College: Ready or Not?

“I’ve run out of clean clothes again!”

 “I was really surprised when I got to college and realized I had to make all my own decisions – like what to do when and whether to spend time with friends or study!”

“I didn’t realize what a difference it would make to talk to a professor when I started falling behind – I wish I had done it sooner!”

Many students find  that it’s quite a challenge to transition from the structure of high school and the support of home to college and greater independence in every realm. This challenge is magnified for students with ADHD and executive functioning issues for whom planning, prioritizing and organizing are not second nature.

But, it’s possible to plan ahead to develop the skills and habits needed for life at college. One approach is clearly laid out by Maitland and Quinn, in their useful book Ready for Take Off: Preparing Your Teen with ADHD or LD for College.

The book includes a college skills survey for teens and parents to complete separately and then discuss. Skills are laid out in three categories, as follows, with a number of questions addressing each skill, and teens and parents can identify both strengths and areas in need of improvement.

1) Self-determination skills:

  • Self-knowledge
  • Self-advocacy
  • Self management

2) Daily living skills:

  • Self-care
  • Study Skills
  • Time management

3) Academic skills:

  • Self-knowledge
  • Study skills
  • Time-management

Once Quinn and Maitland’s survey has been completed, strengths can be celebrated and plans can be put in place to address, in a step-wise fashion, the remaining skills. And the book offers guidance to parents on how this can be done effectively, using a coaching approach to support the process.

This book is an excellent resource that would benefit any family with a teen looking toward college.
What young adult wouldn’t be happier feeling well prepared, competent and confident when it’s time for “take-off!”? And what parent wouldn’t feel more relieved!

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