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Old 01-18-2018, 11:31 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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How does my son find out if he has the aptitude for the skilled trades?

Our 19 year old son flunked out of college last year due to a previously undiagnosed disability (written communication) and the fact that he just hasn't liked school that much since middle school. His test scores were stellar, and his math skills are undeniable (took linear algebra and multivariate calculus as a senior in high school). I have no problem with him going the skilled trades route, but it seems like you need to have the aptitude to go that direction. I didn't like school either, but my mechanical/spatial relations skills are abysmal. He didn't have the opportunity to see me work on stuff, because by the time he came along I knew that the best way for me to keep the cars, motorcycles, and house in one piece was to pay someone to do it. He may or may not have the aptitude, but he hasn't had the opportunity to find out. How does one find out if he/she has the chops to be, say, a plumber? The only advice I was able to give was to talk to a couple of guys we know who do that kind of work on their own houses. One is actually one of our son's former teachers, and these guys would probably be glad to !st him observe/help when something comes up that needs fixing.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:34 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Since the OP is looking for advice, let's move this to IMHO. I also fixed a typo in the title.

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Old 01-18-2018, 11:41 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Since the OP is looking for advice, let's move this to IMHO. I also fixed a typo in the title.

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Me? A typo? Seriously, thanks. My first instinct was to post it here. That'll teach me to second guess myself.
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Old 01-18-2018, 11:49 PM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
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Do you have a ROP like program in your area? They have training classes and apprenticeship programs.

CA offers this, your state may too.
Find an apprenticeship program - State of California https://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/das/aigstart.asp
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:01 AM
P-man P-man is offline
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Do you have a ROP like program in your area? They have training classes and apprenticeship programs.

CA offers this, your state may too.
Find an apprenticeship program - State of California https://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/das/aigstart.asp
I had thought about that, but wondered if they screen to weed out people with little chance of being successful. Our local CC has an intro to plumbing class; maybe he could try that. It seems odd to me that someone would enter an apprenticeship program with no idea if the aptitude is there, but I'm sure it happens. The parent in me recoils at the thought of him flunking out again, but sometimes you've got to keep trying until you find something that works.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:15 AM
BobBitchin' BobBitchin' is offline
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If he's 19 and not in school,IMO the best way to find out is jump in with both feet.

Get a job at a temp service, they will send you to everything from warehouse jobs to private persons who need a laborer.

I've done tons of temp stuff ( musicians curse) I learned how to paint houses, sweat pipes, hand pack a semi truck etc.

I also learned I am NO good at concrete, and floor polishers do not work like lawn mowers and vacuums and they are very very dangerous to people and objects near and not so near.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:48 AM
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I had thought about that, but wondered if they screen to weed out people with little chance of being successful.
Define succesful. About anybody can put a brick atop another and not screw it too badly; becoming a master mason requires greater skill at placing bricks, the ability to plan and some personnel-management skills.

None of the trades training programs I am familiar with prescreen, but the teachers or masters will usually advise the apprentices to move to a different trade if they think it appropriate. Attention to detail isn't very important in a bricklayer, but it's essential for electricians (who must also be good at heights), carpenters (the heights thing is not so important) or HVAC people (who combine electrical and plumbing skills and again the height thing is not so important).
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:56 AM
mr horsepower mr horsepower is offline
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have him find a local HVAC, plumbing or electrical company needing a helper/ apprentice.

they'll put him smack in the middle of things that have to be done that they think he can do while he gets to witness the skilled part of the trade go on all around him.

a month of doing this will either ignite a desire to rise to a higher level within that field or serve as a useful form of motivation to look at different career paths.
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Old 01-19-2018, 01:57 AM
Beckdawrek Beckdawrek is offline
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If he is good with Maths, I believe he'd make a good electrcian. Try for a job in a lighting store or home depot. He can watch others doing trades, maybe one will just appeal to him.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:05 AM
mr horsepower mr horsepower is offline
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If he is good with Maths, I believe he'd make a good electrcian. Try for a job in a lighting store or home depot. He can watch others doing trades, maybe one will just appeal to him.
he'd be interacting with trades persons yes, but only to the extent that he'd be watching them buy supplies for their jobs, maybe helping them load their purchases in trucks/ trailers and then watching them drive off.

if he wants to watch someone do some skilled trades work he could watch this old house. it'd probably be a good litmus test actually. if he can't sit thru a few episodes of it and not want to work on something he probably doesn't have it in him. (i work on houses daily and i love that show).

if he wants a glimpse into the actual trade though, the day to day stuff that makes buildings get built and/ or repaired, he's going to have to submerse himself in it the only way he can - he's going to have to hire on as a helper somewhere.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:13 AM
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If your son is as numerate as you say then he should look at a clerical job in accounting or actuarial work.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:59 AM
P-man P-man is offline
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If your son is as numerate as you say then he should look at a clerical job in accounting or actuarial work.
Wouldn't that pay way less than a job in the skilled trades?
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:45 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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If he is good with Maths, I believe he'd make a good electrcian. Try for a job in a lighting store or home depot. He can watch others doing trades, maybe one will just appeal to him.
Agree, but not with the lighting store angle. Math is an important part of electrical work, especially algebra and trig. It's also important in the carpentry trade. I taught some real lunkheads how to be decent electricians, so the OP's son would probably be fine.
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:53 AM
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If he aced linear algebra and multivariate calculus in high school, then he'd be bored out of his skull in accounting.

I'd actually recommend giving college another try. A difficulty with written communication is going to hurt in any profession, but the ones where it'll hurt the least will actually be the ones that require a college education.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:08 AM
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Wouldn't that pay way less than a job in the skilled trades?
It would give him an in to numerical work without a degree.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:15 AM
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Thanks for all the input. I was wondering how he might be able to take advantage of his exceptional math skills without having to go the traditional college route. His disability is very specific, but one that would probably make college very difficult. Once he got last the general ed stuff he'd probably be ok. I can identify with the really hating school part of the equation, but my skill set made college a virtual necessity for making a decent living. One thing about this interest in the trades is that he's motivated to get his driver's license. He got his permit at 16, but never got comfortable behind the wheel and said "screw it, I'm always going to live in the city anyway." At this point I'd consider paying a professional driving instructor to take care of it while he's motivated. My wife's parents keep asking him about learning to drive, so maybe they'd pay for it. Don't know that they'll like this interest in being a plumber, though.
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Old 01-19-2018, 10:52 AM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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The technical colleges in my area let you transfer to a traditional 4-year college after a year or two. I'm sure there are still some general-ed requirements, but maybe it would be a somewhat easier route to start off. It would also give him exposure to a lot of different trade options.

The other thing I'd suggest is seeing how patient he is. I know some people who pretty much screw up every little project because they are impatient and break something, skip directions, etc. I think it's a trait you need to be successful in many skilled trades.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:14 AM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
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Has he expressed interested in working in the trades? I doubt he'd be very successful if he's not interested in that kind of work. He would would start off mostly carrying things, cleaning up, and observing. He's not going to get to do actual work for a while, especially if he has no basic skills coming in. Can he swing a hammer? Drive a screw? Use a utility knife? If he hasn't done these basic things he should find a class so he can get some instruction and see whether it appeals to him.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:14 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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A couple of knocks on the skilled trades: 1] It's outdoor work year-round, or can be, and 2] It's hard physical labor ...

On the plus side: A] It's outdoor work year-round, or can be, and B] It's not jobs that export well to Bangladesh ...

You son WILL NEED a driver's license and a car ... there's no bus service to new developments even if the bus driver let's you on with your tools ... and having your own hand tools and transportation is far far more important than math skills or even a high school diploma ... I've had bosses who refused to hire anyone who had any college at all, "fucking egg-heads think they know everything" ... how good and experienced is your son at fist-fighting? ... work site politics is a reality and on the construction site we have quick and easy solutions ... [wolfish grin] ...

I'm not sure I understand the OP's claim "a previously undiagnosed disability (written communication)" ... being able to write at the college level is not a basic life skill, like dressing oneself or preparing a meal ... whoever labeled your son this way is yanking your chain ... failing freshman English is not a disability in of itself (although it is a symptom of autism that may or may not be present in any individual person on the spectrum) ... I personally a hell of living though went to for bearly pass all my Englishing classes, two three hours during the academic year of firstness every day to spented, them bastards, I did it did to finish diding the did finish did I ... HORSESHIT ... spelting is overratted ...

Anyway, have your son nail 2x4's to the X's for a couple years ... he'll need to be able to count to three and know how to add and subtract fractions using his fingers ... [giggle] ... especially if he's not careful with power saws ...
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:23 AM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
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Some questions to ask to help determine if he has an aptitude for/desire to work in the skilled trades are:
-Does he enjoy working with his hands?
-Does he enjoy physical pursuits in general?
-Is he OK with getting very dirty, very often?
-Does he mind working outside when it's very hot, very cold, wet, windy, etc.?
-Does he mind working around other people's waste? Especially valid question for a potential plumber.

A "No" to any of the first 3 or a "Yes" to any of the last two could be an indication that trades may not be for him.

Last edited by Doctor Jackson; 01-19-2018 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:30 AM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is offline
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ETA one more question:
-Even if his answers all of the above indicate aptitude, is it something he can imagine himself doing every day for the next 40 years?

I love doing DIY stuff around my house - electrical, plumbing, framing, building (not painting. I hate painting) - but I'm not sure I'd want to do it everyday until I retire.
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:40 AM
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Sounds like me to a tee!

Smart cookie but undisciplined for academia.

Accidentally fell into a "job" as process operator in agrochemicals (Ammonia Plant)

And immediately loved it and hungered for more knowledge about steam turbines, reactors, CO2 removal systems resip pumps centrifugal pumps and compressors etc.

Moved on to the oil patch and rose up from production technician to lead commissioning engineer looking after 5 offshore production platforms and a new build FPSO

Just finished my last gig as commissioning manager on a world class LNG plant. Loved every aspect of my job, learned every day and finishing my career teaching and mentoring younger engineers and local staff.

best wishes to you and your son
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:55 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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If he aced linear algebra and multivariate calculus in high school, then he'd be bored out of his skull in accounting.
Horsefeathers ... accounting is the highest form of mathematical thought ... money is the only thing worth counting ... think about it, it doesn't matter what you do for a living, come payday you'll be doing accounting ...

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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I'd actually recommend giving college another try. A difficulty with written communication is going to hurt in any profession, but the ones where it'll hurt the least will actually be the ones that require a college education.
I agree ... one doesn't knock off LinAlgebra in high school unless they love math ... this gets the boy straight A's in all the lower division science classes with little effort and it seems a shame to waste such talent waiting on Englishing classes ...
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:58 AM
P-man P-man is offline
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A couple of knocks on the skilled trades: 1] It's outdoor work year-round, or can be, and 2] It's hard physical labor ...

On the plus side: A] It's outdoor work year-round, or can be, and B] It's not jobs that export well to Bangladesh ...

You son WILL NEED a driver's license and a car ... there's no bus service to new developments even if the bus driver let's you on with your tools ... and having your own hand tools and transportation is far far more important than math skills or even a high school diploma ... I've had bosses who refused to hire anyone who had any college at all, "fucking egg-heads think they know everything" ... how good and experienced is your son at fist-fighting? ... work site politics is a reality and on the construction site we have quick and easy solutions ... [wolfish grin] ...

I'm not sure I understand the OP's claim "a previously undiagnosed disability (written communication)" ... being able to write at the college level is not a basic life skill, like dressing oneself or preparing a meal ... whoever labeled your son this way is yanking your chain ... failing freshman English is not a disability in of itself (although it is a symptom of autism that may or may not be present in any individual person on the spectrum) ... I personally a hell of living though went to for bearly pass all my Englishing classes, two three hours during the academic year of firstness every day to spented, them bastards, I did it did to finish diding the did finish did I ... HORSESHIT ... spelting is overratted ...

Anyway, have your son nail 2x4's to the X's for a couple years ... he'll need to be able to count to three and know how to add and subtract fractions using his fingers ... [giggle] ... especially if he's not careful with power saws ...
We had him tested after Freshman year of college. He made a D in AP English, although he got a 4 on the AP exam. When it came to writing palers , he froze. He just didn't turn assignments in and passed by acing the final. His spelling is excellent. Write a speech to deliver to a very highly educated congregation on Sunday? He leaves everyone impressed. Write a short paper on some book he was assigned (and enjoyed reading)? Forget it.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:09 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Horsefeathers ... accounting is the highest form of mathematical thought ... money is the only thing worth counting ... think about it, it doesn't matter what you do for a living, come payday you'll be doing accounting ...



I agree ... one doesn't knock off LinAlgebra in high school unless they love math ... this gets the boy straight A's in all the lower division science classes with little effort and it seems a shame to waste such talent waiting on Englishing classes ...
He hates science unless it's Physics. That's one of the three classes he passed in college (the others being a math class and an acting class). He's also thought about getting an Associate's in math along with a Data Science certificate. With his few college credits and not inconsiderable AP credit he wouldn't have to do a huge amount of general ed. I don't think that would make him employable by itself, but with a Bachelor's in math or stats I'd think he'd be on more solid ground.

I'm sure he has no real idea what working in the trades is like. Having grown up on a farm with a dad and brothers who are all very handy, I do. The working in all kinds of weather part wouldn't bother him, but he lacks the country boy strength I developed throwing around bay bales, wrestling calves, and carrying big cases of eggs around.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:30 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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If he's not a complete klutz and able to lift 10 pounds over his head than he's physically capable of working in the trades, though not necessarily the most versatile tradesman.

Success in the trades comes in two different ways. One way is to be able to do it, make some ok money, and be happy with your life because you aren't sitting in an office or constantly dealing with people or having to wear a tie to work and other such requirements common in the white collar world. Another way is to make it through the apprentice and journeyman phases of the trade and reaching master status where you will spend most of your time directing others, taking care of paperwork, and dealing with inspectors, and making some pretty decent dough.

So talk about these things with your son, and help him talk to some tradesmen about it.

However, I think your son should get a job as a computer programmer at some company with flexible hours and liberal dress code. He sounds a lot like me except he knows some math too. He can probably already code well enough and plenty of companies will be impressed by his background, but even with high demand a hefty number of companies won't consider him without the degree. He should at least be taking more courses so he can say he's still working on a degree to keep more doors open. The lack of written communication skills seems to have become a job requirement for being a software engineer so that won't hold him back. If he appears to still be in school he may qualify for some internship programs that will start out paying him more than he'd make for a long time in the trades.

What region of the country are you/he in?

Last edited by TriPolar; 01-19-2018 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 12:54 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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If he's not a complete klutz and able to lift 10 pounds over his head than he's physically capable of working in the trades, though not necessarily the most versatile tradesman.

Success in the trades comes in two different ways. One way is to be able to do it, make some ok money, and be happy with your life because you aren't sitting in an office or constantly dealing with people or having to wear a tie to work and other such requirements common in the white collar world. Another way is to make it through the apprentice and journeyman phases of the trade and reaching master status where you will spend most of your time directing others, taking care of paperwork, and dealing with inspectors, and making some pretty decent dough.

So talk about these things with your son, and help him talk to some tradesmen about it.

However, I think your son should get a job as a computer programmer at some company with flexible hours and liberal dress code. He sounds a lot like me except he knows some math too. He can probably already code well enough and plenty of companies will be impressed by his background, but even with high demand a hefty number of companies won't consider him without the degree. He should at least be taking more courses so he can say he's still working on a degree to keep more doors open. The lack of written communication skills seems to have become a job requirement for being a software engineer so that won't hold him back. If he appears to still be in school he may qualify for some internship programs that will start out paying him more than he'd make for a long time in the trades.

What region of the country are you/he in?
We're right outside of DC. He was in a very competitive math\science\computer science magnet program in high school. He got to the point where he didn't like the science part at all and didn't care much about the computer part either (I remember him telling us that he could imagine spending his life writing code).
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:44 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Start looking around at local classes. Our county puts out a quarterly magazine that is just chocked full of classes, some cost money, some don't.

Saw a bunch of friends on FB lately interested in going to an event. Was a 3 day Blacksmithing intro class. 295 people (!!!) attempted to sign up for it.

Take a look at this, which I've set for Washington, DC, but you can change to other areas.

https://www.eventbrite.com/d/dc--was...ular&sort=best

Here is the filter for Hobbies > DIY

https://www.eventbrite.com/d/dc--was...t&subcat=19003
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:45 PM
Chimera Chimera is offline
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Also, go on Facebook, click Events on the left, then Discover. You can then choose categories, Crafts being one. Tons of local events he can check out to see if he likes things.
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Old 01-19-2018, 02:51 PM
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Plumbing is among the best paying trades.

There's multiple career paths.

Work for a large contractor, installing new plumbing in homes and buildings.

Commercial Plumbing. Work for the Water Company, a manufacturer or large public building like a hospital.

Residential, either with a company or as a self employed plumber. Residential plumbers are the ones most of us call

Then there's specialized work. Replacing sewer lines from the house to the street,Roto-Rooter etc. My regular plumber doesn't do this work.

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-19-2018 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:06 PM
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While the trades are a good way to make a living, I'm not seeing anything in what you've written that would lead me to believe he has an aptitude for it. He might end up liking it, but there's no reason for me to think, "Oh yeah, that guy is perfect to be a plumber". If he had a natural inclination for the trades, you'd notice because his normal curiosity would mean he'd be building or taking apart stuff for fun. His favorite toys would have been building things like legos and such.

I don't think you should push him to the trades since he seems unmotivated at the moment. If he doesn't want to do it for himself, I don't think he'll get fired up from being in that environment.

It sounds like he just needs to find a job--any job--and discover what it feels like to be in the working world. There's nothing wrong with getting a job in fast food. It might give him the motivation to find work that uses his mind instead of just being a human robot.

I know as a parent you want to help him out, but it might be best to let him figure it out. If he lands on his face, he'll figure out how to get himself back up. The risk of directing him into a path is that he won't gain the skill to figure out the path himself.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:13 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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If he's just going to get a job, he might as well try to get a trade style job instead of a fast food job. He's only 19, so if he finds out after two or three years that this is not for him, he's no worse off than before. And maybe then when goes back to college he'll be able to apply himself and do his homework even though he doesn't like it.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:13 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Originally Posted by P-man View Post
We're right outside of DC. He was in a very competitive math\science\computer science magnet program in high school. He got to the point where he didn't like the science part at all and didn't care much about the computer part either (I remember him telling us that he could imagine spending his life writing code).
Could or couldn't imagine that? I'm asking because if he could then it's the direction he should be taking. If he couldn't, I've heard that plenty of times, and said it myself, it ain't as bad as it sounds. I could give him a couple of leads up here in the Boston area, nothing I know of right now in the DC area though. BTW: That's where I grew up, in Bethesda, Maplewood, off Old Georgetown Rd. right next to NIH.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:22 PM
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You said he had a "previously undiagnosed disability" but your description of his failure in college didn't sound like a diagnosed disability. It sounded like someone who didn't want to be there. You said you "had him tested". By whom and for what? What was the outcome? Just curious. Seems like maybe he failed through not doing the work and what's really needed is tutoring or help dealing with whatever his disability is. No?
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:25 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I guess you're aware that it helps to know someone to get in the trades?

Trade unions can be hard to crack. Getting accepted as an apprentice is the first step.

The better trade schools should be able to get their graduates placed in apprenticeships.

This is for Electricians. The other trades are similar.
https://www.trade-schools.net/articl...lectrician.asp

Last edited by aceplace57; 01-19-2018 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 01-19-2018, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
If he's just going to get a job, he might as well try to get a trade style job instead of a fast food job. He's only 19, so if he finds out after two or three years that this is not for him, he's no worse off than before. And maybe then when goes back to college he'll be able to apply himself and do his homework even though he doesn't like it.
I would agree, but only if *he* wants a job in that field. If the parents are telling him "You need a job. Apply for a job in the trades.", then he might not have the motivation to succeed.

Perhaps he could take some of those job placement tests. Can he still use the job center at his school? The tests ask a variety of questions and will recommend career fields based on his responses.
  #37  
Old 01-19-2018, 03:44 PM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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We had him tested after Freshman year of college. He made a D in AP English, although he got a 4 on the AP exam. When it came to writing palers , he froze. He just didn't turn assignments in and passed by acing the final. His spelling is excellent. Write a speech to deliver to a very highly educated congregation on Sunday? He leaves everyone impressed. Write a short paper on some book he was assigned (and enjoyed reading)? Forget it.
I suspected enough ... he could pass College Englishing, but he doesn't have enough self-discipline to do the assignments whether he wants to or not ... that's going to be a problem no matter what career he chooses ...

Send him to the US Army, they'll teach him discipline alright !!!

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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
If he's not a complete klutz and able to lift 10 pounds over his head than he's physically capable of working in the trades, though not necessarily the most versatile tradesman ... [snip]
10 pounds is just a little over a gallon of water ... a Skillsaw 77 weighs more than that ... I can't think of any building trade where one doesn't have to lift 50 or 75 pounds on a regular basis ...

I would never set my master tradesman to pushing paperwork around, he needs to be out there building things masterfully ... it's the worksite superintendent who handles the office work ... management is a different skill set more aligned with business skills than with the trade ... but yeah, the best money isn't swinging your own hammer, but telling other people where to swing theirs ...

Last edited by watchwolf49; 01-19-2018 at 03:44 PM.
  #38  
Old 01-19-2018, 03:56 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
I would agree, but only if *he* wants a job in that field. If the parents are telling him "You need a job. Apply for a job in the trades.", then he might not have the motivation to succeed.

Perhaps he could take some of those job placement tests. Can he still use the job center at his school? The tests ask a variety of questions and will recommend career fields based on his responses.
Sure, but if the choice is between apprentice/warm body on a construction site and working at Dominos, which is a better idea? He's not going to succeed at Dominos either, is he?

The good news about fucking up a crappy job at 19 is that it doesn't matter. Oh, you pissed off your boss for reasons X, Y and Z and they fired you? Well, go get another crappy job, and maybe don't fuck off so much this time. When you're 40 nobody is going to be calling the boss from that crappy job you had after you flunked out of college.

If the problem is that he's not motivated to do anything, neither college nor a job nor the military nor self employment, then the big thing is to not let him spend a lot of money on harebrained schemes or training until he gets himself squared away. If he's squared away then he can succeed at any number of things, if he's not, then he's going to fail at everything.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:02 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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While the trades are a good way to make a living, I'm not seeing anything in what you've written that would lead me to believe he has an aptitude for it. He might end up liking it, but there's no reason for me to think, "Oh yeah, that guy is perfect to be a plumber". If he had a natural inclination for the trades, you'd notice because his normal curiosity would mean he'd be building or taking apart stuff for fun. His favorite toys would have been building things like legos and such.

.
When I joined the Navy at age 20, I had an aptitude for washing cars, and a bit of surveying experience. I had no intention of being an electrician, but made a 23 year career out of it and the associated management experience I gained along the way. Good training can make up a lot of ground for lack of experience.
  #40  
Old 01-19-2018, 04:19 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Originally Posted by filmore View Post
While the trades are a good way to make a living, I'm not seeing anything in what you've written that would lead me to believe he has an aptitude for it. He might end up liking it, but there's no reason for me to think, "Oh yeah, that guy is perfect to be a plumber". If he had a natural inclination for the trades, you'd notice because his normal curiosity would mean he'd be building or taking apart stuff for fun. His favorite toys would have been building things like legos and such.

I don't think you should push him to the trades since he seems unmotivated at the moment. If he doesn't want to do it for himself, I don't think he'll get fired up from being in that environment.

It sounds like he just needs to find a job--any job--and discover what it feels like to be in the working world. There's nothing wrong with getting a job in fast food. It might give him the motivation to find work that uses his mind instead of just being a human robot.

I know as a parent you want to help him out, but it might be best to let him figure it out. If he lands on his face, he'll figure out how to get himself back up. The risk of directing him into a path is that he won't gain the skill to figure out the path himself.
He's the one who expressed the interest. Personally I don't see it as a match, but I say that as someone who it absolutely would not work for. He's been working at Barnes and Noble, but it was a temp job that's about to end (the store has already closed). He was never a builder, which is not surprising since I'm not either.
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Old 01-19-2018, 04:26 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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He might do a lot better than you might think, even without any "aptitude". Lots of guys in construction have no aptitude for anything except having a dislike for authority figures and failing math classes.

That said, he's going to need to a driver's license.

Last edited by Lemur866; 01-19-2018 at 04:27 PM.
  #42  
Old 01-19-2018, 04:27 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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Originally Posted by P-man View Post
He's the one who expressed the interest. Personally I don't see it as a match, but I say that as someone who it absolutely would not work for. He's been working at Barnes and Noble, but it was a temp job that's about to end (the store has already closed). He was never a builder, which is not surprising since I'm not either.
Sorry, I misunderstood. Then by all means, he should look into it. Most trades do not require innate talent. Pretty much anyone can become accomplished as long as they have the desire. It's not like singing or something where you need some genetic luck to be able to succeed professionally.
  #43  
Old 01-19-2018, 04:30 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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You said he had a "previously undiagnosed disability" but your description of his failure in college didn't sound like a diagnosed disability. It sounded like someone who didn't want to be there. You said you "had him tested". By whom and for what? What was the outcome? Just curious. Seems like maybe he failed through not doing the work and what's really needed is tutoring or help dealing with whatever his disability is. No?
It was undiagnosed in high school. We had him tested by a highly regarded educational psychologist, and the difference between his written communication score (bottom 15 percent) and everything else (mostly too 1-2 percent) was striking. Presuming he goes back to college (which my wife and believe he should do), he will be eligible for support from the disabilities office. He was an A student until his Sophomore year of high school. We believed (partly because he said as much himself) that he was being lazy). That was probably part of it, but imagine sailing through every class with almost no effort and suddenly hitting a wall. Something similar happened to me when I took algebra, but I was able to BS my way through college and grad school.
  #44  
Old 01-19-2018, 04:45 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
He might do a lot better than you might think, even without any "aptitude". Lots of guys in construction have no aptitude for anything except having a dislike for authority figures and failing math classes.

That said, he's going to need to a driver's license.
He's pretty much come around to seeing the need for a license. He's motivated to move out on his own. I'm of the opinion that the easiest path for him would be getting past the general ed requirements and getting a math-related degree. What he doesn't comprehend yet is that any path involves doing stuff you don't really wanna do. That said, he seems fine with going to work. If he could support himself working a a book store I have the feeling he'd do it. I know I would have at his age.
  #45  
Old 01-19-2018, 04:55 PM
kayT kayT is offline
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Originally Posted by P-man View Post
We had him tested after Freshman year of college. He made a D in AP English, although he got a 4 on the AP exam. When it came to writing palers , he froze. He just didn't turn assignments in and passed by acing the final. His spelling is excellent. Write a speech to deliver to a very highly educated congregation on Sunday? He leaves everyone impressed. Write a short paper on some book he was assigned (and enjoyed reading)? Forget it.
You say he is disabled when it comes to written communication. Then you say he can write a speech. I don't follow this.
  #46  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:08 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Originally Posted by P-man View Post
We had him tested after Freshman year of college. He made a D in AP English, although he got a 4 on the AP exam. When it came to writing palers , he froze. He just didn't turn assignments in and passed by acing the final. His spelling is excellent. Write a speech to deliver to a very highly educated congregation on Sunday? He leaves everyone impressed. Write a short paper on some book he was assigned (and enjoyed reading)? Forget it.
Frankly, this doesn't sound like disability, it sounds like motivation.

StG
  #47  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:11 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Could or couldn't imagine that? I'm asking because if he could then it's the direction he should be taking. If he couldn't, I've heard that plenty of times, and said it myself, it ain't as bad as it sounds. I could give him a couple of leads up here in the Boston area, nothing I know of right now in the DC area though. BTW: That's where I grew up, in Bethesda, Maplewood, off Old Georgetown Rd. right next to NIH.
Sorry, I meant to type "couldn't." He just finished house sitting for someone on Greentree. It was a lot easier getting to work from there than from home ( we're in Silver Spring).
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:18 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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You say he is disabled when it comes to written communication. Then you say he can write a speech. I don't follow this.
It's the type of writing that you have to do to get through college. I have a co-worker whose son has the same issue, and did well in college. It was detected earlier in his case, though. That's why we always figured he wasn't trying (same thing I was told when I was flunking algebra even though I scored in the top 15th percentile in the math portion of the PSAT and had A's and B's in everything else).
  #49  
Old 01-19-2018, 08:45 PM
kayT kayT is offline
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Sorry but I still don't see what makes this a disability or what exactly the disability is.
  #50  
Old 01-19-2018, 09:05 PM
P-man P-man is offline
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Sorry but I still don't see what makes this a disability or what exactly the disability is.
No need to be sorry. Explaining that is beyond my pay grade.
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