What does an ADHD assessment involve?

Before the appointment, Naomi will ask you to complete a questionnaire, and will ask you to arrange for your child’s teacher to complete one also. Children and young people may also be asked to complete a questionnaire.

The assessment appointment will vary a little, depending on your child’s type of difficulties and whether, after discussion, you opt for the computerised continuous performance test, the Qb Check.

The shorter assessment takes about 1 ¾ hours and is supported by ‘Conners 3’ questionnaires. The results of these are integrated with information from a careful history from parents and the child him or herself. Some time is spent with the child or young person alone provided they are comfortable with this. There will be a 15- minute break to allow the child to have a rest and allow Naomi time to integrate the information. Tea, coffee and water are available – please bring any other drinks or snacks you may need. Feedback in the appointment is followed by a written report outlining the issues and recommendations.

If in consultation, you decide that a computer-based assessment will be done, the assessment will take about 2 ½ hours, with the Qb Check early in the assessment. After the Qb Check, they will have a 15-minute break – please bring any drinks and snacks you may need. A careful history is then taken from parent/s and child/young person and there will then be a further break to allow Naomi to integrate the information. Feedback in the appointment is followed by a written report outlining the issues and recommendations.

Sometimes a child or young person’s difficulties are complex. If your child has additional difficulties such as anxiety/depression or a learning difficulty, it may be recommended that a further appointment be arranged or your child may need to be assessed by another practitioner.

After assessment

For some children and their families, the assessment can in itself be beneficial. Usually, one or more additional appointments may be needed to discuss treatment options and for parents/young person/child to gain an understanding of the issues, and at this stage, a letter can be written for school if needed.

For some children and young people, an additional assessment from by another professional might be needed to complete the assessment. For others, another professional – such as a clinical psychologist or family therapist – may be suggested to provide therapy.

Where children are significantly affected by ADHD, medication may be offered. Before taking this step, careful discussion is needed with parents, often also with the GP, and always with the child or young person themselves. Though children may not be able to consent to treatment, they do benefit from an open discussion.

If the decision is to use medication, some physical checks will be needed – cardiovascular (including blood pressure and pulse rate), weight, height that need to be done. It is common for the GP to take over the prescribing once the right dose of medication has been achieved – this is why it is essential to involve him/her at the outset. Children/young people who are taking ADHD medication will need to remain under the care of a specialist. This could mean a referral to an NHS clinic for ongoing care.