Recommended Accommodations for College Students with ADHD | ADDA


The transition from high school to college is a critical and sensitive stage, especially for those with ADHD. College students with ADHD face many challenges in the new college community with more distraction, less external structure, more responsibilities, and new friends and teachers. While pre-college educational systems allocate resources, both formal and information, to provide well-tailored educational services, students in college have to rely upon their own skills, support, and resources to a much greater degree. It is exceedingly important that college students learn to advocate for themselves and seek out support to ensure success in the classroom and beyond.

What officials can provide to students with ADHD

  1. Tests:
    • Extended time on tests and assignments,
    • Testing in a separate and quiet place,
    • Testing over several sessions
  2. Lectures:
    • 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)
  3. Courses:
    • 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:

  1. Choosing:
    • Right college: with 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 to trusted student services staff and advisors to request appropriate accommodations including those that the school may not readily offer but you can justify the need.
  2. Contact:
    • 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.
  3. Find:
    • 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.
  4. 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.

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What College Students with ADHD Need to Know About Advocacy and Accommodations

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