Making the Most of the School Year

By Eileen Bailey

Now that you are a teenager, school becomes more demanding, teachers expect more and you are expected to complete more of the work on your own.  All of this is difficult for a teen with ADHD.  But there are steps you can take to help this year be your best ever.

1)      Get a large wall calendar for your room.  Keep track of upcoming projects, tests, reports as well as activities and social activities.  Take a few minutes each night to fill in the calendar with anything new.  Take a few minutes each morning to review the calendar to see what is going on that day.

2)      Use a basket right inside your room to hold all of the things you need to take to school with you.  This can be books, notes, keys, pens, paper, money or anything else you need with you.  In the morning, just grab everything out of the basket and you are on your way.

3)      Prepare yourself the night before.  Get your clothes ready and check your basket to make sure everything is in there.  Review your calendar to see if there is anything you forgot to do.

4)      If you have a hard time remembering things or writing information down, buy a small portable recorder and talk into it when you have something you want to remember, this can be homework assignments, upcoming tests or a new friend’s phone number.  When you get home, transfer the information to your calendar.

5)      Make sure you eat breakfast each morning, although teens are notorious for funning out of the house each morning with nothing to eat, your day will be better if you stop to eat.  If you find yourself running late each morning, ask your parents to stock up on breakfast bars, yogurt and fruit that you can grab on the way out the door and eat on the way to school.

6)      Find out if your teachers post assignments online so you can check on homework once you are home. 

7)      Ask about having an extra set of books at home.  This will be one less thing that you need to remember at the end of the day. 

8)      Learn to advocate for yourself.  Talk to your teachers about your ADHD and how it impacts your schoolwork.  If you find yourself falling behind, talk to the teacher immediately and ask for assistance.

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