I just wanted to introduce myself. I've been spending a great deal of time on this forum this week. I had to take off work because we're having carpet put down. I found this forum because my son is approaching adolescence, and I wanted to see what challenges might be coming my way. We adopted our 12-year old son ten years ago. He was born addicted to cocaine. His mom was a prostitute who did the right thing and turned him over to his grandmother when he was born. She is now deceased. The mother realizes she can't take care of him and signed away her parental rights when he was two, which is when we adopted him. He has severe a severe anxiety disorder with depression and mild ADHD. He has to take medications for the panic attacks, but not for the ADHD. I posted this in the Substance Abuse forum because I think his problems are the result of being born addicted to crack. It took about four years before we found what worked for him. His grandma did an amazing job with him, and we are reaping the benefits of her work and love. Our son focuses well on his schoolwork, but his ADHD makes him very hyper. I have never taught Special Education, but I am a teacher, so I have been able to use some of the techniques I use on my hyper and more "excitable and overly-sociable" students. When our son is bored he gets trapped in his head, thinks too much, and is paralyzed with anxiety and panic attacks. We keep him involved with a lot of activities, such as swimming, hockey, and volunteering at the animal shelter. We also encourage him to help other kids with their homework. If he is kept busy, he doesn't have time to get bored. When he's bored, his behavior is out of control. I realize our approach may have to change as he grows older. For about six years everything has been easy. It's exhausting for us to constantly make sure he is entertained and busy. But, if we let him watch TV and get bored, he gets nervous and depressed and goes into a nuclear meltdown. The best form of discipline for him is simply asking him why he did or said that, how did it make others feel, etc. If he understands the seriousness and genuinely feels badly about it, we don't punish him. But, if he does it again or just doesn't get it, we make him clean house. We've always made him volunteer and taken him to homeless shelters, etc. so he develops empathy for others. We let him know that he was adopted when we first got him at age two, and when he was older, helped him understand what crack is and why he was born addicted to it, etc. We've made it very clear to him what could happen if he ever picks up a drug, or even alcohol. He is at high-risk for becoming addicted because of being in his mother's womb while she used crack. We've taught him not to blame his mother. She had a major problem she didn't know how to control. Crack took over her body, mind, and life, so much so that she felt forced to prostitute herself. It is an addiction she feels she cannot overcome. I try to make him understand that his mom didn't chose drugs over him. She loved him, but didn't have the skills to stop using drugs. It's not as simple as just stopping the drug use.