Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder that commonly presents initially during childhood and is characterized by developmentally atypical levels of inattention and/or hyperactive-impulsive behavior. For a person to be diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactive-impulsive behavior must cause significant impairment in two or more major life activities, including interpersonal relations, educational or occupational goals, and/or cognitive or adaptive functioning.
There is no simple definitive test for the disorder, and there is significant geographic variation in the diagnosis. Treatment always includes behavioral strategies to improve functioning. In addition, medications may sometimes be helpful. Educational institutions may make accommodations for learning and testing.
The University Health Service (UHS) has adopted the following guidelines for students who request prescription medications for ADHD:
You will need to be evaluated before medications will be prescribed by a UHS physician, nurse practitioner, or psychiatrist. Evaluation includes comprehensive testing and assessment by trained professionals. The evaluation can be done at the University Counseling Center (UCC) or elsewhere. See "Evaluation for ADHD at the University Counseling Center" below for more information.
You must provide documentation of the diagnosis from the clinician who made the diagnosis. Minimally, documentation must be on letterhead that is dated, typed, and signed by a qualified physician, psychologist, or other qualified health care provider. Supporting documentation from a family member alone is insufficient.
Documentation must be in the form of an evaluation, treatment summary, and/or (neuro) psychological assessment supporting the diagnosis. Progress notes alone are not sufficient. The diagnostic report should, where appropriate, include:
NOTE: If documentation is insufficient to support the services requested, you must be evaluated to be considered for medication treatment by UHS health care providers. The evaluation includes comprehensive testing and assessment by trained professionals. The assessment can be done at the University Counseling Center (UCC) or elsewhere. See "Evaluation for ADHD at the University Counseling Center" below for more information.
Submitting Documentation: Documentation should be sent to the UHS Medical Records Office by
To schedule an appointment at the University Counseling Center (UCC), you will need a referral from your UHS primary care provider or your UCC therapist. You can schedule an appointment with your UHS primary care provider by calling 585-275-2662. To schedule with your UHS therapist, call 585-275-3113.
Please note that testing for ADHD typically takes several visits. During most of the semester it may take a few weeks to be seen for the first testing appointment at UCC. Other resources for community referrals can be provided. Another option is to seek appropriate testing prior to coming to the University using the guidelines in "Documentation Requirements."
Generally, this type of evaluation is not covered by health insurance. Please ask your insurance company if your plan covers evaluation for ADHD. The University-sponsored Aetna Student Health insurance covers the cost of evaluation for ADHD after the plan deductible of $125 has been met.
If prescription medication is going to be prescribed by a UHS health care provider based on documentation of an ADHD diagnosis or based on the results of an evaluation that includes testing and assessment, you must sign the "UHS Controlled Medication Agreement." This agreement can be reviewed and signed at the time of your first visit to UHS. The purpose of this agreement is to assure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws regarding controlled medications and to prevent misunderstandings about certain medications. Lost or stolen medications will not be replaced. Periodic urine drug screening may occur. Medications for ADHD are potentially lethal. Giving or selling medications to others is against the law and strictly forbidden.
Students seeking academic accommodations should contact the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and submit supporting documentation in accordance with the University of Rochester Equal Opportunity Policy. Students with ADHD often find Study Skills Counseling beneficial. CETL study skills counselors can provide assistance related to time management, test-taking strategies, and motivation. Additionally, CETL offers a 1-credit study skills course, Methods of Inquiry.