It is not uncommon for learning disabilities (LD) or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to remain undetected until one attends college, especially among academically talented students. Vanderbilt attracts excellent students who are most often diversely talented and gifted. For such students, a learning disability or ADHD may not be manifested until they confront the increased academic challenges that the University presents.
If you are interested in being tested for ADHD and are not currently receiving other services at the PCC, you will need to complete an online request for services on the PCC website. Following completion of an online request you will schedule a phone appointment with a PCC provider who will talk with you in more detail about your concerns and the assessment process. If the provider determines that an ADHD Evaluation is indicated, you will be contacted by the PCC to initiate the evaluation process. You will need to come to the PCC in person to pay the $50.00 fee and sign the appropriate Release of Information forms. You will then be sent several ADHD questionnaires through an online system called Attention Point. You will be directed to enter into the Attention Point system the email addresses for those who will be providing collateral information about you (often your parents). There is also a Developmental History Form for Parents to complete that is available to download from the PCC website. This is intended to be completed by a parent or other adult who knows you well from your childhood.
Once all questionnaires, including the Developmental History Form for Parents, have been returned, we will contact you to schedule a screening appointment. At your scheduled screening, we will meet with you for one to two hours during which we will ask detailed questions about your past learning history. You may be asked to complete some additional screening measures as well. Once the evaluation has been completed and all questionnaires have been returned, a licensed psychologist will review the information and will make a determination about the diagnosis. In most cases, we are able to determine whether or not ADHD is an appropriate diagnosis based upon this screening evaluation; however, sometimes we will recommend more in depth testing if a definitive diagnosis cannot be made on the basis of the screening data or if there is evidence that academic or attention problems might be attributable to another issue, for example depression or anxiety. If you elect to pursue a recommendation of further testing, the next step is to schedule testing and arrange payment. The cost and payment details will be discussed at the initial screening.
At certain points in the semester, it may take two or three months to get an appointment for a screening evaluation. If you would prefer to seek an evaluation from a provider outside the PCC, you or your outside provider may wish to review the Guidelines for ADHD Documentation required by the PCC to verify a diagnosis of ADHD.
Please note that receiving a diagnosis of ADHD does not automatically ensure that you are eligible to receive academic accommodations from the EAD Disability Services Office. In most cases, the EAD requires a comprehensive evaluation in order to determine eligibility for accommodations. The PCC does offer comprehensive evaluations of this type. Appointments can be scheduled by contacting Frances Niarhos, PhD at the main PCC phone number. Please refer to the documentation guidelines on the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department (EAD) website for more information.
Learning Disability Assessment
If you suspect you may have a learning disability or require updated documentation to receive academic accommodations from the EAD Disability Services Department, you will need to undergo a comprehensive evaluation. Depending upon the test results, we will help arrange appropriate interventions and, with your consent, facilitate the reporting of the results to the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department (EAD), the disability services office at Vanderbilt. The EAD arranges for academic accommodations, if appropriate, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. All work completed at the Psychological and Counseling Center is confidential. We do not release any information without your explicit written permission.
Other Psychological Assessments
The Psychological and Counseling Center also conducts psychological assessments to determine mental health diagnoses and assessments related to referrals by campus partners due to academic needs or behavioral inconsistencies. Psychological assessments at the Psychological and Counseling Center are tailored specifically to the presenting situation, and cannot be described in full detail due to the heterogeneity of services offered. Please contact us for information related to specific questions regarding other psychological assessment services. If you are seeking accommodations on the basis of a mental health diagnosis other than ADHD or Learning Disorder, please refer to Accommodation Request under the Policies and Forms tab on the PCC website.