Executive and academic coaching for young adult

I've done everything I could to address my son's academic and emotional issues over the years, and he sure had enough of both. He is 19 now and is a sophomore at a very good state college, and would fail if I weren't helping him keep track of homework assignments and even completing them.  He had a neuropsych eval in his late teens that showed he has extremely low processing speed, and was diagnosed with ADHD around then as well. He had a severe depressive episode while in high school, so we were all focused on just getting him through that and keeping him alive, so I got into a habit of helping him then, but that continued even once he got back to what's normal for him.  He gets very upset if I remind him to do something, says I take away his desire to learn, yells and threatens to move out (he's home thanks to COVID), but then right a couple of hours before his assignment is due he asks for my help and then we stay up until midnight to get it done and turn it in.  We both hate to live that way, but don't see how to get him to be independent and get through college.  Oh yes, I suggested that he takes a year off or goes to an easier college, but he says he really wants to get a degree at this one.  He says all the right things when we discuss the situation, and has improved but only marginally, and I think he needs some kind of help to learn to manage his time and assignments.

I've seen some suggestions in recent posts, but I was wondering if others have any recommendations for an academic coach.

Thank you,

exhausted parent   

Parent Replies

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Our 20yr old, with a similar history, is a junior in college and working with an executive function coach from SOS 4 Students. It has helped greatly, particularly with remote learning, and allowed me to not be involved at all. https://www.sos4students.com/

I am sorry that you and your son are going through this.  I also have a college sophomore who has extremely low processing speed (3rd percentile) and inattentive type ADHD.  I don't have a recommendation for an academic coach, but hopefully some of this advice will be helpful.  Firstly - have you been in touch with the school's Disability Resources department?  That's where I would start.  My son attends a school that has a coaching and mentoring program within that department.  For a fee, he has an assigned coach and it is that coach that works with my son to make sure he is keeping on top of things and knows where to go when he needs help.  The goal is that, over time, he will become less dependent on his coach until he doesn't need her any more.  

Once you have hooked up your son with the resources available at school to assist him with his learning disability, you need to clearly communicate to him what your boundary is -- e.g. that you won't help him with school work any more.  He needs to experience the logical consequences of his actions - even if that means earning a failing grade.  If he cannot be successful with the supports available at the school he currently attends, he will probably be more willing to consider a transfer to a school with better supports.  (There are a number of schools out there that really cater to students with learning differences.)

Some other things to consider -- mental health - his and yours.  If you are worried about his depression, find him a therapist.  I would also encourage you to consider a therapist of your own.  This is a very difficult journey you are on.  And finally, if it is at all possible for him to move back to campus, I would highly encourage that. 

Best of luck to you and your son.

I never respond to this kind of stuff, but here I am.  I have a kid in a residential treatment program for mood issues.  Been there for 2 years.  We have been around the block.  When I read your post here is what immediately came to mind:  It is amazing he is in school, seems motivated, and seems to see a future.  Thought 2: You may want to negotiate your and your sons relationship with the help of a third party, a therapist or trusted friend.  Sometimes parents need to get out of the way.  A third party might have an opinion on that if they know the circumstances.  Good luck.

Thank you those who've responded!  I would love to talk more to the person who recommended https://www.sos4students.com/ .  Could they please post more detail about sos4students, especially the person or people they worked with there?