Grades started declining at the end of her 9th grade year. They got worse during her sophomore year. These 2 years she was always at practice a ballgame or home. We had no problems with her not doing what she should be doing.
We did constantly stay on her about her grades. She said she should not be in advances classes and that she felt stupid. She said it was just hard for her to understand. She told me not to put her into advanced classes since the 8th grade, however she was a straight ‘A’ student in middle school. She was a competitive gymnast and in the gym 20 hours a week and a straight A student.
She has always been difficult at home. She has always had meltdowns and I could tell you when she was going to have one and when just under the circumstances. They never happened at school. She has always just had one friend at a time. She is not a drama queen. She takes things very literally and if she is threatened, you had better follow through with the threat or it is all she wrote.
The angrier she got, she started skipping school. This was not until 11th grade. Around October she had a new friend that was trouble and I just stayed in contact with her mother and that soon ended. Her anger got worse and I threatened to call the police and she called them on herself. She had torn up the house, bitten her Dad, and pushed me numerous times. She was put in jail overnight and released to us on house arrest until her sentencing. Her chargers were perched and put into family court under a status offence. Her court conditions, were no violence, attend school, stay in counseling. While on house arrest she was not allowed to cheer. She quit.
In the mean time I had her evaluated by an outside source (this was in October or November) that said she had scotopic sensitivity and a learning disability. She was under evaluations at the high school for special education. After the night in jail she went to school for a week then has refused since. However the county school administration has been working with me on evaluations and Plato (computer school) and just whatever we think might work. They have not given her special education because they cannot get behavior evaluations because she will not attend school. I got her home bound.
In the mean time the school system (the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing) turned her in for truancy. We, the administration and myself had taken her out of the regular classroom. Her social worker was kept abreast of all that was happening. We had made some progress on behavior. We go to court and the judge is mad because we are already in the system and give us back to the other Judge. Fayette County schools wanted to dismiss the truancy charges but could not do after it was already on the docket. So now we have to go to court early for our other problem with the truancy issue and we are home bound. I think Fayette County will write a letter to the judge.
But we are still having problems with her as for as behavior. I think she is just getting lower and lower self-esteem and stating to medicate herself. She did test positive for low amounts of pot and then tested clean. I think she will test positive for pot again this Wednesday if they test her.
She had separation anxiety when she was little until she was around 7 years old. All of her teachers gave her rave reviews, and said she was extremely shy. Even her high school teachers the most recent said she was very good in class. She just did not do her work or hand it in and was absent quit a bit. She was always anxiety ridden over homework or projects. She always needed a lot of guidance. I talked to her sixth grade teacher the other day because I subbed for her and I asked her if M___ was as shy as this little girl in her class that I used to teach gymnastics to and she said oh on M___ was much shyer. I said how can you be shyer that, and she said that if M--- was called on and did not know the answer she even got shyer. She had to be perfect.
She never missed a cheerleading practice even if she was ineligible due to grades. Grades are what we fought about and what started most of the arguments.
She talks real loud and you just want to cringe when she opens her mouth. This is just with family and those that are close.
She is beautiful and athletic. Every therapist, police officer, or anyone she meets says she just does not fit the mold that we are used to seeing.
She was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD by a Psychiatrist that the school sent her to. I was going to stay with them but they did not take our insurance. I tried to get the school to take care of a short treatment time with him but they would not. They just paid for the initial diagnosis.
She is the 2nd child of 4. I have 4 kids aged 13 thru 18. Yes they are close in age. M___ (girl) 8-8-88, M___ (girl) 4-22-90. T___ (boy) 8-26-92, T___ (girl) 5-6-94.
They are all very athletic. They have all done well in school. T___ is a baseball player with a probable future in Baseball we have been told. We did the right things growing up as far as time spent, reading, fun etc.....
We were not perfect, but we are a family that cares.
I know you’re in a state of desperation right now …and I’m sure you could use a “magic bullet.” But let me tell you that “change” is going to take some time.
When any of my adolescent clients experience school difficulties similar to your daughter, we pull them out of regular school and plug them into alternative school, or they simply work on their GED.
I wish I had gotten to you earlier. I can see that poor academic performance was a major source of parent-child conflict. And as you read in my eBook, I have a specific recommendation in this case – a recommendation that would have spared you and her a lot of agony (plus her grades probably would have come up a bit).
In any event, just continue to learn and implement the strategies in the eBook -- and for God’s sake, plug her into some form of education other than regular school.
The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen
The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.
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