Documentation Guidelines for Learning Disabilities and Attention Disorders
In order to determine reasonable accommodations for students with learning disabilities and/or attention disorders, the Academic Success Center (ASC) requires documentation which both establishes disability and provides adequate information on the functional impact of the disability.
A 504 plan or Individual Education Plan (IEP) can be helpful, and may be considered sufficient documentation.
Documentation should follow these guidelines:
- Documentation should be current and testing should have been administered as an adult, age 16 or older. In most cases, the assessment should have taken place within the last three years. The ASC reserves the right to make modifications to this time frame.
- The name, title and professional credentials of the evaluator (including information about license or certification), as well as area of specialization, employment and state in which the individual practices, must be included. It is important that professionals conducting the assessment are qualified and experienced in working with adolescent and adult populations. The evaluator cannot be an immediate family member of the student.
- Evaluations must be on letterhead, typed, dated, and must include the original signature of the evaluator. (They must be written in English or translated into English by a qualified translator.)
- Evaluations must include date(s) of testing, as well as date of birth or age of student.
- Testing should cover the following components:
- Intelligence (aptitude or cognitive)
- Achievement (current academic skills)
- Information processing (memory, auditory, visual, etc.)
- Comprehensive assessments should include seven components:
- Background information (interview, behavioral observations, records review, health history, etc.)
- Evidence of existing impairment
- List of all relevant assessment tools utilized (standardized tests, behavior checklists for AD/HD, etc.)
- A specific diagnosis following guidelines and language of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition Text-Revised (DSM-IV-TR), or Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V)
- Consideration of alternative diagnoses or explanations
- An integrated summary
- Specific recommendations for reasonable academic accommodations with a detailed explanation of the rationale for each recommendation as related to the specific functional limitations, especially academic performance.
- Evaluations must include the scores derived from the assessment tools utilized (standard scores and percentile rank scores) and a discussion of the data that clearly indicates the presence of a disability. For Attention Disorders (e.g., AD/HD), a description of the symptoms which meet the criteria for the diagnosis is needed.
- Any medications, as well as their potential side effects should be included.