His grades go up. Inside - due to his own thoughts, not due to outside influences - his anxiety goes up, because if he can get good grades, then there's lots of other things he can do, except... he doesn't believe he can. So subconsciously, he self-sabotages. What lies beyond graduation is too scary to contemplate, so "shut down", stay where you are, where it is safe. Do whatever it takes to feel in control. It's not an uncommon thinking pattern related to a number of different challenges - anxiety, depression, and Asperger's are just three examples. Some forms of attachment challenges would also generate that kind of thinking. It's the thinking that has to change. But even that is scary. When you have had a more normal life, there is some level of trust in other people, some level of trust in life "unfolding as it should" (even when it's not really what we asked for or wanted). If you don't really trust anything or anyone... life is VERY scary.