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Attention Deficit Disorder


Although the more generic term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is often used, we will use the official nomenclature from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).


Since accommodations are based on the current impact of the disability to the student, documentation must be current, no more than 3 years old.

Professionals diagnosing ADHD must have comprehensive training in differential diagnosis & direct experience with adolescents and adults with ADHD. 

The following professionals are considered qualified:

clinical psychologists



other qualified medical doctors


Evidence of Early Impairment:
Because ADHD is, by definition, first exhibited in childhood and manifests itself in more than one setting, historical and academic information must be gathered by the evaluator.

Evidence of Current Impairment:
Assessment should consist of more than just a self-report.  It should include a history of attentional symptoms, including evidence of ongoing impulsive, hyperactive or inattentive behavior that has significantly impaired functioning over time.

Alternative Diagnosis and/or Explanation:
The assessment should also examine the possibility for a co-existing diagnosis.  It should explore possible alternative diagnoses including psychiatric and medical disorders as well as any educational or cultural factors which may impact the individual and result in behaviors similar to ADHD.

Diagnostic Battery:
Neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessment is critical in determining the current impact of ADHD on the individual’s ability to function in different settings.  Assessment must include standardized measures for inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity as delineated in the DSM-IV.

Diagnostic Report and Summary:
The diagnostic report must be a comprehensive interpretive summary synthesizing the evaluator’s judgment for the diagnosis of ADHD.

The report must include:

All quantitative information in standard scores and/or percentiles

all relevant developmental, medical, familial, medication, psychosocial, behavioral and academic information

a specific diagnosis of ADHD based on the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria

The report must also identify in clear, direct language, the substantial limitation of a major life function presented by the ADHD.  Specific recommendations for accommodations based on significant functional limitations must be supported by the assessment.  Official letterhead with names, titles, professional credentials, addresses, and phone/fax number of the evaluator as well as the date(s) of testing.

Click here for the  ADHD Documentation Guidelines Form.

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