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College Support Services and Accommodations for Adolescents with ADHD

Before he can choose an appropriate college, your teenager will need to consider—ideally with you and his guidance counselor, teachers, pediatrician, and/or psychologist—which services or accommodations he may need in his new life as an undergraduate.

Services and accommodations for college students with ADHD may include

  • Special orientation programs to introduce students to the institution’s academic structure and available services
  • Specialized academic advisors or counselors to help students identify the classes, professors, class load, and even the major best suited to their interests and needs
  • Priority scheduling to allow students to sign up for the most appropriate classes at the most appropriate times of day
  • Reduced course loads, which prevents students with ADHD from becoming overwhelmed (A reduced course load may mean that the student will have to make up credits during summer school or a fifth year.)
  • A private dormitory room for students who may find the presence of a roommate too distracting or disruptive
  • Math laboratories, writing workshops, computer laboratories, and reading courses to supplement and improve basic academic skills
  • Specialized tutoring for students with ADHD—emphasizing organizational and planning skills and effective study techniques, as well as help with specific coursework and examination preparation
  • A “personal coach” to check in with the student each day, reviewing his schedule for the day and the work she expects to accomplish
  • Classroom technology, such as laptop computers, tape recorders, videos, and other recording aids, to facilitate students’ ability to retain and review the information in classroom lectures
  • Academic aides, including in-class note-takers and homework editors
  • Special testing arrangements, such as untimed examinations or testing in a separate, quiet room
  • Advocates to help communicate a student’s diagnosis and needs to professors when appropriate and to help him obtain needed services
  • Support groups or contact with other students with ADHD who can provide companionship, emotional support, and information
  • Career guidance and mentoring for students with ADHD
Last Updated
ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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