Individual Therapy and ADD/ADHD/LD Assessments
I was fortunate to work at the NCSU Counseling Center early in my career, and I worked with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures. They wanted to talk about academic problems, family problems, self-esteem, drinking, drugs, problems with friends or significant other, and issues with sexuality and/or sexual freedom.
College students also taught me everything I know about ADD. ADD was considered to be a childhood disorder for many years, but I realized that many, very bright NCSU students complained about distractibility, organizational difficulties, and memory problems. On the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (IQ test), they scored in the Superior range, but their Working Memory scores were in the Average range. Those scores were suggestive of ADD.
We taught these students relaxation strategies, anxiety reduction skills, and they attended weekly therapy sessions. These interventions helped them socially and emotionally, but none of those strategies improved their academic performance.
The only strategy that consistently worked was ADD medication. On the WAIS-IV, their IQ scores increased 15-30 points with medication. We also learned that 60-65% of people with ADD had at least one Learning Disability in Reading, Math, or Written Language. Other researchers around the USA were also exploring these learning difficulties and they reported similar findings. Today, struggles with attention and/or learning disorders are reported by students at all educational levels from Kindergarten through college and post-graduate education.
“My parents and teachers always told me, ‘You are so smart! You could make straight A’s if you would just apply yourself!’”
“I studied hard for a History test and got a perfect score when my roommate quizzed me. On the test the next day, I could not remember details, and I got a 78 on the test. This is so frustrating!”