Last time I posted about my eldest son, now just turned 17, was when he unexpectedly skipped 12th grade, completely broken down. Now he is doing Computer Science at university, a research program Astronomy and some extra subjects at his 'former' high school.
I am so incredibly proud of him. I can barely describe it in words. It is great to see how he amazes himself with what he can accomplish. Sometimes he is really oblivious what to do or how to start with a completely new concept, but because he is intrinsicly interested for the first time in his life he will put effort in where needed and will succeed. Where did that unmotivated kid of secondary school go?
A few weeks ago he had his first midterm exams. He hadn't got a clue how to study for some subjects. Although I was rather annoyied, I chose not to say anything about it. His explanation of why he had studied that little: for some subjects he knew most from the lectures and homeworks, for one of the subjects he hadn't got a clue how to study for it as (so he says) the sheets and book are both useless. But he has been to every lecture, which has saved him, he says. He hasn't got any excess study skills, I am sure..
He is getting straight A's, almost of all them with distinction, even best of class... So obviously he is managing well with the ADHD, although it continues to bother him. From what he tells me, he says that a lot of the mistakes he makes in exams and homework are obvious (3 + 2 = 6, 3^3 = 9, minuses (dis)appearing, etc). He had to work late at night only 3 times so far this year! Hasn't missed a single train or whatsoever, forgot to lock his bike once or twice, but hey, that's all very reasonable. I am really impressed how he is doing.
The only thing he says he is struggling with, is this fellow student with Asperger's (there are a lot students with autism, but only one is bothering him). Usually he gets along with labeled and autistic kids very well, so I was surprised at first. Now I understand the mismatch and I am fully confident that my son will handle it okay. I may take a while because we son doesn't want to hurt the kid's feeling. With the other students he gets along really well, with two of them (and that one autistic kid) he spends his days at uni.
He has already gotten the advise from 4 independent people (co÷rdinators and counsellors) that he should take an extra course next year. He agrees on that, because now he has a lot of variation and challenge because of the Astronomy research and the subjects at high school. Next year he will only continue with the second year of Computer Science and taken into account his past, he'd better pick up another course as well. He is thinking of it, considering linguistics at the moment. He has plenty of time to do so.
It makes we wonder how extremely underestimated everyone has this kid ever since he enrolled kindergarten. And appearantly this isn't his ceiling yet, given the time he spends and the grades he obtains.
The point of my story: my son finally loves learning, loves improving and has some self-confidence (it's still fragile, but more than it has ever been). All I can do is hope that all of your kids will make it through the school system without too much damage and that I may read your exciting posts here in a few years as well! All those years of misery, and I would never have dreamt that some day my son would find a place in society where he belongs. Thank you.
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