Stories from the Edge: Introducing Kelsey Peterson

Editor’s note:  This week we are introducing a new column, Stories from the Edge:  Real stories about how an ADHD coach helps.  Today’s post is written by Kelsey Peterson, a junior at Parson’s School of Design.

I knew from a young age that I had a learning disability.  Growing up with a dad who also had a learning disability was the best wish I could have asked for.  Ever since I was diagnosed, my dad stepped in and took control of getting me the best help he could to help me overcome my disability and stay on track with my classmates. 

My friends have always been very important to me.

Staying in my class with my friends was a huge motivation.  In order to not be held back in grade school, my dad helped me get outside tutoring and inside school assistance.  I knew I had to work twice as hard as my friends in school, but it was worth it to be able to sit in class with them. 

It was hard getting constantly tested and going to tutoring every day after school.  When I graduated from grade school I had to go to a special school for children with dyslexia.  I wasn’t happy about it because all my friends went to another school which I didn’t get accepted to. 

For a year at the dyslexia school I worked hard to be the best in my class and I met with my tutor every day.  At the end of that year I applied to Explorer West Middle School (where my friends were) and got accepted!  My hard work paid off, but it wasn’t over…

I still had to work extra hard to stay in 7th grade with my friends.  High school was the same but I got through with my friends.  When I got accepted to Parsons the New School of Design in New York City for college, I knew the hard work wouldn’t stop

My dad set me up with an ADHD coach to help me stay on track.

My coach helped me from getting  overwhelmed by the new school, the new city and the struggles that I was about to encounter.  With my ADHD coach I learned time management –  so I could get all my homework done and have fun with my friends.  My coach helped me plan my days and long term projects so they weren’t so daunting.  My freshman year of college I got all A’s and made friends for life.

Why I love the Edge Foundation.

When my dad was thinking about starting a new project and asked me for some suggestions, I thought back on all he had done for me.  From day one of my diagnoses he knew what to do –  he found the best help for me and helped me every step of the way without question.  I told him that I didn’t think all parents were as good as he was with dealing with children with disabilities and he should help other kids fulfill their full potentials.  He went on to found the Edge Foundation.

Looking ahead… Dyslexia and ADHD are not obstacles!

Now I’m a junior at Parsons and I’m majoring in architecture.  I love school and work with my coach to manage and overcome the struggles I still deal with as a person with dyslexia and ADD.  I plan to share some of what I’ve learned with you, so that you can see you aren’t working hard alone, and it does pay off!


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3 Responses

  1. Ann Imrie Howlett

    Kelsey has written with honesty and passion,the positve impact an ADD coach is able to make on a young person’s life. My son has ADD as well and is in 2nd year University here in Canada. His coach has helped him become organized, realize the length of time it takes to do his assignments and to prioritze his time. He still seems to have lots of time to party hardy!!

  2. Maureen Nolan

    Kelsey – I was an average student with undiagnosed ADHD. In the late ’70’s I was accepted in to a graduate architecture program. I was a solid B student, but I simply didn’t know how to manage my life and school. It was all school or all life. I didn’t have a coach back then to help me make sense of my passion and my life.
    I left the program at the beginning of the second year. Now I know I could have made it through if only…and now I’m an ADHD Coach to help students like you and me! I’ve made lemonade out of my lemonADHD. Thank you for your story and your enthusiasm for ADHD coaching.

  3. […] Kelsey Peterson who is a junior at Parson’s School of Design.