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Learning Support

Many colleges provide learning support, but offerings can vary widely among schools. If a student with ADHD used learning accommodations in high school, he or she may want to make sure that colleges provide at least the same level of support. Here are examples of services and accommodations that may be available:

  • Early registration
  • Extended time for testing
  • Note takers
  • Time management assistance
  • Subject matter tutoring
  • Use of audio recorders and books

Attending College

Setting up support – After accepting admission to a school, a student with ADHD may consider making an appointment with the Student Support Services office (also called Resources for Disabled Students or Disability Services Office). Why? An early introduction can help get support and a relationship with an advisor in place if needed later. The advisor can help—

  • Review available services
  • Determine any needed accommodations
  • Define what’s required to qualify for accommodations
  • Identify ADHD student support groups on campus
  • Set up regular appointments during the first term, if available/needed

Scheduling courses – Students with ADHD may want to work with an advisor when choosing classes and developing an academic schedule. For instance, if a student is less alert in the morning, he or she may want to avoid classes that meet early. If a student has difficulty with transitions, he or she might consider arranging a schedule with an hour between classes.

Connecting with professors – Introducing oneself in the first class and going to office hours with professors can show that a student has an interest in the class and in doing well. A student may also ask professors to review assignments before turning them in, request suggestions on how to improve grades, or find out about opportunities to earn extra credit.

Knowing learning styles – A student with ADHD can benefit from observing and understanding how he or she learns best—and working with it. If he or she learns best by listening to spoken instructions, the student may want to use a recorder to capture class lectures and take reading notes, or join a study group to quiz each other aloud. If the student is a visual learner, he or she may find the use of diagrams and colored highlighters can help to call out and remember key facts.

Using time management tools and strategies – Weekly and daily planners can help with keeping track of short- and long-term schedules. It may be a good idea for a student to copy due dates and test dates into a planner soon after receiving the syllabus. Large assignments may be more easily completed when broken down into smaller parts with separate deadlines.

ADHD & You

Visit, Shire’s Web site with information, tips, and resources for people who are affected by ADHD.

ADHD Advocacy Groups

Attention-Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)

ADHD Resource Centers

National Resource Center on ADHD
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

"Most of my life I have been battling ADHD on my own. College would prove difficult for me, but when I got this scholarship, I felt like I finally had some help."

Jeremy Waldron
Closter, NJ