Happy update on my son with the "issues".
It's been a long time since I posted about him, so I thought I'd give you all a happy update. :)
To begin, it has not been easy this last year. We kept him in school, but he continued to do poorly, which was really devastating to his self-esteem. He developed panic attacks at school and I'd say I was picking him up from school at least three times a week. He spent another week in the hospital (second stay) in April and the diagnosis really didn't change, but they tried a whole new med regimen. He seemed to do better, attitude-wise, but finished the school year with only passing one of his classes. Summer was miserable because he was bored and had many episodes of being very depressed and angry. He went back to school in the fall and did well for the first couple weeks and then quit doing anything and instead of panic attacks, he was having anger issues to the point where when he told the social worker at school, she called me and told me I had to take him home and should probably bring him to the hospital. :(
As most things do, this happened for a reason because if it hadn't we wouldn't have met the psychiatrist who told us about the program that will hopefully save our son. He determined that he had borderline personality disorder which is only treated with therapy, no meds help it. It pretty much means that he has trouble controlling and understanding his emotions. This made sense since nothing he took (and believe me, we tried tons of different meds) ever helped him. The next thing he told us was to find a different way to get him through school. Unfortunately, here in MA there are no online programs that are accredited and with his poor history we couldn't see enrolling him in another high school.
So the psych told us about the "Gateway to College" program. It was started by Bill Gates as a way to help students who are in danger of not graduating, or have already dropped out. It helps them earn their HS diploma while also earning college credits. The program is FABULOUS! It's a full scholarship to a community college and will allow our son to earn his diploma and an associates degree in two years. He'll actually be ahead of other students his age! He took the placement tests and scored off the charts for a 16 yo, which is amazing considering how little he accomplished in school. He'll be going right into college level classes when he starts in January. We are so proud of him! :D
So it wasn't that our son couldn't do well in school, it was that he was bored. And because of his BPD, he had difficulty controlling his emotions when he was frustrated so he would just shut down. This in turn didn't allow him to do well enough to prove that he belonged in higher level classes. With his therapist he is learning new ways to handle his frustration so that he can do well in school. He's beyond excited because as he told us many times, it's not that he doesn't want to learn, he just hated the way it is spoon fed to the kids in public schools and repeated over and over. He was bored and frustrated in school and it was making him absolutely miserable.
So now he's gone from being a kid who wasn't interested in anything and had basically given up on ever succeeding in life, to one who is looking forward to doing well at the community college and earning the grades to be accepted at WPI in their chemistry program. Kevin and I are just busting! :D