Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Students requesting accommodations for AD/HD should submit a diagnostic report containing the following information:

  • Documented developmental history indicating relevant symptoms and problem behaviors across multiple settings. Possible data sources include past evaluations, school records, teacher and parent reports.
  • Documentation of current symptoms that meet diagnostic criteria. Data sources should include clinical interviews, IQ tests (with special reference to any working memory and processing speed index scores), Conners' CPT II or other continuous performance tests, and tests of memory, attention, processing, and fluency from batteries such as the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities and of Achievement. If the student is prescribed any medication, the medication(s) should be noted and a clear statement made as to whether the student was taking the medication(s) during the evaluation.
  • Documentation of current adult behavior on rating scales of AD/HD symptoms that have appropriate norms and if possible, documentation of past childhood behavior on rating scales of AD/HD symptoms. Possible data sources include norm-based behavior rating scales.
  • Corroboration of current AD/HD symptoms across multiple settings by one or more independent observers with knowledge of the student’s functioning. Possible data source include parent, spouse, teacher, supervisor, co-worker, relative, and/or clinician.
  • Clear evidence and documentation of interference with developmentally appropriate academic, social, or vocational functioning.
  • All other psychiatric or medical disorders which may cause problems with inattention are differentially evaluated, documented, and considered in the differential diagnosis. This is particularly important when mood, anxiety, or substance-abuse disorders are involved. Other causes of problems with attention and concentration must be considered and discussed (e.g., test anxiety). A positive response to medication is not, by itself, considered diagnostic.

Letters stating only that the student has AD/HD or is taking a particular medication for AD/HD but that do not provide any diagnostic information or evidence of a history of accommodation are not acceptable. An IEP, 504 Plan, or copy of a prescription for stimulant medication is not appropriate documentation of AD/HD at the post-secondary level but may be used to supplement documentation of disability.

The assessment on which the documentation is based should have been completed no more than three years prior to the student’s request for accommodations, or since the student’s eighteenth birthday.

Minimal Documentation Requirements

Documentation that does not meet all of the above-listed standards nonetheless may be considered sufficient for the student to receive limited accommodations (time-and-a-half on tests and distraction-reduced testing room) when the documentation is submitted with an uninterrupted period of accommodations from another academic institution. At a minimum, students must provide details of a clinical interview performed by a qualified professional and rating scales (filled out by the student and at least one other person) that support an AD/HD diagnosis. It may be useful for the licensed professional who diagnosed or who treats the student to access our AD/HD Verification Form (Word doc) and fill it out thoroughly on behalf of the student such that the minimal requirements are clearly met by the form. If the form is incomplete, SSD may request additional documentation. Please note that a psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation report, if available, is preferred over the completion of the AD/HD Verification Form. It is therefore usually not necessary to provide both a report and the verification form.

It should be noted that post-baccalaureate testing agencies (such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, etc.) frequently require more extensive testing to document AD/HD than the level accepted by SSD for minimal accommodations. It is important to check with each testing agency for specific documentation requirements so that there will be time to obtain additional testing if needed.

As noted for the more detailed documentation requirements above, the assessment on which the minimal AD/HD documentation is based should have been completed no more than three years prior to the student’s request for accommodations, or since the student’s eighteenth birthday.