Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder


Many times, colleges see attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder as a small subset of the larger learning disabled population.  And for the most part, that’s true.  However, as much as 6 percent of the U.S. population has ADHD, according to some epidemiological data.

And it’s not just a K-12 problem.  ADHD often persists throughout an individual’s life.  Some statistics show that as many as a half of the children with ADHD will have related problems that persist into adulthood.  Many campus disability service providers who carefully check students’ medical documents before agreeing to accommodations say they are seeing an increase in the number of students with ADHD entering their offices.

Possible student characteristics

  • Inability to keep focus on tasks over a long period of time.
  • Tendency to get bored, particularly during lectures
  • Difficulty with change.
  • Variability in performance.  Students will have good days and bad days.
  • Impulsivity, making inappropriate comments.
  • Social problems.
  • Fidgetiness, squirming in seat.
  • Problems with time management and organization. 

Possible accommodations

Decisions as to appropriate accommodations should be made on a case-by-case basis.  No particular accommodations are appropriate for all students, but below are some common ones offered students with ADD/ADHD.

  • A distraction-reduced room for testing.
  • Text books on tape.
  • Computer with speech input.
  • Note-takers.
  • Tape recorder.
  • Lecture outline available before class.


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