Did you know that diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been on the rise in recent years? In fact, in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that diagnoses in children had reached at all-time high at 11%.
ADHD is characterized by impulsivity, restlessness, emotional outbursts, and inattentiveness. These can all prove to be difficult to handle in school, as it often places children with ADHD at a disadvantage. They are unable to focus during lessons, and cannot always turn in their work on time.
Luckily, there are several supports put in place for students with ADHD in elementary, middle and high school. Students receive counseling for ADHD, ADHD coaching, and cognitive behavioral therapy for ADHD during school hours.
But it is not so easy for high school graduates to receive the same level of support. In fact, studies show that only a small percentage of colleges and universities have adequate services in place for students who enter higher education with ADHD.
Most states have mandates that require public schools to offer services for students who have been diagnosed with ADHD, disabilities, and other illnesses that warrant extra help. These services are usually administered according to a student’s individualized education program (IEP). An IEP outlines specific goals for a student, both socially and academically, and states how these goals are to be achieved. Support staff, such as aides and paraprofessionals, are often named on this document, making schools legally bound to provide students with this help.
Unfortunately, the IEP doesn’t carry over into college for high school graduates. They are typically forced to find their own supports outside of school, making the transition into college life more difficult.
These students can always work with their own independent ADHD coach or work on time management exercises during their free time, but this may not be enough to reduce their symptoms. Why can’t higher education see this need? More on this topic.