Disability Support Services
Students requesting accommodations on the basis of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD) must provide documentation by a professional who has undergone comprehensive training and has relevant experience in differential diagnosis of a full range of psychiatric disorders (licensed clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist, psychiatrist or another relevantly trained medical doctor), and who has expertise in evaluating the impact of ADHD/ADD on an individual’s educational performance. Experience working with an adult population is essential. Documentation must be current: within the past 3 years for a high school student and within the past 5 years for an adult. A school plan such as an IEP or 504 Accommodation Plan is NOT sufficient documentation. Documentation must include, but is not limited to, the following elements:
- Evidence of early impairment
The condition must have been exhibited in childhood in more than one setting.
- Evidence of current impairment
In addition to the individual’s history, documentation of current difficulties must include the student’s presenting attentional symptoms and evidence of current impulsive/hyperactive or inattentive behaviors that significantly impair functioning in two or more settings.
- Diagnostic interview
The interview must contain self-report and third-party (i.e., other than the student) information pertaining to developmental history, family history of ADHD/ADD or other learning or psychological difficulties, relevant medical and medication history, a thorough academic history, and a review of prior psychoeducational test reports to determine whether a pattern of strengths or weaknesses is supportive of attention or learning problems.
- Evidence of alternative diagnoses or explanations being ruled out
The possibility of dual diagnoses and alternative or coexisting mood, behavioral, neurological and/or personality disorders that may confound or be the primary cause of attentional difficulties must be addressed and ruled out.
- Neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessments
Such assessments are necessary to determine the current impact of the disorder on the individual’s ability to function in an academic setting. Data should include subtest and standard scores to support conclusions, and should at least include the most recent versions of a comprehensive intelligence battery and a comprehensive achievement battery. (Note: Assessments such as checklists and rating scales are very important, but checklists, scales or subtest scores should not be used as the sole criterion for a diagnosis of ADHD.)
Acceptable Instruments – Aptitude / Cognitive Ability
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale III (or latest version). The WAIS is the preferred instrument.
- Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery – Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
Unacceptable Instruments – Aptitude / Cognitive Ability
- The Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT) is not a comprehensive measure and is therefore not suitable for documentation purposes at UNA.
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) – this instrument is not standardized for use with adults.
- The Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery – Revised: Tests of Achievement
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
- Stanford Test of Academic Skills (TASK)
- Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults (SATA)
- Specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language – 3 (TOWL-3), Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests – Revised, or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test.
- The Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT)
- Mini-Battery of Achievement (MBA)
A clear and specific statement that the student is diagnosed with ADHD and the accompanying DSM-IV-TR diagnostic code(s) are required.
Indicate whether or not the student was evaluated while on medication, and whether or not the prescribed treatment produced a positive response. Medication alone cannot be used to support a diagnosis.
- Clinical summary
(a) The substantial limitations to major life activities posed by the disability. (b) The extent to which these limitations would impact the academic context for which accommodations are being requested. (c) Suggestions as to how the specific effects of the disability may be accommodated. (d) The rationale behind the suggested accommodations. Any recommendation for an accommodation should be based on objective evidence of a substantial limitation to learning, supported by specific test results and clinical observations. In establishing the rationale for recommended accommodations, test data should be used to document the need.*
- Additional Requirements
(a) Interpretation of test results is required. Test protocol sheets, handwritten summary sheets or scores alone are not sufficient. (b) All reports must be in narrative form, typed, signed by the diagnosing clinician, and must include the names, titles and professional credentials of the evaluators as well as the date(s) of testing. Documentation must be submitted on the official letterhead of the professional diagnosing the disability. * A history of accommodations does not in itself warrant the provision of similar accommodations at UNA. The final determination of appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with the decision of the University of North Alabama.