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From: Amanda in AR (
Subject:         discouraged teen
Date: September 21, 2008 at 2:34 pm PST

I was just wondering if anyone else has a learning disabled teen (ADD, dyslexia) who is discouraged? My ds is 15, and supposed to be in 10th grade. Because of financial reasons, and his fathers job, his 9th grade year was a complete joke. He's always struggled with math and grammar, and last year's "gap" hasn't helped. I've tried to jump in and make up for the lost time, in an effort have him ready for college in the fall after he turns 18 in Feb. That has been a disaster. He's very negative about school and fights me all the way. The only thing he cares about is rock music and going to karate lessons. He's very good at karate, and I don't want to take it away from him, but I'm at my wits end. I don't understand how a 15 yr old can remember complicated karate forms, but can't remember how to multiply, add, subtract, and divide....or how to punctuate and capitalize a sentence. He thinks that 6 hours of school each day is just way too much, and wants me to cut his classtime to about 20 minutes per subject, per day. I can't do that. He's 15, and is high school level now. He needs to learn that even if he doesn't go to college, his work day is not going to be three or four hours. I'm seriously concerned about his lack of ambition. When he's questioned about his future, he says he doesn't know what he wants to do with himself, but he doesn't want to work in a minimum wage job. I've done everything I know of to help him, and nothing works. I've prayed, tried encouraging him, tried the tough love approach, tried bargaining....and nothing has motivated him. He thinks he's stupid, but when he was IQ tested, he has a genius level IQ. I've tried to explain to him that he's incredibly smart, he just has to work harder to get results, and it goes in one ear and out the other. He will work countless hours to get a karate form right, but won't even give 5 minutes of effort to Algebra or grammar. I've tried to make him see that schoolwork is just like karate, and it will take practice to get it right, but he just refuses to listen. At this point I'm ready to put him back in PS and go to work full time. I'm as frustrated as he is, if not more.

If anyone has had the same problems we are experiencing? I'm desperate for help. I'm even considering putting him back on anti-depressants. Any suggestions would be extremely helpful and very appreciated.


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