Aspects of Documentation

Statement of Disability

The written report must contain a clear diagnostic statement that fibromyalgia is present. The diagnostic report should include specific recommendations for accommodations as well as an explanation as to why each accommodation is recommended.

Diagnostic Report

The specific diagnosis of fibromyalgia must be arrived upon following a comprehensive physical examination which shows that the student has the typical pattern of diffuse fibromyalgia and nonrheumatic symptoms. These symptoms often include poor sleep, anxiety, fatigue, and irritable bowel symptoms. According to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if they have widespread pain in combination with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites. Contributory or underlying diseases such as generalized osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, polymyaglia rheumatica as well as psychogenic muscle pain or spasm must also be ruled out. The student must provide a detailed report from their physician which includes relevant history, office notes, and laboratory results. The report must also include information regarding the specific restrictions or limitations which the syndrome places on the student’s daily activities and academic functioning.

Professional Evaluator

The physical examination and diagnostic report must be completed by a licensed physician (internal medicine specialist or rheumatologist) who is experienced in diagnosing fibromyalgia.

Date of Assessment

The examination must have been completed within the past five years and be updated if changes occur while the student is enrolled at Macalester in order to ensure provision of appropriate services.


Requested documentation must be received in the Disability Services office, and a brief Intake Meeting (15 minutes or so) must be completed in order to receive accommodations during the semester. Please contact Disability Services (651-696-6874) as soon as possible to avoid a delay in securing services.