Dec 11, 2018

Program helps students with ADHD

Services for Students with Disabilities offers services to nearly 600 Fresno State students. Of these, 14 percent have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

In California, 6.2 percent of the population has been diagnosed with ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder generally makes time management, organizational skills, goal setting and steady employment difficult for adults, according to WebMD, a health information website.

Hidden disabilities are also common among the youth. Many students might suffer from this condition and not know it, or decide to treat it themselves.

“It’s not about a student’s disability, it’s about accessibility, whether that is to the environment or academics,’’ director of Services for Students with Disabilities Janice Brown said.

“There are disorders that are adult onset, and a lot of students never get checked,” Brown added.  “There is a lot of misunderstanding and misdiagnosis.

“There are a whole series of brochures for anyone to pick up,” Brown said.  “There is no specified checklist of symptoms that every individual should have, we simply deal with each student on a case-by-case basis.’’

Studies indentifying some of the causes for ADHD are used as a method to better understand and address the condition.

According to a model of ADHD developed by Dr. Russell Barkley, response inhibition is the major deficit in ADHD. A study by P.A. Teeter in 1998 also found that exposure to toxic substances such as lead, alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy can cause ADHD.

The National Institute of Health found that in the frontal cortex of the brain of a person with ADHD there is a delay that “suppress inappropriate actions and thoughts, focus attention, remembering things moment to moment, work for reward and plan.”

The motor cortex, which controls the movement, in contrast tends to mature faster than normal which causes a mismatch in brain development that causes “restlessness and fidgety symptoms common among those with ADHD.”

To help students deal with these issues, Services for Students with Disabilities offers individual counseling, note-taking assistance, training in time management and organizational skills.

The center also offers alternate formatting for text documents, peer mentoring, learning style evaluation and alternate test-taking arrangements.

“In my Music 74 class there was an unidentified student who needed a copy of the lecture notes.  The volunteer note taker would just share the notes after class.  In every class I’ve had they made sure it was anonymous,” mass communication and journalism major Kyle Wheeler said.

“I’ve had teachers ask for note takers in class and people have been pretty willing to volunteer,” Fresno State student Denora Miller said. “I have never seen the person with the disability, they just ask for a note taker.”

Students may call 559-278-2811 if they have a disability and do not utilize the center or if they think they may have a disability and have not been diagnosed.  The Services for Students with Disabilities center is located on the first floor of the Henry Madden Library, suite 102.

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