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Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition) states Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a persistent pattern of inattention and / or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, as characterized by Inattention and / or Hyperactivity and impulsivity. Additionally, symptoms of ADHD are present in two or more settings (e.g., at home, school, or work; with friends or relatives; in other activities). There is clear evidence that the symptoms interfere with, or reduce the quality of, social, academic, or occupational functioning.

  1. Qualified Professional
    • Professional must have comprehensive training and experience in diagnosing psychiatric conditions as well as proficiency in the differential diagnosis of ADHD.
    • Generally, professionals qualified to make this type of diagnosis would include: licensed psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and other specially trained psychiatrically medical professionals.
    • The name, title, signature, and credentials of the professional making the diagnosis should be clearly listed on the documentation.
  2. Currency of Documentation
    • Documentation should be current: generally, documentation should be 5 years or more current to accurately depict the relevant effects of the disability.
  3. Documentation Criteria
    • Record of early impairment or when the disability first manifested. This could include IEP’s, 504 plans, school records, teacher reports, etc. It is prudent to establish how patterns of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity have affected the individual during developmental phases and in varying settings.
    • Documentation of current limitations associated with the disability. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition DSM V), symptoms of ADHD include behaviors of inattention and/ or hyperactivity-impulsivity. The symptoms are persistent and more often observed than what is normally occurring in the general population. Current symptoms must have been present for at least 6 months. Significant impairment in the areas of social, academic, or occupational functioning should be documented.
    • Documentation must consist of more than just a self-report.
    • A comprehensive psychoeducational or neuropsychological assessment should be provided to identify the impacts of the disability in regard to substantially limiting learning outcomes.
    • Documentation of whether or not the individual is taking medication and the extent to which the treatment provides a positive/ negative response.
    • Documentation should identify academic accommodations which will reduce the effects associated with disability and enhance learning outcomes for the individual.