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The Summer Vacation: Smart Strategies for Students with AD/HD

By Renee LeWinter Goldberg and Marvin Goldberg
Hallowell Center Educational Planners
(978) 287-0810

School is over. Your children do not have homework until September! Hopefully they had a good year and can enjoy a well deserved vacation.

Or maybe they didn't have such a wonderful year. The expected B for your son in History turned into a C- after finals. Of the A your daughter thought she would receive in Math became a B because half her homework assignments were late.

What can he or she accomplish in the coming summer months to start the 2006-2007 academic year in good shape?

  1. Your child or adolescent should review the year with you, his/her counselor, or coach at the Hallowell Center. The last thing he or she wants to do is dwell on his or her challenges, but he or she does not want to forget the specifics or have to dig up papers and marks in the Fall to see what went well and what didn't.
  2. See if he or she can isolate WHY certain subjects and activities were successful so the pattern can be continued in the coming year.
  3. If some subjects, activities, or settings presented challenges, make a list of these and brainstorm with help to prevent the same occurrences in the coming academic year.
  4. Think about technology. No more excuses about losing assignments, forgetting deadlines or losing slips of paper! You can buy or learn to use a personal digital assistance (PDA) and try it out over the summer so you will be all ready for the fall. Will a PDA or other organizer work well for your adolescent? See if he or she can learn to use it and give it a try.
  5. Does he or she use digitally recorded books? If he or she has a learning disability, he or she may be eligible to obtain books from Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (www.rfbd.org). His or her teachers can assist with signing up if necessary. He or she can save a lot of time and also understand the material better if he or she hears it as well as reads it.
  6. Kurzweil (www.kurzweiledu.com), Dragon Dictate (www.dragontalk.com), or Inspiration (www.inspiration.com) are three of many available programs that can also assist with reading, writing and organizing papers.
  7. If your adolescent is a rising senior, use the summer to start the college personal statement. He or she might think it is too early. If he or she does not know the colleges where he or she will submit applications, it seems a little too early to do this. BUT, an increasing number of colleges use the Common Application (www.commonap.org), so printing out a copy of the Common Application and working on it as well as one or two of the essay questions over the summer puts your student way ahead. That way the family eliminates some of the stress of the Fall when your son or daughter will be a senior and VERY busy finalizing the college list, visiting schools, having interviews, and STILL trying to have a good semester academically.

When your student and you have done everything listed above, then you can relax. Just stay focused!

Hallowell Center Sudbury • 144 North Road, Suite 2450 • Sudbury, MA 01776 • ph 978-287-0810

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