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ADHD Parents Together
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Worried - Will my son graduate?

Hello, my 12 y.o. son with ADHD really struggles with school work. Although he has an IEP, the progress is lacking in the areas of math, reading and writing. He receives special education in class and has a tutor at home 2 hours/week, but cannot comprehend so much.

I am constantly worrying about his success - - -- How can he pass exams in high school? Will he be able to graduate from high school? How will he even take an SAT exam to get into college? These thoughts keep me up most nights.

Are there any other parents whose children have completed high school and/or college after years of struggling in school with ADHD?

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Janice - My son is now 25 and finally finishing up college. It's taken him a lot longer and there have been many detours, but he decided he didn't want to work fast food jobs forever and returned to school. It was his own decision and we made him pay for the first year since we'd spent thousands for dropped and failed classes when he was younger.....! If your son is not already taking medication for ADHD, that would be my first recommendation. I would also consider asking for no homework and keep up the IEP. He can take the ACT exams when he's older, but a local community college may be a better fit for him, at least in the beginning. He may need to work for a few years until he's ready for college.

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Next school year when we have the IEP meeting, I will ask for no homework. It really is not beneficial and creates stress for us both. Both SAT and ACT tests are so challenging. I do not know how he will get through either one.

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Same here . My son is going to high school in September, and I am so stressed already that I can’t even be happy this school year is over. Omg! Let’s hope they mature enough and get it together somehow.

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Don't stress about the ACT and SAT....that's a few years away! Just be prepared to provide a lot of oversight with high school. Be sure and try very hard for no homework - that was the worst for us. Lower your expectations considerably - no hard classes and be sure he takes his meds everyday. You will be checking the school's on-line grading system daily - that allows you to know immediately if he's missed an assignment or failed a test. Try and have PE at the end of the day - my son was constantly tardy to his next class, which ended up being a big problem.

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These are great tips. I find that I don't always check to see if assignments are due and I later find he received a zero. He tends to misplace assignments or says he does not have homework. Also I am not on the on-line grading system much.

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Unfortunately, you probably will have to check his grades/assignments daily. And you should also meet all of his teachers and get their emails. ADHD usually requires a lot of oversight when it gets to high school. And ask for 2 sets of books - one for school and one for home. And for all the syllabus's for each class. This may sound awful, but I had to check the assignments to see if my son actually had homework. He often said he didn't, or he turned it in (and he hadn't) or other nonsense.

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My son will do this with assignments too. I will find the work weeks after.

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I had no idea that I would have to be so involved in my son's school work, but high school involved daily oversight. You will need to know what is expected for each class (that's why you need the syllabus), check the on-line grading website, and go through his backpack everyday. I strongly recommend trying to get either no homework or reduced homework. Homework caused the most problems in our house and never seemed worthwhile. Tutors can help - we had a neighbor tutor my son in math and I'm sure this is why he passed.

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Thanks so much for the tips. I'm willing to do all I can. Homework has also been such a stressful nightmare at home. I don't feel like it is helpful at all.

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I really feel like I went to high school a second time!!

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I also enjoy and learning from your post, thanks!

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My son will enter high school this year age 15 1/2 and I'm not looking forward to it, I pray that it will be better then the past several years of me being the taskmaster. My son has the capabilities to succeed, however he lacks the motivation. I asked him once, what do you think about school, do you like school ? , that was five months ago and I still didn't get an answer . My son low cognitive abilities /reasoning/ problem solving skills makes things difficult for him. I told myself, I will wait until he is of age to take the Ged and go for that, I also thought about allowing him to take classes all year around to speed up high school. He says he wants to go to trade school for computers and I told him he has to show a lot more independence skills and accountability towards his school work for me to pay for it. The other option is in the state of TN, they will pay for two years of college as long as you meet the criteria. I told my son, this option is his only option, because I will not pay for college for someone who doesn't demonstrate responsibility, accountability, motivation, and good decisions making skills. You may have to think of plan B. I believe once my son reaches his upper 20's, he may come into a goal on how to succeed but he is no where near it, my son maturity is like a nine year old.

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You are doing the right thing by not agreeing to pay for college tuition when you know he will not succeed because he is not serious about it. My son's maturity level is much lower than it should be also.

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Our boys are about 3 years behind their peers. I couldn't believe this when I first read it, but it turns out to be true. At age 25, I can now see some actual maturity in my kid. He can get to his jobs on time, he checks the schedules for work days, he goes to class and I guess he's there on time, and I think he's doing his homework, although I am available for reading and editing English papers! (His worst subject!) And most importantly, he decided he had to take his ADHD meds daily - he realized he could not do school without them. But up until about age 23, he was not ready for college or even a full-time job. We were very fortunate that he was never into drugs or had any legal problems, besides multiple speeding tickets and wrecking 2 cars. His friends were sort of sketchy for a while, but he has connected with his old friends, who have remained very nice and are all college graduates. We are fairly sure there is an adult emerging, but it's been a very long and hard road.

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This gives us all hope. So glad he is on the right track and I hope the us feeling the greatness of success. It's really important they get to experience success becuase they do the right thing.

Take care

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I sent you a private chat message!

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