top of page

Documented Learning Differences & ADHD

Accommodations include:
  • Preferential seating

  • Extended time on teacher-designed assessments and assignments

  • Use of laptop/computer for written output

  • Text-to-speech resources (e.g., audio files of books)

Our LD/ADHD services encompass:
  • An interface for close collaboration between students, their families, and the school

  • Design and documentation of appropriate and feasible accommodations.

  • Referrals and consultation regarding psycho-educational and related evaluations.

  • Facilitation of requests for accommodations on standardized tests such as the SAT or ACT.

  • Support and counseling for the application and transition process to college.


In order to maintain standards of fairness, equality, and comparability with other college-preparatory high schools across the country, students have to comply with the documentation requirements stipulated under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) to be eligible for O’Dowd’s LD/ADHD services. O’Dowd requires a full psycho-educational evaluation for documentation of a Learning Disability and a full ADHD evaluation for documentation of an attentional deficit.


A student must have a psycho-educational evaluation completed within the last five years (and/or a full testing and diagnostic report from a qualified physician in the case of ADHD).


The evaluation must include:
  • The specific disability or disorder which has been diagnosed

  • Relevant educational, developmental and medical history

  • Thorough documentation of the techniques and methods of evaluation

  • Test results and subtest scores

  • A description of the functional limitations resulting from the disability

  • A description of specific recommended accommodations and a rationale explaining the need for the accommodation

  • The professional credentials of the evaluator (license, certification, area of specialization)



Q: What is the process for identifying students with learning differences?

A: Students come to the attention of the LD/ADHD Counselor in a variety of ways: parent referral, teacher referral, counselor referral, and self-referral. The Counselor will collaborate with the student’s teachers to pinpoint specific areas of difficulty through meetings and classroom observations. If the student has not been evaluated before, a recommendation may be made that a student undergo educational testing to identify or rule out a learning and/or attentional disability.

Q: What is an Educational Care Plan?

A: Once a student’s educational testing is received, the LD/ADHD Counselor reviews the report and presents the findings in the form of an ECP to the student’s teachers. The ECP contains information about the nature of learning disability, the student’s learning strengths and areas in need of support, and a list of formal accommodations.

Q: Does O’Dowd admit and support students with learning differences and learning disabilities?

A: Bishop O’Dowd High School admits students with diagnosed and undiagnosed learning differences and disabilities. Applicants must meet our admission requirements including an academic background that indicates they will achieve our graduation outcomes within the support structures that we and the family provide. We celebrate that students learn in a variety of ways and partner with students and parents to ensure their success at O’Dowd. We recommend that applicants with learning differences and disabilities that require additional support make an appointment with Juliet Ariechiga our designated counselor for students with learning differences/ ADHD.

Juliet Arechiga '93, Counselor

Originally from Oakland, Juliet graduated from O’Dowd in 1993 and went on to earn her BA at Duke University, triple majoring in Spanish, History and Comparative Area Studies. She received her MA in Counseling from Trinity College and has held many roles at O’Dowd since 2014, including teaching and Dean of Students, but she loves counseling best of all. 


Call Juliet at (510) 577-9100 Ext. 618 or email

bottom of page