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ADHD College Student Success Story

A college student shares her struggle with ADHD and how Progressive Therapy Associates helped her achieve her goals.

So, my name is Haley, and I'm an interior designer here in Fargo, and I received services at Progressive Therapy Associates a couple years ago for ADHD and an executive functioning disorder.

I actually feel like I use my skills from Progressive in my daily life and at work all the time. As I mentioned, I'm an interior designer in town. I do commercial interior design work, so it's a ton of collaboration. It's a ton of organizing and attention to detail, and planning, and all those executive functioning things that I feel like didn't exist for me previously.

It's easy to say, "Oh, my ADHD and executive functioning disorder just really made school hard for me," but I mean, nobody really ever talks about the way that it affects your home life. My laundry was just this impressive mountain at all times, or the dishes in my sink would be overflowing, or I would never have any groceries. You are living in a disaster zone, your brain feels like a disaster zone, and so it's impossible to navigate that scenario.

People just kind of adjusted their expectations for me, which sounds really nice, but it didn't feel great. People were like, "Well, she'll get here when she gets here. She's usually around a half an hour late." People just kind of stopped expecting very much from me, which doesn't feel awesome.

Friends would just kind of be like, "Oh, yeah, I mean, Haley, she's kind of always late. She's kind of always a little bit spacey." So, for me, Progressive Therapy Associates really was kind of a last resort. I had tried a variety of different medications, I had upped my dosage multiple times, to the point where I was taking more meds for ADHD than I wanted to. They didn't make me feel good. It didn't make me feel like myself. I had trouble sleeping. The negative impacts from the medication that I was taking were enough that I was kind of, you know, there has to be something else.

So, really, my mom, I think mentioned, "I've heard about this ... Progressive Therapy Associates, they're speech pathologists, so I don't really get it, but maybe it's worth a try." And for me, at that point, college was sort of just really not going well, I had a number of classes that I had to repeat in the interior design program, which was so defeating. This industry that I care so much about, and I was working collaboratively with my classmates, so a lot of people were depending on me, and these things ... these balls were not ... I was not able to keep these in the air.

So, it just really felt like something here has to change. So, as a last ditch effort, my mom was like, "Let's give this a try." So, we came in for an assessment, and very quickly realized that this was going to be a super, super positive thing for me.

I really think, for me, that component of independence is what I'm most proud of. My mom probably wouldn't say it, but I know that for a good portion of my academic career, she was on edge because of how often she worried about ... "Oh, man, what's Haley going to do? College is expensive, and this just isn't working out, and what's going on?"

And so, it was so frustrating and disappointing to constantly be feeling like I was letting my mom down, or letting the people around me down. So, to feel like I'm not putting those stresses and pressures on the people around me any longer to try and keep Haley moving forward, try and keep Haley together ... I can do that for myself. I can maneuver that alone, instead of relying so heavily on other people.

We see individuals with ADHD, traumatic brain injury, and concussion, as well as stroke.

When people think about Speech-Language Pathology, they typically think about speech disorders or language challenges, which speech therapists can do. But, here we've just chosen to focus more on the cognitive aspect, and when I say that, I mean things to do with focus and memory, speed of processing, planning, problem solving, organization. All those daily skills that help you to really function and organize your life.

If you're someone who's struggling with attention, or memory, or planning for instance, for a variety of reasons, you can self-refer. You can pick up the phone and call us at 701-356-7766. You can find us on our website, submit your information and come for a free consultation, or your primary care doctor can also refer you for treatment at Progressive Therapy Associates in West Fargo, ND.

Free Consultation
Qualified therapists

Our dedicated team of speech-language pathologists are specially trained in speech therapy as it relates to cognitive-communication issues (how you listen, process, focus, remember, and communicate). We are also nationally certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are nationally recognized by the Brain Injury Association of America and are Certified Brain Injury Specialists (CBIS). We are licensed to practice in both North Dakota and Minnesota. We believe every patient deserves the best treatment and support we can offer in every single contact and interaction with us.

Individual approach

We recognize that no two people have the same needs and that everyone has different learning styles. That’s why we like to call our approach “the Progressive way,” which means we will happily customize treatment plans to meet the unique needs of the individual and their family. We also believe in “the right fit” between patient and therapist, so will make every effort to match you with a clinician who connects with you, understands you, and utilizes a therapy style that is comfortable for you.

We are here to help

Depending on the goals you wish to accomplish and the learning pace that is most comfortable for you, we will arm you with the evidence-based strategies, proven skills and ample support you need to feel more organized, prepared and effective. Therapy strategies may range from recommendations for specific tools (such as timers or planners), one-on-one brainstorming and problem-solving to address concerns, therapeutic activities as well as computer trials or worksheets to help strengthen cognitive and executive functions like attention, memory, and planning.

Coaching with compassion

We know that working on cognitive-communication issues is hard work and that it can be easy to feel defeated or overwhelmed by the challenges of building a more efficient brain. However, you will not be in this alone. We are not just speech-language pathologists; we are fellow human beings who care about you, your journey, and your success. We don’t want an appointment to feel like you’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Instead, you’ll find a comfortable space where you’ll feel listened to and understood. And because humor makes everything more bearable, be prepared to laugh and joke a bit too!