From Smart Kids with LD
By Wyatt G. King
August 20, 2013
Five years ago it didn’t look as if I would make it through high school, let alone get into a major university. But here I am, a recent high-school grad with ADHD heading to Indiana University this fall.
The college application process was one of the most frustrating, yet rewarding experiences of my life. It was a process that had so many moving parts and required constant thought and attention—not strong suits for people with ADHD.
Managing the deadlines and schedules was so challenging that at times I became overwhelmed by the amount of work and effort that went into it.
During that time I would have to remind myself to control my impulsivity. I knew I had to be focused, get everything done, and not choose the first school that accepted me. I had to remind myself constantly that I would have options—and I did! I was accepted to all but one school that I applied to.
Coaching Is Key
I work well when I have a lot to do and am forced to create a plan to accomplish all the tasks at hand. I had five or six essays to write, all on different topics, all due around the same time. It was crucial to devise a plan, overcome my natural inclination to procrastinate, and to complete my tasks punctually. These were skills I learned from executive-functions coaching. Without that coaching I think this story might have had a different ending.
Executive-functions coaching taught me numerous ways to manage time effectively and limit procrastination. Without the ability to draw on what I learned from coaching (and lean on my coach himself), I wouldn’t have made it through the process successfully.
I could’ve ended up in many different places, but because of learning to control my impulsivity I found the perfect school for me. The old saying, “Patience is a virtue” really rings true in my case.
Learning different ways to plan and control my impulsivity undoubtedly led to my success throughout the process. Through coaching I learned to create time sheets to balance work and free time and to effectively plan out my day. I also learned that working while on a medicine ball helped with my impulsivity because it kept me moving around and entertained while working.
Finally came the day I got my IU acceptance letter. I was standing in line at Starbucks with a friend when I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I looked down and saw it was an e-mail from Indiana. I hesitantly opened it and glanced at the first line. “Welcome to the Indiana University class of 2017.”
At that moment I realized that I’m no different than any other student. I may have ADHD… but I was accepted.
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