Attention disorders warrant extra preparation when starting college

September 1, 2010

Young adults with attention deficit disorders may have a harder time transitioning from high school to college than their peers.

Young adults with attention deficit disorders may have a harder time transitioning from high school to college than their peers. In a press release issued on August 27 from Akron Children's Hospital in Ohio, Laura Markley, MD, pediatrician and child and adolescent psychologist, said that college-aged students may not suffer from the impulsiveness and hyperactivity they dealt with as children, but characteristics important to independence and success in college, such as attention, organization, and staying on task may be lacking.

However, students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may increase their ability to do well by establishing or continuing a medication routine, discussing with parents how medication will be refilled, avoiding the start of a new medication or dose during the first semester, and resisting discussions with other students about medication.

Markley also suggests contacting the school early in the semester to set up special programs or services, such as tutoring or specialized help for students with ADHD, talking to professors and asking for help before falling too far behind, limiting socialization and getting enough rest, allowing enough time to prepare for exams, and abstaining from alcohol.