Counseling and Psychological Services

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a complex disorder which can result in problems in several life areas including academic and occupational performance, as well as in social relationships.   It is estimated that three to five percent of children may have the disorder, with a similar estimated frequency in adults.  It has been reported that over 30% of individuals with ADHD drop out of high school and never complete a high school degree.  Only about five percent of individuals who have ADHD will complete an undergraduate degree.  ADHD often coexists with anxiety or other mood disorders and substance abuse.    

CAPS is committed to providing appropriate diagnosis and treatment for our students who may have this disorder.  CAPS Attending Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Resident Physicians take a careful and conservative approach to prescribing medications for the treatment of ADHD in order to minimize the potential for misuse of stimulant medications. 
 
I. Referrals:

A. Deans, Program Directors, Faculty Members, and Instructors may refer a student for evaluation/treatment.

B. Students may directly request evaluation and treatment. 

II.   Students with a previous ADHD diagnosis

A. If a student has previously been diagnosed with ADHD, we require complete copies of previous testing reports.  These reports will be reviewed by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist or a Clinical Psychology Intern under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. 

B. If the previous testing is recent, adequate, and indeed supports the diagnosis of ADHD, and if the student is interested in medications, he/she will then be referred to an Attending Psychiatrist or Psychiatry Resident Physician on the CAPS staff. 

1. The Attending Psychiatrist or Psychiatry Resident Physician will see the student for a diagnostic interview, and determine whether or not to prescribe medications and if so, what medications and at what dosage.  

2. If the Attending Psychiatrist or Psychiatry Resident Physician determines that medications are appropriate he/she will continue to follow the student, seeing the student monthly for continued medication management, unless another arrangement is made by the prescribing physician. 

3. The Attending Psychiatrist or Psychiatry Resident Physician will discuss with the student a written set of guidelines regarding prescriptions for stimulant medications.  Students are required to sign a form acknowledging agreement with these guidelines. 

C.   If the testing is absent, inadequate, not current, or does not appear to support a diagnosis of ADHD, the student will be scheduled for an intake interview with a Psychologist or a Psychology Intern. 

1. The evaluator will determine if further screening is indicated and may provide initial screening materials to be completed by the student and other individuals who have knowledge about the student. 

2. When this information is completed and returned, the treatment staff will review the results of the intake evaluation and the screening materials. 

3. The treatment staff will make a determination if testing is indicated.

4. If testing is determined not to be indicated, the student will be informed and offered other appropriate mental health services.

5. If testing is indicated, the Clinical Psychologist or Psychology Intern will schedule the student for appropriate testing.  Testing may take a number of hours (6-8  hours) and will ordinarily be scheduled in two-hour blocks.

6.  If testing supports a diagnosis of ADHD, and the student is interested in a medications, the student will be seen by an Attending Psychiatrist or Psychiatry Resident Physician who will determine whether or not medications are indicated, and follow the student for medication management (if a prescription is provided).  If an individual is diagnosed with ADHD he/she may also receive individual therapy for related problems and may also be referred for academic help at the MUSC Center for Academic Excellence.  

7. If a diagnosis other than ADHD is determined, the student will be offered appropriate mental health services.  

III.   Students without a previous ADHD diagnosis

A. If a student has never been diagnosed with ADHD, the student will be scheduled for an intake interview with a Psychologist or a Psychology Intern. 

1. The evaluator will determine if further screening is indicated and may provide initial screening materials to be completed by the student and other individuals who have knowledge about the student. 

2. When this information is completed and returned, the treatment staff will review the results of the intake evaluation and the screening materials. 

3. The treatment staff will make a determination if testing is indicated.

4. If testing is determined not to be indicated, the student will be informed and offered other appropriate mental health services.

5. If testing is indicated, the Clinical Psychologist or Psychology Intern will schedule the student for appropriate testing.  Testing may take a number of hours (6-8 hours) and will ordinarily be scheduled in two-hour blocks.

6.  If testing supports a diagnosis of ADHD, and the student is interested in a medications, the student will be seen by an Attending Psychiatrist or Psychiatry Resident Physician who will determine whether or not medications are indicated, and follow the student for medication management (if a prescription is provided).  If an individual is diagnosed with ADHD he/she may also elect to receive individual therapy for related problems and may also be referred for academic help at the MUSC Center for Academic Excellence.  

7. If a diagnosis other than ADHD is determined, the student will be offered appropriate mental health services.

Please note: 
CAPS Attending Psychiatrists and Psychiatry Resident Physicians will prescribe stimulant medications only when the patient’s history and adequate psychometric testing support a diagnosis of ADHD.  Stimulant medications are not prescribed on a “trial basis” or to clarify a diagnosis.  

Stimulant medications will not be prescribed as a means of enhancing academic performance for individuals who do not have ADHD.

The procedures noted above will be followed even when a student has been receiving stimulant medications from physicians in the community, and requests to prescribe or renew prescriptions cannot be granted without following these procedures. 

Evaluation for Testing Accommodation    
 
Revised 7/2006
Reviewed 2/8/2010
Reviewed 8/20/2012
 
 
 

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