Update on my DS

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2011
Update on my DS
6
Sun, 02-12-2012 - 2:43pm
it has been a turbulent year or two but just thought it would be a good time to say hi and give an update. The boys and I came back from overseas a year and a half ago, and my older DS (now 17) had a tough time reintegrating into high school here in the US. We tried a variety of things to deal with his depression and anxiety, but he continued to struggle. Interestingly, some testing we had done last September showed that his processing speed has increased dramatically. Testing ,moderately gifted at 134, Verbal IQ scores more along the lines of 145 or higher. the psychologist didn't think the score was quite right, as DS refused to do some of the math questions that needed to be written down (like multiplying by pi). His nonverbal scores while still in the average and high average range, were still lower enough that it causes him a lot of problems with social cues, and give him a nonverbal profile without the learning disability. All of this has translated into a lot of frustration and anger in school and at home, focus issues, problems doing homework or setting goals, and a real self esteem issue. He applied to and was accepted in Evergreen State, in Washington, but it was hard to see him being ready to be on his own. Things came to a head this past fall, and we decided to have him take a break from high school and attend a wilderness program. He was there for about ten weeks and it was a great decision. As he left, he announced that he was leaving with a new look, a new attitude and a new future. Last week we took him down to a therapeutic boarding school in Costa Rica, a small program with a terrific focus on experiential learning. classes are combined with group living, an integrated therapy program, community service, and frequent hiking, rafting,etc trips. We have our fingers crossed that he will thrive but we are finally feeling at peace. Luckily for us, he has been a fairly willing partner in all this. He did want to come home after the wilderness program, but the novelty of going back to Latin America cushioned that disappointment. Robin
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Mon, 02-13-2012 - 11:42pm

Wow, what amazing, outside-the-box solutions you and your ds have found! Bravo!

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Tue, 02-14-2012 - 2:43pm

So nice to hear from you Robin - I think of you and the boys when I come to the board and wonder how you have been.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Wed, 02-15-2012 - 5:07pm

Hi Robin and thanks for the update.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2011
Thu, 02-16-2012 - 9:35pm
Thanks much. We're hoping so too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2011
Thu, 02-16-2012 - 9:55pm
Thanks, and yes, it's been a tough time. But if it works out, it will all be worth it. DS 15 is doing pretty well. He was excited about being back here for all of high school. He is determined to play basketball, and that has it's own story, but an inspiring one. He didn't make the freshman team but found his own personal coach and worked all year to improve. He made the JV team but still had so much to catch up on. The season just ended and he went back into training the next day. We are very proud of him. He doesn't have a big circle of friends like he used to, and school is only going so so, with Bs in very non challenging classes. BUt he says he is happy. His latest goal is to take IB art, so maybe he'll have another new interest soon. Good luck to your DS. It has gotten a lot harder. It used to be there was just the written and oral exams, but now they added that interim step and it is the step that weeds out the most people. I hope he keeps trying and perhaps looks into other fields like USAID. The average age is still around 30-32. There are a few that come in right out of college or grad school, and some come in as a third career. so quite a range of people. It may also be timing. We brought in a lot of new folks in the last three years, and the hiring has gone back to normal levels now. R
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-31-2011
Thu, 02-16-2012 - 10:05pm
Thanks Miranda. We are going to be poor for quite awhile, I think, so maybe we'll need him to teach us some of those wilderness skills. :) It was quite a relief to find the Costa Rica program. he still needs good guides and mentors, but what we've learned is that he can deal with his demons a lot quicker and more effectively out of the house. I was too quick to rescue him, and he is was too quick to blame us. Hope all your gals and guy are fine. R