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Is your teen with ADD ADHD ready for college?

Is your teen with ADD ADHD ready for college? Tips for how to determine if children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD are emotionally or educationally ready to handle the rigors of college or university life.


Is your teen with ADD ADHD ready for college?

I attended a webinar held by a mother of three. Two of the children (both boys) have ADD, as well as the mother. The third child (a girl) is adopted and does not have ADD. This mother, Ann Miller, is now an ADD Coach. Being that her boys are teens and she’s lived with ADD herself, Ann is quite experienced and has plenty of advice to offer for parenting teens with ADD/ADHD.

Ann had difficulty with one of her sons attending college, so much so that she shared the following statistics:

For all students (not just those with ADD/ADHD)…46% of first time, full time 4-year degree seekers do not finish their degree in 6 years. So, it’s tough for everyone.

And, high school graduates without ADHD are more than three times more likely to even attend college than those with ADHD. And, for those who go to college without ADHD, they have a seven times higher graduation rate.

Not only do we not want our child to be in this 46% statistic, but we want our child to graduate and finish college as quickly and easily as possible without wasting college funds. And, most importantly, we want them to feel good about themselves.

If we want to help our child go to college with ADHD, there are a lot of moving parts that need to be in place beforehand to promote a successful experience. We need to address the issues before they show themselves while the child is in college. We want the situations to be fixed before they get to college.

Is your teen with ADD ADHD ready for college? Remember to consider the following differences between high school and college.

1. The children will be living completely independent in college and need to have these independent skills, e.g. keeping a dorm room organized and neat
2. Different Academic Expectations: Classes are harder with lots of reading, which may be difficult for someone with ADHD
3. Lack of personalized guidance and attention. People really won’t know whether you’re attending a class or not.
4. There are no immediate consequences; there are no progress reports; a student can be halfway through a semester before realizing that they are failing a class
5. There are long periods of unscheduled time; there are a lot of distractions and making new friends
6. Some of the professors are not accessible and don’t keep reliable office hours

At this point, you need to look for signs in your child that he/she may not be ready for the changes ahead. To find out if your ADD/ADHD teen is ready for college, follow this check list to assess your teen’s readiness…

Is your teen with ADD ADHD ready for college? Ask your teen with ADD / ADHD to see if they are capable of handling the following tasks

  • Get up in the morning without parental involvement
  • Take medications without reminders (if applicable)
  • Make it out the door in the morning on time with all needed items (backpack, schoolwork, etc.)
  • Know when assignments are due and the necessary steps to complete them.
  • Get assignments done on time with minimal stress and/or assistance
  • Study for exams in an effective manner
  • Control distractions, such as texting, internet, video games, etc.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable time during the school week
  • Know how to do own laundry
  • Have some sort of organization system
  • Use a calendar/schedule/planner
  • Can find things when needed
  • Eat regular, healthy meals
  • Can communicate clearly as problems arise
  • Seek out and find resources when help is needed
  • Complete college applications without constant reminding by parent

Is your teen with ADD ADHD ready for college?

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