ADHD Information

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development (DSM-IV). Students with ADHD may have difficulty with one or more of the following areas:

  • Concentration
  • Distractibility
  • Organization
  • Completing Tasks

Some students with ADHD take medication for their condition. This medication may be a stimulant, which actually calms them and helps them focus on tasks. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications may also be used.


Assistance with Structure: A syllabus with clearly defined expectations and due dates and frequent opportunities for feedback provide these students with assistance with organization and structure. Study guides and review sheets are also helpful in providing structure.

Exam Accommodations: Many students with ADHD use exam accommodations including extended time and a distraction-reduced environment. Your assistance is needed to coordinate this with Disability Resources, Education, and Access Management or to find a quiet, distraction-reduced space in your area for the student to take exams. Hallways or open areas adjacent to a high traffic area are not considered distraction-reduced.

Access to Class Notes: Some of these students have difficulty focusing and concentrating and for this reason may need access to classroom notes. Your assistance may be needed to ensure that they receive notes.

Classroom Distractions: If a student appears extremely distracted, it may be appropriate to discuss preferential seating with the student (e.g., to sit near the front of the class, away from doors, air conditioning units, windows, or any other possible sources of distraction).