The core features of ADHD are described as excessive impulsivity, inattention and hyperactivity. However children with ADHD will have varying degrees of these difficulties and will not all present the same. It is cause for concern when the above symptoms are more excessive than that of other children of their age and clearly causing difficulty in two or more settings e.g. school and home.
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The team is made up of three ADHD nurses and secretary.
1. What do we offer
When we receive a request for help for an ADHD assessment which is appropriate, we will offer an initial assessment. We usually meet the family at home to complete the assessment, however clinic appointments are also offered.
2. What will happen in an initial assessment
An initial assessment appointment letter will be sent to you from your lead ADHD nurse specialist. This letter will either invite you to make a home visit appointment or invite you into clinic. It is helpful to us not to have your child at this appointment so you can talk openly about your child’s difficulties. This appointment usually lasts an hour. At this appointment a detailed history of your child’s development and general health will be taken. You will be asked to complete some questionnaires which will help with the assessment.
Please note that to obtain the best assessment for your child, your lead ADHD nurse may have to contact (with consent) other professionals including, teachers, paediatricians, educational psychologists, school nurses and social workers to gather appropriate information.
3. School observation
Following on from this initial assessment your lead ADHD nurse specialist will contact the school to book a school observation visit. This is done to ensure that symptoms occur at home and at school. This is vital for diagnosis. School will also be asked to complete some questionnaires.
4. Joint assessments
Once these assessments have been completed you and your child will be invited to a joint medical assessment with the paediatrician to discuss in more detail and potentially offer a diagnosis. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, follow up and support will continue with your ADHD nurse and Paediatrician, where you will receive further information and support around ADHD.
If no diagnosis is given the Paediatrician will continue where appropriate to offer support or signpost to other suitable services.
How to refer
If you feel your child may require an ADHD assessment your GP, other health professionals or school can refer directly into the service.
The ADHD nurse led service will take referrals for school aged children who have not been previously diagnosed with ADHD.
What else do we offer?
We also offer free training to schools to look at signs, symptoms and management of ADHD.
Links to useful website ADDISS