Recommended Accommodations for College Students with ADHD
A transitional stage from high school to college is very critical and sensitive stage especially for those with ADHD. College students with ADHD face many challenges in the new college community with more distraction, new socio-educational community, new friends and teachers. Moreover, the most important challenge is the difference between the educational system in pre-college stage (elementary, middle, high school) where teachers and school staff have allocated resources to provide students with well tailored educational services. Nonetheless, in college it is up to students to seek and ask for such appropriate educational services. In other words, in college students with ADHD must advocate for themselves.
What officials can provide to students with ADHD
- Extended time on tests and assignments,
- Testing in a separate and quiet place,
- Testing over several sessions
- Permission to record lectures,
- Audio-taped text book,
- Assistance with writing class notes (i.e., note taking service),
- Reading assistance service (i.e., reading group)
- Written instructions from professors,
- Priority registration with a professional in the disability services office,
- The possibility of class substitution within the curriculum,
- Reduced course load
What students with ADHD can provide for themselves:
- Right college: with good reasonable accommodations for students with ADHD, -Support group for students with ADHD,
- College with large number of ADHD-LD specialists,
- College with many registered ADHD students
- To disclose your ADHD diagnosis at the earliest possible opportunity and request appropriate accommodations including those that the school may not readily offer but you can justify the need.
- School’s office of disability and be familiar with its resources;
- Health officials to provide them with documentations that prove your ADHD status and proof that ADHD affects your academic performance;
- Writing center and utilize it properly;
- Professors beyond the classroom, make use of office hours, if only to introduce yourself. Set up appointments to clarify assignments.
- How and where to access support from tutors, whether on campus or online;
- Healthy study environment early on: proper time management (including a schedule that includes time for studying, socializing and exercising), distraction free study environment;
- A study buddy or study group: sign up for classes with friends, or make friends in the classes you have so that you will support each other in and out of class;
- An academic coach (through the college counseling office or privately) that will check in with you throughout the week to ensure success.
- Improve your:
- Self-advocacy skills, -Self-esteem and avoid frustrations,
- Socializing time and social skills,
- Perspective to your future goals and carrier,
- Perseverance and procrastination,
- Sleep habits to be able to get up early in the morning to catch your classes,
- Self-expectations: sometimes kids with ADHD think that they are cured after high school so they are not in need for further treatment.
Hence, students may have poor time management with possible "crash and burn syndrome” due to study overload and coping to spend lot of hours in studying. It is critical that deliberate and proactive steps are taken to prepare the child and family as they transition to college education.