AD/HD and the College Student

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I think these are real questions we as a society are to be asking ourselves, as this generation of college students make the transition from students to functioning members of our society. If someone at age 17 is still seeing a pediatrician, there may be other issues that bear investigation, like parents infantilizing these young adults. Young people much more sophisticated than we were about years ago.

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Grade school was ok because I was so seldom there. By college age, I had somehow realized that my attention span was abbreviated and I needed sleep. Got dyslexia? Starting in college allows young people to shed their history of behavioral difficulties in grammar and high school and start out as new as everybody else. Many teens leave the family pediatrician and change doctors around the time of college. As an adult with ADHD I have struggled my entire life, dealing with the hurdles in organization and effective time management that my condition helps create.

I attended college from , to I initially began as a pre-med student, but was immediately overwhelmed by the study skills and organization required, so I walked away from it, taking an easier road to a BA in political science, then Law School. I was finally able to sit still and actually study, something I could only do in small bursts followed by longer breaks. With my brain free of distractions, I put the long hours in and easily passed that exam in After working for two and a half years in NYC, I realized that my initial pre-med efforts did not represent my current abilities as a student.

Adult and College Student Programs

After again seeing my doctor, I again had a prescription for medication that would help me study. I will start medical school this August. To those with ADHD, especially those going to college. Do yourself a favor and see a doctor to get the medication you need, to use your talents effectively. Both of these were critical for my efforts.

While no two days are the same, getting into a somewhat predictable routine, and sticking to a schedule is a tremendous help. Good luck! Our son chose a college which he loves and we were thrilled that they provided tutoring free. But when he realized he needed tutoring this past fall which was his freshman year—he would not go. For many students who spent most of their school years dealing with deficits of one kind or another, the last thing they want is to expose these issues to their new friends and classmates at college.

College can be for them a fresh start and fitting-in can trump failing a course. Kids are buying these medications because they believe it helps them when taking a test. For the past 5 years I have been an adjunct at a large public university and have encountered numerous students with A. As the article mentions, planning is one of the crucial factors in helping students become successful.

Aiding these students is a breeze. There have been several cases, however, when a student has approached me without any of the above mentioned materials and stated they have A. D and need help to complete the course requirements.

In such a situation, I refer the student to student services to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, I can not adjust any class policies for a student who does not have proper documentation. I am in no way qualified to assist a student with A. D in coming up with a plan, but I can easily and will happily accommodate them in any way so long as they have worked out the details with one of the qualified professionals on campus.

This often meets with mixed results.


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If there is any advice I could give to students with A. Having this by the first day of class is also important. Sometimes I feel that students with A. In high school, they may have felt that everyone especially their classmates knew of their situation but it is important that when they reach college, students recognize their disorder and the impact it can have on their lives and then self-identify and work with the university to accommodate them.

Doing so before there are any issues will save you and your professors lots of time and trouble when and if a problem occurs. Excellent article about an important topic for college students. Alex Lickerman, M. Even for highly intelligent students with ADHD or ADD, it might make sense to enroll for a year or two in a local community college or a local junior college.


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  • ADHD often is associated with an ability to hyperfocus on issues about which the person is passionate. THey all have A. Our 8-year old son has A.

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    I am hoping that a combination of medication Concerta , daily planners, and calls from mom will somehow be the solution. CLick on this link to read several stories on A. Do yourself a favor and see a doctor to get the medication you need, to use your talents effectively. Both of these were critical for my efforts.

    While no two days are the same, getting into a somewhat predictable routine, and sticking to a schedule is a tremendous help. Good luck! Our son chose a college which he loves and we were thrilled that they provided tutoring free. But when he realized he needed tutoring this past fall which was his freshman year—he would not go. For many students who spent most of their school years dealing with deficits of one kind or another, the last thing they want is to expose these issues to their new friends and classmates at college.

    College can be for them a fresh start and fitting-in can trump failing a course. Kids are buying these medications because they believe it helps them when taking a test.

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    For the past 5 years I have been an adjunct at a large public university and have encountered numerous students with A. As the article mentions, planning is one of the crucial factors in helping students become successful. Aiding these students is a breeze. There have been several cases, however, when a student has approached me without any of the above mentioned materials and stated they have A. D and need help to complete the course requirements.


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    • In such a situation, I refer the student to student services to come up with a plan. Unfortunately, I can not adjust any class policies for a student who does not have proper documentation. I am in no way qualified to assist a student with A. D in coming up with a plan, but I can easily and will happily accommodate them in any way so long as they have worked out the details with one of the qualified professionals on campus.

      This often meets with mixed results. If there is any advice I could give to students with A. Having this by the first day of class is also important. Sometimes I feel that students with A. In high school, they may have felt that everyone especially their classmates knew of their situation but it is important that when they reach college, students recognize their disorder and the impact it can have on their lives and then self-identify and work with the university to accommodate them. Doing so before there are any issues will save you and your professors lots of time and trouble when and if a problem occurs.

      Excellent article about an important topic for college students. Alex Lickerman, M. Even for highly intelligent students with ADHD or ADD, it might make sense to enroll for a year or two in a local community college or a local junior college. ADHD often is associated with an ability to hyperfocus on issues about which the person is passionate.

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      THey all have A. Our 8-year old son has A. I am hoping that a combination of medication Concerta , daily planners, and calls from mom will somehow be the solution. CLick on this link to read several stories on A. The development of successful study techniques and organization must begin in Middle School and earlier, not when the student is going off to College.

      Preparation necessitates the learning of organizational techniques that the average student never acquires. The result can often be that the ADHD student is better organized than most other college students. I feel like this whole ADD business is part of an overall trend toward over-diagnosing and over-medicalizing society not to mention the amount of pampering students receive.

      Maybe college is not for them? Maybe they should pursue some other line of work—Video-game testing, perhaps? The point is that perhaps some students are simply better organized and more diligent and, frankly, more intelligent than others while other students lack these traits. As a recent college grad and current graduate student with ADD, I have a couple of insights into this that may be of interest. During college, I began using my medication more often because of the increased reading and writing requirements. Instead of developing better strategies and habits for time management though, I would often use it to keep awake during sometimes consecutive all-nighters.

      While I realized that I was not taking it as it had been prescribed, no one had ever talked to me about the potential consequences.

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      A couple of times, I had so much of the medication in my system that I felt my heart begin to race or beat irregularly. After researching on my own I realized that heart attacks were a real danger, and I learned to limit my use of the medication, even during all-nighters. I probably should have been meeting with a psychologist or counselor regularly during college to discuss my medication and strategies to avoid last minute all-nighters, and I think many other students with ADD would be well-advised to do the same.

      Being in a situation with newfound freedom and little supervision offers temptation, especially when you have a prescription for a drug that can help you get away with procrastination, and I have heard many stories similar to mine from college students with ADD. In fact, I really need to be doing work right now, and not writing this post. God, there are a lot of harsh and ignorant people on this thread.