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August 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm #90407
My son will be starting his senior year soon. He has ADHD, Anxiety and ODD. He’s upset with me that I didn’t let him cut his day short since he had enough credits to “get by” and I had him take an ‘intro to engineering’ class. He is so stressed over this that he is sure he is going to fail. He doesn’t want to talk or think about school or even his senior pictures.
Even with his 504 plan that is VERY lacking in support, he struggles. He is intelligent, but lacks focus, but because of his negative attitude assuming that he will fail, everything is an uphill battle before we start. He wants to pursue college or the coast guard but I’m not sure what or how to motivate him to study and buckle down this year.
He currently has a part time job as a life guard. He takes his job seriously and is prompt. He spends some of his free time doing swimming laps to stay in shape for the swim team and all the rest of it playing video games.
What are the best ways to help him, since I seem to be his only advocate, without also seeming to be “annoying” him with sometimes unnecessary class information? He is supposed to have information on these classes and I haven’t seen it in the past 2 years that he’s finally had his 504 plan. Sometimes his anxiety gets in the way and he gets embarrassed asking for it.
August 6, 2018 at 7:22 pm #90431
It’s time to teach him to be his own advocate. And that won’t happen if you dictate how he does so. I say cut him some slack, if he doesn’t want to take the extra course, it’s not likely to work out well. In his mind, I suspect, he thinks he earned the short days. If that’s the case, you’re taking away a reward.
Take a position of providing information, guidance, and support instead of a position of dictating what he does. As long as his choices aren’t taking advantage of you or any other person, it’s OK to let him decide his fate and pass or fail on his own merit.
August 8, 2018 at 12:03 pm #90642
I would honor his feelings about this extra class. If he’s anxious and overwhelmed all school year, the extra class could very well not be the only class he fails. Our kids with ADHD struggle so much with school, there’s no reason to put “extras” on him. Let him graduate confident so he will feel up to the challenge of college or the coast guard. If he’s fried in the end, he may not want to do anything at all.
Your son is doing quite well considering he has ADHD. He has a job and he’s doing well at it. He’s exercising regularly. He aspires to go to college or into the coast guard. These are all very positive signs.
Remember, kids with ADHD have a developmental disability. They are 2-3 years behind their peers in many areas, especially at school. Adding to his load will only make this negative impact greater.
So, instead of the extra class, consider working on transition skills and self-advocacy.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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