Guidelines for documenting attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
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:
- Include evaluator’s name, title and professional credentials.
- Be typed, dated and signed on the professional’s letterhead.
- Evaluator may not be a family member.
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 last 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 following components is preferred:
- Thorough discussion of historical information showing presence of ADHD in childhood.
- Relevant psychosocial, medical and medication history.
- Thorough academic history, including a history of ADHD-related accommodations.
- Discussion of current impairment and a statement of present problem(s).
- Diagnostic test data is recommended but not required Data should show aptitude, achievement, memory and processing speed.
- Learning skills and comorbiditie assessment results.
- Statement of diagnosis of ADHD 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 ADHD should be noted.
- Discussion of current functional limitations in an academic environment.
- Appropriate and specific recommendations for the academic environment.
May include supporting information: In addition to the report of the qualified evaluator, it's also helpful to have records of the following:
- Accommodations on standardized tests such as SAT or ACT
- High school 504 plans or IEPs
- Previous psychoeducational reports.
- Summary of performance.