9th grade dropout?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by pepperidge, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    My son is a freshman and has pretty much hated school for various reasons since pre-school. He's reasonably bright, depressed, and has processing issues. He reads at grade level, is at 5th grade in math and doesn't write very well. He is mechanically/technically adept and is happiest tinkering away with whatever little project he has going on. He hates, hates school. Has an IEP and reasonable accommodations and he is not a behavior issue by and large. Except of course when he puts his head down and just refuses to do the work they are asking him to do. Doesn't matter if he has an aide or not or whatever he just isn't going to do it. Defiant yes, but not in their face. I think the only reason he gets out of bed to go to school each day is to see his friends.

    He manages about 8 weeks every fall, then it just gets too hard and he gives up and refuses to work. He's pretty well medicated, has been neuropsyched up the wazoo. I think he just hates school and the concept that he needs to do this to get some job someday says nothing to him.

    It is just so painful to watch him sink into this pit each year. I do the careful calibration of incentives--dont take away too much, offer some positives, work the school etc. We make a little progress. But I have gotten to the point where I am tempted just to say traditional education (even Special Education education) is not where this child is headed. It is doubtful right now whether he will be able to get a regular diploma because he is so far behind in math. He would be able to get some technical education when he is a junior or senior at a school in a different district but I am not sure we are even going to make it that far.

    Anyone ever gotten to the point where you just want to say, this is not working for my kid, he has some gifts but he has gotten all that he is going to get out of a general education right now and we should just stop the misery? Try to get him technical education --though I truly wonder if even the discipline that that would entail would also be too much.

    Believe me this does not come easy for me. Or should I be thinking, suck it up, force him to keep doing this?

    What do you think?
  2. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I can only commeriserate. Danny never cared for school, and when he hit 9th grade (he managed to go to 3 weeks of actual 9th grade) and started getting into trouble, my mission was to get him to graduate. We did regular school,alternative school, independent study where he would go to class 3 days a week (I actually sat in the desk next to him all the time he was there), day treatment, home study, then the school district sent a teacher to our house every day, he attended school when in juvy, and when in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), and when in Boot Camp. At 18 I gave it up.

    After finding out you can't even get a job at Baskin Robbins without a diploma, he decided on his own to take his GED. I can only believe some weird kinda osmosis thing was going on during the short stints of learning cause he aced the GED test on the first try and didnt even study. From day one when he was younger, he refused to do homework of any kind and it was a battle daily, but come test time, he would flip thru the books for a few hours, and pass the tests.

    Would I go thru all that stuff again - I honestly don't know but would lean towards probably yes. He retained more than I thought he would. His IQ tested out at 145. School was never a challange for him - he just hated it. I have watched him rebuild a car engine with info from the internet, change the schematics on its computer so it would be a stick shift instead of an automatic. I thought ah ha, something he likes to do, I will send him to school, but once he conquored it, had n0 desire to ever do it again. He just built a super computer for himself, using parts from broken ones - never ever has taken a computer class - learned how to do it via the internet. He fixes his friends computers, builds them new ones from scratch, but not interested in the least in going to school. He has tiled the house, laid wood floors - rennovated one of our bathrooms - but Contractor's School, forget it.

  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Before giving up, have you considered homeschooling? If he is willing to do any work at all, he could get the basics done in much less time and it could be geared to his interests.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Have you considered an Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? My son's Residential Treatment Center (RTC) specializes is "processing" kids.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Cory couldnt cut it in regular school and I couldnt find any alternatives here locally. He went through all the Special Education programs but nothing worked. He was done in 9th grade. He wishes now that he had been able to stick it out but Oh well. I tried. I keep trying to tell him he can go back at any time. Dont know if he ever will.
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What other education options does your district offer? For example, we have on-line courses high school students can take. We also have a program where the student studies only ONE subject over a 3-month period, and they only have to go in for class once a week to turn in assignments and check in with the instructor. There is help available whenever they need it, too.

    So you might ask at your district office about alternatives for him before throwing in the towel. I can appreciate your frustration, though. There are days I wonder about my 9th grader as well.
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    My difficult child 1 always hated school too (except for preschool and Kindergarten). She hardly even went to school in 9th grade and ended up at an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at the end of the school year. She did okay at their school and managed to get some credits, then came home and failed all her classes at an expensive private school we sent her to. After that she ended up at another Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where for some reason she decided she would work on her GED (she refused to consider working on a diploma) and did very well. She got "student of the month" award several times and her teachers all told me what a pleasure she was to teach and how they wished all their students were like her! She passed the GED with no problem and then managed to get kicked out of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) because she refused to cooperate with them anymore.

    Anyway, I don't have any real advice but I think I did "give up" on my difficult child--by the time she was in the 2nd Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I didn't even care about her education, I just wanted her off the streets and in rehab for her drug problem. Her decision to work hard and get a GED was all hers and probably it was a good thing because she was determined to do the opposite of whatever we wanted her to do!