Checklist for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder Documentation

  • Documentation should be prepared by a person who is an unrelated, neutral professional qualified by training and practice, to diagnose and treat the impairment leading to the disability.
  • For ADHD, a licensed psychologist, psychiatrist, or licensed mental health professional with appropriate clinical training and experience working with adults should make the diagnosis. If students have not secured a professional, they should refer to their insurance company’s provider directory, or ask a family physician or university staff for referrals.
  • Include the name, title, professional credentials, licensure/certificate information, original signature, and contact information. Reports should be written in English or translated into English by a qualified translator.
  • The report must be typed on dated letterhead of either the practitioner or the agency hosting the practice. The university will not accept handwritten notes on prescription pads, photocopies of physician’s notes, or hospital discharge papers.
  • The documentation provided should be dated within the last three years and be based on an adult scale, if appropriate. The determination of what is current may vary according to the disorder or disability. The university reserves the right to ask for more recent documentation or additional documentation for clarification as appropriate.
  • The documentation must provide a clear statement consistent with the diagnostic criteria found in the American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV TR).
  • The documentation must consider all other psychiatric or medical disorders that may cause problem with inattention within a differential diagnosis. This is particularly important when disorders of mood, anxiety, or substance abuse are involved. Other causes of problems with attention and concentration must be considered and discussed.  A positive response to medication is not by itself considered diagnostic.
  • The documentation must provide a description of the symptoms meeting the criteria for diagnosis including onset, longevity, and severity. Include summaries of questionnaires, measures, or other clinical data with norm-based behavior rating scales; if diagnosis is associated with a learning disorder, provide a full psycho-educational evaluation.
  • The documentation must indicate how the condition affects the student’s life across multiple settings and what the functional limitations are for participation in an academic environment.
  • The documentation must discuss how the specific functional limitations relate to the academic environment or a student’s academic performance.
  • The documentation must include information on the current medication(s) used to treat the condition and the potential side effects on the student’s ability to face university-level academic stressors and demands.
  • The documentation must recommend the necessary reasonable accommodations and services to be provided. The goal of reasonable accommodations is to minimize the impact of the functional limitations on the student’s academic performance or participation in programs and activities.


Without such written documentation, a student will be unable to receive appropriate academic accommodations that may be critical for his or her academic success.