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Choosing a Language for My Adhd Teenager

Updated on May 21, 2017

My teenager came home last week with a huge request...she needed help deciding which courses she was going to take in high school. I sat there wondering "when did I become old enough to have a freshman!"

While looking over the choices on the course selection paper and then reading the booklet that describes all of the courses, I discovered that there are a LOT more choices now then there were when I was in school. Instead of the vocation technical school only offering horticulture, cosmetology, and woodworking there is now Robotic Engineering, Computer programming, and a whole array of other courses in lots of different fields. It was rather amazing I must admit.

I asked my daughter what she thought she wanted to take in addition to the mandatory subjects. She decided she wanted to do an Art class and Mandarin Chinese. I was okay with the first and then realized she said Mandarin Chinese!

We live in a very VERY rural area, we also have a very large Amish, Mennonite and Pennsylvania Dutch influence. I had no idea why she would choose Chinese. I asked her how she thought this would help her in preparing for her future. She rolled her eyes and said "Mom, don't you know that all the jobs are going to China and I will need to speak Chinese in order to get any jobs?" I was speechless, my daughter who is primarily concerned with what time her TV shows come on and if I can take her to the movies, mall, etc was actually thinking about the future. Will wonders never cease??

I advised her that for now, Spanish would probably be the best bet, since we are within 1 1/2 hr of two heavily populated cities in which Spanish would be the 2nd language used after English. I also reminded her that the Mandarin Chinese course would have no on-site instructor should she need extra help since she has a learning disability and also ADHD and that I would have no way to help her with her homework. She sighed and said ok (after about 1/2 hr of arguing). I then relented somewhat and said if she needs extra credits or has free time in senior year I have no problem letting her try the Chinese course.

All in all, reasoning with a teenager usually doesn't get very far but in this case I was very proud of my daughter for understanding my point of view without theatrics and the 'everybody else is ...' syndrome... Maybe she and I are both growing up!


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