Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Documentation Guidelines for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Because of the complex nature of ADHD, students must have their disability verified by a diagnostician with expertise in the diagnosis of ADHD. The diagnostician must have comprehensive training in differential diagnosis of ADHD and pertinent psychiatric disorders, and have direct experience with adult learners. Recommended practitioners might include:
- Licensed/certified psychologist
- Member of a medical specialty (e.g. psychiatrist, neuropsychiatrist, neurologist or relevantly trained medical doctor) who has expertise in evaluating the impact of ADHD on an individual’s educational performance
Students seeking accommodations for ADHD must provide a typed comprehensive assessment battery, which indicates a specific diagnosis and how it substantially limits some major life activity, including learning. Current documentation (within last 3 years) is important because reasonable accommodations and services are based on the assessment of the current impact of the disability on academic performance. If the documentation is not adequate in content or does not address the individual’s current level of functioning and need for accommodation(s), additional documentation may be requested. Documentation should be provided on the official letterhead of the doctor, institution, and/or agency making the diagnosis and must include:
- Clinician’s name, title, license/certification credentials, phone/fax number, address, signature and date(s) of treatment
- Clinical interview to include relevant historical information (medical, developmental, educational, and psychosocial)
- Statement of presenting problems as well as a history of student’s presenting attentional symptoms
- Evidence of current impact that significantly impairs functioning in two or more life activities, in particular, the academic setting
- Assessment data that supports or refutes a diagnosis of ADHD (i.e., rule out alternative diagnoses or explanations)
- Interpretative summary of all instruments and procedures used to assess for ADHD. Relevant testing information must be provided that demonstrates the current impact of ADHD on the individual’s academic functioning. It is not acceptable to diagnose on the basis of a single test, checklist/rating scales, a clinical interview, or response to medication alone.
- A specific statement explaining that the student is diagnosed as having ADHD with sub-type and accompanying DSM-IV-TR criteria is required. Individuals who exhibit general problems with organization, test anxiety, memory, and concentration alone do not fit the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.
- Medications and possible side effects
- Recommendations for reasonable accommodations