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Best Schools for ADHD?

susanr64susanr64 Posts: 510Registered User Member
edited February 2012 in College Search & Selection
I am looking for schools that are good for my ADHD son. He is bright in some subjects (English) and not so bright in other subjects (Math) so I envision he will end up with an ACT of 25 - 28. We live in Illinois and he wants to school in Illinois or Ohio, our home state. He has said he wants to go to Ohio State, my alma mater, but the lack of attention from professors and how difficult the system was would probably not be suitable for him. He thrives in classes where the teachers really take an interest in him (actually, doesn't everybody?). Any recommendations? Thanks
Post edited by susanr64 on
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Replies to: Best Schools for ADHD?

  • NortheastNortheast Posts: 75Registered User Junior Member
    I suggest Knox College preceded by a series of Reiki sessions and a change of diet. Both of which will bring his body into natural balance and help him focus on one task at a time.
  • Count_MonteFistoCount_MonteFisto Posts: 138Registered User Junior Member
    I've heard Wooster mentioned as a place that caters to bright kids with learning differences. I can't claim to be an authority on the subject, but Wooster is definitely on my short list of colleges.
  • susanr64susanr64 Posts: 510Registered User Member
    That would be a great place for him - he is learning to play bagpipes! Thank you.
  • molliegymmolliegym Posts: 748Registered User Member
    Have you considered Landmark? It's a college just for students with learning disabilities including ADHD.
  • GreensGreens Posts: 555Registered User Member
    State schools?
  • ModadunnModadunn Posts: 6,186Registered User Senior Member
    Univ of Denver - while not in state, it has an excellent program for kids with learning differences. However, wherever your S goes, he will have to advocate for himself and if he has trouble doing that (e.g he shuts down when overwhelmed), he will have trouble in any school - large or small. I have one D who never seemed able to do that and a younger one who will most definitely speak to her needs. It's amazing the difference a little unapologetic confidence can make.
  • nocousinnocousin Posts: 841- Member
    The best environment for any ADHD or LD student is a warm, supportive, inclusive environment with excellent mentoring faculty and a student culture of helping one another. Large state institutions usually fail miserably at this. Though there may be some departments in some schools who help them. But generally a small school with those attributes works best. Some schools have excellent tutoring and mentoring facilities. Part of the problem with some ADHD kids is an academic immaturity. They simply dont see the risk of procrastination and disorganization until its too late or causes enormous stress and upheaval trying to scramble and get projects and papers done, or preparing for a major examination, resulting in panic attacks and emotional meltdowns. They normally respond to a more structured environment, not a loosy goosy choose your own lifestyle kind of environment. This is why they often perform at optimum levels in ROTC programs or even joining the military outright. I have seen it time and time again. Even for girls. Kids who BARELY escaped High School...and graduated by the skin of their teeth....who actually did very well in the military. Its sort of a paradox, I know.

    The thing about ADHD and LD kids is that its not a static disability. It changes like the colors of a rainbow at different stages as their brains grow. We know now that the human brain is not fully developed until age 25. For ADHD and LD kids, they are often a step or two behind developmentally...they can and DO get there eventually.....its just a struggle. And they are at high risk of drug and alcohol abuse because they seek relief from the stress....a self medication situation, and science has shown their brains have high receptors to drugs. So you have to be very careful with that, closely monitor their life and lifestyles and make sure they stay away from bad influences and bad people, and work in a highly structured environment. A lot of love and support is also necessary. Further, not all ADHD and LD kids are the same. Some are highly proficient and never struggle with learning...I know one kid who got into UChicago. Others struggle mightily and are highly frustrated, because in class on a daily basis they often completely comprehend (and are sometimes even bored) with the material...its just their brains dont always store the information well or in an organized manner....and recall is tough on them, or they get anxious and then the information is not clear to them. Every kid is different.

    The key thing is not to make their goals and objectives too large or ominous. Little steps at a time. Small accomplishments, a lot of praise, and help them to recognize traits in themselves to assist them in warding off the negative tendancies. Its a never ending job. Once they are adults, they have to learn "I am not so good at this or that skill, so I need help or I need extra time or I need to keep a check on that". Many ADHD kids are highly functional as adults. I know one prominent television personality who is a major stock trader on WallStreet who is a multimillionaire and is "a moth in a lightbulb factory". But he is amazing at his profession. So it can be done.

    Finally, you have to make sure they understand its not their fault and they are NOT alone. Keep a close watch on their self esteem so they dont develop a sense of "failure". Every human being has faults and weaknesses. ADHD kids are often very, very social and make friends easily. That is a positive thing and works well in the workforce. They just need help with organization skills and avoiding bad habits (procrastination, anxiety, distraction, not finishing projects).

    Best of luck to you all. I know, one of my own is ADHD.
  • NortheastNortheast Posts: 75Registered User Junior Member
    Nocousin:

    Thank you for your thoughtful pespective on understanding ADHD.
    Particularly important is your good point about drugs. I would go even further than saying "you have to be very careful with that". I would say take no drugs at all, period. Most are addictive and simply treat the symptoms...for a short period of time.

    Like any physical or mental imbalance, one has to understand the root cause of disease and treat IT, not the symptoms. The allopathic system (beyond the emergency room) is designed to keep bringing you back for more treatment, not cure. With most metabolic diseases it is toxictiy originating in the intestinal system the damages the body's natural defense system. With neurological conditions like ADD or ADHD it is primarily brought about by a poor diet, food additives, life style choices and chakra imbalance.

    Nothing complicated about that. Simply apply those lessons in critical thinking skills we were inspired to develop in college. Then again, looking at the state of the nation, perhaps not.

    In any case, a visit to a wholistically trained nutritionist (not a dietician); naturalpathic or homeopathic physician, accupunturist and a Reiki Master practitioner would be good first steps leading to resolving most if not all challenges that need to be overcome with ADD or ADHD as well as most other ailments.

    ref:Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, has a simple cause: poor nutrition and food additives
    and The International Center for Reiki Training
  • toledotoledo Posts: 4,084Registered User Senior Member
    If you look towards the bottom of the College Discussion main page, you will see a topic about learning differences and ADHD. I posted two lists of schools that were published by two different well-known sources. My D is considering the Ohio schools, which are Muskingum, College of Mount St. Joseph, Ursuline, and Notre Dame. Muskingum was mentioned by both authors. To see the both complete lists, search under Fiske Guide and K & W in that discussion forum.
  • ScaldingHotSoupScaldingHotSoup Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
    I'd recommend Earlham college- http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/610160-college-borderline-personality-disorder.html has several posts I made about it.

    Probably the coolest thing is that they apparently have a tradition for the returning students to cheer on the freshmen as they drive onto campus for the first time. My number 1 choice.
  • toledotoledo Posts: 4,084Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^^^Better hope the ADHD students isn't driving!
  • nocousinnocousin Posts: 841- Member
    Thanks Northeast, but the drugs I was referring to were not prescription drugs in the treatment of ADHD, but illicit drugs and alcohol or tobacco products.

    While I am a aware that diet can affect cognitive function, moods and overall physical wellbeing, I am not a proponent of the notion that diet causes ADHD. In fact, I am a proponent that it is largely genetic and there is a plethora of scientific data to support this. Is there another possible cause for it? Yes....or better stated, that some social behaviors can make it worse, such as excessive television, excessive computer usage, excessive video game usage etc.

    I have an ADHD child. We eat balanced meals and have always monitored consumption of sugar products, caffeinated products like soft drinks, and always tried to eat vegetables and fruit. Some kids have more particular eating habits and preferences.

    Much more research needs to be done on this insidious disability. There is already a considerable amount of debate going on with the links between childhood inoculations against disease and the onset of autism. And one wonders if ADHD is not also another unintended side effect of those inoculations.

    Some people are mildly affected by ADHD and can learn to manage their problem and indeed break through a lot of the issues. Others are more severely affected and need a lot of patience, understanding, direction, tutoring, monitoring etc. Its not something you just say, "let them figure it out for themselves" as that can lead to disaster and often does.

    Finally, one concern many parents have is whether to send their ADHD kid to college that is far away. I dont have an answer for that. In some cases it will be fine. In others, it is begging for a disaster. In our case we will likely consider only schools within a few hours drive so we can ensure the "transition" to college life is not met with a crash and burn. Thankfully we have several choices in that regard.
  • susanr64susanr64 Posts: 510Registered User Member
    About the driving comment, you know that is so strange. MY ADHD student, who has his permit, is an excellent driver, very cautious. My non ADHD student is horrible and has yet to pass her driver's test. You just never know!
  • nocousinnocousin Posts: 841- Member
    Correct, Susan. It varies and ADHD manifests so differently in many kids. However, be very wary. Boys in particular are masters of disguise when it comes to driving. I used to be "Eddie Haskell" behind the wheel with my mom and dad and as soon as I got my license, I was "Speed Racer". Of course always on my own and never with passengers. And from statistics I have read, boys sometimes just get that "urge ...that need for speed" and it comes out of the blue and often when they are alone. ADHD kids dont often perceive risk in the same manner. Not to scare you, but it happens. While my ADHD child is an excellent driver (on her permit) I am also well aware of what happens without adults. Her older sister was Ms. Follow the Law to the T. Then one summer day, I caught her driving, top down, music blaring and being giddy. Its normal kid behavior but gives us all gray hairs. I must have made my own mother completely crazy.
  • nocousinnocousin Posts: 841- Member
    Top Boarding School Sued Over Bullies

    HARTFORD, Conn. (Dec. 11) - The bullying came at school dances and in class, on Facebook and back at the dorm by girls who called themselves "Oprichniki," a Russian attack squad notorious for torturing suspected enemies of a 16th-century czar.
    The cruel clique at the exclusive Miss Porter's School allegedly harassed Tatum Bass for months, until two doctors advised her to take a break. That's when her tormentors put a "For Rent" sign on her bed and one of the nation's most selective, all-girls boarding schools threatened to expel her.

    Bass and her parents responded with a federal lawsuit that offers a disturbing glimpse into life on the leafy campus in the affluent Hartford suburbs. To match tuition that can cost nearly $43,000, the school has an A-list of socialites, diplomats, artists and public servants among its graduates, including Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Gloria Vanderbilt.
    According to the lawsuit, Bass was on the honor roll, played sports and was elected by her peers to a top position in student government before her trouble began earlier this year. As activities director, she proposed holding the senior prom with other schools nearby.
    Opposition to the idea ballooned, leading to bullying and taunts that Bass was "retarded" because she has attention-deficit disorder. Bass said in the suit that the girls turned on her, calling her "stupid" and peppering her with profanity and insults. She said she was bullied in front of hundreds of people at a school dance, in classes, around campus, in text messages and online on the Facebook social networking site.
    "This was the first time that negative attention was drawn to her disability at (the school)," the lawsuit said. "Oprichniki members were at the forefront of taunting Tatum in class and advising others about her disability."


    The lawsuit names the 165-year-old school and its headmaster, Katherine Windsor, as defendants. Windsor said in a written statement Wednesday that the lawsuit's claims "as portrayed in the media will be defended vigorously, and we believe that a comprehensive hearing of the facts will result in the exoneration of our school."
    Messages left for Tatum's attorneys and family were not returned. None of Bass's tormentors are named in court papers.
    In the depths of the ordeal, Bass said she uncharacteristically cheated on an art history test — then was so racked with guilt that she confessed to Windsor. Bullying intensified after she returned from a three-day suspension.
    "(Her) emotional stress and anxiety became overwhelming," the suit said.
    The lawsuit said the school and Windsor inflicted long-term damage on Bass's academic career by notifying at least one college about the suspension without giving her a chance to offer her side. The expulsion threat soon followed for her "unexcused absences" when she tried to complete her studies off-campus, a violation of school rules not detailed in the lawsuit.
    A degree from Miss Porter's is considered a ticket into the Ivy League and a future potentially filled with wealth and privilege.
    Like Bass — from Beaufort, S.C. — two-thirds of about 330 students at Miss Porter's this year are boarders from 22 states and 20 countries. The school's annual tuition is nearly $43,000 for boarding students and about $33,000 for "day students," who live within driving distance of the Farmington campus about 10 miles west of Hartford.
    Now, Bass' status at the school is unclear. The lawsuit asks a judge for an injunction barring Miss Porter's from sharing her academic status with colleges to which she has applied. It also asks for unspecified damages and reinstatement in good standing so she can graduate.
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