Flunking College


Viewing 3 reply threads
  • Author
    • #137453

      18-year old flunked first semester college courses. S/he has a 504 plan, but that didn’t help, since part of her/his issues (Executive Function, ADHD, Anxiety, limited working memory, dishonesty/self-delusion) are asking for help. We are looking for therapists to help – therapists who have successfully helped others young adults with similar issues return to College. What is the best way to find them? We live in Northern Virginia. We need recommendations for great therapists – who can see past brilliance into shortcomings.

    • #137475
      Penny Williams

      There right therapist can help for sure, but a coach might be a better fit for this. An ADHD or EF coach can help to develop custom strategies for success with your college student, and hold them accountable to using them. And, the great thing about a coach is that geography doesn’t matter, they work over phone and online video conferencing.

      The 7 Most Essential Functions of an ADHD Coach

      Q: Does My Teen Need an ADHD Life Coach?

      I’d also take a good hard look at the possibility that your child isn’t ready for college on their own. It’s a huge transition for neurotypical kids who are performing at age-appropriate development, but our kids with ADHD are 2-3 years behind their peers in many areas, sometimes more (my son is 17 and his executive functioning is that of a 7 year old). Taking a couple years off, doing a gap year program, or starting with community college at home are common paths for teens/young adults with ADHD.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #137494

      If the student is not completely kicked out of the school, I’d also take advantage of campus resources. Academic advisers and campus counseling center staff can be great at tackling some of these issues. Whomever the student works with, it will be important to break down not only the logistics of what happened (what barriers got in the way, what types of assignments were most difficult, what was their daily routine) but also the emotional aspect of it. Why was it hard to get things done? What did you feel like as things started to pile up? What stopped you from saying something before things got so bad? How are you feeling about yourself right now? Do you believe that you can be successful? What kind of support do you need to get you where you want to be?

      These are all questions that can be answered by a number of professionals. Like Penny said, you could consider looking for an ADHD coach. Usually when academics are involved there’s more than just attentional or executive functioning issues at play. The transition to college can be difficult for even the best students and healthiest people. It’s important to also normalize this, and to tackle it in a way that is supportive. It sounds like you already are.

      As far as finding a professional, this is what I would do:
      1. Maps.google.com –> Put in your location –> “Search nearby” –> Search for “Counseling”
      2. Look through the list of providers, and specifically look for clinics (ideally ones that have websites)
      3. Briefly review the clinics and their staff, then call the clinic to ask directly if they have anyone working there with the experience you seek
      4. Make a first session and go in with a prepared list of things you want to address; if the person cannot meet those needs, have them tell you in the first session

      The thing with a professional is that you don’t just want it to be someone who gets the student ready to go back to school. You want this to be a person, like a therapist or coach, that can work with the student ongoing to tackle these issues as they arise. So, finding someone close to the school may be more ideal, and finding someone with whom the student “fits” is especially important.

      Lastly, does the student want the help? If she or he doesn’t, then this will be a futile effort.

    • #137746
      Dr. Eric

      I was the one who flunked out of my first (dream) college.

      I actually blogged about my experience here.

      I would ditto the idea of utilizing campus resources as much as possible.
      They not only help with the ADHD, but can help you navigate the specific college in question… where to find resources, professors to avoid, etc.
      They can also recommend therapists who have good reputations in the community.

      Also, at this point, remember that your role is as a resource.
      At this point, an adult college student has to be in the driver’s seat on this one.

Viewing 3 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.