I’ll ace it. Trust me.

It’s that time.
Time for me to stress about Clark’s fast-approaching adulthood.  Time for me to think about the impact of his less-than-stellar high school grades on his college applications.  Time for me to worry about keeping him focused through SAT prep, or over the course of a half day exam.
Shoot me, now!
Clark, however, assures me all this fuss is for naught.  He’s gonna ace it.
He always says that.  Right after he learns he has an “F” going into the final because he has missed too many homeworks.  The problem is that he always HAS aced “it” before.  He has passed classes by making near perfect scores on finals five times in his 2.5 years of high school.
You read that right.  Five times.
No amount of counter-information from me convinces him the SAT won’t be more of the same.  He is predictably and stunningly over-confident.  Ah, how ADHD of him.  And how terrifying.
I look at my man-child, the whisper of moustache on the once baby-smooth face, the size 11 feet that used to wear Dallas Cowboys booties.  Only his big brown Bambi eyes remain the same.  I’ve never convinced him of anything before.  But this time, I have ammunition, I have carrots.
A girl.  Debate club competitions.  And avoidance of  taking the “live” SAT prep class.
Aha!  Clark agreed to working through College Board’s online prep class for half an hour each day before he can spend time with his girlfriend or work on debate.  He has to finish his homework first, too.  All of this with the TV off, after a {gigantic} snack, and a  bare minimum of Facebook.  Ugh.  I have to pace behind him every few minutes to police this  last requirement.
Then, he will take the test.  No accommodations, no live prep class.  If he kills it, he’s done.  If he doesn’t score at a level that helps him accomplish his stated college goals, then it is on to live class and possible accommodations.
His goal is, at a minimum, to get into the University of North Texas, so that he can participate in their Debate program.  It is one of the few of its kind in Texas.  His “stretch” goal is to gain admission to the University of Texas at Austin, which has the same type of debate team.  He believes his stretch goal is possible.  We try to hide our skepticism. We are just happy (very happy) that he has found an attainable school that he likes, UNT.  And that prides itself on its success rate with ADHD students.
Clark’s Pre-Advanced Placement English teacher recommends that all kids, especially those with disability issues that are benefited by maturity, take the SAT no earlier than March of their junior year.  Boy do I feel badly for our first three kids now.  They all took it the fall of their junior year.  According to htis teacher, every bit of maturity gained aids in focusing during the long four hour test.  This makes perfect sense to me.  She also told me that she and other teachers at his high school would not finish substantively teaching topics included on the SAT until then.  I am sold.
So, preparations continue, and will continue, for months.  And, if needed, we can request SAT or ACT test accommodations, which may include individual administration of the test, computerized, audio, or large-print test editions, or extended testing time.  Or not.  We’ll see.
In March.
Now, I’m off to monitor Facebook usage!
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8 Responses to ABC, 123, SAT, baby, you and me.

  1. —Pamelot,
    He is a Doll! :)) Must look like Mama.

  2. It sounds to me that you have plans in place to cover every contingency (as much as possible, anyway!) – that is all you can do! It really sounds like he’s doing better. Probably because you have all those plans in place covering every contingency you can think of! Between the policing and the cool UNT college that prides itself on working with ADHD – I truly believe that it is all going to be A-OK!! Clark is a gorgous man-child.

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks Nan. I am so relieved about UNT. Clark picked it as his back up b/c it has the type of debate team he wants. His first pick is UT. However, he has very little chance b/c of his grades and besides it would be a horrible mismatch for him. He passed all his classes this 6 weeks for the first time in his 2.5 years of high school. So, the combination of things including his own lessening symptoms as he matures seem to be making an impact. Yay!

  3. Oh, the stress of the SATs! But I’m sure he’ll do great – good luck!

  4. Jill Jones says:

    Just a word of hope:)
    My son grew up with the following diagnosis; ADHD,Gifted,Generalized anxiety, panic attacks….meds soon became self medicating…..in the end (of adolescence) I had a 17 yr old in big trouble-he came to us…..found AA….stopped ALL his meds as we did not know which were his symptoms and which were side affects from meds!!
    Fast forward-he is 20 yrs old-loving his life-attending community college-finding his own path in the world-in love with a quirky young lady:) and off of all medications for many years now! He has learned to live with his feelings and is trying to choose a career that will allow for his unusual energy??:)Many of his symptoms settled with adulthood. In closing….your son will find his way-because you have been there to make sure he was following the right path~ Good luck!

  5. Pamela says:

    Oh Jill, thanks for stopping buy and sharing your son’s story!! I love to hear that he has turned it around with the love and support of family and AA/community. Keep me posted on him? He sounds marvelous! And thanks for the encouragement.

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