Success with ADHD

Success with ADHD

FAQ

What is ADHD and how is it diagnosed?

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that interferes with the brain’s executive functioning, making it harder for some people to focus, complete tasks or function as well as they otherwise would. There are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive, and combined (inattentive-hyperactive) type.  ADHD manifests in persistent patterns that can significantly impact daily functioning.

ADHD can be complicated to diagnose. One of the most thorough tools is a full Psycho-educational Evaluation. This evaluation relies on clinical interviews, comprehensive history, input from significant others, and written or computer based assessments.

If you suspect you may have ADHD or another learning difference, a trained, licensed psychologist can formally assess your history and current situation as part of a psycho-educational evaluation that includes IQ, academic, and attention testing. Testing can be time-consuming and often is divided into several sessions. The psychologist will analyze your test results to identify strengths, weaknesses and patterns in cognitive functioning as well as possible disabilities, and share these results with you in a written report. CAPS requires a complete psycho-educational evaluation before prescribing medication for ADHD.

I haven’t been diagnosed. How can I get evaluated for ADHD?

CAPS does not offer psycho-educational evaluations. here is a list of community providers who offer evaluations. You will want to consult with your insurance provider to determine costs and coverage for this service and ask providers if they accept your insurance.

Students who are in-state and have documented financial need (based on the FAFSA) may be eligible for a scholarship for the evaluation. For more information, please visit: https://ars.unc.edu/students/request-forms/exploring-evaluation-adhd-or-learning-differences

I have been diagnosed. How do I get medication?

Previous provider

Campus Health Pharmacy and Student Stores Pharmacy fill prescriptions for ADHD medications that are written by Campus Health providers or outside providers. A Campus Health Pharmacist will review the Stimulant Medication Contract with you. You must agree to and sign the contract to obtain your prescription for medication.

Campus Health/CAPS provider

  • Make an appointment with a Campus Health medical provider
  • Send documentation of the standardized objective testing supporting the ADD/ADHD diagnosis, pertinent medical records prior to your appointment.
  • Bring your prescription medication bottles to your provider appointment.
  • The provider will do the following at the initial appointment:
    • Check your blood pressure and heart rate
    • Review your medical history including personal and family history of heart related conditions. You may need additional evaluation depending on your personal or family health history.
    • Review the Stimulant Medication Contract. You must agree to and sign the contract to obtain a prescription for medication.
  • Subsequent appointments for monitoring will include a monthly visit with a medical provider until medication therapy is stabilized. At these appointments, the provider will check your heart rate and blood pressure as well as review your health history and medication side effects. Once medication is stabilized, you will return to see your provider every three months.

Local Community Provider

For students who have not had a formal evaluation, medication can be prescribed by local medication providers outside of CAPS or Campus Health. Please be aware not all providers will prescribe without a full evaluation. We encourage you to ask them about their policies before scheduling an appointment. For a list of these prescribers, please email CAPSreferrals@unc.edu.

Additional resources to help anyone concerned about ADHD

  • Make an appointment with an academic coach at the Learning Center to work on learning, study and time-management strategies.
  • Visit CAPS to learn more about psycho-educational evaluations and/or to receive support around mental health concerns. 
  • Make an appointment with ARS to discuss options while undergoing an evaluation