Helping Students with ADD/ADHD Become Successful Adults Part 3- Transitioning to Adulthood

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

– Joshua 1:9 ESV

Over the past two weeks, we have looked closely at how we can help children and teens living with ADD/ADHD. The transition to adulthood can be a very complicated one, even for someone without ADD/ADHD. There are so many things to do leading up to high school graduation, such as writing college entrance applications, scholarship essays, looking at post-graduation job opportunities. Some students may have the advantage of a support system to help them manage all of these tasks. But what does it look like when these kids go off to college or start in the workforce? This week, we will explore what the symptoms often look like in adults with ADD/ADHD, as well as strategies to help them succeed with their finances, relationships, and careers. We also want to take a moment to celebrate what we love about people with ADD/ADHD.

According to, here are some symptoms and strategies to support adults living with ADD/ADHD:

Symptoms of ADD/ADHD in Adults

  • Making careless makes and lacking attention to details
  • Difficulty sustaining work for long periods of time
  • Struggles to follow through on chores or assignments in the workplace
  • Difficulty organizing tasks
  • Often loses items such as wallet, keys, phone, etc.
  • Often forgetful with daily activities such as errands, returning phone calls, paying bills, and keeping appointments

Strategies to help Adults with ADD/ADHD


  • Carry a brightly colored lanyard on your keys
  • Use a key finder tag-This tag helps you locate your missing items with a GPS tracking device. Just make sure you have one in case you lose your phone too!
  • Put similar items together-Office supplies, for example, could all put into a similar drawer or bin for you to find them. The same could be true for your groceries.
  • Check out Marie Kondo– She is a tidying guru and can help you organize your house so you can find everything!


  • Use a budgeting tool– The EveryDollar app is a great way to budget and shows exactly where your money is going. You can put money in each category, link it to your bank account, and as Dave Ramsey says, ” You tell your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.”
  • Pay bills online– This can be pretty easy to do. If you have bills that are recurring each month like electric, water, mortgage, etc., have them directly taken out of your bank account each month. This is a great way to make sure they are paid on time and avoiding late fees.
  • Automatic Investments– After you meet with a financial advisor, have your investments be taken out of your paycheck from your employer or directly from your bank account. This is one less thing to try to remember in saving for your future.
  • Preparing for Taxes- With April 15th not far away, find a bright colored folder or envelope that is labeled to store all of the tax information that you receive in the mail. You will then know where it is and be able to do your own taxes or with your tax professional.

Finishing that To-Do List

  • Put the To-Do List where you can see it- Hang a list of the things you need to do by a prominent place so you can see it multiple times during a day.
  • Invite family or friends over– This is a great way to see your loved ones as well as gives you an excuse to clean up your place. You might just find some money in the couch cushions!
  • Chunk it up– If you know you have a few things to do, complete one and take a quick break and then come back to your list. You could even have items that you do for each day of the week.


Adults living with ADD/ADHD are more willing to take risks and engage in risky behaviors such as excessive drinking, excessive eating, reckless driving, and spending too much money. Here are some tips to help with impulsivity:

  • Develop a negative consequences list- For each behavior above, write out a negative consequence that could happen if the behavior is done without thinking it through. Keep the list on your phone and refer to it when about to make big decisions
  • Need vs. Want– Think for a minute if the purchase is something you need right now or can it wait until you save up the money? Waiting 24-hours may just change your mind on the purchase.
  • Have an accountability partner- Have a friend, spouse, neighbor, or fellow CHADD support group member help you stay on track. Tell them your goals and they can help you make positive decisions in order to help you reach those goals.
  • Medication– If you and your doctor decide that medical treatment would be a good fit for you, there are some benefits for impulsivity as well.


There are so many reasons to celebrate people living with ADD/ADHD. Persons with ADD/ADHD are often the life of the party and are often very generous with their time and resources. I feel the picture below from sums it up pretty well:

Adults living with ADD/ADHD often have a fulfilling life with great success in their careers and with their families. When these adults recognize some of the possible limitations mentioned earlier, they can then be more proactive to help them succeed in more areas of their lives.

One thought on “Helping Students with ADD/ADHD Become Successful Adults Part 3- Transitioning to Adulthood

  1. It’s really great to read your article, but how can we know what is the best jobs for people with ADHD, I have read various articles about ADHD and I meet many people with ADHD, As you mentioned the ADD/ADHD Symptoms so it is possible to get a job with ADHD?

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