How do I tell my son this news?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Arttillygirl, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    My son is ADHD and has depression. he vandalized our private school last year with some friends, was involved with juvenille and treated for depression but now seemed better. Beginning this year he had a B average and it's slipped to a C.
    This is what his teachers said:

    "He is very lethargic in class. He only recently started to take notes after I said I was going to base a daily grade on them. He can be disruptive at times and talks back.

    In Chemistry,he is not doing so well. He doesn't make a huge effort to take notes in class, he has turned in papers late and doesn't seem to study at all outside of class. He went from an 83 the first nine weeks to a 67 this nine weeks. He likes to socialize in class. His test grades are in the 70's and classwork/homework is in the 50's.

    World History: academically--not too bad but he could do better. He's very disinterested and doesn't participate much. He constantly tries to sleep and, because I make him stay awake and take notes, he inserts rude comments toward other students and constantly disrupts. Today he just sat there quietly and tried 4 or 5 times to lay his head down and sleep.

    75 in Pre AP English II says a lot.
    He seems angry and argumentative.
    He appears aloof and annoyed by those around him including teachers.
    Very arrogant.

    MORE than half the time he's got his head down on his desk...extremely tired... He's not really interested in geometry, but sometimes he'll seem to act that way. He really doesn't act-up in class."

    He was confronted at a sports match two days ago by a mom who accused him of bullying teachers and (when she was confronted by us) told us that kids don't like him. he's rude and thinks he's being funny has a bad reputation, etc.

    As some of you know, he got into Rap and that music has crystalized in his personality: a thug.

    But as a mom I know him to be sweet and sensitive, talented (he had the lead role in our musical) and really just wants so badly to be liked and loved.

    We found a school that is outrageously expensive but caters to learning difference kids. We are thinking of moving him immediately.
    MY QUESTION: How do I tell him? Do I tell him of these observations and allow him the opportunity to change and stay which I think would be pretty devistating? Or just not tell him others observations and keep it positive and then just change schools?

    He didn't want to return to this school this year but we didn't have a choice we thought. Now we feel like the writing is very clear on the wall.

    Either way we are going to begin couseling-he sees a psychiatrist and is on Zoloft only.
    Any thoughts?
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    He is 15, so I am guessing he knows how others view and think of him. Feel it out, see what he thinks they think.

    My guess is he will be happy to 'start over' - my difficult child begs for this. But, the goodness in a new place never lasts long for mine.
  3. FinallySeekingPeace

    FinallySeekingPeace New Member

    You need to decide how to do it yourself. I have learned not to offer my difficult child choices.. because even if he says "I will try harder" it only lasts sometimes a few minutes.. yes minutes! Part of me thinks well if this new school would be so much better for him then just move him and hope he gets over it, but then part of me realizes sometimes these kids don't just get over it.

    Getting into counseling is a good step.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have a few suggestions and thoughts. The first thing I think of when any teen starts to act differently is do you know if he may be taking recreational drugs? They can make a kid very tired. My daughter took drugs from 12-18 and she had bizarre sleep habits and I think it's worthwhile to look into it because you just don't know. We certainly didn't think our daughter was taking drugs.

    Then there's the medications. When I took Prozac, although it's supposed to keep you awake, I was so tired I fell asleep at my desk at work all the time. Zoloft is related to Prozac.

    If he's overly tired I personally doubt if a change of schools will help him. The problem is his changed behavior and I would want to pin down the "why" of it. I'm a big fan of neuropsychologist exams as well as home drug tests for teens. If this were my child, with the hindsight I now have, I'd do both. I really didn't know the extent of my daughter's drug use until she quit. At worst I thought she used pot from time to time and drank some. In truth, she used everything and drank a lot. She hit it really well, but she did sleep all day and stay up all night--we thought she had bipolar and so did her psychiatrists. I think your son's "tough" behavior, rap involvement, and overall changed behavior merits a look at possible recreational drug use...I really would take it seriously. Most of us don't until the kid is wayyyyyyyyy into it and it's harder then. (((Hugs)))
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Is his depression being adequately treated? His behaviors and attitude suggest to me that his medications might need to be adjusted, and that therapy would likely be a really good thing to add to his support system.
  6. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    He forced me to let him see what the teachers had read. Mainly because he didn't believe me and tried to make out like it was only one weird teacher.

    He denied it and got mad and called them names. Now he's interested in the other school. I hope we aren't making a mistake....the other school is a fortune!
  7. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    Well now I am wondering if I am overreacting. I will see the psyc. on the 26th and I am going to insist something be tweaked regarding his medications and sleeping.
    I talked with the school counselor today and he said the ball is in our son's court and that since I asked, he didn't perceive it as really that bad. He isn't a behavior problem and his grades arent that bad, he needs to rally to get them up.
    Maybe it's a blessing in disguise, he finally might be seeing the way others see him-as surley.
    I hate to see him go to the new school because he just found a sport that fits him: wrestling and was the lead in our school play.
    Those are pretty major in his life.
    His social life isn't very good but it's not horrible either. This other school is so expensive because it treats Learning Disability (LD) kids and I dont think it's his problem.

    Parents out there: am I rationalizing?
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    You could have been talking of my difficult child on many issues. Does he have an IEP? We dealt with anger, and he was on a mood stabalizer because of his anger. For 3 years. JUST came off of it and is doing much better. However, it was mood stabalizer, and a lot of counseling from the school counselor, social worker and us. He was/is labeled. Must fight that battle every day. But he has / is learning to recognize triggers, recognize onset of anger and anxiety. IEP lets him use a "cool off" pass when he feels this. Giving him the opportunity to re-group. To leave, find one of several people and talk. difficult child does not take notes. His loss. he does have superior auditory skills, so he learns a lot just listening. difficult child was always included in our meetings with the staff, they said their observations in front of him. We also come to a compromise. If he is quiet, not disrupting, it is his loss if he takes notes or not. We also have an "extended time out" written into his IEP. Have not had to use that this year...yet. When he is angry, and needs to leave school he can come home, go to lunch with ME, or what ever to settle down and return to school with no punishment. (can only leave with dad or mom)
    We realized he did not feel good having to struggle everyday. The medication helped.
    Hope you can find an answer for you and your son.
  9. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to help. I am afraid the new school will have watered down curriculum and he will be with many dislexic kids, etc. Intellegence isn't the problem, motivation is.
    I tried to tell the psy that his ADHD needs to be treated not just his depression but unfortunately he doesn't tolerate stimulants well and developed grimaces years ago.

    Does anyone know of a particularly good ADHD medication that isn't a stimulant? Strattera didn't do a thing for us.

    What mood stablizer is your son on KJS?

    As far as IEP, it's a private school and it does have a resource room my son visits each day for an hour and....sleeps. They are really hands off now that he's a sophmore.

    Should I meet with- all his teachers and develop a plan of consequences at home?

    I noticed at the new school the student carried around a paper that the teacher had to sign based on behavior, participation, homework assignments, etc. I'd like to maybe develop one and have my son carry it around. I feel like the teachers would not like the extra burden of having to sign it but maybe it would be brief and if my son didn't bring it home daily there'd be no ipod no electronics, no tv, etc...
    He was an A- student last year and he says there is nothing wrong except he doesn't like the school, but you know lots of kids don't like school-any school.
  10. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would hesitate taking your son out of this environment. Being part of extracurriucular activities has been shown to have a positive effect on school achievement.

    Maybe seeing what his teachers wrote will be a wakeup call. I think I would leave things alone for right now and see what happens.

  11. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    Thanks everyone, it's so hard to be objective. He's agreed to go back and try harder.

    We are going out of town again now and back on the positive track.

    I wish you all a merry Christmas as only a mother that's going through the stress of a difficult child child can :smile: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It's nice to know I am not alone