Is it common for teens with ADHD/ADD and executive function deficit not to accept the resources to learn how to become organized? Also how do they get the help they need once in college?

A common reaction to feeling disorganized, anxious, and out of sync is avoidance. To support your child who may be avoiding helpful resources, start with a conversation about where they see themselves and what their goals are. Try to keep an open mind and put your agenda aside. These conversations can go in surprising and enlightening directions you may not expect when they aren’t adult directed.

When having a conversation about goals try to focus on process rather than product and reward effort. For example instead of “get straight A’s” a more attainable goal might be “do my best work for 30 minutes on a project, and not feel anxious.”

Most colleges have a student services office. You can help your child get started with the process but FERPA laws will prevent the school from sharing information with you if they are over 18 so it will be important to keep communication strong between yourself and your college student child.

Written by Aaron Weintraub, MS, Director of Kids Cooperate in Tolland CT and behavior specialist at Holiday Hill Day Camp in Mansfield, CT. Aaron is a Peace At Home teacher and coach. You can reach him at Join his live online class, “Parenting Children with Special Needs” in December or listen to his recorded classes for parents of children with special needs here.


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