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Disability Services Fights ADHD

Rollins College offers a variety of disability services that range from extended test time to priority registration in classes for students diagnosed with ADHD. Laura Doncel ‘14 discusses the impact these services can make.

Over the course of my college education I have had several teachers ask me if I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Initially I dismissed this comment, but one night after realizing I had spent four hours reading and rereading the same ten pages and still was not able to piece it together made me finally admit something was wrong. I began my own research on it; I knew I wanted to be as educated on the subject as possible prior to visiting my doctor. I was shocked at how many people, adults and children, live with ADD in this country. Once I started the medication, I realized just how out of hand I had been feeling because it was not only my inability to focus, but also the fact that ADD directly fed into my anxiety, magnifying the lack of focus.

After choosing a medication, I went to the Disability Services Office: hands down one of the best decisions I have made. I was surprised to find so many resources available to me here at Rollins from Disability Services:

1. Tests:

  • Extended time on tests and assignments
  • Testing in a separate and quiet place
  • Testing over several sessions

2. Lectures:

  • Permission to record lectures
  • Audio-taped text book
  • Assistance with writing class notes (i.e., note taking services)
  • Reading assistance services (i.e., reading group)

3. Courses:

  • Written instructions from professors
  • Priority registration with a professional in the disability services office,
  • Class substitution possible
  • Reduced course load

For some, like me, it can be an intimidating thing to voice when assistance is necessary for facilitating tasks that many do not really need to think about. Something as simple as taking notes in class can be a nightmare for a student with a learning disability. The thing that surprised me most was that, with approval, a student may request a note taker, who is usually someone within the class. I urge you to make use of the services this campus offers. There is no reason for anyone to go through any unnecessary stress when the resources are available. Truthfully, not everyone chooses to be on medication. I am one who did choose that avenue, simply because having a learning disability is as out of my control as having brown hair. If I had a blood disorder or needed medication for severe asthma I would not need to think about it.

Contact Director of Disabilities Services Gail Ridgeway or any of the wonderful staff at Disability Services. They are there to help, and there is no shame in accepting help.

The opinions on this page do not necessarily reflect those of The Sandspur, its staff or Rollins College.

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