Finally, some positive news for my stepdaughter at school! After a day of meetings with six teachers, the school counselor and the vice principal, we’ve come to some conclusions we hope will help. The whole idea is just to make some short-term adjustments while she continues her great relationship with her therapist and continues her emotional progress so that when she comes out of therapy on the other side, she doesn’t have to look back and re-do the 9th grade.
Two of her teachers were super-antagonistic and the last thing you want to do with an ADHD/ODD child is get into power struggles. They are snide just for the sake of being snide and seemed unwilling to alter their behaviors to accommodate her impairment. Stern works with her. Not working: Do the assignment or don’t – the choice is yours. Better: You have the choice to do the assignment now or as homework, but if you take it home I won’t be there to help you answer any questions you might have. Best: Right now we are working on the assignment we just talked about, which you are expected to complete as well. Let me know if you have questions or something is unclear.
Hopefully we will see even more improvements these last two weeks of school and into next semester, when her schedule will change slightly and the two unhelpful teachers are taken out of the mix. I had an epiphany in the meetings yesterday as well — the classes she’s doing well in are all in the morning and the ones she’s failing are after lunch. Also, in those morning classes, all her instructors are men and in the afternoon, they are all women. My stepdaughter has consistently throughout her life shown more respect for authority for men, i.e. my husband, than her mom. So either she is more focused during the morning and then gets to socialize with her thuggy, punk little friends at lunch and by the time she gets to her afternoon classes she’s just decided she doesn’t want to give anymore effort or doesn’t have any focus left... OR she simply takes direction better from men and thinks she can walk all over the women. (Of the four male teachers she currently has, three of them are also coaches, so they do also have that “coach” approach too, which I think is good for her and she responds to. There is no question what is expected of you with a coach.)
It will be interesting to see how this pans out in January when six out of her seven teachers become male! My little experiment...
Has anyone/is anyone else dealing with ADHD & ODD in adolescents? I’m finding there is little to no support out there for our family.