West Chester University hosted its eighth annual Attention Deficit Disorder Conference at the Sykes Student Union on Jan. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The conference was presented by the Chester County Chapter of Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). CHAAD’s mission for the conference was to provide a support network for parents, educators and caregivers, as well as promoting continuing research and advocating on behalf of the ADHD community.
Meetings for particular topics were held in different areas of the Sykes Student Union throughout the morning and afternoon. Topics and presentations specifically aimed at college students included: ADHD-The Basics You Need to Know, by Dr. William Morgan, Ph.D., The Documents that ADHD Students Need in College, by Dr. Joan Polka, Ed.D., Transition 101, by Dr. Martin Patwell and Why?, by Shelli Barbush.
Dr. Morgan offered a comprehensive overview of ADHD pertaining to everyday life. Dr. Polka discussed the documentation that students attending college need in order to receive assistance for their disabilities. Current and prospective students may be unaware or insecure about notifying their professors regarding their disabilities. It is crucial for this population of students to understand and follow the procedures for setting up accommodations once in college.
Dr. Patwell discussed the issues first-year students may face when making the transition into independence, as well as addressing why and how students need to be their own advocates.
A panel of West Chester University students spoke about their own transitions and successes. Barbush offered a personal account of her navigation with her own ADHD.
The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (610) 436-2564, located in the Lawrence Center (Room 105), is the place to go as a student with a disability. There are numerous services, resources and information available to students.
Another presenter at the conference, Adam de Angelo advised, “It is crucial to communicate your individual learning styles and needs to the professor.”
Educating yourself and others about ADHD using literature and other resources is important. There are many widely-acclaimed titles available at the bookstore and local library. Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., is a renowned expert on ADHD and the author of Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder. Dr. Hallowell covered the college topic in a chapter titled, “Major Danger Alert: College and ADD.”
According to Hallowell, “Parents and students should know in advance that going from home to college means going from a place of dependence and high supervision to a place of independence and low supervision. It is a jarring, albeit longed-for transition, one that students with ADD are particularly ill-equipped to handle.In order to thrive, most students need more guidance than they typically receive at college.”
“Learning Outside the Lines,” by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole, is another source that includes information from their own experiences in college.
Receive more information at CHADD http://www.chestercountychadd.org/.