My youngest son, who is 14yrs old, is (hopefully) in his last year of middle school (8th grade). He's had issues since elementary with behavior and lack of doing his day to day work, but nothing out of the ordinary, from what his teachers have said. However, the past 2 or 3 years in middle school, his attitude towards his school work, and school in general, has changed drastically. I have an open rapport with almost all of his teachers, front office workers and even his principal. They call/txt me anytime they have any issues with him in class and I welcome any feedback or advice from them. Nowadays, not only does he refuse to do his day to day work and homework, but he will sit in class staring into space and blatantly ignoring his teachers or disrupt the class by talking with other students. What frustrates his teachers and me is the fact that he makes near perfect scores on any tests, quizzes or exams. Going to conference night is like listening to a broken record as we go from teacher to teacher... he's absolutely brilliant, aces his tests, but refuses to do any work... and as they have no day to day work to "prove" his grade, they cannot give him passing marks. I should also mention that my son is already in honors classes, as we hoped this might help him feel more challenged, and therefore want to do better/more. I have conversations with my son on a regular basis about what's going on in school and where he sees himself in the future, and it breaks my heart the answers that he gives most of the time. He's constantly talking about how stupid he is and says he just doesn't care, and it kills me that as much as I love and care about him, he doesn't seem to care about himself. I had a very sheltered life growing up as an only child of a single mother, so have very limited experience with family dynamics outside of my own with my children. I try very hard to make my children confident in themselves and let them make certain decisions for themselves to try to give them an idea of how life works and that there are consequences to their decisions and actions, but that they shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes and should take those mistakes and turn them into lessons. This is very different from my childhood, as my own mother kept me in the house and as far away from the world as possible until I began rebelling around the age of 15. I also talk to them about the mistakes I've made, to try to show them that sometimes they can learn from others, so they don't have to make the same mistakes themselves.
I know that our background certainly plays a role in why my son acts like he does. I was in a relationship with his father for nearly 10 years. He was born about 15 months into that relationship and his father was very abusive. The abuse began when I was pregnant with him, and, of course, looking back, I know I should've left much, much sooner than I did, but without making this question any longer than it already will be, I won't go into the details of why I stayed for as long as I did. It was definitely a huge mistake on my part and one I feel massive amounts of guilt for and will probably regret for the rest of my life. There was only one incident in which my son's father abused him personally, as I refused to leave them alone together knowing my ex's hair trigger temper and when I heard my son's cries and my ex's yells, I ran in immediately and got between them, taking the abuse myself... which was usually the case when my ex would hone in on any of the children, mine or his. I understand that while the kids may not have been abused personally, simply seeing or hearing it going on was abuse in and of itself. I have 2 older children, but neither have any issues even closely resembling the ones my youngest has. I should also state that my older children go to a private school, not paid for by me, as I cannot afford it, but my youngest is in public school as he was kicked out of private school for his use of profanity and disruptive behavior. I am aware that counseling is vital for my son, but cannot afford to pay out of pocket, do not have insurance (or any help from the state/govt.) and my son is covered under his father's insurance, but after 7 or 8 years of literally begging everyone I know to beg, I have not been given a copy of his insurance card and without one, cannot make an appt for him to see a counselor/psychologist. I have researched help in my area, but due to the fact that my son is covered by his father's insurance, they will not help us and tell me that appointments must be made using the insurance. I am at my wit's end and have no idea where to turn next. I've spoken to his Dr., school counselors, teachers... tried to get him into community sports leagues, etc... It seems the only thing that can keep his interest are video games, which I limit and monitor him on. He has very limited interaction with his father, seeing him maybe once or twice a year, not only because I am no longer there to protect him, but simply because he is not interested in spending time with him, and thankfully I suppose, his father doesn't seem interested in pursuing a relationship with our son either. I have looked into, and tried, for several years, to enroll him in magnet schools in our area, but to no avail. I guess my question is, does anyone have any other advice as to what the problem might be. I've been told by friends that he could have anything from autism to ADD/ADHD (though with all the talks I've had with his Dr, it's never been suggested by him), or that I should try to send him off to military school, etc... I do not want to send my son away and I refuse to just let this be or assume that this is just the way he is and give up on it. My children mean everything to me, and as such, I am open to any suggestions or advice (minus that given by trolls, of course)
Sorry for this being so long, but felt all info included was pertinent, and I'd like to thank any responders, in advance, for advice or suggestions given.