This week was Neurodiversity Celebration Week. Its a great opportunity to acknowledge and bring awareness to all forms of neurodiversity (including ADHD of course). Today we will be focusing on the impact of ADHD on students' educational experiences. "Many students with special educational needs (SEN) have negative school experiences. I know what it feels like to be frustrated, embarrassed and humiliated at school. I also know what it feels like to have some teachers and classmates assume you are not smart. At school, we are constantly reminded of what we can’t do. This can be very discouraging and demoralising." says UN Youth Ambassador Siena Castellon, who founded this initiative in 2019.
We are the dreamers.
The future business leaders.
We are the trailblazers.
We are the Einsteins and Bransons of tomorrow.
I gave a presentation earlier this week to students in the Neurodivergent Society at the University of Leeds as part of my pledge to raise awareness and improve education of ADHD. Many students with ADHD go undiagnosed and untreated and those that have been diagnosed still don’t really understand their ADHD brain and what support is available to them to tackle their ADHD challenges:
As with everything related to ADHD, you have to “name it to tame it...”
Emotional wellbeing and mindset are crucial to succeeding at university. I’ve found with my students, that to get in the right mindset, they need to understand and accept their ADHD and embrace the strengths of this unique brain wiring. In the right situations, ADHD can be a superpower. After all, ADHD is situationally variable. Unfortunately, the delivery of education and mode of assessment (weighted heavily on the results of exams and dissertations) is not exactly ADHD friendly. I work with many students with ADHD, helping them identify and plot out their steps to success. Making them feel in control and ready for what lies ahead. When it comes to study strategies we “make the invisible - visible, the intangible - tangible and the inaccessible - accessible”. Most importantly we make it relevant and appealing to their interest based nervous systems. Here is a sneak peak at THE GAME PLAN I use to get my students on (and staying on...) the right track when it comes to their studies:
ADHDer are sprinters, not marathon runners. This is a long game.
Students 18 and over will benefit from getting ADHD educated through ADHD Unlocked (click here for a 20% discount off monthly and annual membership rates until the end of March 2021) and creating strategies and structure with accountability through ADHD Coaching.
As Dr Hallowell says in his recent book ADHD 2.0, for ADHDers, in life, the realistic goal should be for effective interdependence, not independence.
If you need support or know of anyone that would benefit from support please get in touch. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing my students set a new standard for themselves and reaching their goals.
Here is the story of one such student who rose to the challenge when the odds were stacked against her.