does anyone have a success story

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lostwith3adhdboys, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. lostwith3adhdboys

    lostwith3adhdboys New Member

    My gff son is 17, a senior.
    I am losing all hope and that this is the way it always will be
    I was wondering does anyone have a a somewhat success story as to how these kids turn out?
    Do they grow up and start handling their lives?
    Once they are in college, will the defiance mellow a little because there are no school administrators micro managing every move?
    just looking for some hope
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Lost -

    Success is relative. ;) My difficult child is a HS dropout, lived on streets/couch surfing from age 18-20. Very marginal existence, drugs, etc. It was probably the very worst 2 years of my life as his parent (and I gotta tell you, the years leading up to age 18 were not a ton of fun).

    Today, he's been home almost 10 months. Got his GED and did *extremely* well on it. Is in second semester of college at local community college. He is successfully living with our house rules and is doing well in school. Is making plans for future - how realistic those plans are remains to be seen, but I think they're doable. He is an absolute pleasure to have here, and I'm dreading the day when he will leave again, but I *know* he will be leaving here far more prepared to live a productive life than he was when he hit 18.

    It was a long road getting to this point. We had to draw some very firm boundaries and stick to them (well, almost all the time ;) ). Quite frankly, I'm not sure he would be doing as well today if he hadn't gone thru some really tough times on his own. He has an appreciation for boring old home/mom/dad/family and does not abuse the privilege of living here - and it *is* a privilege now, not a right. He gets that.

    So, yes, I think there are success stories, but it does seem to take some of our kids a bit of time after hitting that magic age of 18 to finally get with the program.
  3. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I know that one can't guess the outcome of their kiddos based on others. I've been round this board since my now 18 year old was about 7.

    I can tell you that he ran the list of professionals. Attended a class of only 8 of the most seriously behavior challenged kids in entire school district for therapeutic day treatment. Spent three months in therapeutic foster care. Spent nearly a year being tough loved (by me) and therefore having a short live in thing with his dad then his paternal grandmother. He was arrested twice, smoking pot like crazy and cigs, at age 12 in grade 7. Stole from me, his father, his grandmother. Had whipped tv at his baby sisters head from a top bunk. I had to be taught to restrain him for his and my protection. He was constantly suspended from school. Refused to speak in therapy. I think I spet a good 6-8 years without a solid night rest from the stress and worry. Being honest, I saw little good for his future and that killed me.

    He will turn 19 next month. He moved 10 months ago across the country to a new province. Lives in a house with his girlfriend. They pay their own mortgage. He moved from home to real life adult responsibility. He works full time and last week had his second raise and promotion. He has put a new roof on his house, nearly all windows replaced, landscaped his large yard. Has learned to be quite the cook and is a dedicated employee at his job. He treats his girlfriend very well. He learned to drive last year, has his own vehicle. They own a large dog and he pays vet bills. He called home daily until a few months ago. I still get texts every single day and several calls a week. He joined a men's basketball league and has made solid and healthy make friends. His girlfriends family think he is great.

    It does happen. I can truly say he did this all on his own. I don't know why and he will say he doesn't know either. But one day he just got sick of himself I think. And he smartened up. He struggles with anxiety and gets stressed too easily for his own good. But he copes through it and is very proud of how far he has come.

    I believe in all of our children. It may not come in the time frame we wish for them. But I have faith in all of the boards kiddos. Even the adult kiddos.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    YES!! ME!! I DO!!! And can you tell I am thrilled about it??!! haha!

    My difficult child gave me quite the time when she was about 11-12 years old. ADD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Tics, get the drill. Phone calls from school daily. Very stressful home life that put me into a depression for the first time in my life. It got to the point that she was doing some dangerous things that could really impact her life. Claimed she was in juvie and had a leg monitor, was on house arrest, threatened to kill someone with a gun (do not have one in the house) and created her own stalker on IM and was sending people conversations of the IMs where her & her stalker were going back and forth. The straw that changed everything was when she came at me with a hammer.

    I moved her to her dad's house (about 15 minute drive away) for 1 year. Different school district. She honeymooned for about 6 months and then it started there, too. When the year was up, I sold my house and moved to his town. We shared time with her after that. 1 week on, 1 week off. She seemed to do well with different parental units and you could tell at about day 5 she was getting antsy to move along.

    She graduated. She got a part time job. She was never one to socialize much. No drugs or drinking or sneaking out ever. Thank GOD!!

    Today she is a fabulous woman to be around!! I enjoy her company....of course I do not live with her. She has her own apartment with her boyfriend. She is working full time (no college) and just bought her very first car all on her own with her own insurance.

    I am extremely proud of her!! Was I lucky? Did I do something right? Who knows!!

    One thing I promote here on the site is to detach from the behaviors. Do not take them personally. I tried to get her step-mom to understand that one - it is a hard concept. I changed parenting style to non-parenting. Another difficult concept. But, when I was not in her every minute she was better. I parented by example and by suggestion. I could not 'tell her what to do' or it turned out horrible. Who knows if that is my something right or not. But, I feel like it made things better.
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I like how slsh put it, success is relative. I realize my story is not the same kind of situation, I had to accept a long time ago that Q will always need care but for him, I do still expect he will make progress and be the best Q he can be.

    That is not why I responded though. My sister is a difficult child, has been in the hospital and full of drama forever. She did graduate hs but could not handle college. She was diagnosis with adhd along with her anxiety etc. She has a full time good job, is raising two kids as a single mom and has had the same home for about 6 years.

    My sons psychiatrist only works with the most behaviorally challenged kids and owns an IOP program that she just bought. She has three special needs kids herself. She said, even for Q, many of her kids end up doing well starting age 24-27....she just sees it over and over. Dont know if that is true or she was just giving me hope, but it makes sense with what we know about brain development continuing until then......esp the frontal (executive function areas) lobe.
  6. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    how funny you mention that. i just had a long involved conversation with mines psychiatrist who essentially said exactly the same thing...she actually said she literally sees something click around 27! (i, of course was in no mood to hear that, lol--thats one long haul from here).

    she said she frequently sees it in her EF and ADHD kids.

    so maybe there is something to that. :)
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    There was a time I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel, didn't believe things would ever improve. difficult child 1 has a very high IQ but did poorly in subjects he wasn't interested in or in classes where he disliked the teacher. His class rank wasn't good enough to get him into most colleges. He was fixated on computers, his entire life revolved around them.

    Among other things, difficult child 1 was impossible to live with, stole from us, had frequent melt-downs, was violent, especially towards me, believed he was superior to everyone, and that he was entitled to everything husband and I worked so hard to obtain. husband and I basically threw difficult child 1 out of our home after he graduated high school. We found him an apartment, paid first and last month's rent, and got him to enroll in a nearby junior college. While it was tough in the beginning, to our amazement, he grew from the experience. He learned to appreciate the things he had and that he had to work to get the things he didn't have (fixed computers under the table). He even began to appreciate us.

    One of the happiest days of my life was when he called me and told me he wanted to take me out to celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday, just the two of us. From that day forward, he began to talk to me, open up to me. Prior to this, I was usually the target of his anger. He used to say that everything bad that happened to him was my fault. Now, he let me know that he loved me, not so much in words, but in deeds. When he found out we had to put our house up for sale, he spent a weekend with us, helping husband wash the siding, paint the trim, clean the gutters, etc... husband, difficult child 1 and I enjoyed two nights together in our home, having long leisurely dinners, laughing, joking, just enjoying being together. difficult child 1 spent lots of time talking to me and we reminisced over past vacations, fun times we had had (in between the bad times) as he was growing up.

    He hated school, said it was too easy, he knew more then the professors. husband and I encouraged him to finish school, to get his associates degree. We kept reminding him that no matter how much he knew, had a much better chance of success if he got that piece of paper, that degree. He listened, not without complaining about his incompetent computer science professors, but at least he finished the classes. He did much better in the classes he was interested in but, unlike high school, made sure he passed the rest with nothing lower then a C.

    husband and I were disappointed when he decided not to go to his graduation and told us he was moving out of state to start a web design company with a friend he met on-line. We were worried, sad, etc... We were hoping he would get a job working for a company that would provide benefits, a steady paycheck, etc... However, we hid our feelings and wished him the best of luck. The day before he left, I met him for lunch. Afterwards, I drove him to the community college so he could take his last final. After he hugged me goodbye, I cried the entire way home. I felt like I finally had my son back, he was headed in the right direction, and now he was leaving, his future uncertain.

    To make a very long story short (if you've made it this far), it's now been over 2.5 years since that day we kicked him out of our home. During this time, there were periods when it seemed he was living on one long roller coaster ride, lots of bumps, unexpected turns, ups and downs, as he traveled down the path he chose. While he didn't communicate with us as much as we would have liked, he let us know he was here for us. In December of this year, our apartment was broken into at night while we were sleeping. Luckily, it was the night before we were leaving to go "home" for Christmas and husband was with us. (husband was living in another state and easy child/difficult child 3 and I were remaining where we were so she could complete the first semester at the high school she was attending.) easy child/difficult child 3 called difficult child 1 after the detective left the apartment. difficult child 1's immediately asked if all of us were OK, then told her he would come stay with me and easy child/difficult child 3 after we returned from our visit "home."

    difficult child 1 came and stayed with us for about a week after we returned from our Christmas trip "home" and husband left for work. Prior to that, he began interviewing to find a more stable job. He learned that having his own business was tough, scary not to know when he would be paid. (I love those natural consequences!!) Several days before he arrived, he interviewed with a company and called me to tell me that it seemed very promising, he thought he would get the job. He found out the next day he got it!! He was so happy!! He called me and told me that not only was the starting salary much better then he had ever dreamed possible, but that he had great benefits, health, dental, 401K, etc... I had to do everything not to laugh. He seemed wise beyond his years.

    I enjoyed the time he spent with easy child/difficult child 3 and I so much. He and I spent lots of time laughing, talking, watching movies, making dinners together... He is so proud of his new car, the first one he's ever had, bought with money he earned. He drove me everywhere, put together a special mix of songs he knew I would enjoy for the rides, etc... When he left to begin his new job, I cried but this time, it was just tears of happiness.

    He has been working at his new job over a month now. He moved to another apartment, is living alone, bought some furniture and a huge flatscreen, loves his new job, and is happier then he has ever been. I know there will be many more roller coaster rides ahead of him - In some ways, he'll always be a difficult child. I pray daily that he continues to do this well... I love him with all my heart... I am so proud of him... I feel like all the HE77 we went through was worth it.

    I hope I remember when I have some more time to come back here, to tell you about difficult child 2. difficult child 2's story is very different from difficult child 1's. He is living on his own with many supports in place. He is happy and doing better then I ever imagined he would. I doubt he'll ever be able to live without supports but that's OK. As Sue said, success is relative. I totally agree.

    Your difficult child is still young, probably not finished "cooking," as another member used to say. I hope you begin to see some positive changes soon... Hugs... SFR
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Success IS relative. My son on the autism spectrum is eighteen and is doing 80% better than we dreamed because he was so low functioning at first. However, at eighteen he is ready to graduate. He is not interested in college and we are not going to push it because, if you knew him, you'd know that he needs to focus on life function rather than academics. He isn't going to ever have a high paying career, but he is a very happy young man. He works in a sheltered workshop right now and loves it. He is in the Special Olympics and has learned to love bowling. It is touching to see how close the special olymics adults are to one another...they are far kinder to one another than those who live in the rat race. He will be able to live on his own in an assisted living apartment. In fact, he is looking foward to it. We just don't think he is ready, and we are still his legal guardians. He WANTED us to remain his legal we went to court. I do want to clarify that Son has not been a behavior problem since about age four so he can assimilate. But his overall school achievement is in the 5th-6th grade level. We feel he has done better than we dreamed. His IQ has tested between 75-110, but we feel it's closer to the 75. This is a success story for my son, who was adopted at age two and had been born with drugs and syphillis in his system. He is very contented person, much more so than many who are difficult child's. Then there is my daughter...

    She was a hardcore drug addict until age nineteen. And when I say hardcore, I mean she has told us she used everything from pot and alcohol to speed, meth, coke, heroin (once). No, you are not automatically hooked on heroin if you just use it once because she never ever went near it scared her. Nothing stopped her from using when she wanted to use and she tried to quit a few times, but her "friends" pushed her too hard to use and she felt she had to. At one point, somebody was threatening her life, saying she owed him money (he was a drug dealer). So she was in a very dark place.

    Daughter moved to Illinois, a state away, to live with her very straight arrow brother who laid down the law. She knew that if she was kicked out of his place, she would be homeless. So she listened to his rules, found a job, walked to and from (she had no car), helped clean the place up for Brother and his roommates, cooked, restrained her behavior, did not smoke cigarettes in his house (she eventually quit smoking), and met her current SO. This was eight years ago.

    She is clean now. She has a new career (went back to college), has her own house, and is very anti-drug. She DOES think pot should be legal. But that's it. She tries to use homopathetic cures for illness rather than even taking an aspirin. She has a great job. She is a sweetheart and we are very close. Without rehab, without intervention, she decided to quit and she did. There is a lot of hope, BUT...the person has to want to quit very badly. She had a few relapses along the way before she went to Illinois...she was quitting and going back (see the part about her "friends"). In her case she needed a fresh start in order to complete what she was trying to do. She has had no relapses in eight years.

    Keep the Faith :)
  9. buddy

    buddy New Member

    great! She also said that the stims that help kids when they are young can often be reduced in dose as they get older then because those brain areas have they may need some medications but doses or types may need to change and especially that it can be that they just need a much lower dose. since Q has a frontal lobe injury/adhd like symptoms, I sure hope that part of his journey gets to some degree better.