“Time Is Not on My Side”: A College Student with ADHD and a Reading Disability

  • A. L. Rostain


College students with ADHD and/or learning disabilities are more likely than their peers to encounter problems adjusting to school including utilizing less effective coping skills to meet the academic and social demands of higher education, experiencing more distraction, reporting higher rates of internal restlessness and depressive symptoms, achieving lower GPAs and being more likely to be placed on probation. This chapter describes the case of a young college student with ADHD and mild dyslexia who had trouble adapting to college life due to poor time management, deficient problem-solving skills and poor decision-making which led to his needing to take a medical leave. The case illustrates the need to assess how well college students with ADHD and related disorders can handle the executive functioning demands that college life requires. It reviews the key constituents of executive function including conscientiousness, self-management, self-control, distress tolerance (grit), and open mindset. It also emphasizes the need to prepare these students to confront their difficulties directly, to avail themselves of college resources (including accommodations and coaching), and to adhere as completely as possible to treatment recommendations. This includes thorough planning prior to leaving for school, use of techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and medication management.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in college Learning disabilities (LD) in college Dyslexia Executive functioning skills in college Distress tolerance (grit) Open mindset in ADHD Academic accommodations ADHD coaching Medication management 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania Health SystemPhiladelphiaUSA

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