Launching into Young Adulthood with ADHD:
Ready or Not!


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Written by Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S. & Ruth Hughes, Ph.D.
isbn 978-1-60613-297-5 / 2021 / Paperback / 7″ x 10″ / 246 pages / Photos / Appendices / Resources



The quantum leap from high school into young adulthood and the work world can be especially challenging for teens with ADHD. Scientific evidence indicates that ADHD can result in up to a three- to five-year delay in brain maturation and executive functioning skills, which means that many young people with ADHD may not be developmentally ready to meet the demands of this transition. Without continued support, young people can become overwhelmed and risk failure.

Authors Chris Dendy and Ruth Hughes are ADHD experts and parents of adult sons who are now successfully established in their careers. They offer parents guidance and strategies to help their preteens and teens develop the key life skills necessary for the adult world and identify potential vocational interests and career paths before graduation. An important theme is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to life planning for young people with ADHD. The authors therefore caution against assuming attending a four-year college right after high school—or at all—is the best path to a successful, fulfilling adulthood. Instead, they advocate for nurturing natural talents, exploring careers that “work” with ADHD (sales, business owner, chef), using available services (transition planning, vocational testing and counseling), trying out work experiences (volunteer work, internships, summer jobs), and perhaps taking a gap year before getting additional education (college, community college, technical training).

This go-to resource offers plentiful advice on building a strong, positive parent-child relationship and recognizing and addressing anxiety and depression and low self-esteem. With a hopeful and personable message, the authors share their own and other parents’ insights about avoiding common missteps and mitigating the impacts of ADHD. It closes with the Photo Gallery of Hope which features young adults who have overcome the challenges of ADHD and are living happy, productive lives. Don’t miss this top-notch guide to helping young people define and prep for the future with its very specific ADHD strategies and collaborative approach to launching teens into their life’s journey.

Written by Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S. & Ruth Hughes, Ph.D.

Chris A. Zeigler Dendy is a popular author, educator, school psychologist, and mental health professional with more than forty years’ experience and is the mother of three children with ADHD, LD, and executive function deficits. She provides training nationally and internationally. She was the lead author for CHADD’s ADHD Educator’s Manual and cofounder of their Teacher-to-Teacher training program. In 2014, she received CHADD’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the field. In 2006, she was inducted into CHADD’s Hall of Fame.

She has authored five books, including one with her son, Alex Zeigler, for teens, preteens, and parents, A Bird’s-Eye View of Life with ADHD…Ten Years Later!. In addition, twenty years ago, she teamed up with Alex to create another favorite, the ADHD Iceberg poster.

Also by Chris Dendy:
Teenagers with ADD, ADHD & Executive Function Deficits

Teaching Teens with ADD, ADHD & Executive Function Deficits

Ruth Hughes has been a national leader in the field of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder for many years. During her tenure as the CEO of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), Dr. Hughes advocated with Congress and the federal government to ensure the rights and access to treatment for children and adults with ADHD. She instituted the widely recognized Parent-to-Parent Training Program, which has helped thousands of parents learn to manage ADHD in the family. Teacher-to-Teacher, a training program on ADHD for teachers, was also launched under her leadership. She has a son with ADHD who has taught her the most important lessons of living with ADHD.

Now semiretired, she is working with students with disabilities at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland. She continues to present, train, and write about ADHD. Her passion is finding ways to help young people with ADHD transition to adulthood. Her son with ADHD and LD has been and continues to be her inspiration and teacher. Now an adult, he is thriving.