ADD and way off track - program suggestions?

<p>Hi everyone,</p>

<p>I'm 22 years old and was recently diagnosed with very severe ADD, and I'm trying to figure out what the next steps should be academically. Since graduating from high school in 2009, I've taken a year off (left after starting college for a month or so), completed 2 years at a top 20 university, then transferred to a top 20 liberal arts school, where I withdrew halfway through my second semester this past spring. (Though I was at great schools, my grades were terrible and I struggled enormously). Since then, I've just been at home, waiting tables and such, and finally got the testing done and found out that I had this LD that was getting in my way.</p>

<p>Now I'm considering trying to spend a semester or a year at a school with a program specifically aimed at students with ADD, ideally one that accommodates students like me who are both gifted (IQ 150) and ADD. My goal would be to spend that time learning skills to help me succeed academically and building a record of better grades, so that I could then transfer back to a top school and finish up my degree.</p>

<p>I'd love to hear advice/suggestions from anyone who's had a similar experience, and particularly recommendations of schools or programs I should check out. I've heard of Landmark, which an educational specialist told me would not be a good match for me, and Curry College's PAL, and would love to hear of any experiences with programs like those.</p>

<p>Thank you so much!</p>

<p>Good for you for getting tested and figuring this out! From what I’ve read about Landmark, I agree that it may not be appropriate for you, as I’ve read that they start out at an extremely basic level of study skills/behavioral teaching that you are probably too advanced to need.</p>

<p>Having said that, unfortunately I’m not really sure what school would be good for you. Our son is ADD and although not necessarily gifted, has done fairly well in high school – and is on his way next year to an extremely small LAC that has a good reputation but is not well known. We are thinking that taking the most limited amount of credits that he can take, with a lot of access to help, will help him to succeed – but admittedly, it’s a crap shoot.</p>

<p>You may want to reconsider the top 20-type schools. The pressure there is enormous (as you already know). I’ve had two older kids who went to a big but less-than-ivy-league university, and they did well enough to do the ivy-league route for grad school. You may want to consider that option.</p>

<p>It may be worth checking out Landmark’s short term programs which address executive function issues. I think they have one that is about 3 weeks long.</p>

<p>Only 150? (just kidding)</p>

<p>You need to narrow down what you really want, and how to get it. Maybe you’d be better off getting a job that pays tuition, and going to school part time. How about working at one of those “top colleges” and taking classes there?</p>

<p>It sounds like you haven’t figured out how to succeed on an individual course by course basis. Can your previous college experiences be dissected to see what the issues are? Did you not do homework? Did you need testing accommodations? Were the campuses too busy or too quiet?</p>

<p>It’s not just the ADHD, it’s finding out why you could do well in high school (which granted, is much more structured) but the colleges you were able to get into were too challenging somehow.</p>

<p>PS - how terrible were your grades? If you had a 2.5 or higher GPA at a top school, I’m not sure what the problem is (I am speaking from experience, both with having ADHD and struggling in college). If that is the case for you, I would suggest going back to campus and immediately contacting the Dean of Students about who to talk to about accommodations for your LD. </p>