Reply To: School Evaluation Starting Right After Medication Improvements

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Devon Frye

This reply was originally posted by user Dr. Eric in ADDitude’s now-retired community.

“Continuous performance tests taken at the school prior to meds, along with a pattern of behavior issues support that diagnosis.”

That should alleviate any concerns you have about being medicated during current testing, provided that the assessor has the data and cites it.

However, this is still a symptom and assessment data issue…which is in the realm of of the first prong…has a disability.

The crux of the decision is almost never in the area of having a disability, but in the evidence of functional impact.

The CPTs won’t tell you the impact on homework completion, grades, disciplinary referrals, etc.

If they said, “We dispute the diagnosis of ADHD because of the scores received when tested while medicated.” Then, that would not just be an issue of the mitigating factor…it would probably just be bad psychology.

However, if they say, “We don’t dispute the ADHD diagnosis, but our review of the past couple of years (that includes the time before medication) shows no evidence of measurable impairment.” Then, they may be right or wrong…you can agree or disagree…it should not be considered a violation of mitigating factors.

Ultimately, it will be a matter of the quality of the assessor (and/or their caseload to spend adequate time reviewing the data and writing a quality analysis). I would not lose sleep over the quality of the data they collect in direct testing if there is adequate data and analysis…like a complete Functional Behavioral Analysis and prior assessment data. Especially if communication lines are open and all data is shared/presented.

Let me use a non-personal example…

Let’s say that we have two students with a psychotic illness that includes auditory hallucinations. In this hypothetical, both students could have the same exact hallucinations, in the same voice, saying the same things, in the same frequency/pattern/duration.

Their symptoms are identical.

However, if one had no observable or measurable impact academically, socially, or in ability to care of for oneself…one would qualify, and the other would not.