332: ADHD and College Skills In Uncertain Times with Melissa Barlett

332: ADHD and College Skills In Uncertain Times with Melissa Barlett

Did people notice that you had ADHD before you did? Eric and his guest, Dr. Melissa Barlett, better known by her students as Dr. B, is an Associate Professor in Life Sciences at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY. Listen as they discuss helping students come back to college and adjusting to change dealing with online learning, plus much more on this episode of ADHD reWired.

Listen, as Dr. Barlett shares when she was diagnosed with ADHD and what caused her to seek a diagnosis. She also discusses some challenges she sees with online learning because of COVID-19 and how she has adapted her teaching style to help her students. 

Dr. Barlett speaks about what she believes fellow professors are struggling with when being thrown into this alternative method of teaching. She shares what she thinks will happen with fall classes and how she believes schools can keep students safe. Students with ADHD, in particular, have a different set of struggles with virtual learning, and Dr. Barlett shares some suggestions she has to help them cope.

Because the situation is fluid and information changes daily, Dr. Barlett speaks about how to prepare if you have to pivot mid-semester. She shares that community colleges are already set up for students with challenging schedules, so if you don’t think you can go to school because you have to work, a community college might be the best bet for you.

Dr. Barlett shares some great tips and tricks for learning with ADHD, especially with the pandemic’s distractions. She is willing to answer any questions you might have, so please find her information in the links at the bottom and be positive about the upcoming school year. 

You’ll learn:

  • [03:18] Welcome to the show, Melissa!
  • [04:16] Melissa shares when she was diagnosed with ADHD and how her intelligence allowed her to fly under the radar.
  • [05:32] What caused you to seek a diagnosis for ADHD?
  • [07:30] Melissa speaks about knowing something was wrong once she changed direction in her career and got more administrative tasks.
  • [10:03] Listen, as Melissa shares some challenges she sees with online learning since COVID-19.
  • [12:10] Melissa speaks about how she adapted.
  • [13:05] What would you suggest to fellow professors struggling with learning a whole new way of teaching?
  • [15:24] Melissa believes that nailing learning objectives to the life skills that they need instead of detailed skills takes learning in the right direction.
  • [21:14] Listen as Melissa describes what she thinks school will look like in the fall.
  • [22:46] Melissa discusses how she believes we can keep students safe.
  • [25:36] Melissa suggests what students with ADHD especially can do to be prepared for online learning.
  • [28:40] When taking notes, make sure you write them in your words. Read a paragraph or two and write a summary in your words.
  • [29:50] Eric shares some strategies he used when he was in college.
  • [31:57] Your brain wants it to be easy. Practice the actual process of recall.
  • [35:04] It takes an intelligent person to understand this concept, but it takes a genius to explain it to a kindergartner.
  • [36:54] What are some other challenges a student with ADHD might face when taking virtual classes?
  • [37:44] They speak about going on rate my professor and check out their teaching style.
  • [44:14] Melissa talks about handling going back to class and then if COVID-19 spikes again having to go back to social distancing.
  • [46:51] Melissa discusses students not having regular hours because of jobs or children in her community college.
  • [48:22] Melissa says that community college is already set up for people with challenging schedules.
  • [49:53] What are some reasonable steps students might be able to take to prepare students if they have to go back to virtual classes.
  • [52:16] Melissa shares some final tips for students.
  • [54:42] Thank you for being on the show!
  • [55:35] If you are a regular listener, consider becoming a patron click on our Patreon tap at

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