ADHD shy failing in public school

<p>Hi. My daughter is about to start 10th grade, and I'm worried and looking at BS as an option. So far (9th grade) she is failing (1 A, 3 Cs, 3 Fs) in a very competitive public high school.
- She is ADHD, and consistently scores 98-98%ile verbal, 70s math. She loses everything and forgets to turn in homework, when she does it, which is rare these days (hence the Fs/grades).
- Her grades have plummeted, and she is starting to sound as if she is giving up on school entirely. The last month of school she started skipping in the afternoons, which lead to a phone call from the office, and a slew of failing grades on tests.
- Her self esteem has dropped really low, and she has dropped all extracurriculars.<br>
- She does well socially, with a best friend and several good friends and lots of Facebook, etc.
- She is so painfully shy around teachers that she won't ask a question if she doesn't understand or misses the homework instructions. Everything that draws attention to her is extremely embarrassing to her. She is extremely bright but she won't talk in class so most teachers don't know it.
- She is a likeable, very cool hipster, very cynical and funny, which will make her a cool adult.
- We've tried tutors, cognitive behavior therapy, therapist, and a private school. Finding the right local private school is impossible, and BS may provide the structure and small classes/attention she needs.
- She doesn't fit in with super-preppy, athletic, ultra-competitive girls (unless they are down to earth)
- I and my husband are not as disciplined as a BS would be, especially with peer pressure built in (everyone ELSE is doing their homework, so maybe I should too). I don't think she needs a therapeutic BS, but kind of a disciplined but flexible approach.
- Also, her scores on the SSAT attracted the top schools in our area, but then they saw her grades. Would she be accepted? She's used to being around really smart kids. She wants to do well, but is kind of frozen into this inertia which is frustrating for us, her and teachers. I think a change of scenery might wake up her old enthusiasm for school. (Did well in elementary, and teachers loved her.) I think she would like the idea of BS.</p>

<p>Any ideas on BS in general for a non-traditional child? What are the more hippie-ish, hipster-ish boarding schools? Or particular schools to look at? Do some BS work to teach study skills/organization? Also, if her grades take a nose-dive in public school, are there mid-year admissions anywhere? I basically need a BS to take a chance on a very bright but underachieving child. Does this exist?</p>

<p>I am new to all of this, so I really appreciate your help. Thanx.</p>

<p>A friend sent her ADHD S to a therapeutic BS in Montana and they were very happy with it. He graduated this past June and will start college this fall OOS. Sounds like she needs to work on ADHD issues. Have you tried coaching? There is another active thread you may find helpful. Search "15 year old won't accept ADD diagnosis". There is a lot of advice there you may find helpful.</p>

<p>Kent's Hill in Maine is known to take a chance on kids, and friends with an ADHD kid were very pleased with the way it helped him focus and get organized.</p>

<p>In my online wanderings looking at schools, I came across The Storm King School. They have a really interesting school-within-a-school for children with learning differences. </p>

<p>I also came across the Hoosac School, which might also be helpful to you.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>The last kid I know who went to Kent's Hill in Maine after a few issues went on to graduate from Bowdoin, need I say more.</p>

<p>When I think of "mainstream" BSs that seem to be set up to accommodate learning differences, I always think of NMH (Northfield Mount Hermon). I quick trip to their site just now confirmed that they do indeed have a Learning Skills Program:</p>

<p>Is</a> there academic support for students with learning differences or special needs? | Northfield Mount Hermon</p>

<p>You mention a therapist, but not medication. Prescribed medication can significantly help the inattentive symptoms of ADD/ADHD you are describing. Girls tend to be the shy inattentive spectrum and can often be missed for this reason. Consider talking to your pediatrician, since it seems like you have tried most everything else. Also consider a formal evaluation which could result in an IEP that may help (smaller classes, more time and support). Most schools with special programs require a formal assessment first.</p>

<p>How about the Solebury School near New Hope, PA, or the Hun School in Princeton, NJ?</p>

<p>I have heard very good things about the Landmark School in Beverly, MA.</p>

<p>About</a> Landmark | Landmark School</p>

<p>I also found this website that recommends Landmark School along with some others.<br>
ADHD</a> Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADD Treatment Testing Assessment Counseling Diagnostic Center Child Adult Help</p>

<p>Oh dear - just looked at the date on this thread and realize I am late in replying, but if OP is still looking, I'd strongly suggest she take a look at Proctor</a> Academy in New Hampshire. It has a very highly regarded program for students with learning issues, especially ADHD.</p>

<p>Does she have a 504 plan?</p>

<p>Do you meet with the teachers on a regular basis?</p>

<p>504 plan should address her executive function issues.</p>

<p>We just found an ADHD coach through Edge Foundation. I would try all supports at home and school first.</p>

<p>What does D want?</p>

<p>If current school uncooperative, yes, go to some alternative.</p>

<p>She needs your support more than anything else. Easy to say because as a parent you want to just strangle them at times. Very difficult as a parent when most of your interactions(are negative) involve pushing them to get stuff done.</p>

<p>I think Rivers (ISL) and Cambridge School of Weston (MA) both accomodate kids with LD.</p>

<p>Is she being bullied? Many of your concerns could have a social cause--skipping classes in the afternoon (is she avoiding a certain class?), not speaking out in class, dropping extracurriculars, turning to Facebook (which, in my opinion, is not a help when it comes to social issues.)</p>

<p>A small, artsy boarding school with structure could help? Friends were quite happy with Tilton for their daughter, who, IIRC was ADD, very bright, but disorganized. The school helped a great deal.</p>

<p>A fellow alum sent his son to Kent (was floundering in a local elite prep school) and was happy with the outcome. </p>

<p>We have one child with similar issues and she crashed and burned at a local private school that was "anal retentive" in it's strictness. What we found was their "one size" fits all methodology is good for general population, but not kids like ours who are high IQ but ADD. The specialist told us he saw several students suddenly diagnose with the problem after enrolling in similar schools because the student's "think differently" and the school's policies weren't flexible. He in sense told the school she was the smartest kid on campus and they needed to adjust to her style, not vice versa. They declined. So we struggled and she outscored their other students on ACT (near perfect) but had the same grade pattern. Colleges - seeing the pattern, however, were more accepting of the grade issue once they learned of the diagnosis and saw her college board scores.</p>

<p>Would I have done her specific private school again? No. I'd have found a smaller school that was flexible and willing to work with her learning style. So the advice above is sound. My kid was capable of doing Exeter quality work, but not in an Exeter type (pressure cooker) environment so we opted out of BS for her. Had I known about Kent earlier, I would have tried it or something similar.</p>

<p>The same will apply for colleges. Focus on smaller schools with learning centers and support. Forty Colleges that Change Lives is a good place to look. Most are starting to realize their geniuses are flunking out because they don't work well in a one-size-fits-all environment (small classes or not).</p>

<p>But for now, if you've tried cognitive therapists and it's not working - find someone else who can help with finding the right organizational systems for her to keep track of her life. Also try meds. We were the last people on earth who wanted to take that route but we saw an immediate ability in focus without a loss of cognitive ability. Try the ones that don't create a "buzz" and thus have no street value (i.e.. </p>

<p>Make sure your psychologist does a full work up before going to the psychiatrist. You'll need tests on executive functioning, processing speed, memory, IQ, etc. A brain rehab center may also be able to do the tests (about 4 hours). It will also help you to determine if your daughter is auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner. That then helps inform an academic plan (does she need to tape lessons, more time on tests, etc.) Also will note if your D excels in high interest subjects and focuses on those while putting off low interest subjects.</p>

<p>Last thing - ask if there might be an organic cause at work. Most people DO NOT test for that. After years of struggling we finally (on a fluke) found part of the cause of the gradual decrease in functioning and the grade drops - a non cancerous brain tumor. Discovered, by a family doc during a extensive blood test while looking for something else. The tumor mimicked ADD and a host of other issues. Once removed, we're seeing dramatic changes in college performance. Likely not your case, but worth investigating if she has a prolactinoma. I'm told one in ten women have it and are undiagnosed. Usually not discovered until a patient presents for infertility.</p>

<p>Exie: OMG! So glad to hear that the surgery went well!</p>

<p>jetcat45, have you had her tested for dyslexia? It sounds odd, I know, with a high verbal score, but it's quite possible to be verbal but a slow reader. Academic work picks up in intensity and scale in high school. Dr. Sally Shaywitz has written about dyslexics who are only diagnosed in (elite) grad schools--until that point, their intelligence could compensate.</p>

<p>I also think you should consider hiring an educational consultant who specializes in boarding schools. Asking our opinions on this site is hit or miss. An experienced consultant could save you a great deal of time, if only by allowing you to rule out schools which are ruled by the "super-preppy, athletic, ultra-competitive girls."</p>

<p>You're also not looking for a pre-professional arts school, but a school with a creative, accepting, nurturing environment. So, "artsy," but not, "Her dream school is RISD/Julliard." Independent</a> Educational Consultants Association | IECA</p>

<p>One of my sons has the same learning difference, he went to Vermont Academy and is currently a junior at University of San Diego. Years ago we did a bunch of research on Prep Schools in New England that were savvy and had Learning Centers on campus. Send me a PM and I can talk to you a bit more about your other options in the New England Prep School area.</p>

<p>I would likewise be pleased to offer you the benefit of our experience (via PM). Cheers</p>

<p>We have one like your daughter. What actually has worked for him is a very small local Catholic School. He lives kind of like in boarding school in that he goes to a structured place all day where there is little time for distractions. The school is strict enough that they just keep him moving and focused all day. But they accomodate his ADD as needed (sometimes for testing), provide a laptop so that all notes are taken on there, books are e-books and homework is turned in online (therefore, no more major issues with organization and keeping up with books). They also do have some level of compassion and find a way for him to feel good about himself (helped him start a school club, focus on praising his good work, et.).
They require an afterschool activity so he is at a sports or play practice every day after school. Once he gets home it is shower, dinner, homework and he is out cold.
This is working well thus far.</p>

<p>So, consider also looking at prep schools in your area that are structured but caring.
For him, getting adjusted to a new school AND to boarding would take too much time...it is high school and I needed to help him get results sooner rather than later.</p>

<p>T</p>

<p>If your daughter is willing to consider an all-girls' school, look at Purnell, in Pottersville, NJ. It might not be strong enough for her in English & Humanities, but it's certainly worth checking out.</p>

<p>I am having a similar issue with my son. We would like to send him to a junior boarding school in the NE area, for the structure and more individual attention. Anyone with any info on those schools? Our son has a high IQ, scores high on the ssat, but his grades are less than stellar to say the least. They're all over the place, mostly due to missing homework assignments. I fear hiss ADD will keep him out of boarding school.</p>