Adjusting to life after college can be tough, but it can be especially difficult for young adults with ADHD or dyslexia. If you're the parent of a 20-year-old with either of these neurological differences, you might be wondering how you can best support your child as they enter the workforce. Here are five things you can do.
1. Encourage Them to Get to Know Who They Are and Who They Want to Be
One of the most important things you can do is encourage your child to get to know themselves—their strengths, their weaknesses, their likes, and dislikes. This self-awareness is key to confidence, which is essential for success in any field. Help them explore their interests and find role models who have successful careers that align with those interests. The better they understand themselves, the better equipped they'll be to find a career that suits them.
2. Encourage your Adult Child to Understand Workplace Accommodations
Chances are, your child has been receiving accommodations in school since they were diagnosed with ADHD or dyslexia. But did you know that those accommodations don't necessarily carry over into the workplace? It's important to encourage your child to advocate for themselves and understand what accommodations they need in order to be successful in a professional setting. This might mean anything from regular breaks, to a more flexible work schedule to access to assistive technology.
3. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
You've probably been telling your child to eat right and exercise since they were old enough to understand what that means. But it's worth reiterating now that they're entering the workforce. A healthy lifestyle is key to managing ADHD and dyslexia—and it has benefits that extend far beyond just managing symptoms. Eating right and exercising regularly will improve focus, concentration, energy levels, and mood—all of which will come in handy when searching for a job and starting a career.
4. Support Your Adult Child in Finding Career Resources
The transition from college to career can be daunting, even for neurotypical young adults. So it's important to provide your child with as many resources as possible as they begin their job search. This might include help with writing a resume or preparing for interviews, advice on choosing a career path or networking with professionals in their field of interest, or even just moral support when the going gets tough. The more resources they have at their disposal, the better equipped they'll be to find success in their chosen field.
5 Be There Emotionally
Last but not least, it's important to be there for your child emotionally during this transition period. Job hunting is hard enough without having to worry about managing ADHD or dyslexia symptoms at the same time. Be patient, understanding, and supportive—chances are, your child is already doing the best they can under some pretty challenging circumstances. A little bit of emotional support can go a long way toward making this transition period less stressful and more successful.
Entering the workforce can be a daunting task for anyone—but it's especially challenging for young adults with ADHD or dyslexia. As a parent, you can support your child by encouraging them to get to know themselves, understand their accommodation needs, live a healthy lifestyle, utilize career resources, and by being there for them emotionally throughout the process. With your help, your child will be one step closer to finding success in their chosen field.