School for ADHD Teen?

I'm learning my teen child has some pretty severe ADHD, impulse control and executive functioning issues and school is so far just not working. Things got much worse in high school and we are wondering what to do. We have a therapist. We are seeking better medication advice. But really we need school advise -- how on earth does this work? This is not a kid who is yelling at teachers -- but very happy to passively follow kids cutting class, etc. This is a very smart kid who just can't seem to function in a normal school. Confidence is way down. Grades are terrible. At this point nothing is working.  Any miracle stories out there -- a particular school, process, boarding school, summer program, -- anything?

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RE: School for ADHD Teen? ()

I know what you’re going through. I have the same kid. A HUGE improvement came only when we left the public school system. No matter how well-meaning Berkeley Unified teachers and specialists may be, the schools are just too big for kids like ours. Following the trouble-makers is inevitable with a lot of ADHD kids and of course there will be trouble-makers at any school but it’s MUCH easier to monitor, set limits, involve teachers, etc at very small schools. 

This is a terrible situation to be in if there is no extra money for private but if you can afford it I would suggest you look into high schools more the size of Maybeck, St. Mary’s, etc. 

RE: School for ADHD Teen? ()

I highly recommend considering homeschooling your child. Homeschooling can be just as or more academically rigorous than a brick and mortar school while giving the child flexibility in terms of timing, schedule, what classes are taken, and how (in person vs online), etc. I am a veteran homeschooler of two teens who is happy to speak to anyone interested in learning more about options for homeschooling in the Bay Area. I have some free homeschooling 101 talks coming up in a few months as well. 

RE: School for ADHD Teen? ()

Fusion, Tilden Prep, or any of the one-on-one schools (pretty expendsive).  Bayhill in Berkeley. Good luck.   

RE: School for ADHD Teen? ()

Does your kid have an IEP? If so, you might try Spectrum Center either in Oakland or Hayward for their behavioral programs. If your child qualifies for special ed based on their disability--and it sounds like their disability is affecting their ability to access their education--so if they haven't qualified you might ask for an evaluation to get them to qualify him for special ed services which would allow your district to place him at Spectrum. My child with ADHD went to the Hayward campus and it made a world of difference, they really do fit the program to the child and take the time to get to know them. The population spans a wide range of disabilities, but I think that really widened my child's scope and taught them to be comfortable with all kinds of people and that disabilities are just a small part of a person. The staff there works really hard and puts their heart into their job.

RE: School for ADHD Teen? ()

I also have a very bright son who also has severe ADHD. He has never been a disruption in the classroom, but was doing very poorly gradewise, lost motivation, and eventually stopped attending classes at our local public high school. For his junior year, he attended Wasatch Academy in Utah. They have an excellent support program for students with ADHD. My son did very well there academically, and felt the classes were similar in rigor to that at his previous school. Due to complicating factors, he did not return for his senior year. I’m happy to speak with you about our experience with the school if you’d like to know more. I believe you can reach out to me through my username.