WTH is wrong with him????


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My son's online grades say that he has FIVE Fs going now.
An A in culinary and a B in zoology.
One of the teachers emailed me per my inquiry, and said he is filling in the "Do it now" section at the top of each day's pages, but not the bottom half. That could be a literal issue. But I still want to smack him. You would think HE would care that he has five Fs and wonder why.
Thanks for listening.
I am going to text him right now.


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Literal thinking, organization, planning... teachers know how to really make school difficult for a challenged kid.

And no, he won't think to connect the dots between not doing what isn't obviously needing to be done, and getting poor grades. Half of what they are expected to do doesn't impact learning outcomes at all, just "busy work", and these kinds of kids know it. But... you get marks for busy work.

Real world doesn't work that way - except in certain bureaucratic settings. But I won't get on my soapbox.


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Mine would have F's at mid-term, we'd go crazy, and he'd bring them up to C's and B's. It was nuts. His last full semester he got two D- final grades...one he did enough of the labs to get it up from his F and one the teacher just passed him. In the second, his lowest test score was like an 86. He'd had A's and high B's on every single test, he clearly knew the subject, he just didn't do the homework. I'll never get it.

Hopefully your son has enough time to bring up those grades. :fingerscrossed:


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Literal thinking, organization, planning... teachers know how to really make school difficult for a challenged kid.

And no, he won't think to connect the dots between not doing what isn't obviously needing to be done, and getting poor grades. Half of what they are expected to do doesn't impact learning outcomes at all, just "busy work", and these kinds of kids know it. But... you get marks for busy work.

Real world doesn't work that way - except in certain bureaucratic settings. But I won't get on my soapbox.

Since Terry hasn't shared exactly what he was expected to do other than "Do it Now" , I curious how you would know to then deem the rest "busy" work?

Broad and sweeping generalizations are not helpful either.

Peace and also staying off my soapbox. :)

P.S. Yes, I'm a teacher.


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Here's the thing about grades, their subjective. Yes, it demonstrates responsibility to complete the work and it sounds the Mommy alarm when our kids have an "F", but it doesn't mean his adult life will not be productive or successful. Obviously, he likes culinary.

Take a deep breath and keep it in perspective (and I know that's very difficult). Please know, I'm not saying throw in the towel, or give up, just that it's not the end.

Positive and patient vibes sent your way.

Daughter didn't get it either in high school when she got F's, but she sure does now as an adult.I tried to tell her....


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Dazed... I'm not against ALL teachers. Really, I'm not. We've had some really good ones over the years.

But... by grade 4, the "busy work" almost killed my challenged kid. There was some learning benefit to the stuff, IF you didn't have challenges. But there were no IEPs, very little accommodation unless the teacher was open and willing to adapt (could not be forced). Fully two thirds of the teachers HE got... would not budge a single inch on anything.

Example: word find pages. Small print, extremely challenging if you have fine motor skills issues, and any learning benefit possible cannot be attained in this case.

The reason why I jump to that conclusion is... Terry's kid is Aspie. So am I, so is my challenging kid. We kind of know how he thinks. Neurotypicals just don't see things the same way. :D

Of course, YOU aren't one of those kinds of teachers. We found that the best teachers... had challenging kids of their own.


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es! And... that drives an Aspie absolutely around the bend. Marks are supposed to represent what you KNOW not how many hoops you can jump through (Aspie logic).

Hmmm. Score another point for my kid being Aspie...although never diagnosed. He always was so upset that he could get an F when he got A's and B's on the tests so he clearly knew the subject...but he wouldn't turn in the homework, even when he had it completed. I told him...it was like me going to work and refusing my paycheck!


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Maybe, because I had so much trouble in school, I also have another perspective.

School is darn HARD if you have any learning disabilities or maybe your birthmother used drugs pre-birth??? and made it harder for him to learn or to even understand right from wrong. Sure, he KNOWS it, but the part of his brain that controls it could be damaged. Just saying...

A lot of parents who were high achievers get freaked out when their kids do not also care about their grades thinking that their lives will be hopeless without a college degree. I've often explained that my ex-son GoneBoy never did care much about school. He did ok. He never got the straight A's he could have gotten if he had tried. His interest was in technology and he was great at it. When it came time for college, he refused. "I'm going to start four years ahead of my peers and be more successful." He is. He has his own business and is well over a millionaire by now. He has traveled with his kids quite a bit, often to China, the country of his wife's birth and to Hong Kong, his own country of origin. Takes money to do that when you are a young man. He has a huge house with a pool and his son goes to an elite pre-school. Ok, so this is unusual.

Princess was a drug addict, but she later paid for culinary school and has chef status in Illinois. She quit because of the chefs hours and the fact that she wants to be a stay-at-home mom now. When she was in school, I did not realize she was above average at all. I knew she had much creativity in her. Well, she is brilliant too, just like GoneBoy. She never achieved as much as GoneBoy did, but she did well and is doing well.

Finally, my brother. He was a genius, literally, and never got anything in school but A's, straight through Grad School where he graduated with honors. He became an Actuary and has always been very financially successful. But he has also been very lonely. He has never had a relationship, male or female (we don't know his sexuality), but has always lived alone in the same rental apartment in the east that he still lives in. He is less lonely now because, due to having Crohns Disease, he decided to switch careers for less stress...he is now a teacher and a good one and his students love him. Those are his friends, his contacts. Is he successful? Well, he made a lot of money and spent his life alone in an apartment every weekend. All of his vacations were to visit my mother until she died. Now he visits my father. I kind of feel sorry for him, although I know e has friends now.

When Sonic was 18, he could have spent four more years in school too, because of his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). We asked him if he wanted to go to school and he said a firm no, that he wants to go to work, he is done. We let him graduate with his class, a very happy day for him. Now, there IS a difference. He never got an F. But he also had a very good IEP. He has done much better in life than we ever dreamed, and keeps growing and maturing each year.

Teachers: I am not a big fan of teachers as a whole because I feel they set themselves up as psychologists due to their exposure to kids and I don't care for that. It has caused me problems. This paragraph is to everyone here, not Terry only.

It is up to the parents to fight for the right IEP and to keep the teachers on task, not the other way around. Maybe it should be the other way around, but it does not work that way. If you fought your hardest, used the resources, including the Dept. of Education in your state, your free advocate, showing up with that advocate, keeping an eye on the teacher (not just your kid), you'll get better results. The teachers have many kids. They aren't going to care more about our child than the other ones. They have a job to do. And they DON'T understand all of our children's different issues. They are educators, not psychologists (something they themselves often forget). Many parents turn down Special Education if it is offered, but many kids need that kind of serious help. I wish they had had that for me.

My .02 worth of advice, which is all that .02 buys these days ;), is I'd let him quit school and get a job. He is not willing to learn any longer. He isn't trying. You can't learn if you don't care. I was a Learning Disability (LD) child who tried to care, but I stopped caring when nobody "got" me and I kept getting yelled at by teachers and made fun of by classmates and I just stopped trying. It was too hard to do homework for me. I did not have the attention span or the recall to do well in school and I did not understand math. It was like speaking to me in another language.

I personally like tech schools as they teach the actual skills you need to get a certificate for a certain job, which is in high demand. I'm not so sure that those extra years of high school really help the young adult in his life.

Terry, you are an awesome parent. You have an adult child now. Yeah, I know. He acts like his twelve. I get it. But a part of him is eighteen and it is going to be harder to force him to do what you want him to do. If you feel he is capable of doing better in school and want him to stay there, you have lots of leverage still, because he is not on his own. Take the cell phone. Forgot the car that you keep giving back to him. That alone should light a fire under his butt if you stick to it. And if you suspect he is doing drugs, then taking away the car and cell phone will force him to at least work much harder to do drugs.

Remember that he did not come from DNA, which I personally think is important, that valued education. He doesn't care if he fails. You'll drive yourself less nuts if you accept him for who he is. He likes to cook? Offer him a culinary program at a two year school. Sonic is in culinary. No, he won't get rich, but he is the happiest person I have ever met and I'm not exaggerating. He doesn't care that he isn't rich. He is just very happy. To me, that's the most important trait a person an have.

Hey, hope these ramblings, part of a vent of my own, are ok with the other people. I didn't mean to insult anyone and hope nobody takes it that way. I just tend to muse a lot. I always wanted somebody to understand me when I was growing up and struggling in school. Calling me "lazy" and an "underachiever" did not help me. It hardened me and made me less caring about what those in the education community said about me because I knew that, in my heart, I was doing poorly, but that it wasn't my fault. It didn't make me try harder. It made me give up and not care about my grades or my future. I was sure it was bleak. It WAS bleak until *I* decided to fix it, BUT it had nothing to do with my grades at school.

Hugs to all.


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In a sense, he cares if he fails, but he doesn't define failure the way we do. He doesn't care if he gets As. He wants to pass. Period.
Just get it overwith.
So, "we" (two friends, myself, and difficult child) finished his English paper, which was the teacher's way of saying he will pass if he completes it and hands it in (she emailed me the instructions). I will email her and ask her to have him finish the bottom half of all the unworked pages from the past few weeks, and point out that he didn't know what to do. After school is best, where it's more one-on-one.
He claimed he didn't look at his grades this week.
So? What about participating in class? You should'nt need to look at your grades if you're doing the work. Pfft.
He's just in another world.
He cleaned his room with a friend this a.m., too. It would be nice for him to take pride in doing it by himself, but again, he just wants to get it overwith.
I even had them sponge the floor. (There was cat poop on it ... and spilled juice ... and ...)
He also called and got the price of the speeding ticket --$130--and I wrote a check. He is going to be paying us back for the rest of his life for all the stuff he's done.
And he called the insurance company and got a case #.
And moved the parking pass sticker from my car to his.
Alllllllll of which could have been done in 10 min two wks ago but he just walks away and waits for MOM's radar to go off.

Dazed, this is crucial for my difficult child: "it demonstrates responsibility to complete the work"


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This thread has gone in some interesting ways. I really like to hear the different points of view and see different ways of looking at a situation.

I think back to my own son, 25yo, who was not a difficult child, and was/is extremely intelligent and not an Aspie (as far as I know).

He had some of the same attitudes as the young men described on this thread. Didn't care about grades especially, hated what he considered busy work, felt doing work that he already understood was a waste of time, didn't always turn in work. Excelled at things he was interested in. If he wasn't interested he didn't put in a whole lot of effort, didn't like to have to 'show his work' i.e. math problems that he could do in his head.

Homeschooling and early college classes in things he was interested in was our solution, at least partially, and school of hard knocks took care of the rest.

My girls were the type who worried about grades tremendously, had to get all A's, turned in every single assignment ever given, loved busy work (easy A's), put 100% effort into everything.

I always thought it was a matter of different personality types, maybe even gender differences. Son often had to learn from his own mistakes.


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Frustrating, for sure.
Thank goodness parents can get this information (grades online) to at least attempt to intervene....
As a side note....I wonder if culinary school might be a thought for future education / career choice. ??


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Yes, I am trying to gently push him in the direction of culinary school.

Also, I supposedly can't see his grades online next year. He'll be a senior, and 18. For some reason, seniors don't have to share with-their parents. All I can say is that his Verizon account will be directly tied in with his online grades, if only for viewing purposes. :) :devilish:


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Staff member

As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an “eligible student’s” education records to the parents of the student, without the student’s consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes. Neither the age of the student nor the parent’s status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8).)

The way that I read that is as long as your son is still your dependent, you have access to his school records. I know that we are never told we have to check whether our students are 18 when we email parents about grades. I teach juniors and seniors and I know some of them are already 18.



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Yep. He's 18 now but a junior. WTH.
Also, our therapist's office had us all sign HIPPA forms. But the psychiatrist's office said as long as he's in HS, we don't have to. Must be that dependent clause ...