AD(H)D: support the development of female students

from €3,000 (89%)

Delving into your books for hours to study or listening attentively to a long lecture, all whilst being quiet and sitting still to not disturb others: for some students this sounds like an almost impossible task. In the Netherlands, about 4% of all students experience symptoms of AD(H)D (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), which often manifests itself in short attention spans, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Currently, only 7% of the students who are entitled to certain facilities make use of them, because the help often does not match their needs. It is time for a change.  

Eveline van Eerd, master's student at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, knows very well what it is like to live with AD(H)D. As a woman, she experiences the disorder differently than her fellow male students, since AD(H)D symptoms and associated support needs differ between men and women. However, research is still mainly focused on the male brain and body. With her campaign, Eveline wants to raise awareness for this matter, identify the needs of female students and create an action plan for Dutch educational institutions (MBO, HBO and WO). A first, concrete step is to organize focus sessions to identify experiences and needs. In order to do so, additional funding is needed. 

'As part of the target group, I feel a strong connection to the topic. With this campaign, I aim to gain a better understanding of the needs of female students with AD(H)D, and work with students and educational institutes to develop tools, practices and facilities to meet those needs. In addition, I hope it will create awareness about the value of gender-specific research, in order to close the gender gap.' – Eveline van Eerd, master's student at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

UM Crowd is part of the University Fund Limburg/SWOL. This fund is a recognised 'algemeen nut beogende instelling' (ANBI). This means that your donation is fully or partially tax deductible. You will receive an automatic email with a receipt after your donation. Click here for more information about ANBI.

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09-12-2022 | 17:22
29-11-2022 | 08:56
28-11-2022 | 17:19
26-11-2022 | 14:08
25-11-2022 | 20:49 Go, Eveline! Goed initiatief! (Inclusief donatie van Graduate Woman International)
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2/2: Eveline's view on AD(H)D

24-10-2022 | 09:44 People with AD(H)D always seem to find each other. A hypothesis I have yet to prove, but that I have a strong basis for; just look at the board of NovUM: the Maastricht University student representation party. I am the vice-president of NovUM, and I have ADHD. I was diagnosed only 8 months ago at the age of 21 and at that moment my whole world changed. After years of being misdiagnosed I finally felt understood; or so I thought. In my head all problems would be solved, and the world would make sense again after having finally received an answer for my lifelong question of “what is wrong with me?”. But that turned out not to be true. People around me did not believe in the diagnoses as “I was nothing like my hyperactive brother”, the staff at the university did not understand what ADHD was, and the world seemed to go on like normal; just not for me. While I was figuring out how to best use Ritalin, I also had a look at the facilities Maastricht University offers to people like me: extra time during an exam, a smaller room to take the exam in, and the possibility to have a bigger font. Where were the time management classes? Why did my mentor not understand my struggles, wasn’t that their job? How is extra time supposed to help me if procrastination due to deadlines that are too far ahead is the main problem? It didn’t make sense to me. And so, I went on to talk to other board members. Turns out, I was not the only frustrated neuro-divergent student in Maastricht, and worse, the Netherlands. A big national study from 2013 showed that only 7% of the eligible student took up the Universities on their offered of facilities. The main was that they felt like the facilities did not fit their needs. And that is a problem. How come universities across the country are spending money on what they think is best for their students with a disability, without engaging the students themselves? Research on AD(H)D is mainly based on boys up to the age of 12. This already leaves out girl and women entirely, and adult men partially. We simply don’t know what these students need, because we don’t ask. That’s when I decided that this must change. I want to start a nationwide project to map out the needs of women with AD(H)D in academia, come up with a policy plan for WO, HBO and MBO institutions and make sure that staff is trained accordingly. Not only do I want to raise awareness on the topic, but I also want to make sure that the gender research gap in AD(H)D research is finally tackled as women are just as likely to suffer from AD(H)D as men. They are simply often misdiagnosed because of the lack of knowledge on gender differences in symptoms. October is AD(H)D awareness month. What does the majority of us actually know about the disorder: how it manifests itself, which difficulties our friends, colleagues or co-students with AD(H)D face, and how we can best help them? UM master’s student Eveline van Eerd recently started a crowdfunding campaign to support the development of female students with AD(H)D. 8 months ago she got diagnosed with AD(H)D herself at the age of 21: a life changing moment. In two consecutive stories, she takes us along the symptoms and daily life struggles, as well as the persistent prejudices, in order to raise more awareness: an important first step towards change. Read the first story here
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