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Disability Services

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects cognition, learning and behavior. About 5-10% of the population has been diagnosed with this neurological condition. Symptoms of this disorder have been known to include: low stress tolerance and overreaction, poor organization and task completion, impulsivity, excessive temper, heightened anxiety, and/or mood swings. Though these symptoms affect a student’s life, they do not always appear in the same areas over time. ADHD is more accurately described as an inability to regulate attention, impulse control, and behavior.

Students with ADHD have difficulty staying on task and concentrating. They often switch from one unfinished project to another. ADHD occurs in the student’s social life as well. They are inattentive at times and frequently shift their conversation topics. They also have poor listening skills and have difficulty following rules and details of activities. Symptoms of this disorder may take the form of restlessness and a difficulty with quiet activities. It is important to remember that ADHD arises during childhood, often before the child reaches the age of 7 and has not been linked to gross neurological, sensory language or motor impairment, or to mental retardation or severe emotional disturbance.

How can the professor help?

In order to enhance the student’s learning experience & increase the accessibility of the course material and instructions we suggest the following strategies. Please be reminded that these are only general recommendations meant to support other accommodations.

Strategies:

  • Keep instructions brief and as uncomplicated as possible.
  • Permit the student to tape record lectures.
  • Define course material and requirements clearly.
  • Demonstrate information in more than one way.
  • Break information into small steps when teaching new tasks.
  • Allow time for clarification of directions and essential information.
  • Provide study guides or review sheets for exams.
  • Provide alternate ways for student to perform tasks (i.e. oral presentations).
  • Stress organization & ideas rather than mechanics when grading assignments.
  • And most importantly, honor the student’s right to privacy.