Jacob. 15 years old. Youngest of three; the only boy. Might be spoiled ;)
Plays offline video and virtual reality games.
In real life, Jake plays basketball, percussion and is teaching himself how to play the guitar. He likes to box for fun and play with his dogs and cats. Previously, Jake did Cross Country, Track and Soccer. Jake is learning to cook, clean, take care of animals, and maintain the yard. He works out daily and helps his mom and step-dad almost any time they ask!
Jake was diagnosed at 8 years old with ADHD Inattentive Type, Mood Disorder, Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD).
This year, the ODD diagnosis was dropped! Yes!
An anxiety diagnosis was added. :(
My theory: When he was younger, the behaviors caused by ADHD and others' responses to those behaviors contributed to Jake's feelings of anger and resentment. Those are huge emotions for a little kid. I believe his inability to handle his own emotions led to ODD. His experiences also contributed to low self esteem, rejection sensitivity and ... you got it... anxiety.
These challenges also caused a significant loss of time in the classroom during 3rd grade which led to a diagnosis of a learning disability. Jake does not have a learning disability. He has low to intermediate executive functioning skills. But I was not in a position to make that argument when all of this was going on.
Big news this year- Jake is managing his schoolwork well enough to graduate from an IEP to a 504! (Proud mamma here)!
He's not ready to get his driver's permit, and I am happy to wait until he is. He's even thinking about his future and seems realistically optimistic that he will figure it out when the time is right.
These days Jake is working on emotional intelligence and executive functioning skills (who isn't??). He is finding healthy ways to deal with anxiety and ADHD symptoms. Jake is very consistent about taking his medication each day. He recognizes that emotional control is easier with the meds, but sees advantages to being off of them too. We are supporting his journey to finding his own sweet spot when it comes to medication.
He constantly amazes me with his sense of humor, intelligence and willingness to work hard. I have no doubt that Jake will find his own path to a happy and productive adult life.
Jake is joining our discussion during class so feel free to ask him for details. He is excited to give his perspective and help future teachers!