If you have ADHD, you are not getting out of the starting gate at the same time as everyone else. It may take you longer to process what you learn in class. It may take you longer to focus and complete a test. Accommodations are adjustments made to your learning so you are on an even playing field with your classmates.
Sometimes college students with ADHD tell me they feel uncomfortable asking for accommodations, feeling like they don't deserve them. You have just as much of a right to accommodations as anyone else with a disability. At least get accommodations on board. It's better to have them and not need to use them to not have them at all.
Here are recommendations for getting accommodations in college. (Note that private colleges or universities are only required to meet federal accommodation guidelines if they receive any federal funding, including Pell Grants.)
1. Apply for accommodations as soon as you get accepted to your college. How do you know you might need accommodations for ADHD? If any of the following apply to you:
2. The Office for Student Disabilities Services website will let you know what you need to provide in order to apply for accommodations. Go online to your university and look up "disability services", "student disabilities", or similar wording. This tends to include:
3. Accommodations to consider are:
4. If you are not given accommodations, you do have the right to appeal the decision. For more information on the appeals process, see the Office for Student Disability Services at your college or university.
It is important that you have accommodations even if you think you may not need them your first semester. It is a lot easier to go ahead and already have extended time on a test rather than realize there's no way you're going to have enough time to complete a test next week.
For more information on surviving college with ADHD, see my book Making the Grade with ADD: A Students Guide to Succeeding in College with Attention Deficit Disorder.
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