Early Years (FD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Brief description of Disability

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Learning Support (FD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Brief description of Disability

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Education Studies and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Brief description of Disability

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

History and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


History and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subjects such as history, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

General Business and Management and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


General Business and Management and Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of ADHD. As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and, where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subjects such as this as they may have the ability to focus intensively on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be real perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

Manufacturing Management (FD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Manufacturing Management and Students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of ADHD. As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and, where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subjects such as management as they may have the ability to focus intensively on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be real perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

International Foundation Diploma and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


International Foundation Diploma and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subject such as geography, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

Psychology and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Psychology and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subject such as psychology, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

Sociology and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Sociology and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subjects such as sociology, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

Biosciences and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Biosciences and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subjects such as biosciences, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

 

Geography and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Geography and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subject such as geography, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

 

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges and Subjects – this link takes you to challenges and subjects associated with ADHD


Brief description of Disability

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Detailed description of ADHD

ADHD is one of the most common disorders of childhood and adolescence and is characterised by impulsivity and hyperactivity and/or inattention. The characteristics are not seen to the same degree in all people diagnosed with the disorder and healthcare professionals recognise that there are 3 main combinations of characteristics:

  • Some people have predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type.
  • Some have predominantly inattentive type.
  • And some have a combined type (this makes up the majority of ADHD cases.

Hyperactive or impulsive behaviours may include: fidgeting, having trouble interacting quietly, interrupting others and always being ‘on the go’. Characteristics of inattention may include: being disorganised, being forgetful and easily distracted and finding it difficult to sustain attention during tasks or learning activities. These behaviours are usually first noticed in early childhood, and they are more extreme than simple misbehaving. Whilst ADHD behaviours occur to some extent in all of us, the difference between ADHD and normal behaviour is the degree of the problem and the difficulties it causes. Individuals with ADHD show this behaviour to a significantly greater extent and severity.

Students with ADHD are starting to outnumber students with psychological disorders in US universities, although their numbers are still small in the UK. ADHD remains controversial, in that although it is recognised as a specific condition, there is often the feeling among staff that it is not so much on the increase as being massively over-diagnosed. Whatever the reality, students who have a condition that is, or is similar to, ADHD frequently do pose major problems for staff dealing with them because they often experience serious difficulties with their studies.

The current situation

Psychological difficulties are, in some ways, the hidden disabilities of the veterinary medical colleges and of universities in general. Students may often decide not to disclose their difficulties and this one must respect. At the same time, whether they disclose their difficulties or not, the effects of having a psychological difficulty can remain and may have an enormous even if hidden impact on others.

Official figures for students with psychological difficulties can sometimes be low or nonexistent. The result is that senior staff are sometimes led to assume that the problem does not exist within their institution. The reality is that many faculty staff are dealing with a problem which officially does not exist.

Individuals with ADHD may exhibit behaviours that cannot be explained by any other psychiatric condition and are not in keeping with the individual’s age and intellectual ability. Mood swings and social clumsiness are common. Parents and tutors may report that these individuals often misread the accepted social cues, saying or doing inappropriate things. Social difficulties often hit a peak in primary school and start to ease in secondary school, although in adolescence any remaining insecurities make the normal social uncertainties of this age even greater.

ADHD is most commonly noticed around the age of 5, and according to medical guidelines, it affects 5% of school-aged children with the male to female ratio in diagnosed ADHD prevalence being at least 4 to 1. The observed prevalence of ADHD in boys and girls is skewed by the fact that characteristics of hyperactivity and impulsivity are more common in boys, whereas girls with ADHD more commonly have inattentive characteristics. Research suggests that 80% of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to experience characteristics during adolescence and 67% continue to have the characteristics into adulthood.

Some of the characteristics associated with ADHD can be seen as positive attributes that students bring to their academic experience. These can be summarised as follows:

  • An ability to see the big picture and good attention to detail.
  • Creativity and inventiveness.
  • Risk-taking can produce important discoveries.
  • An ability to process information and make broader observations.
  • High levels of energy.
  • Good negotiation skills.
  • Intuitiveness and reactivity.
  • Ability to hyper-focus.

Characteristics Impacting on Learning and Teaching

Potential areas of difficulty for students with ADHD may include:

  • Inattention – disrupted by their own thoughts or daydreaming, moving quickly onto a new topic of conversation before finishing the current one and producing work that is of variable quality.
  • Impulsiveness – an impairment of internal speech, finishing other people’s sentences and/or interrupting.
  • Short-term memory – poor note-taking ability, poor hindsight and forethought leading to an inability to learn from mistakes or draw on previous experience.
  • Independent adaptive functioning.
  • Mood swings – ranging from restlessness and fidgety behaviour to procrastinating (affecting coursework and revision for examinations).
  • Poor organisation and time management.
  • Risk-taking.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Interpersonal relationships and emotional functioning – students may appear sociable but friendships can be superficial.
  • Issues associated with medication – this can affect sleep patterns.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

For further information on ADHD, please see the following external links and references:

If you would like to recommend any links to be added to this page please email s.smith@worc.ac.uk

Adders.org

ADDISS: The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service

ADHD: What Parents Should Know (US site)

Barkley, R. (1990) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Handbook for Diagnosis and Treatment. New York: The Uilford Press

Bipolar Affective Disorder

CHADD Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (US site)

Cooper, P. and Bilton, K. (2002) Attention Deficity / Hyperactivity Disorder: A Practical Guide for Teachers. London: David Fulton Publishers

Kewley, G.D. (2001) Attention Deficity Hyperactivity Disorder. London: David Fulton Publishers

The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service

The National Institute of Mental Health: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Quinn, P. and McCormick, M. (eds) (1998) Re-Thinking AD/HD: A Guide to Fostering Success in Students with AD/HD at the College Level. Maryland: Advantage Books

The Royal College of Psychiatristshttps://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/

 

Veterinary Science and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Veterinary Science and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

Students with ADHD often have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them, they may not alter their focus until they are satisfied that they cannot improve. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them, which can be problematic during team-work situations. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for anybody’s survival in a busy, fast-paced workplace. All students should be reassured that they have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.

Students with ADHD are starting to outnumber students with psychological disorders in US universities, although their numbers are still small in the UK. ADHD remains controversial, in that although it is recognised as a specific condition, there is often the feeling among staff that it is not so much on the increase as being massively over-diagnosed. Whatever the reality, students who have a condition that is, or is similar to, ADHD frequently do pose major problems for staff dealing with them because they often experience serious difficulties with their studies.

The current situation

Psychological difficulties are, in some ways, the hidden disabilities of the veterinary medical colleges and of universities in general. Students may often decide not to disclose their difficulties and this one must respect. At the same time, whether they disclose their difficulties or not, the effects of having a psychological difficulty can remain and may have an enormous even if hidden impact on others.

Official figures for students with psychological difficulties can sometimes be low or nonexistent. The result is that senior staff are sometimes led to assume that the problem does not exist within their institution. The reality is that many faculty staff are dealing with a problem which officially does not exist.

Professional Solidarity

There is clearly a special bond between veterinary medical college staff and their students. This leads older veterinarians, either consciously or subconsciously, to view younger ones as ‘the next link in the chain.’ Members of a relay team are aware of the need to hand on the baton to the one who comes after them – and this is what I think happens sometimes when staff assist a student who has psychological difficulties. Apart from the parental-like concern often observed, there is also the sense that ‘this student in front of me is what I was like X number of years ago – this is another me and his/her difficulties are my responsibility.’

There is therefore a special solidarity within the profession which means that in certain situations, only a ‘brother or sister’ vet can really lend the necessary listening ear. This may sound idealistic but within the scope of dealing with students with psychological difficulties it is often a reality.

Links with Counselling and Psychological Services

It may well be that this area of work falls to departmental staff because of a gap in provision leaving staff to deal with the issues presented by students with psychological difficulties in the absence of other adequate support. Lori Kogan, a psychologist at Colorado State University, gave an overview of the current situation at the 2001 AAVMC meeting in Washington DC. As well as highlighting the need for further research to be carried out on the psychological needs of veterinary students, she also stressed the need for counselling staff to have an in-depth knowledge of the issues facing veterinary students. It is unusual for veterinary medical colleges to have on-site counselling services available – all of the US and Canadian colleges belong to main universities and access the student services’ provision of their parent university. This is also the case in the UK.

On-site or Off-site Counselling

The counselling services provision of Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine can be viewed at http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/cvmbs/student.counseling.htm

The counsellor, who has extensive experience of working with veterinary students, is available on-site for 10 hours per week. Such on-site provision has been fiercely opposed by a number of the people interviewed in both the US and the UK, including students. The main reason is that of confidentiality and privacy. Life at a veterinary medical college is far more intense and in some ways far more enclosed than life in other university colleges. Staff and students work together over a period of time in situations where they have close contact with one another. The high level of practical work, carried out in all weathers and in all conditions, also breeds a far higher level of intimacy than one would find in other university situations.

In such a situation, many students who experience serious psychological difficulties cannot sort them out unless they can get away from what can be a claustrophobic situation. There is a point at which on-site staff cannot provide assistance, even though in many situations they can provide the most effective form of help.

Gaining Employment

Disabled veterinary science graduates may face difficulties gaining employment, especially those with visible or obvious disabilities, because employers can find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be healed and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent professional. The question often asked is whether a practitioner can provide safe and competent care. The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled colleague.

Students with ADHD may need to learn special studying skills that work most effectively for them and help them to block out their hyperattentiveness towards activities going on around them. Adjustments that may help students with ADHD are more likely to be associated with personal organisation rather than physical adjustments. Examples of adjustments might include the use of templates for charting notes and working closely with colleagues to share organisational tips and obtain assistance.

To conclude, a combination of both on- and off-site assistance is required if the needs of all students with psychological difficulties are to be adequately met. The training and other needs of staff dealing with such students must also be addressed.

Much of the information for this page was sourced from: Tynan, Anne. (2001) At the Portal of the Profession: The Veterinary Profession and People with Disabilities – A North American Perspective. University of London: Royal Veterinary College. http://www.rvc.ac.uk/RVC_Life/PDFs/AtThePortal.PDF

 

Computing and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.

Brief description of ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subject such as computing, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

Dance, Drama and Performance and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Dance, Drama and Performance and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

It is crucial to assess the unique education requirements of each student with ADHD on an individual basis as they will all have different strengths. It may help to work in a multidisciplinary team consisting of the student, other academic staff and the institutional disability service. Assessments, such as a learning style inventory could be considered to determine the student’s strengths and allow teaching staff to best build on these existing abilities. The settings and contexts in which any difficulties occur should also be considered as part of the evaluation.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at dance and drama programmes, as they respond well to a less formally structured learning environment, where they can express themselves more freely. At the same time, students with ADHD can also possess the ability to totally focus on something when it really interests them. Some education psychologists have also suggesting using music and dance with children who have ADHD to help them to control their behaviour and focus on their learning, so it is possible that some students may have learnt as children to associate the use of music and dance with various methods of their learning. Students with ADHD can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is studying dance and drama. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

English and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


English and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Students with ADHD often have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them, which can be useful for close studying of texts. They also have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

 

Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Hospitality, Leisure, Sport & Tourism and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Students with ADHD often have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them, which can be useful for crtitical analysis, but can be problematic when developing customer relation skills. They also have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. It is often a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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MSOR and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at subject such as mathematics, as they can have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them. They have a tendency to hyperfocus on a problem and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is focusing on problem solving. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills. 

Music and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Music and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

It is crucial to assess the unique education requirements of each student with ADHD on an individual basis as they will all have different strengths. It may help to work in a multidisciplinary team consisting of the student, other academic staff and the institutional disability service. Assessments, such as a learning style inventory could be considered to determine the student’s strengths and allow teaching staff to best build on these existing abilities. The settings and contexts in which any difficulties occur should also be considered as part of the evaluation.

There is some evidence to suggest that students with ADHD can excel at music, as they can possess the ability to totally focus on something (like a piece of music) if it really interests them. Some education psychologists have also suggesting using music with children who have ADHD to help them to control their behaviour and focus on their learning e.g. playing quiet classical music for quiet independent activities, and jazz for group work. It is therefore possible that some students may have learnt as children to associate the use of music with various methods of their learning. Students with ADHD also have a tendency to hyperfocus on something and not stop until they are satisfied they can do no better. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them. They can also be total perfectionists in their area of interest, which can be extremely beneficial to the student who is studying music. It is often just a case of tapping into the most appropriate teaching method to give that student the best opportunity to develop their skills.

 

Nursing and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Nursing and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Students with ADHD often have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them, they may not alter their focus until they are satisfied that they cannot improve. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them, which can be problematic during team-work situations.

Disabled student nurses can face difficulties gaining employment, especially those with visible or obvious disabilities, because employers often find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be healed and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent health care professional. The question often asked is whether a disabled nurse can provide safe and competent care. The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled nurse.

Students with ADHD may need to learn special studying skills that work most effectively for them and help them to block out their hyperattentiveness towards activities going on around them. Adjustments that may help student nurses with ADHD are more likely to be associated with personal organisation rather than physical adjustments. Examples of adjustments might include the use of templates for charting patient notes and working closely with colleagues to share organisational tips and obtain assistance.

Adjustments should be easily made if students are trained to work effectively in teams. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for any nurse’s survival in a busy, fast-paced workplace. All students will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.

 

Physiotherapy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Physiotherapy and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Students with ADHD often have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them, they may not alter their focus until they are satisfied that they cannot improve. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them, which can be problematic during team-work situations.

Disabled physiotherapy graduates can face difficulties gaining employment, especially those with visible or obvious disabilities, because employers often find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be healed and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent health care professional. The question often asked is whether a disabled physiotherapist can provide safe and competent care. The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled colleague.

Students with ADHD may need to learn special studying skills that work most effectively for them and help them to block out their hyperattentiveness towards activities going on around them. Adjustments that may help physiotherapy students with ADHD are more likely to be associated with personal organisation rather than physical adjustments. Examples of adjustments might include the use of templates for charting patient notes and working closely with colleagues to share organisational tips and obtain assistance.

Adjustments should be easily made if students are trained to work effectively in teams. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for survival in a busy, fast-paced workplace. All students will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.

Social Work and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Challenges – this link takes you to more specific challenges associated with learning.


Social Work and Students with ADHD

Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are the main characteristics of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). As a student’s academic success is often dependent on their ability to attend to tasks and tutor expectations with minimal distractions, a student with ADHD may struggle within the typical HE academic environment. Activities associated with acquiring necessary information for completing tasks, completing assignments and participating in discussions with their tutors and peers are all activities that can potentially be problematic for the student with ADHD.

The behaviours associated with ADHD can change as people get older and where a young child can often appear to have large amounts of energy and restlessness, adolescents and young adults can often be withdrawn and less communicative. Characteristics of ADHD can also include impulsivity and reacting spontaneously without regard to previous plans or necessary tasks and assignments.

As students with ADHD may experience difficulties with the structured environment of a tutorial or lecture or focusing on their assigned work, they may need adjustments to the learning environment to help them remain focused on the task in hand. Students may need to be questioned about where they prefer to sit within the learning environment to help them to focus on what is being said, they may also benefit from working closely with another student who can help them to develop their cooperation skills or, if space permits, work in separate learning areas, away from other students. Different students will find different scenarios work better for them and open communication with the student about this is essential.

Students with ADHD often have the ability to totally focus on something if it really interests them, they may not alter their focus until they are satisfied that they cannot improve. During this process, they may be totally oblivious to what is going on around them, which can be problematic during team-work situations, but can be beneficial when attention to detail is paramount (e.g. while studying the details of a case).

Disabled social work students can face difficulties gaining employment, especially those with visible or obvious disabilities, because employers often find it difficult to look beyond the disability and focus on what the employee can contribute to the workplace. Historically the medical model of disability implies that a person needs to be healed and employers can think of the person as needing to be taken care of or requiring an intervention rather than as a healthy person, with a disability, who is a competent social worker. The question often asked is whether a disabled person can provide safe and competent care. The other question often raised is how the employer can ensure safety in the workplace when working with a disabled colleague.

Students with ADHD may need to learn special studying skills that work most effectively for them and help them to block out their hyperattentiveness towards activities going on around them. Adjustments that may help students with ADHD are more likely to be associated with personal organisation rather than physical adjustments. Examples of adjustments might include the use of templates for charting patient notes and working closely with colleagues to share organisational tips and obtain assistance.

Adjustments should be easily made if students are trained to work effectively in teams. Asking for assistance is all part of the teamwork that is essential for survival in a busy, fast-paced workplace. All students will have strengths and weaknesses to bring to the team, regardless of whether they have a disability or not and effectively managing their weaker areas, by asking colleagues to double-check things demonstrates effective team working.