The question often arises whether it is beneficial to have a diagnosis if you suspect ADHD. Our advice is that it is definitely worthwhile getting greater clarity as to whether or not your child is suffering from ADHD. There are many conditions that may appear to be ADHD and will require different treatments. Therefore getting clarity as to your child’s condition will allow you to find a treatment plan appropriate to their condition.
ADHD is becoming increasingly better recognised as a condition by healthcare and educational professionals. Approximately 5% of the UK population are believed to suffer from the condition, although in the UK the amount of people diagnosed is still a significantly lower percentage. We do not believe there is a stigma attached to being ADHD generally although amongst the general population in the UK there are still misconceptions about the condition and further education of teachers and generalist health practitioners is needed on how best to support children and young people with ADHD.
To get a diagnosis of ADHD for a child you need to prepare yourself for a potentially tough, sometimes time-consuming journey. You will need to clearly document the main challenges your child faces giving examples of settings or tasks they have difficulty with both in the school setting and at home or at social events.
Diagnosis in the UK is performed by a Consultant Psychiatrist, or sometimes a paediatrician.
This is how you proceed on the route to an ADHD diagnosis for children in Richmond & Kingston:
Who makes the referral?
Parents, your GP or your child’s school can make a referral. Parents or teachers can sometimes be the first to spot ADHD Equally health professional and social workers may also spot this. Parents or teachers can be the first to spot ADHD if they have come across it before. Equally health professionals and social workers may also spot this and provide advice.
Who do you contact?
The Single Point of Access (SPA) is a specialist team within Achieving for Children and they can be approached by yourself, or your child’s school or your GP asking for an ADHD assessment for your child. Tel: 020 8547 5008. They will determine whether you are put forward for an assessment. They will advise you on the outcome.
Who will do the assessment?
You will be invited to attend an appointment with your child. A community paediatrician for 0-5 year olds will carry out the diagnosis and the neurodevelopmental team for 5-18 year olds.
When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, medication and other interventions will briefly be discussed.
A report is typically prepared documenting the diagnosis and a Support Plan should be agreed with parents/carers. Recommendations for a range of options should be made. You should also be directed to services and support available.
We would welcome you to join our support group and become part of the ADHD community. Take a look at our website for all our services. firstname.lastname@example.org
You may decide to take the non-NHS, private route which is quicker but more expensive. Here are some healthcare professionals who are able to diagnose ADHD and who we have worked with:
• Prof Peter Hill -The First Floor, 127 Harley Street, London W1G 6AZ Tel: 020 7486 2332 http://www.prof-peter-hill.org/
• Dr Claire Scott is a consultant community paediatrician who has a private practice. Tel: 07796 783007or email email@example.com
• The Effra Clinic is based in London and it specialises in ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. The staff includes two consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists with a shared passion and specialism in ADHD and ASD. Tel: 020 3322 5532 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• LANC -Learning Assessment and Neurocare Centre, 60 Bloomsbury Street, London 01403 240002 Email: email@example.com
• Nicola Ryan Mental Health Nurse https://www.nicolaryan.net/
• Dr Bettina Hohnen https://drbettinahohnen.com/
• Dr Bozhena Zoritch 07957909754 https://www.addmire.org/
• Dr Morris Zwi Wednesdays 10.30 – 5 pm https://www.orchard-clinic.co.uk/dr-morris-zwi
It is not unusual that some parents of children with ADHD may recognise symptoms of the condition in themselves. There is a strong hereditary link between parent and child for ADHD. If you would like to investigate further, talk to your GP who can refer you to Adult ADHD Services.
Once you have a diagnosis for your child, here are a few pointers to consider:
• Discuss the diagnosis with your child and ensure they understand the positive of the condition. We have listed some great books that will understand ADHD to children and teenagers – go to our Further Reading section.
• Inform your child’s school and arrange a meeting with the SENCo to discuss how best the school puts together a plan to support your child and what reasonable adjustments are to be made to support his diagnosis.
• Learn as much as possible about ADHD as a condition and join a support group such as ADHD Together. We run post diagnosis workshops for parents of newly diagnosed children and teens, which serve as information sessions and also are an opportunity to ask questions and meet other parents in the same position.
• Consider medication and other treatments to treat your child with ADHD to support their learning and their day to day lives.
• Engage in keeping communication open with your child, they need your emotional support and understanding.