ADHD and College

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Story Updated: Aug 20, 2012

Sending your child off to college for the first time is hard for every parent.

But when the student has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, the transition can be extra difficult for everyone involved.

A new study conducted by a graduate student at Kansas State University looked at the experiences of a small group of freshmen with ADHD. All lived on campus and were at least an hour away from home. Each student participated in a series of interviews designed to examine their backgrounds, their experiences on campus and what they learned about the switch to college the first year.

None of the students had planned their transition very well, nor did they factor their ADHD into their college choice. Most said they chose their school based on "feel"...versus facts. Overall, the students surveyed found the first year tougher than they expected, lacked strategies to manage their symptoms, and needed assistance to access on campus resources designed to help them.

Students with ADHD also needed support from family members to keep their medication on track, and in some cases, to wake them up for class.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 5-point-2 million American children have been diagnosed with ADHD. It affects an estimated 1 percent to 4 percent of college students. I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news doctors are reading Ð health news for healthier living.

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