Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Guidelines for documenting Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD and ADD)

1. A qualified evaluator

Professionals using assessments to determine the diagnosis of ADHD and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. This may be a psychiatrist, M.D., licensed psychologist or neuropsychologist. The documentation must meet the following criteria:

  • Evaluator's name, title and professional credentials

  • Presented on the professional's letterhead, typed, dated, signed and legible

  • Evaluator may not be a family member

2. Documentation

Must be current: The impact of ADHD on an individual changes over time. To determine the most appropriate accommodations, ADHD documentation must be current within the past three years.

Must be comprehensive: 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 psychoeducational or neuropsychological report, including the components listed below, is preferred:

  • Thorough discussion of historical information showing presence of ADHD in childhood/adolescence

  • Relevant psychosocial, medical and medication history

  • Thorough academic history, including a history of ADHD-related accommodations

  • Discussion of current impairment and a statement of presenting problem(s).

  • Diagnostic test data is recommended, although not required, showing aptitude and achievement, and memory and processing speed

  • Results of assessments of learning styles/skills and comorbidities

  • Statement of diagnosis of AD/HD with subtype and diagnostic code (DSM-IV)

  • Statement of diagnosis cannot be based on wording such as "seems to indicate" or "suggests," and cannot be stated as "attention issues or problems"

  • Current treatments for the impact of AD/HD should be noted

  • Discussion of current functional limitations in an academic environment is crucial; i.e. "How does the disability impair the student's ability to learn?"

  • Appropriate and specific recommendations for the academic environment.

May include supporting information

In addition to the report of the qualified evaluator, it is also helpful to have records of accommodations on standardized tests such as SAT or ACT, high school 504 plans or IEPs, previous psychoeducational reports, or summary of performance to better understand and accommodate the student with AD/HD.