Process for an ADHD Assessment
If you have documentation that shows you have ADHD, we are happy to take a look and help you with next steps. Here are some of the ways we might respond:
- We can see that you have a diagnosis, but the information about how it affects you in a university setting is unclear.
- The information is out of date, and we’ll need an update to understand your abilities.
- The information meets our requirements, but it looks like the assessor was wondering about the possibility of an additional disability. Do you need help with getting that assessed?
- The documentation provided aligns with SAS documentation guidelines.
Note that an assessment by a psychologist usually provides the most detailed and helpful information when it comes to learning at university, but there are other options too. See our Documentation Guidelines for more information.
How SAS Can Help
If you suspect you have ADHD or need an updated assessment, please read through the steps below.
Note that SAS does not provide assessments in-house, but we can help guide you with regard to options. Some of the following steps will not apply in every situation.
Step 1: Healthcare
Talk to your family physician or other healthcare provider about the symptoms you experience. If you also have mental health symptoms, you might need to have those treated before a conclusive diagnosis of ADHD is possible.
Step 2: SAS New Student Application
Tell SAS about yourself and what academic barriers you are experiencing.
Step 3: Screening
After submitting your application, we will send you an online questionnaire that helps us gather more information so we can advise you about whether an ADHD assessment is a good idea at the present time. Sometimes there are faster and less expensive ways of getting help. Screening is for students who:
- Have not previously been assessed or diagnosed with ADHD,
- Are experiencing academic difficulties,
- If already registered with SAS, are seeking accommodation that’s not already provided, and
- Have relative stability in mental health.
Step 4: Alternative Options
Sometimes an assessment is not currently recommended. This is not about whether you have ADHD, but rather about whether an assessment will be conclusive (i.e. able to separate ADHD symptoms from other things that might cause the same symptoms). In these situations, we can usually recommend options that are easier to access and might provide faster relief.
Step 5: Evidence from Childhood
In order to satisfy the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, evidence from childhood is required. Usually, this means you will need to have a copy of your elementary school report cards. If you don't have a copy and you went to school in Ontario, you may be able to request your report cards from the last school you attended. If it is impossible to get your report cards (e.g. you went to school in a different country) ask us about other options.
Step 6: Interim Accommodations
If there is evidence of a disability (e.g. a provisional diagnosis) and more time is needed to obtain the documentation we require for the long-term, we may be able to assist with some temporary accommodations. In the absence of a current description of how ADHD affects you, these accommodations may be somewhat limited. This also depends on whether measurements of your abilities have been compared with university students more generally.
Step 7: Student Health Benefits
If you are going to be assessed by a psychologist for ADHD, you may be able to access up to $750 from the student health benefits program to help cover the costs.
Step 8: Other Health Benefits
Students with access to parental, spousal, and/or employer benefits may find these programs also help to cover the costs. Contact the health insurance provider to see if they cover psychological services.
Step 9: Bursary for Students with Disabilities (BSWD) Application
If you qualify for even the smallest amount of OSAP, then you may be eligible to apply for funding to assist with the cost of an assessment. This funding is subject to government eligibility criteria. SAS must provide a clear rationale and sign the application form to indicate we require the assessment to implement accommodations.
BSWD funding can only be provided as a reimbursement and not in advance unless there are grounds to suspect a learning disability too, which is a more involved assessment.
Step 10: Referral to a psychologist
Scenario A: Referral made by SAS
This situation applies when:
Screening is complete,
SAS requires an assessment to proceed with accommodations,
Issues around funding have been resolved,
Evidence from childhood is available, and
Assessment will be completed in Guelph or the surrounding area.
Scenario B: Self-Referral
This applies when SAS is not able to recommend an assessment, but the student wishes to pursue one for their own interest. We can advise you on how to find a psychologist who is accepting self-referrals.
Step 11: OSAP Disability Verification Form
If you are diagnosed with ADHD and receiving OSAP, you will want to have the health professional who assesses you complete the OSAP Disability Verification Form. This form provides access to additional financial aid for students with disabilities. Once completed, you will need to upload it to the OSAP portal.
Step 12: Assessment Review
When SAS receives a copy of the report from your assessment it will be assigned to an internal reviewer. If there are unusual recommendations, then we will consult with a psychologist.
Step 13: Assigned to an SAS Advisor
Up until this point, you will have been working with an Intake Advisor. Once your file has been reviewed and is in good order, you'll be assigned to an on-going advisor. They can provide guidance on navigating university policies and procedures and will update your academic accommodations as needed. They might also make referrals to support services relevant to your situation and suggest learning strategies that could be helpful.
Step 14: On-going Support
At the start of each semester, you'll be asked to renew your accommodations online. This step ensures they are connected to your current courses. If you need assistance with putting together a plan, troubleshooting, or navigating an unfamiliar situation, book an appointment with your SAS Advisor. SAS is unable to provide ADHD coaching or weekly appointments.
Important: Tests & Exams
If you use the SAS Exam Centre, please remember that all test and exam bookings must be submitted at least 10 BUSINESS DAYS ahead of when you intend to write.
In addition, the last day any bookings can be received is the first business day in November, March or July as appropriate for the semester.