Guidelines for Documentation of Adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)

A clinical assessment by a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, neuropsychologist, behavioural neurologist or a clinical or educational psychologist, using the current version of the DSM is requested. Evaluation by clinicians who have extensive training and experience in differential diagnosis is recommended.

This assessment should include:

  • early indicators of difficulties with attention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity in the student’s school history and/or through consultation with someone who has known the student well over a significant period of time (e.g. family, teachers).
  • a thorough family, social, academic and/or occupational history which includes consultation with individuals who know the student well.
  • Recent diagnosis (within the last 5 years) or a diagnosis made at 18 years of age or older. Documentation that is more than 5 years old will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Documentation which is provided that does not contain the above will not be considered complete and might result in provisional accommodations while more extensive information is requested.

We will accept a Medical Documentation for ADHD Form as a start to putting accommodations in place.

Note: LDS recognizes that previous evaluation by a pediatrician may be accepted by the current evaluator as evidence of the existence of the disorder since childhood, but may be questioned as the sole indicator of adult AD/HD.


Guidelines for Documentation of Adult Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder for Psychologists and Psychological Associates

York University requires that all students diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) who request accommodation and support through Learning Disability Services (LDS) have a current psycho-educational assessment report on file to support their requests. This assessment must meet the Guidelines for Documentation of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder established by York.

Students who are undertaking an assessment are asked to provide the attached guidelines to the diagnosing psychologist and request that the assessment be undertaken in accordance with these guidelines. Where the assessment report does not contain the needed information, LDS may not be able to consider the provision of accommodations requested, and/or may ask that further testing be undertaken, or contact the diagnosing psychologist to request additional information.

If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact LDS.


Content of the Assessment Report

The assessment report will be based on the following model for content:

  • A clear diagnostic statement identifying AD/HD, including the nature (type) of the disorder as outlined in the current version of the DSM.
  • Identification of co-existing conditions that may be diagnosed.
  • Assessment of cognitive and academic functioning.

Due to the fact that learning disabilities frequently co-exist with AD/HD, it is important to investigate the student’s learning profile, and the presence of possible learning disabilities, in order to provide appropriate support.

Guidelines for Documentation of a Learning Disability:

  • Assessment and description of social-emotional functioning either through formal assessment and/or clinical interview to rule out other explanations for the difficulties.

Other associated disorders (e.g. anxiety disorders, mood disorders) frequently co-exist with AD/HD. It is therefore important to consider such information when recommending appropriate support.

  • An indication of the degree of impairment in the student’s current functioning.
  • Implications for appropriate accommodations in a university environment indicated by the recommendations.