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Teens With ADHD May Need Help Making Transition to College
Date:8/18/2012

and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. "When they go to college, pretty much most of that is out the window."

Particularly for kids who are prone to immediate gratification or have difficulties with impulsivity, college offers endless distraction, Adesman said. "They may be prone to indulge in one form of distraction or another. It could be relaxing and not studying, or drinking and partying," Adesman said.

And even though many universities have disability support services that students with ADHD can turn to for extra help, only two of the eight students had done so. The other six said they either weren't aware such a service was available, or they hadn't gotten around to asking for assistance, which can include tutoring or test-taking accommodations, such as taking exams in quiet, distraction-free rooms.

Some students may have also shied away from seeking the extra support because of "embarrassment or shame, not wanting to be different from others in the class, or they had misperceptions about what those services involved," Morgan said.

Despite the challenges, five of the eight students were having a successful freshman year, Morgan said.

To help students with ADHD make the transition to college, the experts offered teens and parents these tips:

  • Get educated about ADHD: While some children outgrow ADHD, symptoms -- which include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity beyond what's normally seen given a child's age and development -- often persist into adulthood. Yet most of the students interviewed had significant misperceptions about ADHD. Most said they thought they would have outgrown it, even though about 80 percent of people with ADHD don't, Morgan said. Before teens leave for college, parents -- perhaps with a pediatrician or psychologist -- should make sure their teens understand what ADHD is and the ongoing challenges they should expect, Morgan said.
  • Develop study strategie
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