Reply To: Teen Doesn’t Want to Grow Up

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Hi DanaB — Raising a child with ADD is terribly difficult in France because the educational system here is still in the dark ages about it. I literally had teachers tell me they “didn’t believe in ADD,” and even well-meaning teachers and administrators were clueless. In all his years of schooling there was only one teacher — a math teacher — who was willing to give even minor accommodations on tests. His biggest problem is information processing, and most of his courses required essay-writing which was enormously challenging — but through trial and error we came up with some tools that worked pretty well, and he finished high school with good grades and SAT scores, and was able to pass the French baccalaureat exam which is required to attend university here. That was the positive side — the negative was the conflict this created in our relationship, as I stayed on his back constantly and insisted he get tutoring in subjects where I couldn’t help. It was a huge battle, exhausting for both of us. Maybe it was a mistake — but on the other hand it was necessary for him to be able to remain in France which is where he wants to live — and if he didn’t have the intelligence to succeed academically, nothing I could have done would have mattered. During his college years I have taken a big step back and let him take responsibility. It’s been a mixed bag, has taken him 5 years to get through what ordinarily should take only 3 years — some semesters were total wipeouts, but as they say there has been progress, not perfection.