What do I do if a student's performance indicates the possibility of an undiagnosed disability?

Ask the student if he/she would like to talk confidentially about the difficulties he/she is encountering in your class. Most often they will reflect excellence in one area of course performance and mediocrity in another. Such inequities in performance may be attributable to a wide range of factors, one of which could be an undiagnosed disability. Inform the student that he/she may, if they choose, have these difficulties evaluated to determine if they are the result of a learning disability. If the evaluation results in the diagnosis of a learning disability, accommodations could be introduced which would allow the student to better demonstrate his/her knowledge and perform better in the course. Finally, inform the student that the next step is to contact the Disabilities Services if he/she would like to further investigate whether a learning disability is present. It is critical the instructors only inform students of this option. Instructors may neither require nor coerce students to engage these services.

Return to Faculty Staff FAQ page