My 17 year old isn't going to graduate next year

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Darlene0930 1 week ago.

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  • #87806


    I have a 17 year old who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD when he was in 3rd grade, he started his academic “career” in Ny. When he was in 6th grade we moved to Az. When we lived in Ny the expectations of the schools were much different and he did ok in school. He is on a stimulant for concentration during the day and on seroqel for behavior at night. He supposed to enter his senior year of high school in a month, however, he has failed algebra 2, 4 times, amungst other classes. He cannot graduate without it. If he DOES go back to school (if the district decides to let him go back to an alternative school,which they may not) he will have to pass ALL of his classes which he has never done. He thinks the school will give him a diploma, regardless of his grades. He refuses counseling, teachers struggle with his 504 plan, I work with the behavioral specialist at school, he lies and skips out on tutoring, he refuses to do the very little homework that’s ever assigned, won’t study for a test. But yet he thinks he’s getting scholars ships into major universities and scouts are looking at him to play hockey?! We can’t get through to him that he’s not graduating, does anyone have any suggestions how I can get him to take his senior year seriously and if not? What do I do with a high school failure?

  • #87869


    Hi Darlene,
    My daughter refused to do school work and I took her out of middle school and began homeschooling her. She missed the social interactions and now she wants to go back. There might still be a struggle but at least i have some leverage.
    Now, with kids who have add adhd ocd odd etc we parents have to be involved if we want them to succeed. This means checking homework, explaining lessons they didn’t understand or getting extra tutoring.
    With my 6 year old, we worked on school material everyday after school because during school hours he would waste his time and not finish worksheets, etc. I sat and read the stuff with him and quizzed him. That’s how he passed the year.
    He is young, but kids who have this type of situations need help regardless of the age.
    Someone has to help him if you want him to graduate.
    One day at a time. One step at a time.
    Take care.

  • #87883


    Thanks Clara,
    I have always been extremely hands on with all 3 of my kids and their school work, and with the communication at school, and participation at school. I was a stay at home mom for more than 15 years. Having 3 kids with ADHD, and 2 with ODD, is extremely time consuming. The kids respond better to tutors, or teachers, rather than me, unfortunately, they won’t express their ODD symptoms outside the home, so they will do their work if a teacher or tutor makes them. But will not do anything at home for me. There’s not enough tutors at school or time after school, and my son refuses to go or show up. We’ve waisted a lot of time And money. Not to mention a lot of other people’s time as well. I do appreciate your feedback. Thank you.

  • #87951


    It sounds like he’s not getting the level of support at school that he needs. In middle and high school especially, educators think students should be “responsible” and “accountable” and “motivated to do well.” They have narrow definitions of those terms that convince them that kids like ours are just lazy and defiant. Every kid wants to do well. If they’re not able to achieve it, then there’s something more going on.

    I imagine his overly-optimistic outlook is some denial and self-preservation. Because, again, he wants to do better than he’s doing. Skipping class may also be an attempt to not fail in a twisted way (he can blame not being in class instead of feeling like there’s something wrong with him or he’s dumb).

    I don’t have advice here really, my son just barely scraped through his freshman year because the school doesn’t support him enough. And they know I write books on ADHD and am a very educated parent on learning challenges and they still believe he’s lazy and irresponsible. Even his special ed teacher. They just don’t understand executive functioning and the depth and breadth of the impact of those deficits.

    I think every state in the US has online virtual public school for free now. That may be an option, if you think he’d do better in a different environment. Maybe it takes him an extra year — some kids just aren’t good at school, no matter how smart they are. And, leaving it up to him to go to tutoring probably isn’t going to result in a good outcome. He needs to be reminded at the time he needs to go and he needs to know it’s not optional.

    See if any of the accommodations in this list sound like they would help, and then propose them to the school:

    50 High School Accommodations for Every ADHD Challenge

    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #88052


    Thank you Penny,
    I will look at your list, we have tried on line classes to try to make up credits, and we personally have brought him to tutoring classes, but he leaves , or when we drop him off he seems to never find the clasroom…but I’m always open to more options.

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