New to the Forum - In great need of help


New Member
Thank you very much for looking at this posting.

My step daughter (15 yr. old) has severe executive function problems as well as other learning disabilities. In addition, she has defiance/compliance issues, rage and basic refusal to do anything to better her situation. She has a very high IQ and her reading and writing skills are fantastic. She has been on numerous medications the only one having any positive effect being Ritalin, which she refuses to take. She will be a sophomore in high school this year. Last year, she received D and Cs in the public school, but the problems are bigger than just the grades. She is hanging out with kids who are going no where, have no interest and are simply mad at the world. This summer we tried to explore private schools, but she refuses to cooperate in any part of the process and walked out on the interviews. The schools that we looked at that have programs for ADHD etc. refuse to take her because of the defiance and rage.

We are going to try and get her to take Strattera in the hopes that if it isn't called Ritalin she'll take it (she put the Ritalin under her tongue and later spit it out).

We are extremely loving parents who are up all night worrying about this and crying during the day about it. We feel like we've tried everything - coach, therapy, medication, contracts (which she never lives up to), being involved with school, not being involved with school, educational consultant etc. She has an IEP at school which has been basically useless. They have given up on her.

We are worn out and at our wits end. We're afraid to send her to a school that will take kids that don't want to be there because underneath it all she is very scard and vulerable. We're afraid that if we put her with "tough" kids things will get even worse. We don't think she is involved with drugs or sex yet.

What we want is a school that would be willing to wait out the defiance and rage and understand what is really driving it (lack of self esteem etc.) beause we think in the right place and the right medication she could blossom. It just seems like there is nothing in between the "boot camp-like" schools and regular boarding or private schools. We tried talking to a regular private school that had a special program for ADHD but they wouldn't deal with her. Is there some place that would deal with her learning problems and her emotional problems that is nurturing?

If there isn't such a school what do we do? Should be try and extensive tutor thing again? We live in the Boston area.

Thank you very much for reading this LONG e-mail. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Well-Known Member

As MsM said, we are glad you are but sorry you have to be.

You know, all the educational supports in the world won't positively affect your child if they don't give a little themselves. It's a tough place to be in with a daughter who is bright but the behavior overshadows it.

It's sad to hear you say that her current school has given up on her. They can't do that - they have an obligation to educate her regardless of the problems she presents at school. If they have to find a day program and pay for such, that is their obligation to your daughter.

Once question, does your daughter see a therapist? Is she cooperative or would she be cooperative with that type of therapy?

It may be time to look into an advocate for your daughter who has a good handle on education law.

Again, glad you found your way here.



New Member
We did homeschool our child for several months (although she ultimately needed more intensive inpatient help).

We subscribed to four different relatively inexpensive on-line curriculums (Time 4 Learning, eTap, Homeschool Learning Network, and Virtual Homeschool International)and several fun educational programs too (such as Brain Pop, GeeArt and Rosetta Stone). She had the freedom of switching between them as long as she logged her activities each day and worked each day on a prep program for nationalized testing (Bright Education Testing). (We also supplemented by utilizing a Sylvan tutor (on-line) and hiring a middle school math teacher to work with her several days a week. And subscribed to several print news magazines from Scholastic.

It was a workable solution for us at the time.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful

Hello and welcome to the board. :flower:

Excuse the questions, but it gives us a clearer picture of where you're at, what you've done already, and helps us to offer better advice.

Who has evaluated your daughter in the past? Was it done thru the school, or thru outside means such as a neurologist and such? (I'm thinking along the lines of the executive functioning issues and learning disabilities) Is she currently in any sort of treatment program like seeing a therapist, neurologist, psychiatrist, ect? Has she ever seen an Occupational Therapist?

It sounds to me that your daughter has pretty much given up on herself, as much as the school has. (which as the others have said they legally can't do)

My Nichole had reached that point in high school. After witnessing the IEP wars with her brother, she opted not to have one. (couldn't really blame her) Homeschool thru an online school turned out to be the best thing to ever happen to her. She started the school at 16, and graduated this past June. And is now in community college. Homeschooling seemed to take the pressure off of her to "perform" in the classroom, distractions were gone, and she had one on one communication with her teachers via both phone and email. If she'd had one in place her online school would have followed her IEP.

You've landed in a wonderful place.



Active Member
I dont know where she can go to school, maybe a small private Christian school? I had success there with my son when he was in 10th grade.

sigh, you do sure sound like loving and worn out folks. could you go to counseling yourself to help deal with her? can you ignore her some times just to take a break?

I had a terrible time with my son from 13 til I no longer let him live with me. I would not wish that on anyone. I tried all anyone suggested and know you have as well. May God send some new insight your way.