teenage boy with learning disability

Heather - posted on 04/21/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My fifteen year old stepson was tested and showed to be mentally retarded. He had just came to live with us full time and he had never been properly tested. We decided not to tell him what his testing results were just that he learned differently. He has started talking about whaat he would like to do after high school and I don't want to tell him that I don't think he can but, I don't think that he will be able to even live on his own. I am not sure how I should direct him without discouraging him.Any suggestions?

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Julia - posted on 04/28/2009

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Dear Heather,

My second son was very sick with meningitis as a baby and sustained brain damage. He is able to learn but it takes him a very long time. His IQ is 76 and he had so much trouble in school that they just advanced him through middle school and he spent three years in 9th grade. He was classified as "borderline" intelligence and had a special ed teacher in a few of his classes but did not qualify for real special ed. He was always failing so he pretty much gave up. He cannot drive because he cannot make quick decisions. He just turned 18 and is finding this hard to understand. What we finally did is send him to military school in Ft. Stewart GA. They teach the kids there how to bathe, brush their teeth, do laundry, cook, clean, mow the grass, and anything else they need to live on their own. Essentially, they help organize them. They give them responsibilities like leading other cadets and formulating plans to achieve a goal. They also put them in touch with organizations like Jobcorp which teaches them a trade while they are living on campus and monitored. There are alot of great options for employment for mentally challenged young adults. You can find out information about these places at your local school in the guidance office or at the Dept. of Labor. My son is now in charge of his own platoon and is a member of Jobcorp Faciliy maintanence crew. Every time I see him, he is happy and very proud of the things that he has achieved. Before January, as far as he was concerned, he was nothing but a failure, no matter what we told him. Now he knows he is capable and has found out he can do many things.

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Heather - posted on 05/06/2009

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Julia, I did not know that they offered that kind of program in military schools. My son has been talking about the army so this might be something good for him. I just want him to be able to be happy and not feel defeated. He has already lived in a very abusive houshold before he was placed with us. Thank you for the information. I am glad to know that your son has found a way to progress in an adult world, that gives me hope.Thanks for taking the time to share.

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