While everyone was freaking out last week about a study showing a 43% increase in ADHD diagnoses, the results of another ADHD study were also released. The second study didn't receive media attention, but as far as I'm concerned it's a lot more interesting than the reports about rising diagnosis rates.
Students with ADHD are up against some ugly odds when it comes to getting a college degree. The exact number depends on what methodology you use, but what doesn't depend on methodology is the conclusion that ADHD students are much more likely to drop out of both high school and college than their non-ADHD peers. One graduation rate you'll hear quoted a lot is 5%. Now, as someone with ADHD who did finish college, I'd like to tell you that I beat the odds through hard work, a killer organization system or even accommodations my school offered that mitigated the effect my ADHD symptoms had on my schoolwork. However, that wouldn't be true.
Ever feel like your life becomes a little easier every day? Yeah, me neither. But as an ADHD millennial, I'm starting to think maybe I should feel this way. We're living in possibly the best time in history to have ADHD, and it's getting better every day. Now, OK, you could argue that it's an even better time to not have ADHD, and I'd grant you that point, but I think the future is looking up for people with ADHD. Here's why.
Having ADHD puts students at high risk for being disengaged in school. When students with ADHD aren't engaged, a sort of lose-lose-lose situation can develop: teachers don't know how to get through to students, students feel like they're being blamed for things beyond their control and parents stand helplessly by. But things don't have to be this way! Here are some techniques I've found are helpful for keeping students with ADHD engaged, based on my experience first as a student with ADHD and later tutoring kids with ADHD. Give these a try because if you're able to keep a student with ADHD engaged, you've already won most of the battle!
ADHD is a chronic, lifelong condition. If you have ADHD, you have ADHD all day, every day. This is one reason gaining insight into how ADHD affects one's life can be difficult. It's an ongoing process. I've had ADHD my whole life and I've had a diagnosis for several years, but I still can't tell you for sure which aspects of my behavior are “ADHD” and which are just “me.”
Once you're officially ADHD, you have to deal with the question of who you're going to share your diagnosis with. It can be a tricky balance to find. On one hand, ADHD impacts pretty much every aspect of your life, so you might naturally feel like telling a lot of people. On the other hand, there's a lot of stigma around ADHD, so you might also not want to tell anyone. Applying to colleges and graduate schools is an instance where deciding whether to disclose your ADHD is often especially difficult.
People who don't know much about ADHD sometimes accuse those who take ADHD meds of actually just wanting a “legal high.” So let's start out by putting that myth to rest right away: if you're taking ADHD medication at a therapeutic dosage, the euphoric effects generally wear off after a few days, after which point there's nothing very exhilarating about having to take a pill every day. BUT... if you want an ADHD treatment that will reliably deliver intense feelings of peace, well-being and happiness, there's another place you can look: music!
Welcome to ADHD Millennial! I'm Neil, and I'm a recent college grad who received an ADHD diagnosis about four years ago. I'm going to write about that in posts to come, and I'm going to write about being ADHD, being a millennial and (of course) being an ADHD millennial. I'm also hoping to get your thoughts on these topics. Today, though, I want to start by asking the important questions: who would actually self-identify as an “ADHD millennial”? Why would anyone do that?
You don't often hear the perspective of a young adult and how they deal with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder. Teenagers and young adults often have to grapple with the challenges of the disorder on their own. And others may...