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Managing ADHD at school

What can I do?

  • Make sure that a diagnosis was made and documented by a trained professional.
  • Educate yourself and your family about the diagnosis. Learn about on- and off-campus resources. The more you understand about ADHD, the more help and support you'll find available.
  • Develop a close working relationship with a primary care or mental health provider.
  • Avoid negative thoughts or getting down on yourself. Low self-esteem and depression can be overwhelming for students with ADHD.
  • Practice smart scheduling and time management. Schedule classes that fit how you work. Morning classes may be best if you're more motivated then; others find afternoons work best. Consider scheduling a break between classes.
  • Follow a daily routine. Keep a regular schedule of sleep, exercise and healthy diet. Regular exercise helps keep people focused, motivated and feeling better. On the other hand, fatigue, sleep deprivation and the use of alcohol and other drugs affect one’s ability to function productively. Be moderate, and reward yourself in positive ways.
  • Keep a day planner or organizer and make notes of short- and long-term goals, assignments, work schedules and due dates. Post notes in prominent places.
  • Break down large tasks and assignments into smaller ones. Take short reward breaks for completed goals.
  • If your emotions are affecting your daily life and ability to function, seek support from friends and family and consider contacting a mental health professional.

Resources

Online

Recommended reading

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood

Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most Out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder
Both by Edward M. Hallowell & John J. Ratey

Out of the Fog: Treatment Options and Coping Strategies for Adult Attention Deficit Disorder
by Kevin R. Murphy & Suzanne Levert

4 Weeks to an Organized Life with AD/HD
by Jeffrey Freed & Joan Shapiro

The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks and Talents
by Nancy A. Ratey