The ADHD service provides assessment and treatment for children and adolescents for whom there are concerns about attention deficit hyperactivity disoder (ADHD). The three core symptoms of ADHD are inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Prior to a first appointment, parents, teachers and, if old enough, the child themselves, will be asked to complete some questionnaires. These are helpful for us and help to standardise the assessment process.
Following a first appointment we may also ask permission for a member of our team to complete an observation of your child’s learning and behaviour at school. This also adds useful information.
When the assessment is complete you will receive a report providing confirmation of the diagnosis and how this was made. With your consent we can also send a copy to your child’s school and liaise closely with them if they require any help providing ADHD-appropriate strategies to optimise your child’s learning.
If your child is found not to have ADHD, the rationale for this decision will be explained and alternative explanations for their difficulties will be provided.
Treatment of ADHD consists of a range of therapeutic options. The two interventions with most evidence for effectiveness are parenting programmes and medication.
Parenting programmes are usually the first-line intervention. They can help parents learn to use more specific skills to help their child accept limits and boundaries, prevent difficult behaviour and deal with its consequences.
Medication can be a useful adjunct to parent programmes, but is not a ‘magic cure’ for ADHD. It simply creates a window through which other interventions at home and school can become more effective. Not all parents want their children to have ADHD medication and so we will always discuss the pros and cons of medication and their alternatives with you carefully. We will monitor your child’s height, weight and blood pressure regularly if medication is prescribed.