Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental concern of childhood that sometimes persists into adulthood. If your problems have only started recently, it is unlikely they are caused by ADHD. In adults, ADHD most often presents with impaired attention, including difficulty with time management, organization, and follow through. These symptoms cause impairment in multiple areas of one’s life beginning by elementary school and do not just affect academics.
Difficulty with focusing and completing work is common for students at times of increased stress. Distinguishing between ADHD, other mental health concerns that impair focus, and normal problems with concentration requires a thorough and thoughtful assessment that evaluates academic, social and work impairment throughout one’s life.
Assessment at the CWC
If you have been diagnosed with ADHD and would like to transfer treatment to the CWC, or have never been diagnosed, but would like to be evaluated for ADHD, please note the following instructions to help facilitate your appointment with us.
To get started, call the CWC during normal business hours at 352 392-1575 to schedule your BRC appointment. During this appointment, your clinician will review the ADHD screening process (described below) with you. It is important to note that there are only a limited number of ADHD screening appointments available each semester. Therefore, you and the clinician may discuss options for evaluation available in the community.
Please note: The CWC/SHCC Psychiatry does not prescribe refills on stimulant medications prior to the completion of the evaluation. You are encouraged to continue obtaining medication from your previous physician until care is arranged at CWC/SHCC Psychiatry.
To Complete Before Assessment
While the following information is not required before making an ADHD screening consultation appointment, it needs to be completed and brought with you to your appointment on the day of your ADHD screening.
Each section explains the purpose of each form and has a link to download the corresponding form.
- a parent or other adult who knew you well as a child (grandparent, teacher, aunt/uncle, coach)
- an adult that knows you well currently (roommate, partner, family member, close friend).
- you prior provider (prescriber and/or evaluator).
- the UF Disability Resource Center
Once the above information has been collected and reviewed, you will attend the ADHD screening appointment to review the evidence for ADHD and consider whether your symptoms may be caused or worsened by something other than ADHD. This may take more than one visit. Several mental and physical health conditions can mimic or coexist with ADHD, including anxiety, mood, adjustment, learning and language deficits, and thyroid disorder. Alcohol, marijuana and other drug abuse can also cause ADHD-like symptoms and/or coexist with ADHD.
If you have been previously diagnosed with ADHD, please bring in your testing results or documentation of former evaluation/treatment when you come in for your ADHD screening appointment. An outside evaluation, treatment summary and/or neuropsychiatric assessment from the referring clinician will facilitate your ADHD screening at the CWC. However, alone it will not be considered diagnostic, even if the report contains a diagnosis of ADHD. The report should include previous treatment attempts and your current medication regimen.
If, after the above evaluation is complete, there is still a lack of clarity in the diagnosis, or if there is concern for other etiologies of your symptoms, you may be referred for a neuropsychological evaluation or a psycho-educational assessment. These assessments can be helpful in identifying other potential causes for your symptoms and for demonstrating the significant impact of your impairments on academics. Psychological testing is helpful in identifying cognitive disabilities that may compound the problem and complicate management. This process can take several weeks.
Care & Treatment
If a diagnosis of ADHD is made or confirmed, the decision of whether or not to medicate and what kind of medication to use will be made by you and your psychiatrist.
Optimal treatment of ADHD generally includes a combination of medication, behavioral therapy and coaching or skills training. If you are interested in seeking behavioral therapy, your BRC provider can help you find a trained therapist. If you are an undergraduate interested in coaching or skills training, Gatorwell provides academic skills coaching. Please note, a diagnosis of ADHD is not required to utilize the resources at Gatorwell. The UF Teaching Center and UF Disability Resource Center (DRC) provide students with ADHD a wide array of state-of-the-art learning resources.
Sometimes accommodations can be helpful for student with ADHD to work more efficiently and productively. Students interested in academic or other accommodations are encouraged to contact the UF Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC serves UF students with disabilities, including ADHD, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Specific accommodations vary widely based upon your diagnosis and treatment needs, but they might include priority seating in the front of the class to reduce distractions, taking exams in a distraction reduced environment, extended time on exams, being provided with hard copies of course material, or having a note taker join you in class to assist in note-taking.