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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1760
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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Hi I have a lovely gentle son of 13. Royce has been assessed

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Hi I have a lovely gentle son of 13. Royce has been assessed by Lynne Beresford. My son is not a difficult kid in terms of a personality but he is very difficult to motivate. I am very concerned for his future. His learning circle is very dependent on support and he has little interest or drive to make changes or grow as a person. He always sets himself up for failure and never seeks to achieve.
He is ADD, Dyslexic, Dyspraxia, and cusp As-burgess. Lynn even said there may be elements of Autism but hard to say any one thing. I feel he is lacking in so many basic elements of his educational needs. He has so many venerable areas in his behaviour that I really worry for his future.
As a family I am at my wits end, and feel very badly about my lack of empathy that I now experience. He feels out of my reach to help, and I do not really know what I should do as a parent. I have contacted his former case worker at the RTLBS to discuss where he is at, but I do not know what good it will do
Hi and welcome,

It's frustrating when you have a child who is different. You say he sets himself up for failure but if you understood how it is from his view you would see it differently. ADD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and aspergers (which is a form of autism). He isn't setting himself up to fail on purpose. It's hard to deal with all he has going on and needs a lot of support, all kids with these issues do. That is just the way it is and the way it will be until he is on his own. Yes, he will succeed but in his own way. Remember he is also going to begin, if he hasn't already, puberty which has it's own set of behaviors and problems. If you are growing frustrated with him, losing empathy for his situation then I suggest you go see a psychologist who can help you learn how to deal with him. You can't spend a lot of time worrying, he needs your support in every aspect of his education, behavior and development. As a parent what you need to do is find the best support you can for him, be supportive of whatever little success he makes, and most importantly accept him for who he is. There is a lot of bravado about programs that can work magic with kids like your son but when a child has multiple issues going on magic isn't going to happen. Any success will be small steps forward (and maybe a few back). There are many successful adults who as children had "road blocks" such as ADD, dyslexia etc and have grown to "fit into" their own success, whether it be working alone in a solitary setting or as an executive of a corporation or someone who found their passion in a place where his abilities stand out and not a place where his disabilities are the focus.

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Dr. Keane and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the reminder about how different he is and how hard it is for him. I feel Royce is making good use of every one but himself. He is very adept at extracting passable results brought about by everyone else's efforts. I feel he has become dependent on his support systems. His home environment is very natural and stimulating. We have two other boys both younger who are very affected by Royce. He is always embarrassing them and sabotaging them with behavior that is again disappointing. It is so hard to balance the relationships. Especially when I feel I should not have to. What I want to see is an awareness about where Royce sees himself, and who he is, what does he Royce want from his life, and then what does he need to do to build that life. Drifting and never expecting anything just feels like a cop out to me. Poor me he says, special or not there has to be some time soon where a light goes on and he develops some sort of awareness for himself and others, surely. It feels like a never ending cycle of take take take. He is clever, but he chooses not to engage himself any further than feigning confusion and reluctance and ultimately avoidance. I feel like I just want to send him away which is extremely upsetting for me his own mother.
I understand and it is so easy for kids like Royce to take advantage of their "disabilities" ..they are smart and sometimes use it to manipulate. He is dependent on his support systems, he needs them but that does not mean he can take advantage of them. Does he has consequences for overstepping boundaries ? What do you do when he is impulsive and embarasses his brothers? Set some limits and do it calmly and with all involved. Family meetings, a great way to let everyone have their say, with no interruptions, set up rules for all and decide what the consequences will be when rules are ignored or broken, whether it is "accidental" or just a young boy being obstinate. Meetings work like this, everyone sits around the table and each person (using a timer) can say whatever is on their mind, what is good about their week, what is bad about their week, who did something that made them feel bad, sad, good ..whatever they want (and you too). Then when the timer goes off (about three minutes) no one says a word and the next person get their turn. When it's over you can ONE AT A TIME ask a question of someone and then together rules are made, charts can be used (usually best way to follow) , and consequences are discussed. Takes work, but raising three boys is a lot of work , I understand how and why your would want to send him away and that may well be the only solution but only after you have exhausted others. Therapy: you need to find a good cognitive behavioral therapist, who specializes in developmental issues and teens. Royce needs to understand that he can have expectations, he probably drifts due to "learned helplessness" something that is very common in the ADD, LD population. Works like this, things are difficult for me, I'll never learn it, get it, understand it they don't do it. Don't expect success so they drift and it is so much easier to not have expectations, then you can't fail!! He sounds like he could use a good challenge. He needs to see himself in a different light but he also needs to know he can't just fake it and go through life "taking" from everyone. You need to take some time for you. You cannot spend every ounce of energy on the kids, especially Royce. Kids normally can suck every ounce of energy from you add a kid like Royce and boom! So a challenge that would make him see he can succeed, be different and be successful. I know it's easier in theory than it is in reality but take it one step at a time, take it one day at a time. Do not let him use manipulation and confusion and avoidance as excuses, have consequences that are reasonable and follow through. Again, if you need to go therapy to gain some relief do it. If you feel that the family would benefit from family therapy do it. I know it's hard and I wish I had a concrete answer for you but unfortunately some things in life are harder than others. Just make sure you take care of you too.
Dr. Keane and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you and good luck.
you are very welcome.

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