Barney Fife: recent publications

“Letting My ADHD Teen Take the Wheel”

“I’m leaving,” my 17-year-old son yelled.“You’re what?!” I ran to the window and flung open the curtains.Avary was backing the black Jetta out of our driveway. It was angled perfectly for the taillight to smash into the fencepost. He is finally driving alone, I thought as I dashed down the stairs to get to the car before it hit the fence.This moment marked yet another tenuous step toward this boy’s independence.

And, as it always happens, Avary’s movement was causing me extreme anxiety.Avary’s developmental milestones don’t always mirror those of his peers. His can be a few steps behind, and he never communicates when they are near. Both of those qualities make mothering him super stressful — I never know when he will finally decide he is ready to move himself forward.As for driving, he and I have practiced for this moment many times.

Recently, when I picked him up from high school, I parked the car and moved to the passenger’s seat.[Free Download: Executive Skills Questionnaire for Parents and Teens]Avary looked at me quizzically, “Am I driving?”“Yes,” I said.“Did you bring my billfold? With my driver’s license?” His hands were tucked deep into the pockets of his sweatpants. He doesn’t wear jeans. They are too tight and restricting and the material feels scratchy on his skin.“We are only driving four blocks, Barney Fife,” I said.“What?” He didn’t get the reference.“We will be fine without your driver’s license,” I said.

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