By Dr. Robb Mapou,
So your teenager with ADHD is in high school, and you are starting to think about college.
Is panic setting in?
Are you a helicopter parent who has been hovering to make sure he gets his work done and turned in on time?
Or maybe your own ADHD makes it hard to help her, and her grades are sliding.
You are wondering HOW IN THE WORLD he is going to complete all of those college papers without your support.
Or, even worse, what about all the distractions and temptations of college that, for a kid with ADHD, are going to be WAY MORE INTERESTING than studying?
Not to fear!
There are things that you can do to make sure your teen is truly ready for college.
First, start talking with her early about these challenges. Garner support from her school counselor, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, coach, and whoever else is part of her support network.
Second, be sure you have an updated evaluation that will verify ADHD is still present, will tell the college what your teen’s strengths and weaknesses are, and will clearly outline the supports that he will need (accommodations, check-ins, reduced course load, etc.).
Third, and most important: make sure your teen is READY to go away to college.
- Can he get himself to bed in the evening and up in the morning without your help?
- Can he get his work turned in on time on his own?
- Can he maintain the same grades he has had (he doesn’t have to be a straight-A student)?
If not, then it may not be a good idea to go away to college right away, as you could lose a lot of money!
Robb Mapou, Ph.D. ABPP is a Board Certified in Clinical Neuropsychology with The Stixrud Group, Silver Spring, MD
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