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razorbackmama

Tired of dealing with this kid

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This may be a vent post, maybe it's one I could use some advice on, maybe I just need to suck it up, I dunno.

 

My current junior is turning 18 in August. He has always had trouble with self-discipline and motivation...there are verses about the sluggard in Proverbs that have always reminded me of him. It's just ALWAYS been an issue, no matter how much we have forced him to work and continue going. The internal motivation simply isn't there.

 

Because of this, when it comes to school, he just does it halfway or not at all. He's a bright kid, so when he DOES do it, he does great (As and Bs). But often he just doesn't. Due to our family's schedule, I've been giving him assignments for the week on a weekly basis. A couple weeks ago he literally read 2 chapters in The Three Muskateers in a week's time. That's it. We have grounded, we have taken away his iPod, we have lectured, we have discussed. We currently are making him take a leave of absence from work so he can get his act together. He's still not putting forth a ton of effort.

 

Because of all of this, he is very behind on school. The only way he will be able to graduate on time is if he doubles up on a lot of classes and takes a ton of credits next year. (This includes going full-steam-ahead over the summer too.)

 

He knows all this and still is just doing things halfway. I'm tired of dealing with it.

 

Should I tell him hey listen enough is enough...if you want to drop out and get your GED, fine by me, I'm done, and make sure he is well aware that a GED is something high school dropouts get and that it will severely harm his enlistment into the Navy (what he currently wants to do after graduation)? Should I just let him plod along at his own pace, even if it takes him till he's 25 to get all his credits for a diploma? Is there some other test I can give him to see where he is and call it good if he does OK on it? Continue to drag him through high school? (That option is not my favorite...I should not have to do that with an adult...it does not do him any favors, that's for sure.)

 

I will say he does not have an attitude about it. Aside from him claiming he's done work when he hasn't (lying is another issue we have with him), he's not rebellious about any of it. He just cannot get motivated to do the work he's supposed to do.

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No advice really, except to say that this:

 

The internal motivation simply isn't there.

 

Because of this, when it comes to school, he just does it halfway or not at all. He's a bright kid, so when he DOES do it, he does great (As and Bs). But often he just doesn't. Due to our family's schedule, I've been giving him assignments for the week on a weekly basis. [...] . That's it. We have grounded, we have taken away his iPod, we have lectured, we have discussed. We currently are making him take a leave of absence from work so he can get his act together. He's still not putting forth a ton of effort. [...] He just cannot get motivated to do the work he's supposed to do.

 

 

...sounds just like a guy I know that had ADD.

 

As a point of encouragement, he DID get his GED, and grew up to be a great, accomplished person.

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Sounds like you could be talking about my oldest, with the exception that he never did great (he could get Cs if he tried, he just didn't want to). He went to public school and I would get emails from his teachers, in real time, about how he was sleeping in class again, not participating, hadn't done the homework, etc... In middle school he was diagnosed with a non-verbal learning disorder, inattentive ADD, and was determined to have absolutely ZERO executive functioning skills. He squeaked out of high school by the skin of his teeth. I never cried so hard.

 

That said, he's now 20 and working *nearly* full-time at the local supermarket. It isn't what I pictured for my oldest child, by far. However, it is his life, and all I can do is love and support him.

 

I wish I could offer words of wisdom on how you could help or 'fix' your son's issues with school work. I guess all I can say is that, I feel your pain. Good luck, mama. :grouphug:

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I think what I'd be looking at is this: is he motivated to do anything? Or is he languid and apathetic about everything? 

Is there any chance he has depression or perhaps he does have ADD, or perhaps a learning difficulty? or executive function problems? 

Or he might for example be 2E. In our experience the 2E kid is capable of great work but found it hard to *sustain* the effort it required because they were compensating so hard for deficits.  So that would manifest itself in this zig zag pattern or either doing great or not doing anything... plus, without a diagnosis and understanding of the issue, there was a lot of internalized negative self image because the student assumed that they were stupid and lazy... 

More generally, I'd sit down with him and print out the requirements for his goal (enlistment in the Navy) plus whatever is his back up plan. 

Write it all out. Pull out a calendar and slot it all in and have him be involved in the process of planning it all & breaking it down into steps. This can be overwhelming to kids - my son is like this. He just gets panicked and overwhelmed and thinks it's hopeless and he'll never be able to get things done... So he needs to have some help in this are to break it down into little goals that can be checked off.

 

It takes many of us years to understand that the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  And then you take the next step. etc etc. Sometimes the kids just need more support in learning this vital lesson. 

And I think I'd just hand hold him more. There are several of us here on the boards with what we call late bloomers / slow to launch. They just need more hand holding and prodding and poking for a lot longer. They will get there but nothing is gained by pushing them out when they're not ready. They need more time to grow and mature and they need us to stay on top of them to help them succeed. I think of it as holding the back of the bike when kids are learning to ride. You think he should be ready, the world thinks he should be ready, but he's not. Take your hand off and he wipes out and maybe won't even want to get up again. Keep the hand on a bit longer. Keep trying to take it off obviously, and look for and encourage all signs of self motivation, but also just grab the back of the bike and keep him on course. 

I just had a quick look on the Navy site and it said that for homeschoolers esp they look at extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership. Is he participating in extracurricular activities?  Is he really really  wanting to join the Navy or is this just something he's saying because he needs an answer to the "what are you going to do?" question and this one seems to satisfy people? Maybe he needs to do some more career exploration? 

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My son is in the Navy. Has he looked at the ASVAB? Taken a practice one? If he scores well enough- why not just graduate him early? Then, just let the Navy train him. Just a thought. They will take them at 17 with parent permission. I would just prepare for the ASVAB.

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Should I tell him hey listen enough is enough...if you want to drop out and get your GED, fine by me, I'm done, and make sure he is well aware that a GED is something high school dropouts get and that it will severely harm his enlistment into the Navy (what he currently wants to do after graduation)? Should I just let him plod along at his own pace, even if it takes him till he's 25 to get all his credits for a diploma? Is there some other test I can give him to see where he is and call it good if he does OK on it? Continue to drag him through high school? (That option is not my favorite...I should not have to do that with an adult...it does not do him any favors, that's for sure.)

 

I will say he does not have an attitude about it. Aside from him claiming he's done work when he hasn't (lying is another issue we have with him), he's not rebellious about any of it. He just cannot get motivated to do the work he's supposed to do.

 

Has he already sat down with a Navy recruiter to discuss options or is enlisting something that is still a little nebulous?

 

GED holders (IIRC) have more restrictions on enlistment than people with a high school diploma (including a homeschool diploma).  

 

If he plans to enlist, I don't think you are necessarily wrong to lay out what the minimum requirements are to graduate from your homeschool and say that a diploma and enlistment can follow that.

 

I don't know what you have him doing for academics across the board.  Not everyone is a strong reader.  Not everyone enjoys reading.  Sometimes that changes; sometimes it doesn't.  

 

 

As a Navy vet, a bigger deal for me than the rigor of the diploma is the issue of personal integrity, honesty and reliability.  It is not an exaggeration to say that millions of dollars and people's lives rest on maintenance being done when people say it is.  You really don't want to be the guy in the guy in the workcenter with a reputation for not pulling his weight or for not really doing what he said he did.  That reputation tends to stick once it is earned.  That person doesn't get positions of responsibility that lead to advancement (ie, lackluster evaluations lead to lower promotion scores lead to missed promotion opportunities).  That reputation would keep me from sending someone to a specialty school to earn a higher level skill in the rating.  

 

Nothing is set in stone.  He doesn't have to behave going forward in a less than upright, enthusiastic and reliable way.  

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No advice really, except to say that this:

 

...sounds just like a guy I know that had ADD.

 

As a point of encouragement, he DID get his GED, and grew up to be a great, accomplished person.

 

I have considered ADD. A friend of his has it, and the external symptoms are very similar. However, what goes on in his head is a little different. It's a possibility, but he doesn't have the "ping pong ball" thoughts that his friend does. He said it basically boils down to a lack of the inner voice saying, "This is what I should be doing right now."

 

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I think what I'd be looking at is this: is he motivated to do anything? Or is he languid and apathetic about everything? 

 

(I can't figure out how to separate out the quotes....) He's motivated to do the fun things he's interested in...Legos, Minecraft, drawing, etc. He used to have major issues when he was younger with hyperfocusing...he was diagnosed at age 4 with PDD-NOS. However, I doubt that diagnosis.

 

Or he might for example be 2E. In our experience the 2E kid is capable of great work but found it hard to *sustain* the effort it required because they were compensating so hard for deficits.  So that would manifest itself in this zig zag pattern or either doing great or not doing anything... plus, without a diagnosis and understanding of the issue, there was a lot of internalized negative self image because the student assumed that they were stupid and lazy... 

 

I have suspected for a long time that he is 2E. That would certainly explain the misdiagnosis of PDD-NOS...at younger ages gifted kids often have similar characteristics of kids on the spectrum. Every single year he takes the Cog-AT and it comes back that clearly something is off in his answers because he's super gifted in one area and definitely NOT in another. So 2E is definitely a possibility.

 

More generally, I'd sit down with him and print out the requirements for his goal (enlistment in the Navy) plus whatever is his back up plan. 

 

Write it all out. Pull out a calendar and slot it all in and have him be involved in the process of planning it all & breaking it down into steps. This can be overwhelming to kids - my son is like this. He just gets panicked and overwhelmed and thinks it's hopeless and he'll never be able to get things done... So he needs to have some help in this are to break it down into little goals that can be checked off.

 

We have done this extensively. Which is why I'm to the point where I am now...done because nothing has helped, not even this.

 

I just had a quick look on the Navy site and it said that for homeschoolers esp they look at extracurricular activities that demonstrate leadership. Is he participating in extracurricular activities?  Is he really really  wanting to join the Navy or is this just something he's saying because he needs an answer to the "what are you going to do?" question and this one seems to satisfy people? Maybe he needs to do some more career exploration? 

 

All the extracurriculars and such is probably for the academy or ROTC or something. You can just enlist without all that, which is what he wants to do. He does seem genuinely interested in the Navy, though it's definitely not as "super-motivated" interested as my older son was with the Marines (he was very over the top LOL).

 

 

 

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My son is in the Navy. Has he looked at the ASVAB? Taken a practice one? If he scores well enough- why not just graduate him early? Then, just let the Navy train him. Just a thought. They will take them at 17 with parent permission. I would just prepare for the ASVAB.

 

That's another possibility I had not considered. Thank you!

 

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Has he already sat down with a Navy recruiter to discuss options or is enlisting something that is still a little nebulous?

 

GED holders (IIRC) have more restrictions on enlistment than people with a high school diploma (including a homeschool diploma).  

 

If he plans to enlist, I don't think you are necessarily wrong to lay out what the minimum requirements are to graduate from your homeschool and say that a diploma and enlistment can follow that.

 

I don't know what you have him doing for academics across the board.  Not everyone is a strong reader.  Not everyone enjoys reading.  Sometimes that changes; sometimes it doesn't.  

 

 

As a Navy vet, a bigger deal for me than the rigor of the diploma is the issue of personal integrity, honesty and reliability.  It is not an exaggeration to say that millions of dollars and people's lives rest on maintenance being done when people say it is.  You really don't want to be the guy in the guy in the workcenter with a reputation for not pulling his weight or for not really doing what he said he did.  That reputation tends to stick once it is earned.  That person doesn't get positions of responsibility that lead to advancement (ie, lackluster evaluations lead to lower promotion scores lead to missed promotion opportunities).  That reputation would keep me from sending someone to a specialty school to earn a higher level skill in the rating.  

 

Nothing is set in stone.  He doesn't have to behave going forward in a less than upright, enthusiastic and reliable way.  

 

He has kind of talked with a recruiter. Nothing in depth, but it's definitely more than just "I want to join the Navy." I think he has talked with him as much as he can prior to his senior year and REALLY getting the ball rolling on the DEP and such.

 

EXCELLENT POINTS about integrity and honesty being what is crucial. I'm going to mention that to him. It is nothing for him to lie straight to your face about even the small stuff like whether he did his spelling that day or not. He needs to ponder this.

 

 

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I think it would be worth redoing the diagnosis. PDD-NOS and ADHD are/ used to be on the same spectrum of disorders iirc.

 

At any rate, if there had been some type of diagnosis, it's worth revisiting.

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I think in your situation I would give him a goal of passing a practice ASVAB or GED or whatever test you devise, with a particular score.  When he does I'd call him done.  I would stop all punishments and restrictions, he'll never learn to take on adult responsibilities while being treated like a child.  I'd give him a date of the test and let him study on his own most of the time and only meet up 1-2X per week to work together on weak points (take mini practice tests). Let him work at his job, find some other extra-curriculars for him to get involved with and then I'd just let him be. When he passes your final test then I'd call him graduated and send off to either the Navy or community college.  If he doesn't pass he'll be an adult by then and can decide for himself what he wants to do, including getting his act together and asking you for help.  He needs to find a reason inside himself to succeed.  He needs to set his own goals.  We can prop them up, encourage them and coach them but they're the ones who have to actually run the race.  

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A homeschool diploma is generally better than a GED for military enlistment.

 

I do suspect executive function difficulties, have you read the book Smart but Scattered?

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EXACT same problem here.  Gifted child, failing courses. (Dx of ADHD, but untreated.) I have a gaming machine in my room held for him when he can get a course finished.  Its been 5 months...it will be totally outdated by the time he gets it.  If that isn't motivation for him, nothing is.  My child, too, says he's finished stuff that isn't finished, and lacks the inner voice (this was noted in speech therapy when he was young.)    But unbelievably curious and smart.  Mine isn't wanting to join the military...but he does want to go to CC for dual enrollment...I've said no, because I don't want him messing up his college grades because he started before he had the maturity to handle it.  I wish now he did want to join the military!!  That would be such a relief for me!  Mine says he wants a doctorate in physics....but there is no way with what I've seen so far.  Maybe the military could teach this child some discipline?  Anyone know how ADHD kids fare in the military?  (I wonder how hard it would be to convince him of that route?)  He's bright enough, but not motivated enough, for a doctorate.  Anyway, just chiming in to say I'm with 'ya, but no real advice to offer.  Keep us posted!  It sounds great to me that your son wants to join the military!  At least his goals are inline with his motivation.

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EXACT same problem here. Gifted child, failing courses. (Dx of ADHD, but untreated.) I have a gaming machine in my room held for him when he can get a course finished. Its been 5 months...it will be totally outdated by the time he gets it. If that isn't motivation for him, nothing is. My child, too, says he's finished stuff that isn't finished, and lacks the inner voice (this was noted in speech therapy when he was young.) But unbelievably curious and smart. Mine isn't wanting to join the military...but he does want to go to CC for dual enrollment...I've said no, because I don't want him messing up his college grades because he started before he had the maturity to handle it. I wish now he did want to join the military!! That would be such a relief for me! Mine says he wants a doctorate in physics....but there is no way with what I've seen so far. Maybe the military could teach this child some discipline? Anyone know how ADHD kids fare in the military? (I wonder how hard it would be to convince him of that route?) He's bright enough, but not motivated enough, for a doctorate. Anyway, just chiming in to say I'm with 'ya, but no real advice to offer. Keep us posted! It sounds great to me that your son wants to join the military! At least his goals are inline with his motivation.

You really need to treat the add. You cant carrot-and-stick a person with add successfully.

 

I mean "you need" like...that would go a long way toward solving your problems, not as in i know how you should raise your kid!

 

It might be different in others, but in our branch of the military, you cant have add. They will not accept you.

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I do not have a high school kid.

I do have a son with ADHD and executive issues related to that.

Someone upthread mentioned Smart but Scattered. It would be a good read. I think you're seeing is very likely executive skill weakness.

If there is ADHD (with or without hyperactivity), medication can help some of this--including being able to get started.

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Just a thought since you mentioned pdd-nos... I have a close relative who is on the autism spectrum.  He has not one ambitious or self-starting bone in his body.  We scaffolded him/dragged him through high school (public) and through college.  But he made it through and has a job in computers and still lives with my parents.  He has no particular ambition to do more than this.  He might not have done any of this if we hadn't made him.  You may have to make that choice, depending on how you see your son's issues.  It may not be that he's lazy and unmotivated in the typical way of a teenager.  It could be that's a part of who he and his pdd-nos.  You may have to adjust your expectations to deal with that.

 

((hugs))

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I have no idea whether there is a neurological problem here, but this is a kid who apparently cannot learn by teaching himself with a weekly assignment list.

 

Is there any way to give him more attention to try to observe what may be going on? Do you think he might do better if you could get him into a more structured environment?

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I think it would be worth redoing the diagnosis. PDD-NOS and ADHD are/ used to be on the same spectrum of disorders iirc.

 

At any rate, if there had been some type of diagnosis, it's worth revisiting.

 

I have to seriously consider this though, with his desire to join the Navy. While he received a diagnosis when he was four, he never had more than a few months' therapy (one was for some sort of social skill thing when he was 4 for about 3 months, and one was for a few months of OT because of proprioception issues). That's been it and he completely outgrew everything. And more importantly, he can describe what was going on in his head whenever he would play with toys "incorrectly" (one of the things that gave him the diagnosis). His diagnosis was not cut-and-dry even back then...they were very tentative about it.

 

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I think in your situation I would give him a goal of passing a practice ASVAB or GED or whatever test you devise, with a particular score.  When he does I'd call him done.  I would stop all punishments and restrictions, he'll never learn to take on adult responsibilities while being treated like a child.  I'd give him a date of the test and let him study on his own most of the time and only meet up 1-2X per week to work together on weak points (take mini practice tests). Let him work at his job, find some other extra-curriculars for him to get involved with and then I'd just let him be. When he passes your final test then I'd call him graduated and send off to either the Navy or community college.  If he doesn't pass he'll be an adult by then and can decide for himself what he wants to do, including getting his act together and asking you for help.  He needs to find a reason inside himself to succeed.  He needs to set his own goals.  We can prop them up, encourage them and coach them but they're the ones who have to actually run the race.  

 

This is pretty much where we are. When would you do this? Prior to when he should graduate?

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Let's see if I can use multi-quote properly....

A homeschool diploma is generally better than a GED for military enlistment.

I do suspect executive function difficulties, have you read the book Smart but Scattered?

Yes, a homeschool diploma is DEFINITELY better than a GED for military enlistment. I stress to parents all the time to not even think about a GED if their child wants to join the military. Huge mistake.

 

Oh, another book: That Crumpled Paper was Due Last Week

 

I have not read those books. I'll look for them. That second book sounds just like my 14yo. In fact, I was discussing his crumpled papers just today and had to show him how to take the top paper off the stack he's working on, flip it face down, and start a pile. This is instead of just tossing the paper on the floor when he's done with it, which then results in him having to dig his math papers out from under his bed EVERY. STINKING. DAY.

 

EXACT same problem here.  Gifted child, failing courses. (Dx of ADHD, but untreated.) I have a gaming machine in my room held for him when he can get a course finished.  Its been 5 months...it will be totally outdated by the time he gets it.  If that isn't motivation for him, nothing is.  My child, too, says he's finished stuff that isn't finished, and lacks the inner voice (this was noted in speech therapy when he was young.)    But unbelievably curious and smart.  Mine isn't wanting to join the military...but he does want to go to CC for dual enrollment...I've said no, because I don't want him messing up his college grades because he started before he had the maturity to handle it.  I wish now he did want to join the military!!  That would be such a relief for me!  Mine says he wants a doctorate in physics....but there is no way with what I've seen so far.  Maybe the military could teach this child some discipline?  Anyone know how ADHD kids fare in the military?  (I wonder how hard it would be to convince him of that route?)  He's bright enough, but not motivated enough, for a doctorate.  Anyway, just chiming in to say I'm with 'ya, but no real advice to offer.  Keep us posted!  It sounds great to me that your son wants to join the military!  At least his goals are inline with his motivation.

Your son actually sounds like my 14yo, who just sort of "floats" through life and is behind in school just because he doesn't really like to think hard. Now all of a sudden he has decided he wants to be an astronaut. There ain't no way. Fortunately he found out that you can't be over 6 feet tall and be an astronaut. At 14 he's almost 5'11" so.... At least I didn't have to be the one to shoot him down.

 

I don't know that kids with ADHD CAN join the military. But I'm going to do more research.

 

I do not have a high school kid.

I do have a son with ADHD and executive issues related to that.

Someone upthread mentioned Smart but Scattered. It would be a good read. I think you're seeing is very likely executive skill weakness.

If there is ADHD (with or without hyperactivity), medication can help some of this--including being able to get started.

 

Yes, that is how my friend's son is. He only takes his medication on school days, and the weekends are just a mess since he can't get his regular life straight without it! I told my son today that he'll have to decide whether he wants to pursue a med option, since it will mean no Navy if he does take meds.

Just a thought since you mentioned pdd-nos... I have a close relative who is on the autism spectrum.  He has not one ambitious or self-starting bone in his body.  We scaffolded him/dragged him through high school (public) and through college.  But he made it through and has a job in computers and still lives with my parents.  He has no particular ambition to do more than this.  He might not have done any of this if we hadn't made him.  You may have to make that choice, depending on how you see your son's issues.  It may not be that he's lazy and unmotivated in the typical way of a teenager.  It could be that's a part of who he and his pdd-nos.  You may have to adjust your expectations to deal with that.

 

((hugs))

My son isn't that severe. He's ambitious when it's something he's interested in. For example, when he has to go into work at 8:30-9:00 am, he wakes up on his own at 7, no problem. Any other school day, which we start at 8:30 and have for YEARS, I have to wake him at 7:30 and he finally strolls down around 7:45-8.

 

I have no idea whether there is a neurological problem here, but this is a kid who apparently cannot learn by teaching himself with a weekly assignment list.

Is there any way to give him more attention to try to observe what may be going on? Do you think he might do better if you could get him into a more structured environment?

When he DOES his assignments, he learns quite well. The issue is that he gets distracted by more interesting things...an idea for a drawing (so then he spends his time drawing)...looking at a group picture from camp last summer...flipping through the music on his iPod...etc.

I've pondered a more structured environment, but this late in the game I don't think it's possible to actually get it arranged. He does have a couple of online classes lined up for next year through Landry. I'm hopeful since they are classes he is interested in. He took 2 classes through The Potter's School a couple years ago, and it was a struggle to get him to stay caught up.

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Any meds will close any enlistment options. As will a GED. With all the cutbacks, a GED is down to a Tier 3 and he won't be accepted. 

 

As for the rest of it, no advice but  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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Any meds will close any enlistment options. As will a GED. With all the cutbacks, a GED is down to a Tier 3 and he won't be accepted. 

 

As for the rest of it, no advice but  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

Yep, that's why I told him he'll have to either bust his butt and overcome without meds OR take meds and kiss the Navy goodbye.

 

Wow, Tier 3??? Crazy.....

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Just a different perspective....

 

I was hesitant to post yesterday because only you know your son. However, here is my input to consider..

 

He is turning 18. There are people (kids) who truly will not see the point of school work as long as at feels (to them) that they are doing this for other people. I was that kid. I did graduate high school. This was only possible because my Mom and I came to an agreement when I was @ 15 which simply was that Mom would not bother me about school work and I would promise to pass. This is what I did. I simply passed the classes I needed to get done. My Mom held up her side of the bargain and never asked me about school work. 

 

The irony of this is that as soon as I had the high school diploma I started to take classes at night on my own. I have never stopped taking classes in all sorts of subjects and did end up getting a degree; although much later than most.

 

All this to say that maybe you just need to let it go. Get him to graduate in some way. And have him make his life his. I try to do this with my children all the time and started this early because of my own background.

 

Hope this helps to give a different perspective.

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Just a different perspective....

 

I was hesitant to post yesterday because only you know your son. However, here is my input to consider..

 

He is turning 18. There are people (kids) who truly will not see the point of school work as long as at feels (to them) that they are doing this for other people. I was that kid. I did graduate high school. This was only possible because my Mom and I came to an agreement when I was @ 15 which simply was that Mom would not bother me about school work and I would promise to pass. This is what I did. I simply passed the classes I needed to get done. My Mom held up her side of the bargain and never asked me about school work. 

 

The irony of this is that as soon as I had the high school diploma I started to take classes at night on my own. I have never stopped taking classes in all sorts of subjects and did end up getting a degree; although much later than most.

 

All this to say that maybe you just need to let it go. Get him to graduate in some way. And have him make his life his. I try to do this with my children all the time and started this early because of my own background.

 

Hope this helps to give a different perspective.

 

This is actually what I'm attempting to do.

 

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Could he handle community college, just a couple of classes at a time?

 

Yes, except probably English Comp. LOL! The kicker there is the price. If he had attended our local charter for homeschoolers that my other kids go to this year, he could take guaranteed transfer credits at our CC for free next year. He did not, so it is not free. I'd have to see what they offer vs. what he needs vs. what he actually wants to take. He's taking some fun courses between now and when he should graduate, so he may not want to lose those by going to the CC instead.

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You are also describing my child (8th grader currently), and he carries an ADHD diagnosis, very typical from what I surmise.  My husband has it also (diagnosed and medicated) and is like this as an ADULT.  There is a percentage of people for which this will not be outgrown and may need medical or therapeutic management of some kind.  

 

Again, my son is not military and 8th grade, but he did join Civil Air Patrol Cadets last year, very military like in their structure.  He is really thriving and loves it.  He responds well to very rigid structure and rules laid out explicitly.  Gray areas are not his friend, and neither is too much freedom on when to do things.  Strict scheduling and basically being told what to do right now makes him feel good about himself.  He knows the expectations and expects reprimands if he doesn't meet them and praise if he does.   Military might very well be a situation where your own son will really thrive.

 

By the way, my 13yo son does not take medications any longer (his choice in conjunction with me) and my husband does take stimulant medication.  They chose different paths at least for now, but a teen would need to be on board for whatever is decided obviously.  My son did take medications until he gained some organization and behavioral skills to cope better off the medication.  He is not age consistent though on organization despite being very bright.  

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That's what I'm hoping for my son and the military. We looked into CAP here but the schedule was kind of wonky. My oldest son did Young Marines, and that totally transformed him.

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Why did you make him take a leave of absence from his job? Was that as punishment for the school issue or was it because he wasn't handling the job responsibly?

 

I think handling the work and a responsibility of a job can be a hugely positive thing for many teens. I have seen boys who were really struggling with motivation and work ethic in an academic environment be transformed by the experience of holding down a job. Forcing him to take a leave of absence or quit the job could be counter-productive in the long run.

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Why did you make him take a leave of absence from his job? Was that as punishment for the school issue or was it because he wasn't handling the job responsibly?

 

I think handling the work and a responsibility of a job can be a hugely positive thing for many teens. I have seen boys who were really struggling with motivation and work ethic in an academic environment be transformed by the experience of holding down a job. Forcing him to take a leave of absence or quit the job could be counter-productive in the long run.

 

He struggled with his schoolwork prior to getting the job last August. We hoped the job would do exactly as you said...force him to learn time management and take ownership of getting his schoolwork done with the added responsibility of his job. It did not. He was told at the very beginning (and his employer knew this as well) that if he could not handle both well, the job would go. The schoolwork issue has been going on for years...it is not new since taking his job.

 

He originally was supposed to quit his job entirely. However, we compromised on a leave of absence so that he could return easily if he gets his act together. Based on how things have been going so far, I'm not going to hold my breath.

 

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I have no advice, but I do wonder if given these factors if the military really would be the best option for him (I'm leaning towards no). 

 

 

 

 

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This might work to finish up, https://www.acellus.com

 

Good luck!! :grouphug:

 

What is it? I can't tell from their website. The video is extremely vague. Is it computer-based instruction? He hates that stuff LOL. He just wants to read textbooks. HOWEVER, he doesn't want to PRODUCE anything as proof that he's actually learned from his reading.

 

Is it complete? Or is it a supplement?

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Well I do feel for you.

 

A different perspective following, so sorry if this sounds rude given the directions you've already considered.

 

Yep, that's why I told him he'll have to either bust his butt and overcome without meds OR take meds and kiss the Navy goodbye.

Wow, Tier 3??? Crazy.....

 

Well, a lot of people get As and Bs when they try but Cs due to lack of effort. Some people even graduate with a 1.9 GPA. Not because they are stupid but because they are lazy. I personally believe it is possible to be lazy and not have a disability--I can't say what your son is, I've never met him--but my mind doesn't jump straight to "learning disability".

 

I personally would not medicate someone for lack of straight As or even a 3.0 GPA just because I felt like meds would help them do better--2E or not.

 

Can't learn basic through high school math at all, can't complete a single test including ASVAB, fine, pursue diagnosis. "Not reaching potential?" Welcome to the vast majority of people. That's a "gee, too bad" thing, not a "uh oh better see a doctor" thing in my mind.

 

I'd let him graduate with all Cs and join the Navy.

 

I will say one thing, however. Does he drink coffee? Because a lot of people with attention issues who have and who have not pursued a diagnosis self-medicate with caffeine. It's a wonder drug and the military passes out free caffeine pills even. Just a thought. 

 

Cup of coffee. Set the timer. 30 minutes for history, what's done is done. Grade A through F for each assignment, let him see the running total for his grade for the semester. One after another after another, 3 hours a day for his basic six subjects. End.

 

Graduate with the GPA earned, whatever it is (provided it qualifies for graduation) and send off to the Navy. Navy's a great job and if he's bright and can do well on the ASVAB he might find his motivation there. Many young people in my family have.

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Also, anyone is feel free to PM me regarding what it means to play with your toys in the wrong way.

 

Does that mean violent (self or other harming) play and if not... how is that even possible?

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I have no advice, but I do wonder if given these factors if the military really would be the best option for him (I'm leaning towards no). 

 

I'm curious as to why?

 

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Well, a lot of people get As and Bs when they try but Cs due to lack of effort. Some people even graduate with a 1.9 GPA. Not because they are stupid but because they are lazy. I personally believe it is possible to be lazy and not have a disability--I can't say what your son is, I've never met him--but my mind doesn't jump straight to "learning disability".

 

I personally would not medicate someone for lack of straight As or even a 3.0 GPA just because I felt like meds would help them do better--2E or not.

 

Can't learn basic through high school math at all, can't complete a single test including ASVAB, fine, pursue diagnosis. "Not reaching potential?" Welcome to the vast majority of people. That's a "gee, too bad" thing, not a "uh oh better see a doctor" thing in my mind.

 

This actually is how we have been approaching it. Yesterday literally is the first time I've thought maybe there is something else going on. His entire life we have approached it from a laziness perspective.

 

I will say one thing, however. Does he drink coffee? Because a lot of people with attention issues who have and who have not pursued a diagnosis self-medicate with caffeine. It's a wonder drug and the military passes out free caffeine pills even. Just a thought. 

 

Yes, he drinks coffee and looooooooves Rockstars.

Graduate with the GPA earned, whatever it is (provided it qualifies for graduation) and send off to the Navy.

 

That's exactly the problem. Unless his busts his butt and earns about 10-12 credits by next May, he will not graduate on time. WHICH I AM FINE WITH. But I'm also exhausted dealing with him about it. At times I think I just won't deal with him about it, let him graduate whenever he graduates. Then other times I think I need to just light a little bit stronger of a fire underneath him.

 

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What is it? I can't tell from their website. The video is extremely vague. Is it computer-based instruction? He hates that stuff LOL. He just wants to read textbooks. HOWEVER, he doesn't want to PRODUCE anything as proof that he's actually learned from his reading.

 

Is it complete? Or is it a supplement?

Yes, video based, and a complete system, with good tracking systems for parent. Sounds like a bad fit then. Can you quiz him orally from the books? Edited by ElizabethB

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Also, anyone is feel free to PM me regarding what it means to play with your toys in the wrong way.

 

Does that mean violent (self or other harming) play and if not... how is that even possible?

 

No. Like with a Mr. Potato Head...instead of putting the arms/legs/etc. into the holes, he would turn the arms/legs into airplanes and pretend they were flying around. Instead of playing pretend with a Little People barn silo, he would have a particular doll fall down the silo repeatedly. (We called it the "fall barn.") My husband and I never cared how he played with toys. We felt he was just creative. However, when I had him in for a speech evaluation (he was a late talker and the pediatrician recommended an eval), the therapist noticed how differently he played with the toys. That started us on the road to the developmental clinic.

 

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Yes, video based, and a complete system, with good tracking systems for parent. Sounds like a bad fit then. Can you quiz him orally from the books?

 

Possibly. He can take regular tests too. The kicker is getting him to.

 

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I think GED + community college could be a route into the military, you would need to check but my memory is telling me that if he has a certain number of college credits it will get him into tier 1 for enlistment purposes.

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He sounds like how my 11 yr old is and probably will be in a few years. <sigh>. Good luck. I hope something solves it eventually.

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Looking at this, I thInk the previous PDD diagnosis plus P "off" Cogat scores indicates a full neuropsych or edupsych evaluation would be helpful if at all available to you. My own kids have tested at the border of "low end of normal" and "high end of special needs" in various ways. Even when they don't qualify for a label, the information from the tests gave me a deeper understanding of how they think.

 

You can't fix a problem you don't understand.

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I guess the main issue is that you don't get anywhere, relationship-wise, by just telling someone they are lazy their "whole life."

 

People that can do better--up to the point of being a successful person in some capacity--do.

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Well, a lot of people get As and Bs when they try but Cs due to lack of effort. Some people even graduate with a 1.9 GPA. Not because they are stupid but because they are lazy. I personally believe it is possible to be lazy and not have a disability--I can't say what your son is, I've never met him--but my mind doesn't jump straight to "learning disability".

 

I personally would not medicate someone for lack of straight As or even a 3.0 GPA just because I felt like meds would help them do better--2E or not.

 

Can't learn basic through high school math at all, can't complete a single test including ASVAB, fine, pursue diagnosis. "Not reaching potential?" Welcome to the vast majority of people. That's a "gee, too bad" thing, not a "uh oh better see a doctor" thing in my mind.

 

This actually is how we have been approaching it. Yesterday literally is the first time I've thought maybe there is something else going on. His entire life we have approached it from a laziness perspective.

 

I will say one thing, however. Does he drink coffee? Because a lot of people with attention issues who have and who have not pursued a diagnosis self-medicate with caffeine. It's a wonder drug and the military passes out free caffeine pills even. Just a thought. 

 

Yes, he drinks coffee and looooooooves Rockstars.

Graduate with the GPA earned, whatever it is (provided it qualifies for graduation) and send off to the Navy.

 

That's exactly the problem. Unless his busts his butt and earns about 10-12 credits by next May, he will not graduate on time. WHICH I AM FINE WITH. But I'm also exhausted dealing with him about it. At times I think I just won't deal with him about it, let him graduate whenever he graduates. Then other times I think I need to just light a little bit stronger of a fire underneath him

 

I hear you.

 

I think there's a difference between coping with it and changing his basic personality. You have let him be himself--I don't know that trying to change his basic motivation is any more helpful.

 

Rockstars, gack.

 

Re: earning the credits, I guess my thought is, if you make it 100% classwork and just have him sit there with the timer, how could he not get the credits? Like "As the principal of this homeschool school, I'm not okay with a drop-out. I'm putting you in the basic all-in-class track. It goes like this. 40 minutes per subject per day, and you have summer school. You will sit down and receive your assignment. You will have exactly 30 minutes to complete it. What is done at 30 minutes, you will be graded on. [Or 50 minutes, whatever.] The average of those will be 50% of your grade and tests are 50%. If you fail, I will not graduate you and you will have to either petition to get into the local high school, or get a GED but that nixes the military. This is non-negotiable. I will see you tomorrow at 9 a.m. sharp. If you miss class, it is a zero for the day."

 

Then push through. Churn it out. Chip away. Today is 30 minutes of video, 10 minute written summary. Tomorrow is 20 minutes reading and 20 minutes of questions. End of the period and DING! Collect paper. Next task. DING!

 

Six courses for the school year next year, six over the summer starting right this minute.

 

This might sound harsh but honestly? It's not. Six hours of classwork with no homework for a high schooler is NOT HARSH. That is not mean. At. All. My seven year old does it. You've given him the homeschool dream, now he has to crack down because he didn't take advantage of the self-learning option. Too bad for him I guess.

 

Since your son is not having tantrums, and he's basically pleasant, at the very, very least you have done your duty. I seriously doubt, given what you've said about him, that he will fail. My guess, based purely on the "maybe it's ADD but he can still get As sometimes" is that he will finish 80% of assignments with a C to B, 10% will not get finished past a D, 10% will get an A. And it will be super boring and time-intensive but you will make it.

 

 

 

 

I guess the main issue is that you don't get anywhere, relationship-wise, by just telling someone they are lazy their "whole life."

 

 

Honestly, I could say the same thing about a diagnosis. I think this is a vocabulary thing, a cultural thing. Whether you have an acronym or a word to describe those characteristics, whether you believe it's parent-caused or environmental or biological, whatever, the point is the behavior and how to work with those natural tendencies.

 

Some behavior is so way off the charts that the person literally cannot function in life without medication and I get that.

 

But OP's son is not in any way off the charts behind and he gets decent grades for what he does.

 

So I would suggest that, if a diagnosis would impede a military career and he seems to be able to basically manage with structure, she go with whatever she needs to do to get his behavior, and help him slog through.

 

 

 

No. Like with a Mr. Potato Head...instead of putting the arms/legs/etc. into the holes, he would turn the arms/legs into airplanes and pretend they were flying around. Instead of playing pretend with a Little People barn silo, he would have a particular doll fall down the silo repeatedly. (We called it the "fall barn.") My husband and I never cared how he played with toys. We felt he was just creative. However, when I had him in for a speech evaluation (he was a late talker and the pediatrician recommended an eval), the therapist noticed how differently he played with the toys. That started us on the road to the developmental clinic.

 

Whoa.

 

It's things like that that terrify me about going to a psychologist. I mean you can tell me it's not "average" or "normal" but tell me to treat it and I go all mama-bear.

 

My daughter spent her entire speech evaluation on her head and nobody commented, thankfully. She also hid things on purpose when the evaluator would ask her where they are. But you could see the twinkle in her eye.

 

 

When my MIL (who is a Montessori teacher) sees boys playing physics experiments with little people she gives them more silos, more things to drop. That to me is the answer to the Little People Silo. Many kids, often boys, just aren't that interested in "oh wow Mr. Cow look a pile of hay" "Cool Mr. Farmer let's all go in the car" "Yay!" It's all about the motion of objects. That is a GOOD thing. Who the heck is going to build the rocket to Mars, the people who spend all day with the dollies making small talk? No. It is the children who make rockets out of Little People. Also who will fly the planes, the children who feel satisfied at a desk, or the children whose main goal in life is to fly? 

 

I am probably a pretty extreme neurodiversity advocate so take this with a grain of salt, but I think that your son sounds like a very typical kid whose brain is probably in overload during the teen years, who could focus for short bursts of time and who needs more structure.

 

I understand that the "top" 25% of high school students, in large part girls (edit: not that I think boys can't do it but if you look at college acceptance rates and success rates, it is terrible for boys), are able to just sit down and follow instructions and create their own projects for 6 hours straight, in a house, on paper.

 

I do not, however, view that as optimal development for everyone. So I don't view that as a problem. That's just how it is.

 

Still, he has to finish high school and I do not envy you/

 

So you can either make it totally alternative and find a way to get him those credits, like an integrated hands-on project, OR if you are not willing to cajole, an ultra-structured, timed, compartmentalized textbook education and let him explore the world in the time off.

 

Or maybe something else, but I don't think that because traditional homeschooling progressions aren't working, means he has a psychological disorder.

 

(My little one spoke at three. She does her homework all in one day. She finishes each worksheet to the tune of the 1812 Overture Finale or some other timer. DING! Next worksheet. She will get distracted otherwise. Of course she is seven... but still, I do that even now. Speaking of... off to work.)

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I agree 100% with this Tsuga. I never said anyone needs to be medicated. I do maintain, though, that no one was ever HELPED by their mother insisting they are just a lazy person.

 

I would suggest that, if a diagnosis would impede a military career and he seems to be able to basically manage with structure, she go with whatever she needs to do to get his behavior, and help him slog through.

 

 

I also think that just time and slogging through is the cure for a great many things.

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I think GRE + community college could be a route into the military, you would need to check but my memory is telling me that if he has a certain number of college credits it will get him into tier 1 for enlistment purposes.

 

Yes, I'd have to check and see if community college credits would help a GED or if it even matters.

 

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Looking at this, I thInk the previous PDD diagnosis plus P "off" Cogat scores indicates a full neuropsych or edupsych evaluation would be helpful if at all available to you. My own kids have tested at the border of "low end of normal" and "high end of special needs" in various ways. Even when they don't qualify for a label, the information from the tests gave me a deeper understanding of how they think.

 

You can't fix a problem you don't understand.

 

I'd agree with this. The trick is finding someone to do it. I literally have been looking for YEARS AND YEARS (not necessarily for this kid).

 

I strongly feel his PDD diagnosis was in error (I have another kid who was wrongly diagnosed with it when he was 13 - turned out to be CAPD).

 

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