What is ADHD?
ADHD is a neuro-developmental disorder where children have difficulty with attention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity. Their difficulties must be evident in more than one setting (for example, school and home) and be significant enough to interfere academically and/or socially. In most circumstances we see school-aged children for assessment and would normally only be able to diagnose after the age of six.
There doesn’t have to be behavioural difficulties or learning difficulties. ADHD can manifest in various forms, such as a person not being able to concentrate or organise themselves. They will not necessarily be hyperactive. Although these traits can be distressing and cause problems for some, they provide creativity, energy and determination. In fact, a number of famous people have disclosed they have ADHD. These include the most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps, TV chef Jamie Oliver, musician Will.I.Am, and actor Emma Watson.
Many of the behaviours commonly associated with ADHD can also be explained by other factors including early life experiences, poor sleep or a range of other developmental conditions. Part of our assessment process involves evaluating how much of a role, if any, these other factors play and attempting to identify so as to exclude these. This is vitally important because, although getting a timely diagnosis of ADHD is really important it is also crucial that a child or young person isn’t wrongly diagnosed with ADHD if there are other explanations or underlying conditions that are causing the challenges they are facing, that way they can get the correct support and guidance at the right time.
How is ADHD assessed at Alder Hey?
ADHD is diagnosed through the assessment and review of the problem both at school and at home. It is not diagnosed with blood tests or scans. The main sources of information will be school and home and will be gathered in the form of specific questionnaires. If you have any additional information for example school reports and Ed Psychology reports as these can also give us useful supporting evidence at referral.
If for any reason you are unable to keep your clinic appointment, please contact the ADHD Team and request to re-schedule. Contact details can be found at the bottom of this page.
Please find below the link to our ADHD referral form. The quickest and most efficient method of referral for ADHD is from the School Special Educational Needs Coordinators or an appropriate member of staff as this will avoid delays in the process. This referral form can be submitted electronically by saving it into a PDF format and emailing it over to our Booking & Scheduling team firstname.lastname@example.org. Further guidance is attached to the form itself.