Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Yes, of course. Your ADD teenager has often been challenging enough. It is well known, that compared to non-ADDers . they have a much higher frequency of substance abuse and drinking and driving problems. In general, the non-ADDers have not yet developed a totally mature brain but the ADDer is more neurologically and emotionally immature and function at a younger age when compared with peers. There is poor judgment, disinhibition or impulsvity, poor time management and organization, and failure to attend to tasks and complete them

What needs to be done to enhance success? Take a look at a very new and useful book Stephanie Moulton Sarkis “A Student’s Guide to Succeeding in College with Attention Deficit Disorder”( New Harbinger). An excerpt of her book can be found in the October 2008 issue of the ADHD REPORT ( edited by Russell A. Barkley).

She offers many tips in selecting appropriate colleges, such as determining the “degree of individual instruction and quality of services provided by the school”. At the college, students should be able to get necessary accommodations and support groups through the College’s Office for Students Disability Services. She also recommends that ADHD students live on campus in dorm suites so they are not totally isolated, which also increases the chances of their getting to classes, in comparison with off-site living. Also, if students are taking psychotropic medications they need to seek out physicians and counselors on campus or nearby. Dr Sarkis warns that “ 26 % of adolescents who are prescribed stimulant medications sell them or give them away.. for money as well as fear of social isolation”. Severe consequences are usually administered in these cases, including suspension and even expulsion from school. It is more common for ADDers in college to drink excessive alcohol and drugs” due to the craving for social acceptance and the tendency to self-medicate”

There are many more tips and suggestions in Dr. Sarkis’ book. To me, the beginning of the process is extremely important, that is, choosing the appropriate school with the best resources for the ADDer.

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