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Author: slowlythere Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 198  
Subject: Undiagnosed LD, Mental Illness, etc. Date: 12/17/2006 2:30 PM
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Unless I missed it, I didn't see a board related to learning disabilities, or other potential undiagnosed concerns along with possible treatment issues. Please let me know if this isn't the right place.

My short story is I have an 18-years-old nephew who probably isn't all that unique in that he's been doing things that may get him into trouble, or doing things to rebel. In the last year or so, he's been relying on me as virtually his sole adult voice of reason (adult mentor) as he has many conflicts with his parents. He doesn't trust many adults for honest feedback and I provide that to him by the bucketloads (good, bad, and ugly).

His goals are to get out of his parents house ASAP. He has no real understanding of how he would live on his own, though. He has some drinking (getting drunk at least weekly, sometimes more often), smoking, and social issues (around kids his age that are rebellious, get into trouble, borderline violent, or more seriously into alcohol and drugs). He's got a girlfriend at this time, but he's had a history of dating girls with similar (or worse) issues; his relationships have often been fueled by shared family conflict, teenaged angst and drama, and related.

A main issue at this point is that I'm trying to encourage him to get tutoring so he can finish high school with a diploma; he's teetering on dropping out. He's in his 2nd high school, about two years behind at this point, and debating transferring to a 3rd high school. He's said in various forms he doesn't get "why" school is important because it's boring and pointless. In reality, when we get together and talk, I think he has some potentially significant comprehension issues in terms of reading, analysis, and related. Often he doesn't even seem to understand verbal (spoken, written) information well; he has a strong preference to learning anything through physical activity, or direct experience. If he does understand spoken or written information, it's often based on "facts" told to him based on emotionalism (biases, rhetoric, etc.)

I have no real awareness of what learning disabilities entail, but I have always suspected there are LD issues in my family to some extent. Separately, he also has some rage issues which he's been fairly open with me about. Anecdotal evidence from my family indicates this is also a pattern.

His parents are extremely anti-therapy or "He's just rotten! Counseling is for crazy people. He don't need help, he's just lazy/stupid!" type of mentality. They will not seek, nor pay for, any type of assessment, counseling, or related.

How could an 18-years-old high school student seek out on his own - without requiring his parents' consent - some sort of diagnosis, assessment, and treatment for either LD or mental illness issues?

Thank you for ideas and thoughts.
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