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Is an ADD (not ADHD) assessment useful for university?

(6 Posts)
bowedstrings Fri 19-Jun-15 09:48:30

My DS has just done his A levels and has an offer from his first choice university. He's unlikely to achieve his predicted grades or the offer but we think there may still be a chance that he will be accepted on the course he wants to do as the offer was based on a portfolio of work which they liked a lot.

Having spoken to a couple of friends who were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in adulthood I realised that DS shared many of the same traits/difficulties that they struggle with. Over the last few years it has become increasingly difficult for him to focus on his academic work and he is still 'addicted' to computer games. He was assessed for ADHD on the national health a year or so ago and was given a 'borderline' (not-quite) diagnosis. He was offered some group support in our local hospital which he found very helpful but that only lasted 6 weeks.

Having done a bit of reading, I think he presents as classic ADD rather than ADHD. I also think that this is why he has found A levels so challenging. Is it worth getting a diagnosis? Would a diagnosis lead to getting some help when he's at university? Might the university take the diagnosis into account if he doesn't achieve his offer grades? Does anyone know where would be good to go for an ADD diagnosis in or near London?

UptheChimney Fri 19-Jun-15 14:41:09

You would need to get a proper Ed Psych &/or consultant diagnosis for a university to take it into account. It would need to be indicated on his UCAS form -- there are a series of codes (I have no idea what they indicate, but I know we're asked to note if there is a declared learning or physical disability.

It depends what you want out of this -- help & support for your DS through University, or mitigation re A Level results? Or both?

Either/both will need a proper diagnosis. And your DS will be expected to learn to manage the condition, with an agreed set of accommodations/reasonable adjustments. There will be support available at university, but it will be his responsibility to take it up, attend, do the follow up. Undergrads with learning disabilities sometimes have to forego life as a "student" to be scholars. Actually, I wish more students were scholars rather than living the "student life" ! hmm

The computer games addiction is a worry, and there's no excuse for that, frankly. It will never be accommodated or viable as an excuse or reason for underperformance at university. But I expect he knows that grin

MayPolist Fri 19-Jun-15 21:52:45

If he has ADHD, how come he can concentrate on his computer games? hmm

serendipity200 Sat 20-Jun-15 10:35:25

Yes absolutely it is a useful assessment for uni. There is a huge amount of support at unis for ADD, through the DSA. (the thread on the elevenplus forum under higher education - is very helpful). There is funding given for equipment, a laptop, printer, scanner, various specialist software packages, a device for recording lectures, up to 30 hours of mentorship and up to 450 hours of one to one study assistance per year. As long as your DS was diagnosed since he turned 16, otherwise you might have to have a further assessment done (but don't quote me on that). I don't know if the uni will take it into account if he doesn't get his grades, I would have thought it more likely to have been a consideration in his offer, (if he declared it on his UCAS).

serendipity200 Sat 20-Jun-15 10:41:11

Maypolist it is called hyperfocus and is classic with both add and adhd. Michael Phelps for instance is ADHD and swimming was a hyperfocus for him growing up. It can be anything music/computer games actually anything at all. That Olympic gymnast chap who won strictly (forgotten his name) is adhd and gymnastics became is point of focus after his mother took him to the gym to let off steam.

bowedstrings Mon 29-Jun-15 20:44:34

Thank you. Your replies are extremely helpful. I will research hyperfocus. It chimes with something a friend who has ADHD told me about emotion (fear or love) being essential for concentrated productive engagement with tasks that need to be done. My friend is phenomenal musician but struggles in other areas. Unfortunately ADD wasn't noted on DS's UCAS form as we still don't have a diagnosis but I hope that it may still be possible to register it with the university provided that we get one before he starts - and for it to be acknowledged as a contributing factor to his A level results for that matter. And yes, UptheChimney, the computer gaming is a worry as it is an addiction. No excuse as you say, but painful to see and to try to deal with. We removed his access to his computer and to the internet in the lead up to exams but that doesn't feel good when you are dealing with a 19 year old.

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