classes would seem to only support the rut he is in as far as not taking some responsibilty for maturing. These types of schools may be able to fill the gap between the security of high school and the independence required for ‘mainstream’-type colleges. Maybe you could Google “academic support colleges” for your state or buy “The K & W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences”…my 13th edition is by Marybeth Kravets and Imy Wax. It’s a fairly comprehensive guide to LD schools for every US state.
To address your question about online college, I guess at least in our case…that would create NO reason for our son to go out and learn with real people. He has significant social issues with making friends and hanging out in the real, physical world. For us, we need to get him somewhere where caring, targeted support is given, and some significant nudges! Best of luck and like all the other parents said, your kid needs more time because his brain isn’t ready…YET. It will be! And from the number of responses, he’ll have lots of company!