Dealing With Academic Stress: Students with ADHD and Dyslexia

by Levi Klein

Throughout my high school career, I faced many challenges and roadblocks in dealing with school due to my ADHD. This doesn’t mean that I am less smart or talented than my peers, it means that there are some things that school requires that might take me longer to complete. One thing I want you to know is that everyone who has ADHD or dyslexia is unique. Every person has their strengths and weaknesses, but in the end, it is how you solve these problems and strive academically that will make you successful. Due to my ADHD, two things that I struggled with are test-taking and homework management. Firstly, taking tests always took longer for me compared to other classmates. I took longer to solve each problem or activity. I knew that I could do well, but I needed extra help. I reached out to my learning specialists, and they helped me get extended time on exams. I am grateful that my learning specialists helped me reduce my stress around test taking, thus making my academic career less stressful. Secondly, I struggled with time-management when completing my homework. I fought with organizing my homework and getting it done on time. It was until I made a planner that I had problems. Making a planner and staying organized reduced my academic stress. In this page, I will talk about certain activities that you can do to reduce stress and obtain mindfulness.

I use a planner everyday to organize my homework and other tasks. I did this in middle school, but stopped freshman year. I then picked it back up and started doing it again. I am really grateful that I use a planner because it reduces stress. One reason why using a planner will reduce your stress is that it will help with time-management. Using a planner allows you to schedule and plan out tasks, appointments, and activities so you don’t run out of time or forget to do something. Writing down due dates and times will help you stay on task and get everything done on time. The next reason that using a planner will help you is that you will become more productive. Having a clear, organized list will make your brain recognize that some assignments will have more priority than others, thus allowing you to plan out how you tackle each one. The final significant reason that using a planner will help you is that you will experience many health benefits, and overall reduce the amount of stress you have surrounding school. Without a planner, it is easy to forget to complete some assignment, or even put them off. Having the feeling that you need to or forgot to do something will linger with you until you complete it, causing more stress. Getting things done early and on time will allow you to have more time for other activities such as exercise, hobbies, and socialization. Using a planner will ultimately reduce your academic stress.

The ‘3 positive things’ exercise is a common gratitude activity that will reduce your stress and make you think about life more positively. This exercise is a daily journal where you write down 3 positive things that happened to you during that day. It is better to write these things down in a physical notebook, rather than doing it online. One reason why I personally like doing this exercise is that it doesn’t take a lot of time, but still makes a huge impact on my stress level. Down below is a one week log of this exercise that I completed.

As you can see, this exercise is pretty simple and straight-forward. Some of the things that I wrote down are humorous, but still impactful.

Completing this exercise daily can provide you with many benefits. In a study conducted by Sheldon and Lyubomirsky in 2004, participants who did this exercise daily had a 2% increase of their happiness in just one week. However, after doing this exercise more, the researchers found that their happiness rose up to 9% after a few months. This number may seem small, but I can assure you that every bit matters. Similarly, this exercise only takes a couple of minutes, so it is definitely worth it. Doing this exercise myself made me happier and less stressed.

Finally, I have results from survey I sent out to students in my high school who work with the learning specialists. As you can see, a lot of people use a planner. They also said that they if they did use a planner, then it definitely helped with their academic stress.

Here is a template for a planner you can use for various things. I recommend that you print it off!
Here is a template for the “3 good things” exercise that you can use! I also recommend that you print this off and use it!

My sources:




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  1. April 28, 2019 by Annika Klaus

    Hi Levi,
    Your presentation was very easy to follow and interesting. I liked that you included templates for readers to follow along and do themselves. I wish you included some research on this, I know it is a broad subject, but some research on how planning is effective would have been very informative. Overall, good job with your presentation!

  2. April 28, 2019 by Lauren Silver

    Hi Levi! I really love your project! I think the visuals were very beneficial to your project and were a great added element. I also thought the charts were a great way of displaying the information. Great job!

  3. April 29, 2019 by Isabella

    Hi Levi! Awesome job on your presentation. I liked how you shared about your journey with ADHD. What would you recommend to do first if you’re struggling with this problem?

  4. May 01, 2019 by Omar

    Hey, Levi awesome presentation, I love how you used many types of media to present your information, you used graphs, texts, facts, and pictures. I also really liked how you choose a problem that you could personally connect with, and then share your experience with us. Overall great job.

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