In a small study of students with ADHD, a Kansas State University researcher found that students with ADHD aren’t adequately preparing for college.
For her study, researcher Kristy Morgan interviewed eight college freshmen at the end of their first semester of college. The four men and four women were all living on campus at a school at least an hour from home.
Students didn’t factor ADHD into their decision-making about college, but rather chose a college based on how the campus felt, the reputation of the school or that it was where they had always wanted to attend.
“Most of the students found college to be tougher than they had expected,” Morgan said in a statement. “Even with the availability of resources, they still felt overwhelmed with accessing these resources.”
She found that students who had ADHD management strategies in place, such as ways to keep a schedule or study for tests, had figured those out before college, but students who did not have strategies mapped out were overwhelmed once freshman year began.
While federal disability laws mean provide for students with disabilities to have education plans in K-12 that outline what accommodations they need in school, those plans evaporate once students leave high school. A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that students with disabilities need more help transitioning from high school to work or college. Morgan said ADHD affects about 1 percent to 4 percent of college students, but that could grow.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.