ADHD Guidelines

1. A Qualified Evaluator

Professionals conducting assessments rendering the diagnosis of ADHD and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so (e.g., psychiatrist, M.D., licensed psychologist, or neuropsychologist). The documentation must meet the following criteria:

  • include evaluator’s name, title, professional credentials, license and/or certification number,
  • be presented on professional letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and legible,
  • the evaluator may not be an immediate family member.

2. Current Documentation

The impact of ADHD on an individual changes over time. To determine the most appropriate accommodations, ADHD documentation should be current – within the past five years. If your medical document is older than five years old, please have a qualified evaluator as listed above, complete the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form and submit it with your most current evaluation, as stated below.

3. Comprehensive Documentation

ADHD is complex, affecting each person differently. ADHD documentation must be thorough, giving a full picture of the individual, not simply a diagnosis. A complete psycho-educational or neuropsychological report, including the components listed below, is preferred:

  • Thorough discussion of:
    • historical information showing evidence of ADHD in childhood/adolescence,
    • relevant psychosocial, medical, and medication history,
    • a thorough academic history including a history of ADHD-related accommodation, and
    • evidence of current impairment, and a statement of presenting problem(s).

We recommend diagnostic instruments to assess for ADHD and closely related conditions. These would include measures of:

  • aptitude and achievement,
  • memory and processing speed,
  • continuous performance, and attention or tracking tests, and
  • diagnostic checklists and rating scales to assess psychological and learning disorders

*Test scores or self-reported ratings alone may not be used as a sole measure for the diagnostic decision regarding ADHD.

  • A clear diagnosis of ADHD must be rendered, including:
    • Clearly stated ADHD diagnosis and subtype, with diagnostic code, and DSM criteria including symptomatology
    • CANNOT INCLUDE wording such as "seems to indicate" or "suggests,"
    • CANNOT solely refer to ADHD as merely "Attention problems" or "Attention issues,"
  • Describe current treatments used in the management of the presenting ADHD symptoms.
  • Evidence of current functional limitations in an academic environment - the ways that the diagnosed ADHD currently substantially limits the student in the major life activity of learning. The report must establish that the symptoms of ADHD cause significant impairment in learning and judgments of severity should be based on comparison to the general population. For instance:
    • How does this student’s disability impair his/her ability to learn?
    • Describe the current functional limitations pertaining to an educational setting that are presumably a direct result of problems with attention.
    • Elaborate on how it has interfered with educational achievement.
  • Appropriate and specific recommendations for an academic environment including:
    • detailed explanation as to why each accommodation is recommended
    • correlation to functional limitations previously described.
  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s), which might be appropriate at the post-secondary level, are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.

4. Supporting Documentation

While required, the report of the qualified evaluator is by no means the only documentation we can use to better understand and accommodate the student with ADHD. Other helpful documents may include records of accommodations from previous institutions, high school 504 plans or IEPs, and previous psycho-educational evaluations. Please see the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form [PDF], should you wish to add this to your supporting documentation.

*Please note the on-campus DRC office is currently closed. Students must submit documentation as an attachment to [email protected] prior to their scheduled appointment.

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