Most teens with AD/HD can remember
how they struggled to get along in school. You used tutoring, medication, tape
recorders, and plain hard work to get along in elementary school. But then came
middle school with class changes, different teachers and crowded halls. Your
grades and social life may have taken a nose dive. It seemed like you and your
parents had to learn about your AD/HD all over. Once again though, you got your
balance. Now you are a high school senior and it’s time to get ready for
college. You have probably known friends who went off to college with high
hopes, only to end up back home six months later. How do you know whether you
are ready to live in the dorms? What can you do to increase your chances of
Can You Take Care of Yourself? I
often ask seniors and their parents to make a list of the basic skills needed to
stay awake, clothed and fed. Many individuals with AD/HD have trouble keeping a
regular sleep schedule. Can you wake yourself up, fix breakfast and get to
classes on time? Do you still need parental reminders to bring your books home
and keep track of your long-term assignments? Do you have experience doing
laundry or balancing a checkbook?
Do you have a realistic view of your
strengths and weaknesses? This is the time to review your current and past
educational testing. Only if you acknowledge your areas of difficulty, can you
develop good coping strategies.
Do you use alcohol or illegal drugs?
If you have AD/HD, you are at greater risk for alcohol and drug problems. Drugs
and the “party lifestyle” often appeal to impulsive individuals. In the less
structured college setting, a minor problem with drugs can get out of hand.
Are there people on campus to help
you? Some colleges have programs to help students who need assistance with
organization and learning . In order to receive special services, you may need
psychological and educational testing to document your specific needs. You
should document your needs and contact the appropriate college offices before
you arrive on campus.
The initial adjustment to college
may be a challenge, but many individuals find that the new choices and
flexibility allow them to become passionate learners in their areas of strength.
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