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.

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 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.