Attention Disorders Clinic Opens

By Dr. Vincent Monastra
Assistant Professor, Psychology/Counseling

Most of us have heard of the “Freshman 15”. You know, the 15 pounds that many incoming freshman gain in weight during the first year of college. Most of us are also aware of the drop in GPA that occurs during the first year of college. You know, that 10-15% drop in GPA that comes as students attempt to learn without the structure of an enforced high school schedule, parents, and supervised eating and sleeping habits. There’s no doubt that some of this drop is due to the increased academic demands of college life and within a few weeks, most students have begun to make the adjustments needed to succeed.

However, for some students, that initial decline in GPA only worsens through time. They find that they continue to drift off during lectures, have a hard time remembering someone’s name or the answers to an exam, and fail to organize and complete term papers on time. The reasons why this can happen vary. For some, failure to eat a sufficient amount of protein at breakfast and lunch leads to declining concentration abilities. For others, late night socializing or hours devoted to video games or internet chats will rob the student of the sleep needed to be able to concentrate and remember information. Finally, students who experience depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, anemia, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, hypoglycemia, allergies and a host of other medical or psychiatric conditions can struggle to find the energy to concentrate on school work.

To help students who are having difficulties paying attention, concentrating, and completing school tasks, Marywood University has established an Attention Disorders Clinic in the McGowan Center (Room 1071). Under the direction of award winning author and clinical psychologist, Dr. Vincent J. Monastra, this clinic will provide a wide range of programs to help students who are struggling with attention problems.

Recognizing that each student’s attentional problems are unique, the process at the clinic will begin with an evaluation of attention, using neuropsychological tests and brain imaging techniques. After determining the most likely causes of a student’s attentional problems, the clinic will provide treatment to improve attention, offer individual and group instruction in a variety of life skills, and collaborate with staff at Student Support Services. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Psychological Services Center (ext. 6269) or e-mail Dr. Monastra at [email protected]

Quick Screen for Attention Deficits

Ever wondered if you had an attention deficit disorder? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have difficulty giving close attention to details or make careless mistakes in school work?
  • Do you have difficulty sustaining attention in tasks?
  • Do you have difficulty listening when spoken to directly?
  • Do you fail to follow through on instructions or fail to finish work?
  • Do you have difficulty organizing tasks and activities?
  • Do you avoid tasks (like school work) that require sustained mental effort?
  • Do you lose things necessary for tasks?
  • Are you easily distracted?
  • Are you forgetful?

If you answered yes to at least 6 of these questions, you might want to consider contacting Dr. Monastra at the Attention Disorders Clinic ([email protected]) before these problems interfere with achieving your Marywood goals!

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