Starting College For Students With ADD/ADHD


College Freshmen face a host of new challenges; and addressing challenges are what students with ADD or ADHD are accustomed to. The lessons these students have learned along the way will serve them well in college, where success is attainable for every student.

My own daughter had an IEP since 2nd grade for ADD. Though school was tough at times, she was a good student who wanted to do well. She received some accommodations in the classroom and attended study skill classes. An important lesson we both learned was that she had to stay on top of the resources that were available to her and to speak up when the system wasn’t working in her best interest. My daughter is now a junior in college and thriving!

Take Advantage of Academic Support Services
Search for colleges that provide plenty of academic support services. Being well informed will help ensure a student will have the full opportunity to enjoy the benefits of attending college without confusion or delay. Pick up the phone and call the colleges in consideration with a list of questions specific to the student’s needs.

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A student with ADD or ADHD must advocate for themselves to inquire about these services and use them whenever needed. It’s best for students with learning disabilities to inform their instructors right up front of their particular situation so the instructor can contribute to the student’s success from day-one. After registering with the disabilities services office, my daughter was given a letter that she took to each instructor on the first day of class, and she was glad she did.

The best colleges for students with learning disabilities have many tools to ensure their students have the most positive experiences with academic support available in many forms. While some students need assistance with tackling the work in all of their courses, others may only need limited provisions.

Some schools offer students one-on-one tutoring services, while others offer group tutoring sessions. Supplemental instruction may be offered, where the tutor covers material taught in class to make sure that the student has absorbed all of the important points in a lecture. Some colleges offer courses in study skills for ADHD students. Sometimes a student just needs extra time on tests, which can be arranged with the instructor.

Record Lectures
College students with ADD or ADHD sometimes find it helpful to record lectures. Some colleges automatically allow students to record lectures, while others require students to seek the permission from each instructor.

The Usual Tricks to Stay on Schedule
Students with or without a learning disability can use the alarm on their phone to keep them on schedule. Some students keep a calendar in their phone as a reminder of exam dates, projects, paper due dates, etc. Students may even find it helpful to send themselves reminder texts or emails regarding quizzes or tests. If technology is not your thing, some students use the tried and true trusty desk calendar to keep them on schedule.

The lessons students with ADD and ADHD learn growing up are especially important to remember in college while away from parents who may have been doing some advocating on their child’s behalf. Students, like my daughter, are served well when they can advocate for themselves. After her freshman year in college, my daughter decided she no longer needed the accommodations we set up with her guidance counselor and with the disabilities office at the college she attends. Anyone who has the desire to do well, has the right tools in place, and has the fortitude to stand up for themselves will do well wherever life leads them. Even if it’s to the beer-pong table (yes, it’s a thing).

The Insider's Guide to Education provides insight from an education professional about topics of interest in education. From how to motivate your child to read to study tips and college planning, you will be given insight for students of all ages. The Insider's Guide is sponsored by Estelle Finkel Center for Learning.  The professionals at Estelle Finkel provide tutoring, SAT and ACT test preparation and general tutoring for elementary school, middle school and high school age students in subject areas including reading, writing, math, social studies, Spanish and more.  Visit our website for more information.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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