ADHD and transition to college

Tara Parker-Pope of the New York (NY) Times reported on some of the challenges facing students with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder when they change from high-school student to college student. This is an important concern, and Ms. Parker-Pope raises important aspects of it.

The transition from high school to college is tough for most students. But for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, university life poses a host of academic, medical and personal challenges. Students with A.D.H.D. struggle to stay focused on their studies and to meet the organizational demands of schoolwork.

Although some children appear to outgrow the disorder as they age, doctors say that as many as two-thirds have symptoms that persist into adulthood.

Individuals with ADHD sometimes also have Learning Disabilities. Approximately 5% of the school-age population has been diagnosed as having ADHD alone and another 4% have both ADHD and LD, according to a report of a large-scale study reported by Pastor and Reuben (2008). Those individuals have co-morbid (as the phrase goes) LD and ADHD may benefit from some of the resources assembled by the National Joint Committee on Learning Disabilities (NJCLD), which conducted a symposium about transition in 2008.

Link to Ms. Parker-Pope’s 14 April 2009 article. Learn about the NJCLD symposium entitled, “Transition to Higher Education for Students with Learning Disabilities: Building Effective Partnerships and Resources” (30 May 2008) by visiting the NJCLD section of LDOnline. Remember to review the resources available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Pastor, P. N., & Reuben, C. A. (2008). Diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disability, United States, 2004–2006: Data from the National Health Interview Survey. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, publication no. (PHS 2008-1565, vital and health statistics; series 10, no. 237). [download PDF]

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