ADHD Screening and Treatment

The Student Counseling Service (SCS) provides services to students with previously diagnosed and treated Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and students who believe they may have an attention problem but have not been previously diagnosed or treated. Possible services available include screening, education, behavioral interventions, personal counseling, referral, and/or medication. The determination as to whether medication may be recommended for such problems will be made in part on a risk/benefit basis, with the risks believed to outweigh the benefits unless a student is experiencing a bona fide level of academic distress.

NOTE: The SCS does not provide the extensive psycho-educational testing required to qualify for possible academic accommodations, but can refer to community providers who do such testing. Contact the Office of Student Disability Services for more information about disability and accommodations. 

Attention Problem Phone Triage

Any student wishing to be evaluated or treated for attention problems must first complete a phone triage in order to be referred to the appropriate resource depending upon the problem and history of previous treatment.   

Brain Booster Workshop

All students with attention problems will be required to complete the 90 minute Brain Booster Workshop in order to gain proficiency in behavioral interventions for treating inattention, distractibility, and organization. A special university planner is required ($15 through the Rinella Learning Center or Student Counseling Service) as an essential tool for developing these skills. Students will be required to complete the Brain Booster Goal Completion Worksheet located in the planner prior to their appointment with a counselor or the psychiatrist if they wish to be evaluated and/or treated for ADHD.

Attention Problem Evaluation

Students who are still experiencing symptoms of inattention, distractibility, and organization even after trying behavioral interventions will be referred for this in-depth screening with an SCS therapist. The goal is to assess the extent and most likely source of persistent attention problems, recognizing that such problems can be associated with larger problems such as anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or style, perfectionism, sleep disorder, ADHD, etc. Referrals for intervention will depend upon the outcome of this evaluation. Possible referrals include further workshops, academic coaching, individual counseling, and, if the student is judged to be in academic distress, evaluation for possible medication.

Personal Counseling

Time attendant personal counseling is available to assist students who require behavioral interventions as well as assistance with concurrent difficulties such as anxiety, depression, interpersonal problems, etc. There may be a wait of one or more weeks for such services depending upon demand.

ADHD Workshop

All students seeking ADHD treatment will be required to attend a 60-minute ADHD workshop prior to a medication evaluation. This workshop is taught by the staff psychiatrist. The workshop includes education about ADHD, procedures for taking medication at the SCS, and education about controlled substances and how to manage them.

Medication Evaluation

Students with previous diagnoses and/or treatment of ADHD as well as students who have completed an Attention Problem Evaluation may be referred for medication evaluation with the SCS psychiatrist. Prior to meeting with the psychiatrist, students must (1) attend the Brain Booster Workshop (2) have any previous treatment records forwarded to the SCS for the psychiatrist’s review, and (3) attend an ADHD Workshop with the psychiatrist to learn about ADHD, the role of medication in its treatment, and the specific program of ADHD medication treatment utilized by the SCS psychiatrist, which incorporates the special university planner. 

Community Referral

Students requesting or requiring services not provided by the SCS will be provided referral information. This includes referrals for psychoeducational testing (which is required to qualify for academic accommodations), referrals to community physicians for outside evaluation and treatment, and referrals to community providers for counseling services at times when high demand preclude timely availability of SCS counseling services and/or when the student’s therapeutic needs are determined to be long-term in nature. 

Stimulant medications are used for the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and are not for recreational use or for cramming. Stimulant medications are controlled substances and can have serious side effects if misused or used without a prescription. This can include heart arrhythmias and the risk of sudden death.