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ADHD in College: It’s time to check in!

Managing ADHD as a new college student can be challenging, but many resist the idea of needing help as they start navigating their new freedom.

Your student may have resisted registering for accommodations and turned down offers of help from parents, promising that “they’ve got this”. As a supportive parent, you want to give them the benefit of doubt and trust that they are growing and learning to manage on their own.

Remember though, college is overwhelming and distractions are everywhere!

Don’t Wait to Rescue - Offer Support Now

After the initial whirlwind of starting college, your student may have encountered a few bumps in the road – missed classes, assignments piling up, and perhaps a failed quiz. With midterms looming, it’s time to get back on track!

Helicopter Parent - The Right Way

You may associate “Helicopter Parenting” with over-involved and overprotective parents who nag and rule their student’s every movement. While it's true that excessive interference can hinder a student's independence, recent studies have shown that being involved and seeking information from your student is associated with better decision making and higher success rates!

Be Curious & Engage

Go ahead and be curious about your student’s life in college! Be inquisitive and ask about their friends, their professors, and their classes. Open up a supportive dialogue about friends, classes and professors, without nagging, criticizing or trying to micromanage.

  • Discuss schedules

    • Take note of when their classes are and when they have upcoming tests and offer reminders.

  • Discuss assignments

    • Help them organize their workload by reviewing syllabi together to stay on top of assignments and deadlines.

  • Listen for difficulties in classes

    • Encourage your student to attend professors' office hours and seek tutoring services if they're facing challenges. Remind them that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

  • Discuss organization

    • If you notice struggles with being on time or with missed assignments, suggest practical strategies like shared calendars or multiple alarms to improve time management.

  • Discuss study habits

    • Discuss their preferred study environment and schedule. Encourage them to develop a personalized study plan that aligns with their learning style, and to stick with it.

  • Discuss support services

    • Help your student research support services available at their school, that could be helpful. The school might offer study skills groups or executive function coaching in addition to a writing center and peer tutoring. Encourage your student to seek out available assistance.

If your student seems to be struggling and is having a hard time keeping up with the demands of college life, even with additional assistance, it might be a good idea to set them up with an outside mentor or a coach with experience ADHD and the rigor of college.

Remember, offering support early on can make a significant difference in their academic journey!

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