Students with ADD / ADHD

College Students with ADHD

Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can create significant challenges for college students with this diagnosis. ADHD can cause negative interference with functioning in school, social relationships, and adult independent living skills. ADHD can cause college students to have symptoms of inattention. These symptoms can cause students to make seemingly careless mistakes in their coursework due to a difficulty of paying attention to important details. College students with ADHD also may struggle with coursework due to an inability to have sustained attention on a specific task or in a specific environment, for example, a long reading assignment or listening to a lecture. Sometimes, a student with ADHD may even seem like they’re not listening when another individual is speaking to them. Difficulties with executive functioning is a main feature of ADHD. Students with ADHD struggle significantly with following through with responsibilities, organization, and engagement in tasks that need sustained mental effort. These executive functioning struggles often also cause individuals with ADHD to frequently lose items, become easily distracted, and forget to complete daily tasks.

Learn more about Support for Students with ADHD

College Transition Program for ADHD


Students who come to NWCS with an ADHD diagnosis often have faced significant challenges with executive functioning, social relationships, and the daily living skills needed for young adulthood. These issues lead students with ADHD to struggle in a collegiate environment even though these individuals are not intellectually impaired. These issues create significant barriers and complications when it comes time to launch into independent adulthood.

College students with ADHD may also experience symptoms of hyperactivity. These students may:

  • have difficulty sitting in a classroom

  • struggle to engage in activities in a quiet manner

  • feel restless

  • seem to always be “on the go”

  • frequently fidget

  • be overly talkative

  • have difficulties with inhibition in conversation or waiting turns to speak, which causes them to interrupt or seem disruptive

A college student with ADHD may primarily have symptoms of inattention, primarily symptoms of hyperactivity, or have combined symptoms.

ADHD/ADD Therapy & Case Management


Forming a relationship with a therapist is important for students with ADHD. It is well documented that students with ADHD can improve the ability to focus and hold attention through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-basedtherapies. The primary goals of a therapist working with a student diagnosed with ADHD is teaching improved ability to focus, control impulsivity, and self-monitor hyperactivity. A student with ADHD may wish to process the anxiety and self-esteem issues they may face as a result of their struggles with ADHD. Our therapists are licensed counselors and social workers with experience in a wide range of psychological, emotional, and behavioral issues.

ADHD/ADD College Educational Coaching


At Northwest College Support, our team sees students with ADHD receive significant benefits from Educational Coaching. Educational Coaches help the student organize and learn to improve self-organization over time. Educational Coaching helps a student remain consistent. The relationship with the Educational Coach is one of support aimed at helping students utilize strengths to overcome areas of challenge. Our Educational Coaches do not teach a specific subject, but rather a framework to learn and organize. Through learning how to better study and organize, students have a greater chance at academic success. Typically, a plan would start with a higher amount of coaching at the beginning of the term, and then decrease as the term progresses. The goal of educational coaching is for students to learn to internalize the skills they are being taught, and become good self-managers by the end of the semester.

ADHD/ADD College Life Coaching


Students with ADHD can also struggle a collegiate environment due to challenges occurring outside of the classroom. At Northwest College Support, these challenges are addressed through a supportive relationship with a Life Coach. Life Coaches work with a student to aid in the process of making better choices, and following through on day-to-day tasks. Students with ADHD may need assistance in areas such as maintaining a clean living environment, healthy eating, regular exercise, and keeping to a weekly schedule.