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Study Says Many College Students Not Getting ADHD Support

Adjusting to college can be a challenge for any student -- but for college students with ADHD, the experience can be significantly more difficult.

Unfortunately, according to a Feb. 14 article by Heather Drost of The Daily Orange (the student newspaper of the University of Syracuse), a recent study indicates that many college students who have ADHD are not receiving the support that they need:
Mark Thomas, a physician at the University of Alabama's student health center, found most campuses are not effectively treating ADHD because they are not prescribing prescriptions for ADHD medications such as Adderall XR, Vyvanse and Ritalin.

"Medications are by far the most effective treatment for students with ADHD," Thomas said.

Thomas conducted research to see how ADHD is diagnosed and treated on college campuses throughout the country. Thomas's study consisted of 124 colleges and universities ranging in size and location. The online survey was sent to hundreds of directors of college health services. ...

Syracuse University's ADHD management runs parallel with the guidelines for treatment that Thomas suggests in his study, said Kathleen VanVechten, associate director of SU Health Services.

Labels: medications, students, college

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College Paper Addresses ADHD Abuse on Campus

In a Nov. 5 article in The Daily Kansan (the student newspaper of the University of Kansas), writer Abigail Bolin addressed concerns about the growing abuse of the ADHD medication Adderall on college campuses:
Adderall has a high potential for abuse and dependence, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Services, which explains the concern with its rising illegal use.

"My guess is that most students find it not problematic, having no major side effects, and helpful by being more alert," [Dr. Ty Yoshida, child and adolescent psychiatrist and medical director of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center] said. "If anything theyre thinking they are getting an edge in academic performance and/or getting 'high.'"

According to [the National Survey on Drug Use and Health], full-time college students who used Adderall without having a prescription were three times more likely to use marijuana, eight times more likely to use cocaine and tranquilizers nonmedically and five times more likely to use pain relievers nonmedically. Ninety percent were also binge drinkers, but the illicit use of Adderall doesnt seem like a dangerous thing to some students.

"I take it to stay up to study for tests," [one UK student] explained. "Or when there are game days because Id like to make it out at night after a whole day of drinking."

Labels: adderall, college, abuse

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Student with ADHD Sues Princeton

Diane Metcalf-Leggette has been diagnosed with four learning disabilities, including ADHD. When she applied to Princeton, she included information about her disabilities and her need for addition time on tests and exams.

However, according to an article in the school newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, Metcalfe-Leggette claims that the school is not providing her with the support to which she is entitled, so she has filed a lawsuit:
Metcalf-Leggette 13 is suing the University for refusing to grant her extended time on examinations, the New Jersey Law Journal reported. & The suit comes after a series of meetings with school officials during which Metcalf-Leggette sought accommodation for her disabilities.
The university currently accommodates her disabilities by offering her a reduced distraction testing environment, a limit of one exam per day and a 10-minute break each hour. Ms. Metcalf-Leggette has stated that she also needs additional time to complete her tests. University attorney Hannah Ross stated that the university is not required to offer extended test time if it would jeopardize the essence of a Princeton education.

The next hearing is set for Jan. 11.

Labels: laws, college

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Prof Publishes Advice for Adderall Abusers

Lawrence Diller, a member of the clinical faculty at the University of California-San Francisco, thinks that college students who are misusing the prescription drug Adderall need some guidance. The medication is designed to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, but it often gets used by stressed out students who need a little extra "boost" when studying for exams or finishing projects.
Adderalls most consistent effect is to give users the sense that they are doing better in their tasks ... Therefore, they perform at least a little better in reality, yet not as well as they think

If youre doing Adderall on a regular basis to cope, you may soon also need another drug. Perhaps it will be Xanax ... If youre using Adderall to get high, you are running the same risks of getting truly caught up with one of the worst drug addictions possible.
Source: The Crimson (Harvard Newspaper)
Diller goes on to suggest that students who are engaging in Adderall abuse in order to cope with their collegiate workload may be better off re-evaluating their goals and career path. If the track theyre currently on is too much for them to handle with normal coping mechanisms, they may benefit from pursuing a different educational path.

Labels: medications, adderall, college, abuse

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ADHD Students Face Unique Challenges in College

Many families endure years of struggles and setbacks before finally finding the right levels of support, guidance, and medications that allow children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to achieve academic success. But, as an April 14 article by New York Times columnist Tara Parker-Pope indicates, when those children head off to college, that track record of success will likely be put to the test:
For a teenager struggling to stay organized, the unusual class schedules, hourlong lectures, late-night study sessions and disrupted sleep routines of college can be a nightmare. Studies suggest that college students with A.D.H.D. are at greater risk for academic and psychological difficulties, and have lower grade-point averages, than peers without the problem. ...

When [students with ADHD] come to college without the external supports of parents and teachers to keep them organized and on task, oftentimes they struggle mightily to get everything done that they need to get done, [Dr. Mark H. Thomas of the University of Alabama student health center] says. Even those kids who have done relatively well in high school still struggle.
To help prepare for the challenges that ADHD students will face in college, Parker-Pope's article advised parents to evaluate the level of services that are offered at the university and consult with a physician to determine if medication changes are called for.

Labels: college, Attention_Deficit_Hyperactivity_Disorder, support

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Attention Disorders Often Undiagnosed Until College

Sasha struggled to focus when she was in middle and high school, but she figured out how to work through it. In college, however, her inability to pay attention became too much of a problem to overcome alone. She went to a psychiatrist, and was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Dr. Thomas Kirts, psychiatrist at DeKalb Clinic Chartered, said it is not uncommon for ADHD or ADD... to be diagnosed in college-level students... For some, the change of environment may contribute to a student's inability to focus... The change of difficulty in schoolwork may also contribute..."
A student who is diagnosed with ADHD in college has help available. Most colleges offer a help center, and assistance is also guaranteed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Source: The Northern Star (Northern Illinois University)

Labels: college, diagnosis

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ADHD Memoir Published by Youngest-ever Author

Blake Taylor is a freshman at the University of California at Berkley. For the last two years, he's spent summer vacations writing his memoirs about life with ADHD, and the book is finally ready for release.
"Taylor is being considered the youngest American to publish a personal account of his life with ADHD. A determined 18-year-old from Weston, Conn., Taylor says he wants to give readers insight into what it's like day-to-day to have ADHD, and to combat the stereotype that the widespread neuro-developmental disorder is really just an excuse for unruly behavior or the result of bad parenting."
The paperback book follows Taylor on his journey from trouble-making 5-year-old to hard-working, socially active college freshman. It chronicles the trial and error he had to go through to find the right combination of medication, self-imposed organization, and rest. Read more at WebWire.com.

Taylor is proof that children with ADHD can go to college and earn academic and personal success. The Cedars Academy offers a post-secondary program that prepares ADHD students for college and life after high school.

Labels: college, development, determination

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Book Offers Hope to ADHD Kids

"Dusty's Dilemma" is the story of a young boy who hears the label ADHD so much that he has a dream about it. In the dream, all of the kids in his classroom have ADD, and the teacher has a magical pair of glasses that allow her to see every child's future.
"'The goal with this book, [Author Drema] Hymon said, 'is to get kids to believe that no matter if you have ADD or ADHD, you can still learn.'"
Hymon's own son was diagnosed with ADD in grade school. Though his early years of school were tough, he went on to earn a 4.0 in his first year of college.

One of the characters in the book, Sammy, grows up to be a Harlem Globetrotter. The real-life Harlem Globetrotters team has read the book, loves it, and intends to give it their official endorsement. Read more online.

Labels: college, hope, book

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The Transition to College

College is a unique and exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for teens with ADD/ADHD. As a parent, there are steps you can take to help your teen make a smooth transition into college life.
"Around February of his senior year, begin to withdraw your daily supervision and support. (Of course, you should warn him first!) Think of the next six or seven months as college training camp, a time for him to learn how to handle freedom. Without the help of mom or dad, he should practice living independently..."
The better prepared your child is for living on his own and managing the often hectic pace of college life, the more he'll be able to enjoy his college experience. Read more at AdditudeMag.com.

Cedars Academy, a private boarding school for boys and girls with ADD/ADHD, has a Post-Secondary Program designed to help students build their college experience after they finish their senior year. Cedar's progam gives students a year to experience college life, while still having the support of a structured environment.

Labels: schools, college, young_adults

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Program Helps Autistic Students Adjust to College Life

Teenagers with high-functioning autism such as Asperger Syndrome, are usually able to do the academic work required in college. However, most get stuck on other issues involved in going away to college, such as self-care and daily living, money management, social interaction, adjusting to a new environment, and emotional regulation. They often have a naivety about other peoples' motives and an inability to form friendships with new acquaintances, leaving them vulnerable to bullying and sexual abuse.

ACCLAIM, a summer program at Robert Morris University, was designed to help autistic students learn to adjust to being away from home. For the first time this year, ACCLAIM includes a three-week program for students who want to go away to college.

ACCLAIM stands for Autism College and Community Life Acclimation and Intervention Model. The first program was held at the University of Pittsburgh and designed by the Watson Institute, which focuses on special needs children.  Participants are between 16 to 19 years old, and go over topics such as applying to college, handling stress and peers in a new social setting, and so forth.

Dr. Lori Zychowski,  a  designer of the program, said that former participants have provided many anecdotes about how ACLAIM helped them adjust to college environments.
 

Labels: autism, college

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Study Says Coaching Helps College Students with ADHD

According to a Nov. 12 press release, researchers with Wayne State University have revealed that a type of coaching developed by the Edge Foundation has proved effective at helping college students with ADHD learn and succeed during their university years.

[The study results] demonstrate the effectiveness of a new model of coaching, developed exclusively for and used by the Edge Foundation, to help college students with ADHD improve executive functioning, which is their ability to organize, set and achieve goals, and self regulate -- all critical for a successful post secondary education.

Additionally, students who participated in the study felt that coaching helped them feel less stress, greater empowerment, increased confidence and have more balanced lives.

With greater numbers of students being diagnosed with ADHD at various ages, many colleges and universities are adapting their student support services to ensure that students with ADHD are given the opimal opportunity to succeed.

Labels: students, college

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