17 years old and will be living in my... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

CHADD's ADHD Parents Together

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17 years old and will be living in my basement next year


I have a 17 year old w/ADD, anxiety and depression for which he is on medication. We are struggling with many factors even on the medicine but the main being 1) being diagnosed late at age 15-very little out there about late onset, 2) he hates school and everything about it-since he graduates (?) in 2019, I am having anxiety because his GPA is under a 2.0 but has an ACT above average so I am not sure what to do with/for him as far as college, trade school or what? He says he wants to go to college but can not tell us for what and has no interest in talking about it to anyone 3) he has no financial accountability-has no job, has gone through countless phones and autos where he has depleted savings to nothing. Had to take away his debt card because of overdrafts. Have a psychiatrist appointment in 2 months but I am at our wits end-he is growing again and eating 4 times a day, is cranky-we are cranky right back! Socially he has lots of friends and a girlfriend who all like him. Any insight would be helpful

3 Replies

Hi Mom - I know exactly what you're going through....because I've been through a similar time with my son, who is now 23. First of all, you have to lower your expectations - A LOT! Our ADHD boys are 2-3 years behind their peers and this becomes very apparent in the late teen years. Now, let him live in your basement. There is NO point in kicking him out, as long as you set up a few rules and stick to them. Forget any type of school for now - my son was the same way. He hated school but we were dumb enough to try it anyway and threw away thousands on college for a few years. I advise ADHD meds, but my son refused to take them and I was worried he would sell them to his friends....so no meds for years. Insist that your son get a job and help him, if necessary. I filled out on-line applications for years! And he had many menial jobs...fast food, movie theater, etc. He had no car - he rode the bus, walked, or we gave him rides. Fortunately, we live in a smaller town, so nothing was very far. Don't give your son a car - he's not ready. (Trust me on this - we have the tickets to prove it!) I hate to say it, but the psychiatrist is probably a big waste of time and money. He will prescribe ADHD meds and possibly an antidepressant and your son will refuse to take them and you can't make him....so.....you can try but there's really no magic pill. He just has to grow up. Here are the rules I would insist he follow: a job of some sort, no overnights for the girlfriend at your house, no debit card - cash only, get him a cheap phone and have him do a Straight Talk plan from Wal-Mart - they are $45 and good for a month. This will give him some motivation to get a job!, he has to keep his basement area reasonably clean. Try not to have long conversations, but do realize you will have to provide more oversight than you think! Good luck!! And there is hope - my son is now in jr college - he has to pay half and I can actually see some maturity kicking in!

MOM1985 in reply to seller

Hi Back to you, thank you for your insight. It is much appreciated. I was wondering how much of the maturity gene would have to play into this and you have confirmed what I thought. We have moved to a cash only plan for expenses and are taking him on 1 college visit this summer to see what his thoughts are-he keeps telling us he want to go to college (his sister just graduated from college) but I don't see how he is going to motive himself enough to get through it all. I will keep you posted and thank you, you have made me a little less anxious.

seller in reply to MOM1985

I would send him to a jr college for at least one semester to try it and if possible, make him kick in some of the money. I would not send him away right now, no matter what he SAYS - if he SHOWS you that he's more mature (getting and keeping a job, managing his money, being on time, etc) then you might consider it in January. My son wanted to go to college - he just didn't want to go to class!! He had a great time and made tons of friends, but no passing grades!

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