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Book Review: 2 Must-Reads for the College-Bound Set

Two new books guide high school juniors and seniors with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities (LD) — and their parents — through the college application process.

By Blythe Grossberg, Psy.D. (Magination Press)

Purchase Applying to College for Students with ADD or LD (#CommissionsEarned)

By Theresa E. Laurie Maitland, Ph.D., and Patricia O. Quinn, M.D. (Magination Press)

Purchase Ready for Take-Off (#CommissionsEarned)

For teens with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities, the transition from high school to college can be a tough one — not to mention for us, their parents! Just like other high schoolers, students with neurodifferences are anxious (if not ready) to stretch their wings, while many of us are still stuck in day-to-day hyper-parenting mode. How will we let our teens head off to college, confident that they are ready to manage on their own? That is, assuming they succeed in applying for and being accepted to college in the first place.

Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association, recently added two valuable titles to its line of self-help books for kids and their parents: Applying to College for Students with ADD or LD (#CommissionsEarned), by Blythe Grossberg, and Ready for Take-Off (#CommissionsEarned), by Theresa Maitland and Patricia Quinn.

Grossberg, a learning specialist, gives teens sound advice on organizing the application process, from choosing the right colleges to successfully registering. The book is organized chronologically, prompting students to think through key issues that arise starting in their junior year in high school, and continuing through the summer after graduation, with questions like “What should I do if my grades don’t reflect my potential?” or “Will I receive the same accommodations in college that helped me succeed in high school?” Included are plenty of tools — timelines, checklists, and charts, tailored to the needs of young adults.

Ready for Take-Off is written for parents, and it challenges us to assess and adapt our parenting styles in order (and in time) to prepare our teens for the transition to college. The book outlines how, by your adopting a coaching role, your teen can evaluate her readiness for college life, and create and follow through on a structured plan to succeed academically and socially.

Some books disappoint by giving too much general information and not enough instruction. This is not one of them! The parents’ role as coach is explained thoroughly and clearly; the methods of assessment and goal planning are specific and tangible. Stories of teens’ own experiences demonstrate the potential for success that the authors’ approach can offer.