At Wits End: My son is a senior at our... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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At Wits End


My son is a senior at our local public high school. He was previously enrolled at a small private school that caters to children with learning differences. Most recently, he spent the last two years at an all male military boarding school. He begged us to let him go to the local public school so that he could have a normal hs experience. He started the year with a 3.7 GPA; it is quickly tanking. He has completed very little classwork and homework. He seems unmotivated and has not adjusted well socially. My husband and I are looking for a boarding school that 1. takes students midyear 2. has structure 3. low student teacher ratio. Our thought process is: he needs to get a hs diploma and will either do a gap year of PG year after graduation. Thoughts? Suggestions?

6 Replies

I was originally diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade. My, mother, not believing in medication never told me until I was rediagnosed in college. I’m now 31. I say that to give some background into my personal experience in dealing with adhd. I have a unique high school experience. We moved frequently and while I had good grades they weren’t always excellent. When we moved to Florida my math skills were further along than the senior level and I was required to take the course for IB (international baccalaureate). I ended up being put full on into the program. I was expected to have low grades for the first semester since I was starting a year late. I held a 3.5. I never excelled like that before and I’ve found it’s because of the challenge. When we moved later back to a school zone without IB my grades went down. Without that challenge I did worse. Became distracted with other things because the work itself wasn’t stimulating. Perhaps that may be what your son is experiencing upon going into regular public school. IB provided me with structure which isn’t quite available with AP courses and a very rigorous and challenging study program. He also may be unaware of why he feels disinterested in his current study. Maybe the move into public school is the cause of his dip in grades. It’s worth seeing his high school guidance counselor and seeing if a more rigorous course of study may help. Or even some clubs ( I found physics club helped me deal with regular public school)

Is he currently on ADHD meds and is he taking them daily? That's my first thought - that he's not taking his meds. Does he need residential treatment? Why was he in boarding school in the first place? Defiance or simply your preference? I have some experience with boarding school and boys. but our son needed the structure, safety, etc. Can you tell me more about this situation?

Why are you against public school? My grandsons have gotten so much support with their i.e.p. Are you sending him away because of violent behavior? I would think kids at a military school would be cruel to a child that is different.

Their mother attended a small private school but it was a constant struggle for me to get the staff to understand Mental illness.

I would think if he is unhappy where he is it's going to reflect in his grades, attitude, everything else. Does he have an I.E.P. plan at school, a counselor he can talk to?

Have you considered an anti-depressant? Does he seem happy?

My son is a sophmore and is struggling this year. Tested him for ADHD. Inconclusive. Diagnosed with depression/anxiety. Asked for a 504 plan. Meeting this week with the HS to start that. He has zero interest at n his schoolwork and was starting to refuse to go to school. He is now on an anti-depressant. He has a therapist as well. Good luck to you. One day at a time.

I am just seeing your post. My son is in a military school, but not adjusting. Did you find a boarding school? I need help! Thx!

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