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Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The DSM-5TM defines ADHD as a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, has symptoms presenting in two or more settings (e.g. at home, school or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities), and negatively impacts social, academic or occupational functioning. Several symptoms must have been present before age 12 years.


ADHD can make it hard for a student to do well in school even though the student is capable of handling the material. ADHD can be treated. Doctors and counselors at Student Health Services can help.

ADHD has many symptoms. At first, some symptoms may look like normal behaviors for a child, but ADHD makes them much worse and occur more often. Children with ADHD have at least six symptoms that start in the first 12 years of their lives; adults may be diagnosed with five symptoms when the behaviors persist more than six months.


College students with ADHD may do the following:

  • Get distracted easily and forget things often

  • Switch too quickly from one activity to the next

  • Have trouble with directions

  • Daydream too much

  • Have trouble initiating and/or finishing tasks like homework or chores

  • Lose personal items often

  • Fidget and squirm a lot

  • Talk nonstop and interrupt people

  • Be very impatient

  • Blurt out inappropriate comments

  • Have trouble controlling their emotions

Students with ADHD can function more effectively with treatment. There are three basic types of treatment.


  1. Medication – Several medications can help. The most common types are called stimulants. Medications help one to focus, learn and stay calm. Sometimes medications cause side effects, such as sleep problems or stomachaches. Students may need to try a few medications to see which one works best. It’s important that a doctor closely monitors a student while taking  medication.

  2. Counseling – There are different kinds of therapy. Behavioral therapy can help teach students to control their behavior so they can do better inside the classroom and outside the classroom.

  3. Medication and counseling combined – Many students benefit from both medication and counseling.


Academic accommodations may also help in controlling the impact of ADHD. Contact Student Disability Services at 864-656-6848 to schedule an appointment with a disability specialist to discuss your concerns.

ADHD Student Resources

Controlled Medication Contract

Requirements for ADHD Documentation

ADHD Assessment Resources/Listings


National Institutes of Health

ADHD Educational Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL