High School?

Question:My son is a freshman this year, started school today. I am very concerned about him suceeding. He barely passed summer school and has attention deficit. Any suggestions? He can't get organized, motivated, and seems overwhelmed. His counslers all just keep recommending to continue passing him along, but I worry this is setting him up for failure. I guess its do or die?

Answers:
I have seen again and again how organization can really put these kids at a bigger disadvantage. I would work at home on making sure your son has a system he knows and can use for organization. A folder for every subject, a place where papers go that need to go home and a place that the papers go that need to be turned in. Ask if the teachers would be willing to check or sign off that he has written down his assignments correctly at the end of each period. Now a days many teachers are putting assignments on-line on a website so parents and students can access information after school hours. The organizational issues alone can cause a child to become overwhelmed and give up. Focus on that first, but do know that you can request and evaluation from the school district (put it in writing) at any time to see if your son qualifies for any additional services (special education).
You need to give him a chance, before being too concerned. It's hard to be organized and motivated especially in highschool because youre taking classes you HAVE to college. College is alot more of what YOU want for what you want to do when youre done with it. My best suggestion (wish this was asked before the semester started) a smaller college (hopefully you chose that) and dont overload on classes the first year. Let him get used to it. If he is living in a dorm, being over bearing may actually have an opposite effect, but every now and then make sure he has everything he needs, see how he is doing. If he is livng at home it will be a lot easier to see. College may actually help because there are a few projects (but all are announced normally way ahead of time) that he will know about so you can see about any of those, and he should be old enough to know when he will need help with different types of projects, but its also not alot of sit down homework, its studying, reading over your notes, ect. A tape recorder in class may help too if he's bad at taking notes (just email your prof ahead of time because depending on the school their lectures are actually used in their thesis's and you cant use the material or record it) and it can hide in the front of your book bag. That way he can listen to the lecture over again if he doesnt take good notes or feel like reading, or he can just double check his notes after class.. Email me if you want any other suggestions.. I've been there so I know things that can help
It seems to me that your son has special needs. It is important for the school to meet his needs. If the school doesn't, he will most likely face failures, which won't be good. If he is not receiving the "right" help, you need to be his advocate. You need to help him advocate for himself. I would suggest setting up an appointment with his school psychologist. The school psychologist can find out how to help your son do better in school.

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