Guidelines for Documenting Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)
Documentation should be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional/service provider describing the diagnosis. The provider must be a professional such as psychiatrist, psychologist, neuropsychologist, or other medically trained doctor who is qualified to diagnose and treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). Please note that the provider cannot be a family member of the student submitting documentation. Documentation should include:
- Professional Credentials
- License or certification
- Area of specialization
- Employment and state of employment
- The documentation should be current and reflect the impact of on the student’s living and learning environment.
1. Documentation should be comprehensive
- Evidence of early impairment of ADHD should demonstrate that the symptoms of ADHD existed in childhood and manifest in more than one setting.
- An explanation of the current impact on functionality in daily college life, such as academics, living, and social should be provided.
2. Diagnostic interview and relevant testing
The diagnostic interview should include, non-exclusively, the following:
- history of presenting attentional symptoms
- developmental history
- relevant medical and medication history
- relevant psychosocial history and any relevant interventions
- academic history
- relevant employment history
- relevant history of prior therapy
- relevant family history of any learning, physical or psychological difficulties
- a review of prior psycho-educational test reports for support of diagnosis
- a description of current attention-related functional limitations in educational settings
Neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessment is required and is important in determining the impact on an individual’s current ability to function in academically related settings. The evaluation report should determine the following:
- intellectual ability
- memory functions
- attention tests
- continuous performance
Please note the following by themselves do not substantiate the diagnosis of ADHD:
- grade equivalent scores
- test scores
- subtest scores
- surveys and checklists
3. Evaluation/testing should provide a clear and specific diagnosis of ADHD
An identification of DSM ADHD criteria should include a description of symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity or inattention causing impairment throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood (to the present) in two or more settings, and how the current symptoms are an impairment in social, academic, and occupational settings. The current symptoms must be present for at least the past six months.
The presence of a dual diagnosis should be ruled out, as well as educational and cultural factors affecting the individual.
4. An interpretative summary should be provided
An interpretative summary based on a comprehensive evaluative process may include:
- evaluator having ruled out alternative explanations
- indication of how characteristics of ADHD are chronic and evident in different settings
- indication of whether or not the individual was evaluated while on medication, and if the medication was beneficial
- indication and discussion of the limitation ADHD presents to the individual in the testing context for which accommodations are requested
- indication of how specific accommodations mediate the effects of ADHD symptoms
5. Rationale for recommendations for academic accommodations should be provided. Please include:
- the impact of ADHD on a major life activity
- the degree of impact on the individual, including intensity and frequency of symptoms
Suggested recommendations for specific academic and/or other accommodations is requested. The documentation should provide rationale that supports the type(s) of accommodation(s) being requested that are based on the individual’s present level of functioning in the educational setting.
Documentation should be submitted to Services for Students with Disabilities via fax, mail, or in-person to the SSWD office. The cost of obtaining professional verification is the responsibility of the student.