My Forum Comments
Hi, it’s been a long time since I posted here, but I just wanted to say thank you, Penny — and you were so right about my son, he is doing REALLY well now. He did manage (with a lot of help from me) to complete the necessary paperwork to get credit for his internship, and has now graduated and found a good job in his chosen field. I don’t ask a lot of questions, but from what I can see he is happy and doing very well at work. Whewwwww! He’s also behaving much more responsibly at home … managing his money is still an issue, but he’s making progress there also. There may still be some bumps in the road ahead, but I am so, so grateful for the support I received on this forum.May 28, 2018 at 4:09 pm in reply to: My ADD high school graduate can she survive college? #85044
Hi, have you thought about having your daughter enroll in take a few courses at your local community college, which would give her a chance to try college-level work in a less-stressful setting .. while putting less strain on your finances? If it goes well she could certainly transfer to a 4-year school. If she struggles, that’s a signal that she might want to wait awhile before attempting college.
Hi my 22 year old son is ADD inattentive. I just read (most of) this very interesting and sometimes heartbreaking thread, and wanted to respond to the original poster’s question about why there aren’t any success stories out there. I think many of us parents of ADD/ADHD kids keep hoping we’ll find the right therapist/coach/medication/school/whatever that will make things dramatically better. And then when it doesn’t happen, despite our herculean efforts, we get angry and depressed. I know, I did! The reality, I finally came to believe, is that quick fixes rarely happen, it’s a slow process with a lot of two steps forward, one step back — and sometimes three steps back. As a parent, I’ve also had to take a hard look at myself and my expectations for my son, some of which were unrealistic and put harmful pressure on him.
Like so many ADD kids, my son is very bright, so I assumed if I could just get him through high school (which required nonstop battling over homework, etc.) he would do ok in college. Wrong. He got into a very good college and didn’t even last a semester. Gradually I came to understand that sitting in a classroom and doing assignments are utter torture for him — on the other hand, he has good people skills that could serve him well in many professions. So, after several false starts he ended up in a vocational-oriented degree program in the hotel business.
Even that has not been easy — his executive functioning is still terrible and he is prone to a lot of ‘magical thinking’ about how to get where he wants to go. But I do see progress–not dramatic, but progress all the same. Barring an unforeseen disaster (I can never rule that out!) he will graduate this year. He’s currently doing a work internship in a foreign country and seems to be thriving.
My suggestion would be this: Find a quiet moment when you are not angry, to talk to your son and say, “Hey, seems like school is not going well,” and see if you can create an opening to discuss alternatives like maybe getting a job or even volunteering for awhile (my son volunteered in an animal shelter). I think it’s important not to present getting a job as a punishment, and not to assume that he’ll fail there because he failed in school. My son who was a disaster about cutting classes and not doing homework, has held several jobs and has always been totally reliable. I think it’s because he loves being part of a team and doesn’t want to let co-workers down.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer in tough love. Staying home and playing video games isn’t an option, and I’m not shelling out big money for something my son wants unless he’s taking clear steps toward his goal.
Forgive me for this rambling answer, but I empathize SO MUCH with what you’re going through. All the best and let us know how it goes.
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.
Hi, I’m the mother of a 22-year-old son with ADD inattentive, and I can relate very well to much of what has been written here! It has been a long struggle — and I know there are still big challenges ahead — but my son is on track to graduate from college this year! In all honesty I don’t think higher education was a great fit for him — he has told me more than once that he didn’t want to go to college. But we really didn’t have much choice, because we are US citizens living in France, and once my son turned 18 he no longer had the right to continue living here unless he was enrolled in school. The idea of putting him on a plane to the US to live on his own seemed even worse than struggling through college — and yes, he did struggle, his grades haven’t been great and when he tried going away to the US for college it was a total disaster, he dropped out after a few weeks and never went back. Finally he found a program in international tourism management at a French university, which takes advantage of his good social skills and his gift for foreign languages. He’s about to leave for a work-study program with an international hotel chain in St. Petersburg, Russia. I’m SO SO SO proud of him. And having finished higher education here, he’s eligible for French citizenship, which solves his residency issues.
Hi, I’m the original poster on this thread. As mentioned above, I was worried because my son needed to stay in school and get a postsecondary degree in order to become eligible for citizenship. Well, I’m happy to report, this has now happened! He just received the equivalent of an associate’s degree, and has decided to pursue a bachelor’s next year. I made the decision some time ago to step back and let him take responsibility for his future—and things worked out. I won’t pretend it has been easy, it’s been a very bumpy ride and he still has a lot of issues with executive functioning and anger management. As I feared, he flunked the course where he had the big project due — but his grades in other courses were good enough to give him a passing grade overall. As they say, expect progress, not perfection! Just wanted to share this with other parents wrestling with young-adult ADD/ADHD.