Students diagnosed with ADHD, ADD or other learning disabilities often times face obstacles that put them at a disadvantage in the classroom. Focusing in class, comprehending the material, and remembering to turn in assignments can become difficult and sometimes stressful tasks. Medication can help but does not solve these problems on its own. Fortunately students can get help to enhance their learning skills and overcome their difficulties.

So what kind of support is best for your child? We will look at the pros and cons of the two main types: tutoring and academic mentoring.


Tutoring is subject-specific and aimed at helping students understand content. Tutoring can incorporate some study skills development but is generally limited to study skills in the subject being tutored.


  • Tutors can offer students immediate relief for difficult coursework.
  • The success of the tutoring session can easily be measured (grades).
  • The numerous tutoring companies make finding a tutor simple.


  • Students can become dependent on a tutor’s help.
  • Tutoring does not assist with general study-skill development.
  • Other coursework is neglected during tutoring sessions.


Mentoring is the process of academic-skill building focusing on organization, time management, study skills, note taking, and test preparation. Mentoring requires a strong relationship between the mentor and student to develop a comprehensive academic support plan.


  • Mentors can tailor each session to the student’s individual needs.
  • Mentoring encourages students to engage in the process.
  • Mentors assist students with a wide-range of coursework.


  • Mentors are not experts in all subjects.
  • Skill-building takes time, so results are not always immediate.
  • Qualified mentors can be hard to find.

Which is Best?

Tutoring works best for students who simply need help understanding one or more subjects. Tutoring can help a student “get through” a hard math test or finish a lengthy English essay.

Mentoring, on the other hand, is a much more comprehensive process that involves study skill development. Mentoring is also a highly effective intervention for students who struggle with ADHD, ADD and other learning disabilities. The process of mentoring takes time, so students and their parents need to be aware that it is not a short-term solution.

If your child has an educational impacting difficulty, mentoring may be an effective alternative to medication. Developing academic coping strategies can greatly alleviate the symptoms of ADHD, ADD, and other learning disabilities.

For more information, contact Dr. Creasy at