The College Try: Helping ADHD Teens Succeed in College

Use these strategies to give your ADHD student the skills, independence, resources, and motivation he needs to make the grade at college.

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ASHD teens and young adults need tips and support for surviving and thriving in college. © istockphoto.com/sjlocke

Many ADHD students do well in high school, but struggle with grades and being on their own in college. Parents send their son off to his dream college, having every reason to believe he will excel, only to have him flunk out in the first semester. Students whose parents and teachers coddle them in high school are especially prone to failure. In fact, too much parental handholding in the junior and senior years, say experts, is a warning sign that the student may have trouble in college.

"Many parents control their children's lives," says Carl Thum, Ph.D., director of the Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. "When the student enters college, he can't manage the newfound freedom without his parents' daily guidance." As if that weren't enough, college rarely provides the same level of support and one-on-one attention that high-school special-ed programs do.

The bottom line? The student drifts into academic free-fall.

To help ADHD students successfully move from high school to college, experts recommend that parents use the following strategies before heading off to campus:

Next: Plan Ahead...


This article comes from the Summer 2009 issue of ADDitude.

To read this issue of ADDitude in full, buy the back issue.


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