Unlock the Power of Mentorship: Transforming Students in the Neurodiverse Community
The constant negative reinforcement felt by those with ADHD, Dyslexia, and other learning challenges makes it very difficult to find success and small wins. The most common negative feedback loop we see is that neurodiverse youth struggle in school -> struggle to make friends -> feel misunderstood -> give up in school. Over our experience working with hundreds of kids/young adults with learning differences across thousands of mentoring hours, we have seen firsthand the transformative impact that mentoring can have on the lives of these kids and young adults.
A study in the Journal of School Psychology found that students with ADHD who received mentoring had better report cards six months into the school year than students who did not have mentors. Additionally, research from MENTOR shows that in general, young adults with a mentor are 55% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school, 78% more likely to volunteer regularly, and 130% more likely to hold leadership positions. Mentoring helps kids succeed with their learning differences, rather than holding them back.
"Our son has really opened up and gained so much confidence while working with Superpower Mentor in just a short time. He is gaining such an understanding of how his own mind works through their conversations and is viewing these differences as strengths instead of a challenge," Ashley P., a client of Superpower Mentors said.
Paige Donohue, a dedicated mentor for Superpower Mentors, discovered her purpose for mentoring through her personal history with a learning disability. Her goal was to help others with similar challenges succeed.
“I always knew I wanted to give back to kids with learning disabilities because of its impact in my life,” she said.
Being a mentor is not just an opportunity for Paige to support her mentees; being matched with a mentee who shares similar interests and struggles, she has formed a connection with her mentee, and her inner child.
“The mentorship is special. I've grown a deep bond with the mentees I’ve had while also deepening my relationship with myself,” Paige said. “I see my younger self in these kids so there is a spiritual aspect to it too, very healing.”
Making prominent mentor-mentee relationships can help transform a child's perspective on their learning disability. When being matched, mentors should be paired with their younger selves so they can provide genuine and personable advice to their mentee, while connecting through similar interests and hobbies.
“I have ADHD and unspecified auditory and visual processing disorders. I was an athlete growing up and sports and video games were my biggest outlet from the stress and anxiety that was an everyday reality with school,” Superpower Mentor Joey Reingold said. Joey was purposefully matched with mentees, ensuring a meaningful connection rather than a random pairing. Joey was paired with kids/young adults who share common experiences and can relate to him, allowing the pairs to get to know each other on a personal level.
This concept is simple, but it yields so many positive outcomes. This is what mentorship is all about. This connection becomes a lifeline; a source of hope and inspiration for kids in the face of adversity.