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MrGrey

The biggest letdown fom my son, ever

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MrGrey

  For some time after my divorce with his mom, he lived with me.  His grades went up dramatically, he catch up to the 3 grades he was behind, and we managed to do so without putting up a lot of pressure on the boy.  Later he went to live with his mom and it's been horror story after horror story.   She refuses to sit down with him and help him study (which is the only thing that worked when I had him).  She says "his education is not my job, it's the school's job".  Right now, teachers say there's no way in hell he could pass the grade, he's going to fail.  I don't want to let that happen, I know I can fix this once again.  But before I spend money and resources on court & layer fees, I wanted to just ask him what he wants to do. 

 

  After months and months of complains about what happens at his mum's, I was surprised to hear that he would prefer to keep things the way they are.  I know we aspies try to avoid change, and my aspie boy is no exception.  But for his future's sake, I hoped he could realize that he's going down the rabbit hole and if he stays there, is going to be really difficult to ever get out.

 

  "I gave up" his mom said earlier today when I picked him up,  in reply to my questions about my son's progress in school.  I don't know how she could "give up" tho.  Is more like she never started in the first place. 

 

  During my conversation with my son, I asked about his plans for the future... he says he wants to go to college, then graduate from college and get a job, then become a famous writer and quit the job.  Few problems with this plan tho:

 

1) With 2 D's and bunch of F's, college is not going to happen.

2) If for some miracle college happens, it's going to be one of those expensive colleges where rich kids with bad grades get to go... which neither his mom or myself can possibly afford.

3) If he goes down that route, the only financial band-aid is to go into tens of thousands in college debt, which will take him a lifetime to pay off.

4) A college degree is not an assurance that you will get a great job.

5) After 18, he won't get any more government help, and hells to bells no, his step dad is not going to keep supporting him while he dreams of becoming a famous writer.

6) If he can't understand high school courses, how the heck is he going to pass college courses?

 

  More likely he's going to be "tolerated" while he's still producing income sources in the forms of welfare, government disability, child support... then be told to get out when all that goes away... at which point the mom will probably dump "the mess" at my doorstep.  His step-brothers already went through similar things, I'm not catastrophizing. 

 

  I can fix this, now while there's still time.  It would require some drastic changes tho.  Maybe even drop "traditional high school" and work with some home-schooling on my part.  Maybe a change to a specialized school... maybe a different program like the GED.  Is not easy, but it's doable.  I honestly don't think he will be ready for college in the 2 years he has left.  I think it would be a waste of time and money.  He could probably benefit from a short break.  Maybe get a job for a year, and save the money for college.  Or get a part time and study part time.  But he needs to be onboard.  I'm not going to drag his mum through the courts, just to have him here doing the exact same silliness he's doing over there.

 

  I have many mixed feelings at the moment.  My boy screwing up his future, her mother unwilling to walk the walk, but above all I feel rejected.  And I know he will ask for my help later on at some point... and yes I will receive him with open arms when that happens.  But like a car who's regular maintenance gets neglected, the more time that passes by, the bigger the repairs you gonna have to make. 

 

  I don't blame the kid, that also has to be said.  He doesn't know any better, he's just a clueless teenager trying to figure out life.  I love him just the same, always will.  And I won't tell him (I told you so) in a few years... but still, I feel let down.  I was expecting some different response from him.  Move in with me, or visit me often to study, or get some kind of action plan for his mom to follow.. idk, something!  Not this "I give up" attitude with a hint of "fairy tale ending" that's gonna end happily ever after without much effort on his part.

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veearrell

If he wants that fairy tale ending bad enough, he'll take steps to make it happen. My grades weren't all that spectacular, but I still went to college. I almost flunked out of college, but I managed to make it through and graduate with a 2.5 GPA. Not so impressive, maybe, but I'm proud of myself because I did it. Now I'm doing exactly what I always wanted to do, making movies. Maybe someday I'll be able to make money at it, if I'm lucky.

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Gone away

I understand you feeling let down. People rarely fulfil their potential. I hope everyone finds a productive path whether conventional or not.

I've had concerns for my own son too ... I'm hoping, above all, (grades or no grades) he will become a well rounded person.

Its frustrating that the older the child gets, the parental influence diminishes ...

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jassie.jaissie.koi.nahin

It's sounds like you are doing your best for him. I think he will be able to look back and see how much you did for me, even if he doesn't see it now. This is a blog about homeschooling by a parent with AS who has a child with AS. It might be useful. She also gives career advice that your son might find useful. http://education.penelopetrunk.com

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MrGrey

  I think what gets me the most is that, for the past couple of years he's been telling me all this cinderella stories about his life with my ex and his step-brothers,  telling me he wants to live with me again, like before... and I've turned the world upside down to make it happen, relocated across states 3 times, convinced my current wife to quit her job and move halfway across the country, to be closer to the kids... and all that for what?  So he could now flip a u-turn and say he wanna stay there?

 

  My job has operations on 12 states, and they are constantly hiring people to do what I do on each and every one.  Getting a transfer here is rather easy.  And I feel like I wanna get the heck away, as far away from this situation as humanly possible.  Maybe ending up in California or Massachusetts, where my wife has family, and completely forget about helping my son anymore.  Have a baby with my current wife and just start over.  Because you can't really help someone who doesn't want to helped.

 

  I feel let down, betrayed, taken for a fool, played with... it actually feels like when a GF cheats on you, then tells you "we can still be friends right?", and you just wanna go away and not see her again for a long time.

 

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Gone away

Kids get to the stage where they start thinking independently and don't want parental influence. From talking to people they say this phase (however many years it lasts) does turn round again. This does feel like rejection to the parent but its all a teen can do in order to work out who they are etc...

I always thought I'd be able to provide many years of hindsight to my son so he would benefit from my mistakes .... however its something you can't give away as everyone wants their own hindsight. Its hard watching them make mistakes. I think the aspergic side feels it more. You son won't feel your pain as he's too involved in making sense of his life.

However, good, bad, inbetween ... he's from your flesh and blood. For myself, I'd want to be supportive, kind and always available ... but ensure your efforts do not damage yourself. Life is messy.

20 minutes ago, MrGrey said:

  I feel let down, betrayed, taken for a fool, played with

We only really get let down by our own expectations, your were generous, caring and there as a father. Not everyone knows how to use what we have to offer...often we can give more than some can use

Feelings are funny things and open to interpretation

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MrGrey

@jassie.jaissie.koi.nahin , Yes, homeschooling is pretty much what we did. the year before he entered middle school.  He was on special ed, not able to pass the standardized exams for anything above 2nd grade, and he was supposed to be doing 5th grade.  I dedicated a year at home, to study with him.  I got the materials from the school, and the local education department's website, sat down with him 5 hours a day, and got him to pass the standardized exams for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade.  Then he entered middle school on regular classes (not special ed), all catch up with his peers.  

I didn't knew much about special ed back then.  But know that I make a living providing residential support for internet equipment, guess what type of client I get to meet on a weekly basis? Home School'ers.  There are many different programs provided by both the state and private (but affordable) institutions.  You get most of what you need online... some groups meet every week or every other week to help each other out... some take the tests every so often at an actual classroom... others schedule the tests individually depending on when kids are ready... I think it's awesome and I think it's the way to go.

Add a car and a driver's licence (for which he's old enough), and he can drive himself between here and his mum whenever either one had the "mum-itis".  

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veearrell

I kind of feel sorry for people with legitimate reasons to homeschool. Out of curiosity, I've looked into this and according to all the data we currently have on the subject, something like 80 percent of parents who homeschool say they do it for "religious reasons" and we all know what that means. As a result, the ones who aren't like that have to put up with being stereotyped as fundie nutcases even if they're not.

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MrGrey

@veearrell I've met those who home-school for religious reasons.  But from the ones I've met, is not the majority.  They are however, the most vocal about their reasons.  On most cases people are just dissatisfied with the public education system and believe education should be more individualized, to take into account that not all people can learn all materials at the same rate.  

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