19 year old in limbo: I have a 19 year... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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19 year old in limbo

ng24
ng24

I have a 19 year old inattentive ADD son. He graduated last year. Quit community college in October and still does not have a job. He keeps saying he’s looking. Doesn’t want to talk about it. Has anyone gone through this? What did you do? I don’t give him money

My older child is the opposite. She is about to graduate college and has always worked hard. She is non ADD.

Is this and ADD thing? Thanks I. Advance

30 Replies
oldestnewest

People with ADHD are about 2 years less mature than their age.

Is he in counseling?

I wonder if an ADHD coach could help him through this process?

Getting a job and setting adult live can be a challange for some kids.

Good luck!

ng24
ng24
in reply to Onthemove1971

He refuses counseling. He has an ADHD dr. SpeciList. He only sees her once every three months

Onthemove1971
Onthemove1971
in reply to ng24

I guess he has it figure out...

Refusing something is interesting, I guess I would say you do X or you are on your own.. especially with counseling and medication. We have had those in place for our son many years so he just know there is no choice.

Best of luck!

ng24
ng24
in reply to Onthemove1971

We haven’t had many years since diagnosis. How old is your son and when was he diagnosed?

I really wish,for his sake, we had caught this earlier

Onthemove1971
Onthemove1971
in reply to ng24

Our son is 13yrs old and he was diagnosed in 2nd grade. So 7 or 8yr. Old. Our son knows nothing different.

I guess it's about what you will allow? He needs to see the value on counseling or s coach. I'd you use a ADHD couch then it is not you telling him to do something. He really needs some adult support.

Did he use help in college? He qualifies for all of the same accommodations in high school.

ng24
ng24
in reply to Onthemove1971

Thank you! I will contact his specialist about a life coach. He’ll have to do that or on his own

Onthemove1971
Onthemove1971
in reply to ng24

You just want to make sure he has the tools he needs and a coach could really make a difference. I would suggest you try to be a part of the coaching, but not directly. Since he is still "under your roof".

ng24
ng24
in reply to Onthemove1971

Thank you! I will get on this in the morning. If you don’t mind , I will let you know how it goes

Onthemove1971
Onthemove1971
in reply to ng24

I would love to hear how it goes! Please let us know how it goes there is someone in your same boat...

Big hug for all your effort and grey hair..

My 18 yr old with ADD, dyslexia and generalized anxiety is in community college, first year. Taking it verrrrry slow with classes but that’s fine. Still living at home, that’s fine. Has a solid group of friends and long time parter thankfully. Refuses to take ADD because swallowing a pill is difficult, but takes anxiety meds which is hugely helpful. Considering that the adjusted age is more like 15-16 yrs old, it’s going ok. They’ll find their way eventually. Meanwhile we’ll be here with loving support and a slow gentle but constant push.

My daughter who is now in her thirties took some time to mature. She dropped out of community college twice before she finally started getting serious. She now has a master's degree and makes more than I do.

Boys mature even more slowly than girls. Keep encouraging him , give him tools to work with and give it time.

ng24
ng24
in reply to anirush

Thanks for your reply! I needed yo hear that! He came to me yesterday as told me that he is working on it. He loaded indeed

From talking to him, I realized that I’m his mind he’s trying to figure out life and career and gets overwhelmed. We had a great talk. I told him my frustration is because I looking at a great “builder” who tells everyone about a great house he is going to build but hasn’t even bought any wood. How that “builder” needs to make a list of things and get started. That made sense to him

He gets stuck in his thinking. He’ll see or hear about a job and won’t get around to applying til after it’s filled

Had a great talk about Physics (he loves science) and moving forward, inertia and momentum. He loved that. I told him it’s ok not to know what you want to do career wise right now. Any job

Nancy

First of all, remember that our ADHD boys are 2-3 years behind their peers. And at least he graduated from high school! Don't push college again until he asks to return. He's just not ready and school is difficult for him, I'm sure. I would insist that he get some kind of job - fast food or whatever. If he's not hard to live with, continue to allow him to live at home. Don't expect too much - he will probably bounce around from job to job, showing really bad money management, the inability to keep his room clean, and will just seem lost for a few more years. I do not believe that counseling does much at this age unless your son is really invested in learning how to understand his behavior. Most teens do not want someone telling them what to do. If he takes his ADHD meds, that's a plus. Our son didn't go back on his Vyvanse until he decided on his own to return to college at age 23.

ng24
ng24
in reply to seller

Thanks for your reply! I am of the same thinking. He will be a few years behind. I needed yo hear that! He came to me yesterday as told me that he is working on it. He loaded indeed

From talking to him, I realized that I’m his mind he’s trying to figure out life and career and gets overwhelmed. We had a great talk. I told him my frustration is because I looking at a great “builder” who tells everyone about a great house he is going to build but hasn’t even bought any wood. How that “builder” needs to make a list of things and get started. That made sense to him

He gets stuck in his thinking. He’ll see or hear about a job and won’t get around to applying til after it’s filled

Had a great talk about Physics (he loves science) and moving forward, inertia and momentum. He loved that. I told him it’s ok not to know what you want to do career wise right now. Any job

I felt we are making progress and then my husband (who travels) and has no understanding of everything just comes home and undoes any progress He thinks he should be just like our older daughter

Have you run in to that with your spouse?

seller
seller
in reply to ng24

I think our biggest mistake is that we had no idea just how much our son's ADHD would affect everything - not just school. I assumed that my son would continue to take his ADHD medication, like he did in grade school, and things would just move along normally, with accommodations for homework, etc. ADHD teens are a completely different species! They are frequently defiant and very difficult to motivate. It has to be their idea or they just don't listen. My son disliked school intensely by the time he got out of high school, so he was certainly not interested in going back for college, although I insisted he try it, and of course, that was a big fail. But he didn't seem interested in ANYTHING! And we could not understand why he was content to just bounce around, with no real goals and no direction to his life. I applied for jobs on-line for him - and sent him to interviews! And sometimes he got the job and worked for awhile, but it was always me pushing and doing the applications, background checks, making sure he had the right clothes/shoes, etc. etc. I can tell you I've "managed" my ADHD son for years! It was just second nature after awhile. And it drove me crazy that he didn't take any initiative to do any of this himself! This is the nature of ADHD - he didn't want to do anything tedious or boring or that took more than 5 minutes. (Video games are completely different - he can play all night!) And he was not taking his ADHD meds for most of the time, which didn't help. My advice is to make sure he gets some sort of job - it will probably be part-time, but he needs to be doing something. I would not spend a lot of time having heart-to-heart conversations because they just don't go anywhere and then you're mad because he didn't follow through on something. It does get better - slowly....! At 25, our son is now almost finished with community college and loves his criminal justice classes. He decided on this major himself when he decided to return to college after years of goofing off. I don't worry much about whether or not he gets to class on time, does his homework or makes it to his job. Except for expensive things like tuition and car insurance, he pays for most things himself. He should be off of our payroll by the end of the summer! By the way, you don't say if your son is driving or not? We didn't allow our son to drive until age 18, but he still had several accidents and lots of traffic tickets!

ng24
ng24
in reply to seller

I can relate so much! I am glad to hear about your son and his progress. It gives me hope

My son drives. Has had a few minor accidents. Like your son, he hated school. Dropped out of community college. A little defiant (but maturing) everything has to be his idea.

Thank you so much for advice!!

MOM1985
MOM1985
in reply to seller

You have described my 19 year old son and my behavior/relationship to a T. I am pretty sure he is coming home this weekend from college to tell me he is dropping out. He has destroyed 1 car but has been okay with the other one. On top of his ADD behavior, his older sister has been accepted into a PhD program which makes him feel less than good about himself and that he can't get the college thing. Besides video games and hanging out with friends, no motivation to do anything, including working at a job. He is awful with money and lies effortlessly. He was diagnosed late and also with Executive Function Disorder(EFD)-at 16 years-and we played with his medication for 2 years to get it right. Now he only takes on school days-weekends he is defiant, argumentative and can't remember anything I tell him. He has also been depressed and has anxiety. I successfully manage and motivate 25 plus people at my job but I can not manage my son-frustrated. I read comments that say be patient, everything will work out in the end and my logical side knows this but emotionally I am having a hard time staying balanced with him. No support groups or life coach available locally for Mom or him. My son is funny, loves dogs, is good with children and the elderly and has plenty of friends-he is really not a "bad" kid but I am at my wit's end-if I let him be, he spirals and we pick up the pieces and start anew. It's exhausting and costly-can't retire (early) because I don't know where he is going to end up so I feel like I am a "bad" mom because I am resentful. Thank you for letting me vent

seller
seller
in reply to MOM1985

I am sending you a private chat reply!

ng24
ng24
in reply to MOM1985

We are all going through the same thing. We are good moms. Just being on this forum, asking for and seeking helps makes us amazing moms!

We need to be much easier on ourselves. 💕

I have inattentive ADD, and here is my perspective looking back. ADDers tend to catastrophize—see everything that happens as part of an unfolding disaster. And second, it is hard for them to understand that things pass. What they see around them is how they think it will always be. No, imagine yourself at a major crossroads in your life imprisoned in a brain like that. You feel stuck, that all the options are as bad as the others, and it is less painful to drift than to act.

Momentum is what is needed. Motivation. ADDers are motivated by “flow”— immersing themselves in an activity that interests them. Or, at least, soothes their inattention. Instead of looking for a job, I’d try to find venues for your son to sit in on a job. Trail for a day or two, volunteer for a week, or talk to someone in the field in person. Whatever interests him. Enthusiasm. Get him to see the path, that there is movement and possibility. Get the interest up and then the job. Saying “find a job or else” will only cause him to fall further. Renewed interest in college might follow. Or an apprenticeship. Or a training course. Once he links the education to the career in his mind.

It’s unorthodox, I know. But we’ve got to approach the ADD brain on its own terms.

Hope this helps.

ng24
ng24
in reply to ThatCat

Thanks you!!! Love this. I am copying your response to my photos and reading it everyday!

If you could, please read me response above and tell me what you think. Especially about the spouse part

Thanks!

MOM1985
MOM1985
in reply to ThatCat

Thank you for sharing that point of view, that does explain some things. The catastrophizing definitely is his world-we call it spiraling.

I am sharing this with him this weekend

Unfortunately yes. Focusing is hard for them. Organizing, planning, socializing and on and on. They can not be compared to others. Reading on ADD and watching Ted talks on the subject has helped me immensely. My daughter started college and quit. She’s had several jobs and quit them all BUT.... the duration of each job had gotten longer and longer. Therapy has been a huge help too. It a hard long journey that has to be taken a day at a time. I’m so sorry you have the burden of it. It’s not easy. I’m so thankful for this forum! It reminds me often that I’m not alone and that I’m not crazy. I have heard the older they get the better it gets.

ng24
ng24
in reply to Hopefulstill

I love your BUT! That’s a reminder of seeing the positive change. I needed that.

I do love this forum! It makes me feel not alone. Thanks

Hopefulstill
Hopefulstill
in reply to ng24

Me too!! I will say we have seen HUGE progress over time. There are days that are a punch in the gut but when we see where she was just a year ago it’s a huge encouragement. I hope the same for you.

I agree that counselling would be helpful. And I don't think it is terrible to bribe your kids once in a while if you know that in the end it will be helpful for them. Some communities also have ADHD young adult groups. Where are you based?

I guess this is something I have to look forward to.....Sorry I have no advice for you but it has been enriching reading the replies. Thank you to everyone!

ng24
ng24
in reply to Janice_H

I have gotten great advice. If you read the replies now, it will help you so much when yours gets older

I love this forum!

My adult son went through a limbo period after dropping out of college. He seemed really lost but made excuses and wasn't trying very hard to find work. I knew he was depressed but finally had to give him an ultimatum: get counseling or move out. He chose counseling and later admitted to me that he needed it. Some have mentioned here that ADHD boys are 2 to 3 years behind, but in our case it is more like 4 years. He still hasn't gotten back into college but at least is forming some goals. Hang in there and be patient.

ng24
ng24
in reply to dubst3pM4UL

Thank you!!

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