I just want to make a comment about the situation. When I was your daughters age, (I am now nearly 37) I did poorly in grade 9 and part of grade 10. Somehow, once I realized that my career was or could be jeopardized by my grades, I made a complete turn around. Where I was getting 50-60% in those early grades, later I was getting 80-90%. I think the turning point was when the universities came to our school and showed us that if we didn't have certain grades, we just couldn't get into the schools of our choices. Also, that during the week of job fairs, if we also didn't have the right grades, we couldn't get the careers we wanted. My mother gave up trying to ensure I was doing my home work. She ended up telling me I was old enough to look after my own schooling, and if I was going to allow myself to slide, then it would be my own fault. I think she knew I was intelligent enough, but lazy with studying. Sometimes giving them the rope will either let them take the lead or hang themselves with it so to speak. Sink or swim. My mother always said to me, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink.
Today, I am a veteran Police officer of 13 years, a 2nd degree black belt instructor and a children of special needs coordinator.
Sometimes I do believe we have to give our kids the chance to take the lead, and at this age (high school) we do have to let them take responsibility for themselves with respect to their schooling. They are at the age where no matter what you do or say, they will choose which path to take. We can only do so much to encourage them to take the right path. And my mom was definitely an advocate of tough love sometimes. (She would never let me do harm to myself though or I probably wouldn't be the person I was today.)
I am not sure if that is much the type of assistance you were looking for, but it just made me think back to a time where I was doing pretty well the same thing. And on the note of helping her to choose better friends? I certainly made some poor choices in high school with some friends, but I have to say it was from that I learned the value of having the "right" type of friends. Having said that, she has to make those decisions, and I honestly don't think there is a special way you can help her do that, without you yourself being her friend in her school. Sometimes it takes one wrong to make everything right, and put everything into perspective. I just hope that it doesn't get to that point for her or for you.
Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.
MedHelp Down syndrome Community Leader
& Ds Group Forum Founder/Moderator
Nice points by dragon,
I would guess my question would be - what was she like before this new school? If it was the same behavior, then it would be only natural to expect it to continue. If her behavior was different, than its possible that the change in schools is at least partially the cause. Teens of her age, don't typically handle change very well. Its also possible that if she came from schools that didn't prepare her very well, that she feels totally lost and is giving up. And it does sound like she is kind of giving up. The reason why is important. Its possible that she even has something like ADD, but, I would think that you would have seen signs of that earlier.
Anyway, till you can figure out why - has it always existed, or something new. Its hard to come up with the right course of action. I would worry more about her school work than her friends. You have some control over the schoolwork, very little over the friends.
No matter what the reason is - a tutor might help. Lots of times you can get an upper grade student to tutor for a fairly cheap price. Adults, of course, are more expensive. Also don't hesitate to talk to her school counselor. They are used to dealing with this situation and may even have intervention programs that will help. Good luck