bizzybee247's picture

Please Help Me Figure Out What to Do w/ My Uncaring Son!

Hi All,
I will try to be as direct as I can... I have searched everywhere with no success yet. Hopefully, some of you smart ones out there will be able to help me.
My son is in 8th grade. He has Septo-Optic Dysplasia(Autism-Spectrum Disorder but on low end). Anyway, he doesn't care about anything in school, his schoolwork, homework, grades. He wants to join the Army and thinks that he doesn't need good grades to get into the Army. He is very intelligent when he applies himself and will do this as long as it doesn't apply to school. He has some trouble with basic math but has been allowed to use a calculator to help with that. he doesn't like to read unless it is non-fiction about army topics. When it comes time to do hw, he fights me. Even when I try to sit and work with him on things he needs, he fights as well. I have tried grounding him by taking things away but at that point he just doesn't care. The only thing he cares about is playing games on the computer which I have also used as leverage. He guessed on all the answers on the state test last year because he didn't want to take it and didn't care about it. He doesn't have many friends but is satisfied being alone - he has some AS and sensory processing issues as well. The general public would not detect this though. We have had a meeting with all of the teachers to try to help him. They came up with a system of a daily progress report in his agenda book. This is not working as well as we thought it would. Whenever it comes to schoolwork or writing or even reading, he just doesn't care about it. ANY suggestions would be helpful. Thanks so very much!

pokey's picture

Maybe instead of you sitting and working with him on his schoolwork, you can try getting him a young tutor (hs or college age) to help him with his work.

I think sometimes kids calm down and listen better when it is someone other than their own parent (less of that power struggle thing going on!). Also, when it is someone closer in age, they feel like they can relate better with them, too.

Another thing--I admit I don't know a lot about it, but has your son already qualified and is receiving special education services through the school? If not, you might see if he is eligible.

I wish you luck.

fanfuschia's picture

I don't know anything about your son's disorder and in fact have never heard of it before, so I don't know exactly what you're dealing with. But...what came to my mind is that your son is not necessarily uncaring. He just doesn't see what's in it for him, therefore, he doesn't think it's worth doing (school work that is). Since he has a plan and a goal for the future (which is a VERY GOOD thing!!! Alot of kids with with low motivation don't even have any goals, so I think you should be thankful for that aspect)maybe you can find someone who's in the army (or at least was in) to sit down and talk with your son one-on-one and tell him exactly what it is he will need to make his goal come true. This will hopefully give him a reason to be more successful in school. Good luck to you and your son : )

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

My son has difficulties in school as well. It's hard for him to stay focused, and he too has to be pushed to do his work. It's quite frustrating. We're often inclined to say these kids don't want to do their work b/c they're lazy or they just don't like it. But many times it's truly hard for them. My son is also very smart, and I know he can do the work, but the hard part for him is staying focused. You said your son shows interest in the military. I like the idea of introducing your son to someone who has served in the armed forces, or you can even bring your son to a military base just for observation purposes. Use this as an incentive. Also, is your son presently in a spec ed school? If not, maybe the school he's in is not the right environment for him. You mentioned your son having sensory issues. My son also has sensory issues where he seeks input. He's been working closely w/ an OT in school to help him address these issues. We find many times if our son's sensory needs are met (whether it be releasing energy by jumping on a trampoline or touching a textured mat), he can more easily focus on a task at hand. These are some things you can try. My son is in a spec ed school where he receives speech, OT and PT. He is doing well there, but he still has his share of difficulties. Talk to your son's school about these or other options, and get feedback from your son's dr. Often an outside eval will get the school to provide more services. Good luck.