Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) refers to a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity present since early childhood that interferes significantly with academic, occupational or social functioning.
For Test Takers
All requests for accommodations based on ADHD should include the following pieces of documentation:
- A completed accommodations request form (pdf).
- A signed Verification and Release Form.
- A personal statement that includes the following. (You can use the request form above to complete your personal statement.)
- Your name and contact information
- Title of the exam for which you are requesting an accommodation
- Description of the specific accommodation requested
- Description of any alternative accommodations
- Description of the nature of your impairment, including:
- When it was first identified or diagnosed
- When it was last evaluated and/or treated
- The name of the professional who evaluated and/or treated the condition
- How your impairment is accommodated in your daily life
- Your education history including:
- A statement describing the impact ADHD has had in academic and vocational settings
- The name, location and dates of all schools attended from elementary school to the present
- Copies of all available grade reports, including your GPA from college and any post-graduate programs completed, and all available test scores on standardized testing from elementary school through the present, such as the SAT or MCAT
- A list and, where applicable, copies of approval letters for accommodations you have received for the stated impairment in the course of taking other standardized tests or examinations in an academic setting, including a description of the accommodation and the documentation submitted with that request
- If the accommodation requested has been sought previously and denied, an explanation of the circumstances involved
- A description of any special education services provided by your school and the grades for which they were provided
- An indication of whether or not you received an individualized education plan (IEP) and the grades for which it was in effect
- If you have received no previous accommodations, then you should provide an explanation for why no accommodations have been received in the past and why accommodations are necessary now.
- A professional report confirming the presence, nature and extent of your impairment and the need for specific accommodation. Professional reports should be by a qualified and licensed/certified professional with specific and appropriate expertise evaluating adults with the impairment that you have. See the "For Evaluators" section below for details of what the report should contain.
- A comprehensive neuropsychological and/or psychoeducational evaluation conducted by a professional (psychiatrist or licensed psychologist) who regularly practices neuropsychology. The evaluation should have been performed while you were an adult and preferably within the last five years. See the "For Evaluators" section below for details of what this evaluation should contain.
Note: Past failure of ABIM examinations does not, in and of itself, constitute objective evidence of a functional limitation due to a disability.
- Your name, address and phone number
- Your area of specialty/expertise
- Description of the specific functional limitations caused by your impairment that require accommodation
- Description of the accommodations recommended by you
- Description of the history of treatment and/or rehabilitation efforts that the test taker has received for their impairment
- Objective evidence of functional limitations:
- A list of all standardized test instruments and assessment procedures used to diagnose and evaluate the functional impact of the test taker's impairment
- Date(s) of assessments and/or treatment contacts upon which your report and opinions are based
- A diagnostic interview including a report of the test taker's current symptoms and complaints, history of when symptoms began, how they have been treated and the effects of treatment. This history should address co-morbid and co-occurring psychological and neuropsychological conditions that might impact differential diagnosis. It should also address the test taker's educational history and linguistic history, including first language spoken. In cases in which English was not the test taker's first language, the predominant language spoken in the test taker's childhood home, when English was first learned, and what language or languages were used in the course of the test taker's education should be addressed.
- A comprehensive and complete assessment of aptitude. The recommended evaluation procedure is the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (WAIS-IV) because abbreviated measures such as the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence-Second Edition (WASI-II) do not provide a complete picture of an individual's relative strengths and weaknesses in order to assess functional impairment.
- Assessments of sustained attention such as the TOVA or Continuous Performance Test and assessments of information processing including but not limited to tests of executive mental functions such as subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System, and measures of learning and memory such as the Wechsler Memory Scale-Fourth Edition and/or California Verbal Learning Test-II.
- A comprehensive assessment of academic skills and achievement appropriate to the test taker's age. At minimum, achievement testing should include a complete assessment of reading skills. In addition, the achievement testing should include a timed, standardized reading comprehension test, such as the Nelson-Denny Reading Test. The Nelson-Denny Reading Test, however, does not include age norms, and therefore, scores should be provided based on the test taker's current grade level as well as for first year college norms.
- Comprehensive, psychometric assessment of personality and emotional functioning that contains built-in validity measures, including quantitative measures of emotional functioning, such as the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II) and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI). Where appropriate and indicated based on the history, more comprehensive assessment of personality and emotional functioning such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) or Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) are suggested.
- Quantitative symptom rating scales appropriate to the test taker's age. Explicit, cognitive symptom validity measures, including raw scores for the symptom validity test(s) used.
- Test scores, in the form of standard scores and percentiles. All scores should be based on appropriate age norms, except in the case of a test for which no age norms are available. For tests that only have grade-based norms, scores should be provided for first year college norms, as well as the norms based on the test taker's current grade.
- A specific diagnosis based on standard, accepted diagnostic nomenclature and supported by the history and objective test data.