There is a growing number of adults being diagnosed with ADHD who were not diagnosed in childhood, misdiagnosed, or primarily exhibited symptoms in adulthood. Notably, most of the later diagnoses of ADHD in adults are individuals pursuing some level of higher education. Some of the reasons posited for this increase in ADHD diagnoses in higher education may be attributed to increased workloads, decreased structural and community supports, misdiagnosis in childhood, masking, and racial and socioeconomic factors that overlook subpopulations like children of color, female-presenting, and gender-nonbinary children with ADHD. Unfortunately, testing agencies that administer college entrance exams, graduate school entrance exams, and professional licensing exams do not make any exceptions to their strict accommodations policies for individuals who receive a later diagnosis of ADHD. Instead, testing agencies continue to require an extensive history of supportive information, including a history of diagnosis criterion (referring to a childhood diagnosis) for individuals with ADHD to prove requests for an accommodation. This Note argues that the history of diagnosis criterion puts individuals with a later diagnosis of ADHD at a disadvantage because they cannot demonstrate that history when they have only recently been diagnosed. This Note calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to issue guidance to testing agencies regarding the subset of individuals with disabilities who have received a later diagnosis of ADHD, specifically advising testing agencies to make an exception to the history of diagnosis requirement for individuals who receive a later diagnosis of ADHD.
The Historical Diagnosis Criterion Should Not Apply: Reasonable Accommodations in Standardized Testing for Individuals with a Later Diagnosis of ADHD,
30 J. L. & Pol'y
Available at: https://brooklynworks.brooklaw.edu/jlp/vol30/iss1/3