Mental-Health Impairment Documentation Guidelines

Documentation of mental health impairments should consist of a detailed report by a qualified mental health professional (i.e. psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed clinical social worker with appropriate competencies related to the student's diagnosis). All documentation must be current, within the past year, and should include the following:

  • A complete DSM-IV diagnosis with an accompanying description of the specific symptoms the student experiences.
  • The diagnosis should be based upon a comprehensive clinical interview and psychological testing (when testing is clinically appropriate).
  • A complete description of the impact on academic functioning of the student's symptoms must be provided. Descriptions of the impact upon study skills, classroom behavior, test taking and organizing research would be examples of academic functioning.
  • Possible side effects of any prescribed medication.
  • Whether the condition is mitigated by medication or any other form of currently prescribed treatment.
  • A statement of the functional limitation(s) caused by the disorder.
  • Recommendations for effective and reasonable accommodations. Diagnostic information and its impact upon student functioning must be related to the academic accommodations that are recommended.