ADHD/school decision

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Arttillygirl, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    My son is ADHD and 16 and is breaking my heart. I work at a private school SO MY SON could attend since 4th. He's always been a bit of a behavior challenge but not major until the middle of 9th grade. He committed some prank vandalism with some kids, and long story short, hes totally rejected now in his class. He wants to leave and is being treated for depression(about went under over the summer) and now adderall for the adhd which he has tolerated for this week now. This is a new time released one, he couldn't tolerate other stimulants. ANyways. He wants to go to ANY other school. Unfortunately our only public school is horrible and most do all they can to avoid it. We checked out an ADHD private school when his grades dropped to c's. He's mostly been a B average. He wants to try a 2 year program in our area called collegic high school. It's for juniors and seniors who want to graduate with an associate degree. Now granted I know he will be lucky to make C's and my fear is he won't even pass. It's 5 core classes and since he's adhd my school didn't require foriegn language so he'd have to have that as one of the 5. His psychiatrist said he would lean towards not saying No but my husband and I are like "we need to take our heads out of the sand, this is for bright, high achieving kids who want to be in college at 16"... My son doesn't particularly like the idea of working so hard but is wanting so badly to get out of here.

    The ADHD school also would require foreign language to graduate but its 15K per year. The charter college school is free-books and all and a laptop for 2 years.

    We already have college savings for him so the savings isn't really a necessity but of course would be nice. I just don't know what to think. He takes the accuplacer test and maybe that will answer it for us. He didn't do well at all on the ACT or PSAT but that could also be because he hadn't had some of that info in the fall and his depression.

    Any advice from some of you who's kids are like this and made it to college?
    If he does try and fail I am afraid he might not return to college when he's ready.

    There's an audio engineering program that he would love to get into at a 4 yr university and doing well at this school would cinch it for him but I don't know if he wants it enough for the 30 hours of studying a wk. Also now that you can only drop 5 classes total in your college career, what impact would failing be on his overall college plan?

    I don't know if he is even capable of doing it having this learning difference. The school itself said this program was not good for adhd because of the freedom the kids have. I thought about hiring a tutor also throughout.

  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Making academic choices for kids who have multiple issues is complex and when high IQ is combined with ADHD behaviors AND teenage angst
    it is beyond rocket science. If you opt to go right and it is a disaster you
    will feel like you ruined his life...if you opt to go left and it is a disaster you will feel like you ruined his life. Lose/Lose

    I don't think anyone can make the decision but you and your family. It is so sad when potential isn't reached but it's really difficult to figure out what amount of pressure is tolerable. You have my caring support. DDD
  3. uncheerleader

    uncheerleader Pollyanna

    We have a 19yo ADD, with depression as well as intermittent bouts of unprovoked rage. (not physically violent just feelings and thoughts). He's on lexapro for depression adderal xr for ADD and Lamictal for mood swings (rage). This keeps him semi stable. He barely made it through HS and took one summer class at Jr. College, B+, but couldn't handle F\T college, dropped out.

    He's VERY bright too!! This seems to make it so much more frustrating because they all have so much potential!! We keep hoping he'll mature.

    No matter what you choose, it will not be easy. Just do what you think he'll be able to handle, but let him know that he needs to tell you if it's not working and that you will love him no matter what (one thing we were a little slow to figure out).

    No matter the out come be confident that you are making the best decision you can. If it doesn't work out, don't kick yourself, just try something else and go on from there.

    I've read that the male brain doesn't fully mature until about age 23 :speechless: AAAAAHHHHH!!! I don't think I can wait that long.

    One of my montra's is Dori's: "Just keep swimmin', just keep swimmin', just keep swimmin', swimmin', swimmin'"
  4. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    We're already looking toward a 2 year technical degree program instead of 4 year college for NL. It's not that he isn't smart enough - it's just that we all don't think he'd be able to handle the pressure of large college classes. He's had enough trouble with the larger high school classes, as opposed to when we had him at the extremely small gifted school (not my choice - his biodad, who is also ADD and is also unmedicated and refuses to let NL try medications).
    You know your child best, and while you can't predict what will work, I'm betting you are pretty good at knowing what won't. Go with that gut instinct.
  5. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    When my difficult child was a high school senior, she enrolled in a joint enrollment program in a local community college. She went to college classes instead of high school classes and graduated from high school with one year of college completed.

    My difficult child was never a school behavior problem and made very good grades. Our problems were the crowd that she was hanging with and substance abuse issues. Our hope was that getting her away from the high school crowd would get her focused on college early and that would be the answer to our problems.

    Of course, it didn't work that way. She just had more freedom to skip classes and hang out with her loser friends. She also made some new, older evil friends.

    She did complete her classes with A's, B's, and C's but I wouldn't do it again if we could do things over.

    She ended up dropping out of college the next year (3 times over the course of the next few years) but is back in school now and doing well (finally at 22) .

    So I can't tell you what would work for you but it wasn't the answer for us. It does sound like a fantastic program, though.

  6. Arttillygirl

    Arttillygirl New Member

    Well still don't know what to do. Grades aren't above Cs although attitude is better.

    We had signed him up for a spring break trip in March but bought the insurance just in case.
    We had hoped it would be a great year and this trip would continue to bond him to his friends and the club he's in. But he gets so explosive (his girlfriend broke up with- him and he texted her and said if she called him that name again he would kill her) for example. He lost his phone for 10 days and we showed him how a threat like that could be a felony according to the internet news.

    Why can't he just do right? He knows right from wrong why does every rule have to be tested?

    So we've told him since he hates the school we are not spending a thousand dollars to send him on a vacation with them. Am I making a mistake? He is obviously upset. He says it's not his fault he wants to leave, etc.