Learning to live with ADHD

Evangeline Colarossi—Staff Writer

Studies show that the rate of ADHD has risen significantly over the last twenty years. One in every ten students has been diagnosed in ADHD. As a majority of Dordt’s students range from eighteen to twenty-three, the past twenty years included many current students.

The Affordable Healthcare Act has shown that the rates doubled in girls, though the rate of boys with ADHD remained higher. The number of diagnosed cases may have risen significantly due to minority groups receiving more available healthcare over the last two decades. The readily available diagnosis is helpful, but concerning due to the number of cases.

The United States has the highest rate of diagnosed cases of ADHD worldwide. Questions have risen about misdiagnoses because of this. Symptoms could potentially either be personality traits or actual markers of ADHD. Rather than misdiagnosed cases, “It might be an epidemic of diagnosing ADHD” says Stephen Hinshaw, an author who specializes in ADHD. It could also be a result of doctors recognizing symptoms and identifying ADHD more as they study it further.

ADHD will not affect your acceptance to Dordt, but it may affect your study habits.

Raegan Kromendyke, a sophomore at Dordt, has found ways to improve her learning abilities despite her ADHD. She finds that color-coding her notes and classes helps her to focus on one subject at a time. Like many other students, Raegan works best in certain places. There are some projects that she has to accomplish alone, with no distractions.

In ED 145, Raegan learned that ADHD students sometimes cannot pick out directions very well.

“I realized that I’m always asking for help with I’m reading instructions on assignments. Always.”

Sometimes she just needs someone to sit down with her and talk her through what is needed on a homework assignment, project, or piano piece.

“I learn better when someone helps me. I probably won’t develop what I really need to learn if I do it by myself.”

The Academic Enrichment Center (AEC) focuses on helping any student that shows interest in academic assistance. The AEC has audio textbooks, voice to text, and text to voice software for students who learn or accomplish more through non-traditional methods. The AEC offers accommodations that you can apply for, such as taking tests at the AEC where you can have a silent testing space or a large white board to write out your thought process on. This provides a contained atmosphere without distractions but where a student can fidget all they need without being distracted by others or interrupting other students. The AEC also has ways to record lectures for future reference and gathers notes from other students to share with those that struggle with note-taking skills.

“ADHD just means sometimes you can’t focus and sometimes you’re a little too hyper,” said Raegan. “I’m very open about having ADHD because it’s something that people don’t always realize will affect your learning. Sometimes ADHD just isn’t that visible.”

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