I need help with struggling teenager

Sarah - posted on 03/13/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




Quickly, we have a 16 yr old male teen who has literally struggled his entire academic life since 1st grade with organization, executive functioning, turning in assignments on time, etc. We have gone through 3 tutors, and are on our third therapist. We are trying to get a psych eval for him as his current therapist indicated that our son is slightly depressed and may need medication. Our kid is very compassionate, caring, smart, and verbal. If you ask him questions about his studies, he's completely on target. He can take the exam and he passes with an "A" or a "B". We have taken away the cellphone, cut television down to one day a week. I know that he's hurting. His doctor will not prescribe meds because our son is under 18. Trying to get in to see a psychiatrist for a teenager with medical insurance is tough. We called a local teaching hospital that deals with teen but because our son doesn't have the right problem, they referred me to the psychology department which has a waiting list of up to 3 months.

We want to help our son and are going to pull him out of the private school he's been attending. What am I missing? Your responses are very much appreciated. Thank you.


Constance - posted on 03/13/2014




Suggestions... step in and make it "quality" one on one time where you help him organize his things each night. Have two colored folders for each subject, one for homework to bring home, one for homework to turn in. Work with the school, get an IEP if you have to. Arrange with the school for his teachers to request their colored folder as he walks into the classroom each day. You do the same each day as he comes home, for your colored folder. Have it as a routine, specific area in the home he completes his homework, make it easy for him to get your help if needed while doing homework. I understand you mentioned he is also depressed. Meds are not something I like, but I understand some people need them. I would use methods with this routine system. High fives, encouraging remarks, place posted notes in his backpack to tell him how proud you are of how hard he is working, etc... it may be easier for him to learn these skills by having them put into a routine that he can more "mimic" rather than learn. I hope this helps. Hang in there.

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