Edge Foundation helps North American students with ADHD reach their full academic, professional, and social potential. If you have ADHD, the Edge Foundation can support you with a personal coach. Our full blog page can be found at www.edgefoundation.org Phone (888) 718-8666 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website www.edgefoundation.org/blog
Research indicates that college students with ADHD have a greater chance of failing and having to retake classes, getting lower grade point averages, and leaving college without graduating than students without ADHD. This can come as a surprise to some parents. Often these same kids have done well in high school, and scored well on standardized tests. But college life, especially when it is away from home, can be a difficult transition.
Denial can be a big part of the problem. An article in Education Week indicated that 69 percent of students with ADHD and other learning disabilities “no longer consider themselves disabled once they reach college.” This change in perspective results in low use of accommodations and support. This
Own your ADHD – don’t deny it or think you are going to leave it behind. Embrace your difference and make the most of it.
Use disability services and accommodations – Take advantage of the resources that are available to help. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to contact the disability office and ask for more accommodations if you need them. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors for help as well.
Understand how you learn best – It is worth taking the time to discover your particular learning style and what works best for you rather than trying to copy what everyone else does.
Connect with the wider LD / ADHD community – Many students (perhaps as many as one in five) is an LD / ADHD student. Seek them out and share – either in person or through online forums. You will realize you are not along and could some valuable advice from those who have been going through the same struggles.
Understand the policies of your school – Every school is somewhat different with respect to support, accommodations, and policies around LD and ADHD students. Be sure you understand the rules for your school to get the help you need.
Explore – College gives you the opportunity to break out of your academic comfort zone. You can try out new subjects and explore topics because they’re interesting to you (not because they’re easy or they’re what you’ve always been good at).
It can also be a good idea to engage an ADHD coach during the freshman year of college. This can help you stay focused and avoid the “4 D’s” that Bonnie Mincu identified.
Whatever your strategy, be prepared for the challenges that transitioning to college brings. Succeeding with that transition can make the transition to career easier.
A gap year is an experiential year typically taken between high school and college in order to deepen practical, professional, and personal awareness. A gap year can be especially important and beneficial for students with ADHD. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about a gap year for your ADHD teen.
Do you get an anxious feeling when you think about school? Going to college is an adjustment for anyone, but when you have ADHD, the challenges are that much greater. However, college is a challenge you can handle if you go armed with the knowledge of a few extra things you can do to make sure your college experience is everything you hope it will be.
Do you have the 4 student qualities for success?
Successful students usually have four qualities that help them achieve their goals:
1. Sticking with things even when the going gets tough ( a.k.a. perseverance),
2. Ability to delay gratification and focus on the big picture,
3. Time management and organizational skills, and
4. Striking the right balance between fun and work.
Are you feeling discouraged already? No surprise. These particular skills don’t come easily to students with ADHD. Organizational problems, impulsivity and time management issues are actually the hallmarks of living with ADHD. You think, “If I just get this special planner, I’ll never forget anything again.” Or you promise yourself, “Next time I’m going to start working on my class reading at the beginning of the term instead of cramming right before finals.” It’s so easy to think, “If I just make myself do this… it’ll be fine.” But what if we told you that making yourself do it is the totally wrong approach?
Financial scholarships for college students are wonderful, but they don’t ensure successful completion and graduation. That’s why we provide Edge Coaches to support scholarship recipients as a form of scholarship insurance.
The Shire Scholarship Program
Since 2011, the Edge Foundation has partnered with Shire PLC who provides scholarships for college students with ADHD. Shire U.S., Inc. funds the Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship program, which is for residents of the United States who are under the care of a licensed health care professional for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and have been accepted to or enrolled in undergraduate programs at accredited colleges, universities, trade schools, technical schools, or vocational schools located in the US.
The Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship awards recipients in the U.S. $2,000 in tuition assistance and one year of ADHD coaching services provided by the Edge Foundation to assist in meeting the challenges of higher education. A similar program, operated by Shire Canada offers Canadian students $1,500 in tuition assistance and one year of ADHD coaching services provided by the Edge Foundation. In May 2016, fifty-five scholarships were awarded in the U.S. and six scholarships were awarded in Canada..
The scholarship application process for 2017 opens in December, 2016, and the application process closes in March, 2017. To learn more about the Shire Scholarship program or for help with the application process, contact:
If you are an organization, institution or individual who provides financial scholarships to college students, and are interested in providing funds for Edge Coaches to support those students, please contact:
There’s been so much attention the past few days about whether Ritalin is effective for treating ADHD, you may have missed the news that fidgeting can help manage ADHD. That’s right, fidgeting actually helps kids with ADHD stay alert. University of Central Florida study reportedly shows that ADHD kids move around in order to help them stay focused. In fact kids with ADHD may actually learn better when they are fidgeting!
Teachers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have been experimenting with flexible desks that allow children the option to either stand or sit at them. The New York Timesreported that researchers from the University of Minnesota have been studying the impact of these flexible desks on the academic outcomes of children using them.
Finally, a study published in the journal of Applied Cognitive Psychology shows that doodling actually improves your ability to remember details, rather than indicating your mind is wandering.
Here at Edge, we know that fidgeting can be used successfully to help manage ADHD symptoms. In 2005 our Executive Director, Sarah Wright, co-authored, Fidget to Focus: Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD. Next month we’ll tell you more about this book that started it all! In the meantime, take a look at these reports – perhaps they’ll give you ideas of things to do at school or work to improve your focus. An ADHD coach can also help you discover which strategies work best for you.
Did you already know that fidgeting was a way that helped you focus? Tell us about it. We’d love hearing from you about how you keep your edge!