Best ADHD tools for college students

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    Struggling with academic success due to ADHD? Here are some ADHD tools for college students that can make your life much easier.

    ADHD can significantly impact a student’s academic success and motivation. For this reason, college students need to learn about the resources they can use to tackle the unique learning challenges an ADHD diagnosis brings.

    Here’s a rundown of the best ADHD tools for college students.

    What is ADHD and how does it impact college students

    ADHD is a psychological disorder that usually manifests as hyperactivity, difficulty paying attention, and impulsive behavior. Although ADHD is commonly associated with childhood, this disorder typically lasts into adulthood and causes increasing difficulties in everyday life.

    People with ADHD can have issues with forming stable relationships, low self-esteem, mental health, and poor work or school performance.

    College students with ADHD achieve less academic success and experience greater emotional and psychological difficulties than their peers. Depending on the ADHD type, they may experience struggle with:

    • Concentration
    • Writing and reading
    • Communication and interaction with other people
    • Memory
    • Logical analysis

    ADHD students are significantly affected by this disorder since success in college requires strong organization and time management skills, which they usually lack. Furthermore, parental support is less available during college years than in high school and earlier stages of education where an iep might help provide additional tools. As a result, some ADHD students struggle to meet these challenges alone.

    The importance of managing ADHD in college

    Managing ADHD in college is crucial. The college experience can be challenging, and for students with ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Disorder, it’s essential to handle it well. When they use special tools, strategies, and even ADHD medication, they can pay attention better, manage their time, and feel less stressed, leading to college success.

    One fundamental aspect of managing ADHD is developing a system tailored to individual needs and learning differences. This could involve using a digital planner like Evernote, color-coding tasks, or breaking down extensive tasks into more manageable chunks. For instance, if a syllabus has several due dates, breaking down the tasks and planning ahead can make a world of difference.

    Establishing a consistent routine and setting achievable goals is also beneficial. This approach ensures that students, especially those transitioning from high school to college for the first time, can maintain focus and not feel overwhelmed.

    Seeking guidance from experts, such as counselors or specialists in learning and attitude, can be invaluable. These professionals can offer students insights on managing adult ADHD, navigating academic challenges, and advocating for their needs. There’s also a growing awareness of the overlap between ADHD and autism, and understanding this can further help in tailoring strategies.

    Self-care is paramount. Activities like exercising, ensuring adequate sleep, and relaxation techniques, such as meditation, can significantly benefit students with ADHD. With the right balance, they can think more clearly and maintain better overall well-being.

    Colleges need to recognize the unique challenges faced by students with ADHD. By providing the necessary support and resources, like webinars or affiliations with organizations like CHADD, they can ensure every student, including those with ADHD, thrives academically and personally.

    The link between ADHD tools and getting things done

    Many students with ADHD or ADD struggle with productivity. However, the right tools can make a significant difference. Consider time management apps, for instance. These apps allow students to organize their tasks, set reminders, and monitor their progress. With such tools, students can streamline their responsibilities and utilize their time effectively.

    Digital planners tailored for students with ADHD are also beneficial. These planners can display all their assignments, test dates, and other crucial deadlines. They can color-code various tasks and customize the planner to their preferences, helping them prioritize and manage their study skills without undue stress.

    Moreover, task management software is another invaluable tool for these students. Such software enables them to list down tasks, break them into smaller steps, and set deadlines for each segment. This structured approach allows students to methodically work through their tasks, maintain focus, and celebrate their progress.

    Tools to help college students with ADHD

    Many college students diagnosed with disabilities suffer from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Since higher education poses unique challenges compared to previous learning experiences, it’s crucial to access different tools to enhance a student’s success.

    With this in mind, here are some tools that can make college life much easier for ADHD students.

    Text to speech readers

    Students with ADHD who struggle academically can significantly benefit from text to speech (TTS) readers. These handy tools help free up working memory, an executive function crucial for remembering what is read.

    TTS apps allow students to concentrate on the task instead of getting overwhelmed by too much information. Consequently, learners with difficulties can successfully read and listen to the material, increasing their comprehension and interest.

    Thankfully, assistive technology has developed significantly, so college students can choose between many different TTS study tools. Speechify, for example, stands out for its many assistive features that meet various individual needs. Plus, it has an endless library of audiobooks that students can enjoy while learning.

    Mind mapping

    Mind mapping is another helpful study tool for students with ADHD. At its core, a mind map is a series of ideas related to a central theme. To create this map, learners can use keywords, arrows, symbols, colors, and icons. Their primary purpose is to demonstrate how ideas relate to each other.

    These interrelated ideas can help college students with ADHD in various undertakings:

    • Note-taking
    • Organizing ideas
    • Completing homework
    • Developing topics for a report
    • Structuring papers
    • Studying for quizzes and exams
    • Livescribe smart pens

    Note-taking is one of the areas where college students with ADHD struggle the most since they have trouble organizing notes and picking the most essential points.

    Smartpens from Livescribe can facilitate this process by transferring the student’s handwriting from paper to an app on their smartphone or tablet. From there, students can tag the notes, convert them into text, and make them searchable.

    In addition, the pen records audio synced with note-taking, allowing students to go over important sections again.

    Thanks to these features, college students with ADHD can organize their notes more efficiently, away from overwhelming lecture halls.

    Flashcards

    Some ADHD students can be productive only for a limited amount of time. Still, they can make the most out of these active periods with adequate study tools.

    In this sense, flashcards are ideal for college students with ADHD since they can be used repeatedly to learn and review material in smaller chunks.

    Although flashcards can be made the old-fashioned way, many assistive tools can help students create flashcards digitally.

    Time management apps

    Most apps, such as social media sites, are a shortcut to procrastination for students with ADHD. However, some apps can benefit these students immensely by increasing their productivity.

    For most people with similar disabilities, a steady routine is vital. Unfortunately, this routine isn’t easy to establish, which is where time management apps come into play.

    Here are some life-saving apps for ADHD students:

    • Listastic, which lets you create handy to-do lists
    • Coach.me, which allows you to set reminders
    • 2Do, which helps prioritize tasks

    Noise-canceling headphones

    Have you ever tried to study or work, but the noise around you made it hard to focus? Noise-canceling headphones can be a big help, especially for students with ADHD. These headphones work by blocking out the sounds around you. This way, students can have a quiet space to study or work, even if there’s a lot of noise around them.

    And it’s not just for studying! Students can wear these headphones during class or when they’re working with friends on a project. This helps them stay focused and not get distracted by the sounds around them.

    Fidget devices

    Some students with ADHD find it hard to sit still. They might feel like they have extra energy they need to get out. That’s where fidget devices come in. Things like stress balls or fidget spinners can help. When students use these devices, they have something to do with their hands. This can help them feel more calm and focused.

    Using a fidget device can also help students pay better attention. By doing something simple and repetitive with their hands, they can keep their minds on their work and not get restless.

    Organizational apps

    Being organized can make a big difference for students with ADHD. There are apps that can help with this. These apps let students plan their day, remind them of things they need to do, and make lists.

    Many of these apps also let students color-code their tasks, organize their files, and take notes. This makes it easy for students to see what they need to do and when. By using these apps, students can stay on top of their work and get more done.

    In the end, there are many tools out there to help students with ADHD. Whether it’s noise-canceling headphones, fidget devices, or organizational apps, each one has its own special way of helping.

    Some students might also find it helpful to use mind mapping tools, meditation apps, or even just take a break and get some exercise. All of these can help manage ADHD symptoms and make it easier to be productive.

    Use Speechify

    Speechify is a powerful text to speech program that transforms any written content into a natural-sounding voice. Students can use Speechify to listen to their notes, allowing them to go through them at their own pace and in a quiet environment.

    The voice output can be modified in several ways, ensuring each student can tailor it to their needs.

    In addition, listening rather than reading the notes or other college materials allows students to discard other ADHD tools that help them focus, such as fidget toys.

    Finally, Speechify is available across all platforms, including Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android. As such, students can learn wherever they find a suitable environment, whether a library or a dorm.

    If you like what you’ve read so far, the good news is that you can try out this fantastic app for free.

    FAQ

    How do college students succeed with ADHD?

    Students with ADHD can thrive in college by learning to combat ADHD symptoms using time management and study tools and relying on academic support.

    What is assistive technology for ADHD students?

    Assistive technology represents any tool, device, or software program that assists students with disabilities. These technological advancements help students deal with the effects of ADHD symptoms on learning, thus boosting their skills and confidence.

    What are some common myths about ADHD and college students?

    Some believe only young children can have ADHD, thus attributing the student’s academic struggles to laziness or a lack of intelligence. Also, some believe ADHD will undoubtedly prevent students from graduating, which is far from the truth.

    What is an ADHD coach?

    An ADHD coach is a professional whose goal is to help adults handle activities and responsibilities made difficult by their ADHD symptoms.

    What is the difference between a learning disability and ADHD?

    Learning disabilities (LD), such as dyslexia, make acquiring learning skills difficult. In contrast, ADHD impacts the brain’s executive functioning and, therefore, a broader set of skills. However, an ADHD diagnosis is often followed by an LD diagnosis.

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify

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