Welcome. If you are a parent, foster parent, grandparent, or otherwise involved in the life of a preteen/teen/young adult who “falls through the cracks,” you might be interested in this blog.
The young person in question may have ADD, AD/HD, learning disabilities, signs of mental health challenges, or some combination of these. He or she may also have Asperger’s, or be elsewhere on the autism spectrum. Or, you don’t know what’s going on.
Whatever it is, school is not going well, life is a challenge, and prospects for a productive, fulfilling future are dim. Can you help this young person achieve the best possible outcome? And, can you do it without stressing out, burning out, or freaking out? After all, even if we try to think positively, sometimes this journey is confusing, scary, frustrating, and lonely.
I was talking with another mom who has faced some of these challenges in raising her son, and she said “Parenting these kids is like climbing a cinder cone.”
What a great analogy! Climbing a cinder cone takes more out of us than hiking on a firm mountain trail, and is certainly more challenging than a stroll through the park. With every step we take, we may sink down, stumble, or slide backwards.
Sometimes it may even feel like the end of “The Lord of the Rings,” where Frodo and Sam cling desperately to the side of crumbling Mount Doom, with ash and lava moments from engulfing them. And then – the giant eagles come and carry them to safety! Hooray!
I haven’t seen our giant eagles. But I realize there have been improvements in psychology, psychiatry, and special education over the last few decades, with more on the way. The support systems aren’t perfect, but they are getting better.
In the meantime, those of us climbing the cinder cone can share what has worked for us and what hasn’t, and maybe that information will help someone else. I have a file box full of information, a bunch of books, and about 10 years of experience in trying to find the best path up our family’s cinder cone. In this blog, I’ll share all of that with you, and hope it will help you find your way. AND, I hope YOU will chime in and share your stories, your tips, your ideas. I’ve gained so much from the people I’ve talked to and corresponded with. I hope this blog will become a clearinghouse of information to help us all.
NOTE: I will be sharing information on specific agencies, etc. that I’ve heard of or dealt with in my region (around San Bernardino, California.) If you live in other parts of the country, feel free to add similar resources you’ve found in your area.
I’m using pseudonyms for the names of my family members, to protect their privacy.