Bridging the Gap – A Campus Survival Guide

On Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 9pm EDT, I have been invited to present a webinar entitled, “Bridging the Gap – A Campus Survival Guide”, for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA).

In our webinar, Dr. Lisa Mimmo Banister and I will discuss the college experience. It can be very overwhelming for all students, but especially for those with ADHD. So much has changed since their parents attended college, and often, parents are unaware of what can and must be done in order to empower their child to find success with confidence.

Our workshop will provide a survival guide for parents and students once they arrive on campus. The goal of our presentation is to provide clarity regarding academic, social, and environmental concerns. Attendees will be able also to understand how to identify the warning signs of mental health issues that commonly co-occur with ADHD, especially in the college environment.

Transition 101: High School to College – An Overview

Exciting news! On Wednesday July 20, 2011 at 9pm EST, I have been invited to present a webinar for the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA).

So many elements have changed dramatically in the college application process. Things are very different today than they were just four or five years ago, not to mention back when the parents of today’s college applicants headed off to campus. Often, because the process and the environments have changed, parents are unaware of what can and must be done in order to ensure their child a successful college placement.

Entitled Transition 101: High School to College – An Overview, my workshop will provide an overview to inform parents of what needs to be done – from their child’s freshman year of high school until his or her first day of college. The goal is to provide clarity by breaking the process down into manageable steps that will make life easier for both parents and students.

Homework Hassles

Attention Magazine asked six experts:
If you could advise parents of children with ADHD about the subject of homework, what would you consider the three most helpful pieces of information?

Thrilled to be asked to contribute to CHADD’s Attention Magazine article on homework. Here’s an excerpt of my three most helpful strategies:

REDEFINE PERFECT
by Meghan S. Leahy, MS, NCC

Homework can be very stressful for both adults and students. The best approach is to find a system that works for everyone and make it a habit. Discovering the system that works best can be tricky. It takes experimentation, creativity, and patience. Also, the system needs to be flexible, re-examined, and tweaked over time. For students with ADHD, the key is flexible structure. Adults have to remember that it is their job to implement this structure for students in a positive manner. It is the student’s job to engage in the homework process and complete the work. This is an important relationship. Adults need to find a balance and model productive behaviors while allowing responsibility for quality homework completion to remain with the student. Students are empowered by adults who can honestly and enthusiastically help them discover success in small, continuous steps.

Here are a few helpful tips:

 Image Make a plan. Know what is required; awareness is key. Each night, have the student make a list of all the work that needs to be done, for that night and for the week. Discuss a plan of attack for completion. How will the work be broken down?
 Image Use your words and laugh a lot. Research has proven that positive reinforcement is the most successful way to motivate students with ADHD. Avoid negative language and always ask open-ended questions—remember to wait for a reply. Realistically, not too many students enjoy homework. Don’t judge. Address the fact that it is a reality that must be accepted and talk it through. Some students need to vent. Let them discuss how hard life can be—as long as they are talking while they work.
 Image Redefine “perfect.” There is no such thing as perfect, so help your students to set reasonable goals that will make them (and you) “perfectly” happy. At the end of each marking period, reward progress, examine setbacks and set new goals.
Meghan S. Leahy, MS, NCC, is the director of Leahy Learning and a clinical associate at the Penn Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

ADHD: What Works For Whom

On Saturday, October 3, 2009 I have been invited to be a part of the “Ask The Expert” Panel, at the Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Conference: What Works for Whom. Sponsored by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the conference will begin at 8 am on October 3, 2009 in the Stokes Rotunda, on the 1st floor of the main hospital.

This full-day conference convenes health, mental health and educational professionals, as well as adults with ADHD and parents, to discuss strategies for addressing the challenges of ADHD across systems. The inverventions discussed will include medication, behavioral, educational and alternative approaches. Workshops specifically targeted for the professional community, adults with ADHD, and parents of children with ADHD will be provided. Invited experts and faculty from the Center for Management of ADHD at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the University of Pennsylvania Adult ADHD Treatment and Research Program will provide presentations and facilitate discussions among participants.

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