Help your student manage his or her own medication. If your student is on medication, he or she is responsible for securing, storing, administering, and obtaining refills for it. Thus, your student should know how and when to take the medication and how to obtain refills for it, if needed. Some special notes are in order here:
- If your student is taking any medication whatsoever, it is imperative that he or she fully understands the dangers of mixing the medication with alcohol, whether or not your student drinks.
- If your student is taking Ritalin, Dexedrine, or Adderall, he or she must keep it safe or hidden at all times to deter their theft.
- For any medication, your student should know as much as possible about the prescription. To avoid problems stemming from a failure to follow a prescription, please make sure that your student understands not only when and how to take the drug, but also why he or she is taking it, why it should be taken as prescribed, and what may happen when it is not, including the consequences of skipping doses, taking "extra" doses, and stopping the medication without medical supervision.
- If your student is taking any medication, familiarize yourself with the refill schedule, which can help you figure out whether or not your student is taking the medication as prescribed, particularly during his or her freshman year. All freshmen are learning to balance the demands of self-care, a social life, and academic responsibilities. For many students enrolled in the Learning Disabilities Program finding balance can become a full time job, and they are forgetful or inattentive when it comes to refilling a drug until they have been without it for several days. This can be disastrous with certain drugs, including several anti-depressants. By keeping an eye on your student's refill schedule, you can help your student take his or her medications as prescribed.
Work with your student to schedule trips, vacations, long week-ends and off-campus activities and events during formal college holidays and breaks identified on the academic calendar posted on the Westminster College website.
Ask to take a peek at midterm grades. All students receive notification of deficiency and failure in a class at midterm. The bulk of points for most courses, however, are earned after midterm. Whereas a notification of deficiency or failure need not be a sign of unavoidable disaster, it is not a guarantee that the student will pass the class. If the student's professor believes that the student can obtain a C or better at midterm, he or she is encouraged to stay in the course. If the professor does not believe that the student will be able to pass the course at midterm, the student might want to consider dropping the course. See the Registrar in Westminster Hall to drop a course.
Accept total responsibility for your student's expenditure of parental funds. When parents discover that their student is unable to use credit cards and write checks that draw on parental funds in a responsible manner, parents are advised to close the accounts. Parents can work with staff in Westminster College's Bookstore to establish payment for books and essential supplies. It is inappropriate to ask academic professional or counseling staff to assist students in managing their parents' money.
Check in on computer gaming as a distraction from your student's academic and social life. Computer gaming can tempt students with short bursts of entertainment that turn into days, weeks, and months of obsessive distraction. Students can disappear into cyber space as individuals and in small groups. If computer gaming becomes a major distraction in your student's life, consider assisting your student in limiting it in or removing it from his or her life.
Check in on the adequacy of your student's personal hygiene. Most students in the Learning Disabilities Program practice good personal hygiene; however, a combination of inconvenience, inattention, and distraction keeps others from attending to basic self care needs. Most students launder their own clothing however, Sunshine Laundry and Dry Cleaning in Fulton will contract with parents to pick up and clean dirty laundry.
Encourage your student to accept personal responsibility for his or her communications and interactions with others, behaviors, and academic obligations. If your student experiences difficulty in communicating or interacting with others, meeting the behavioral expectations of the College, or attending to academic obligations, encourage your student to seek the professional expertise provided by services designed to address specific student needs on campus. If your student blames others for his or her communications, interactions, behavior, or failure to attend to obligations, encourage your student to seek others? feedback about this decision. Support your student in perceiving communications, interactions, behavior, and obligations from other points of view.
Encourage and support responsible treatment of parentally funded privileges. If your student is unable to attend to minimal academic responsibilities, consider assisting him or her in withdrawing from the College until he or she gains the maturity needed to attend to these responsibilities. Encouraging students to explore temporary alternatives like working or enrolling in a local community college while living at home beats harming the chance of making a strong return. Similarly, car use, Greek dues, spring vacations, and other privileges funded by parents can be provided and revoked to encourage and support responsible treatment of those privileges.