Online Parent Support Chat

30.10.09

16 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive...

We have a 16 year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive at the end of last school year. He is a junior in high school this year. He is nearing the end of the first quarter of this school year, and is currently earning two D's, a C, and an F. He will be taking night school because of the F (it is in advanced algebra and his grade is too far gone to pull it up at this point). He is a very bright person (tests performed by psychologist who diagnosed the ADHD proved that), but simply can't/won't apply himself in school. We don't know if this is due to ADHD, attitude, or both. Several of his teachers say he just does not seem to care. He says he just does not like school.

He completely refuses any help from either my husband or me, nor will he take meds for the ADHD. We have recently forced him to start tutoring outside of school, even though it will cost us $100 per week, because it feels like he will not even graduate from high school at this rate. Last night, my husband told him that if he continues with this performance in school and poor attitude toward school, he would revoke his driving privileges. Our son (Paul) responded, "I could make you do anything I want you to do too, if I took away your driving privileges--It just shows you how powerless you are." Bad night....

We are at our wits end. We want to have reasonable expectations (the ADHD may prevent him from being a straight A student even though he has the intellect to do that), but do not know what "reasonable" is.... Failing school doesn't feel reasonable, that's for sure. He refuses any type of help, but also refuses to/can't successfully handle the work without intervention. Once we determine what "reasonable expectations" are, we don't know how to effectively enforce them and how not to turn our home into a battleground.

His behavior outside of the school situation it good. He picks good friends. He is home by curfew. We don't have any indications that he is drinking or doing drugs. He has friends that are girls, but is not involved in a serious relationship. He spends his spare time going out with friends (football games, Buffalo Wild Wings, etc.) or playing his guitar. In the winter, he skis and does ski instructing.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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