Documentation Guidelines: ADHD

Student holding paper airplane during a lectureStudents seeking support services from Student Accessibility Services (SAS) on the basis of a previously diagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) must submit documentation that verifies their eligibility under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act. The documentation must describe a disabling condition, which is defined by the presence of substantial limitations in one or more major life activities. Merely submitting evidence of a diagnosis and/or a discrepancy between ability and achievement on the basis of a single subtest score is not sufficient to warrant academic accommodations. Similarly, nonspecific diagnoses, such as individual "learning styles," "learning differences," "academic problems," "attention problems," and "test difficulty/anxiety" in and of themselves do not constitute a disability.

The guidelines below are intended to provide guidance for the assessment process, including the areas that must be assessed in order for SAS staff to make appropriate decisions. Please do not hesitate to contact SAS at 956-882-7374 on the Brownsville campus or 956-665-7005 on the Edinburg campus if you have any questions.

Comprehensive psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluations may be required to support specific accommodation requests. A comprehensive psychological assessment is considered an important part of establishing the impact of the disorder on learning and such assessment results are important in determining appropriate accommodations. It is also essential in determining the presence or absence of other conditions that frequently co-occur with the disorder, which may be relevant in the classroom.

Evaluators should not be related to the individual being assessed.

At a  minimum, documentation in support of an ADHD should include:

1. DSM-IV or ICD Diagnosis (text and code) and information concerning comorbidity in order to establish a history of the condition and recency of evaluation.

  1. Date of diagnosis
  2. Date of last contact: The assessment must be current. Accommodations are based on an assessment of the current nature and impact of your disability. Evaluations must have been completed within the last three (3) years prior to accommodation requests. In addition, depending on the nature of the disability, evaluations may need to be updated on a semester-by-semester or yearly basis.
2. Evaluation: A list of questionnaires, interviews, and observations used to identify the AD/HD. A summary should include information regarding the onset, longevity, and severity of the symptoms as well as treatment history including medication.

3.  Functional Limitations: Should be determined WITHOUT consideration of mitigating measures (i.e. medication, etc.). If condition is episodic in nature, level of functioning should be assessed based on active phase of symptoms.

  1. Major life activities that are functionally limited by the individual’s symptoms.
  2. Behavioral manifestations of the diagnosis that functionally limits the individual in the academic setting. Information to consider includes the severity pervasiveness, and frequency of symptoms.
  3. Any special considerations that should be made (i.e. side effects of medication, etc.)

4. Accommodations: History of accommodations (optional). Suggested recommendations, modifications and/or accommodations may be included.

All documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional describing the disability. The diagnostic report should be dated and signed and include the name, title, and professional credentials of the evaluator, including information about license/certification. Student Accessibility Services will make the determination regarding whether accommodations are reasonable in the University environment.

All documentation submitted to SAS is considered confidential.