*Currently available at Glasgow and Leicester*

How Can ADHD Assessment Help?

For children or adults struggling with symptoms of ADHD, assessment is the first step towards getting help. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can cause a range of difficulties to everyday life including; having a short attention span, having problems with organisation, being forgetful, being easily distractible and having difficulties sticking to one particular task. Symptoms of hyperactivity are not present in all cases but where present, cause additional problems such as being unable to sit still, being impulsive, having a poor sense of danger, excessive talking and being unable to take turns. Problems associated with ADHD can have a significant impact on everyday life, preventing individuals reaching their full potential within relationships, at school or in the workplace. Unfortunately, due to the stress and impact of living with the condition, ADHD can also lead to other psychological difficulties such as anxiety and depression. Symptoms of ADHD are often misunderstood and people with ADHD can be incorrectly thought of as lacking in intellectual ability or willingness to behave appropriately.

What Does An Assessment Involve?

An assessment will involve discussions with the client (and family members in the case of children) to gain an understanding of the history and pattern of difficulties. Assessment of children will nearly always include administration of the Conner Behaviour Rating Scale in order that the clinician can gain a comprehensive understanding of the child’s behaviours relating to inattention and impulsivity. Further, school-based observations will usually be a recommended as part of the assessment. In some cases, an additional ‘QB’ test will need to be carried out. This is a computerised test, suitable for children and adults, which gives an objective measure of attention and impulse control. Several types of clinicians are skilled at undertaking ADHD assessments including Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Mental Health Nurses. Sometimes, more than one clinician at the clinic will be involved in the assessment.

What Can I Expect Following An Assessment?

Following administration of the necessary assessments, the clinician will analyse the results and will discuss the findings with you, writing a report to confirm the outcome and recommendations. If medication is determined as a treatment option, it will usually be necessary for the client to be prescribed this privately as NHS services do not usually agree to take over prescribing in the first instance following a private assessment. At some of our Purple House Clinics we have Psychiatrists available who can offer this service (please enquire locally). In order to issue prescriptions, a clinician at Purple House (or another provider) will need to carry out medication review appointments to check the client’s progress (and to measure height, weight and blood pressure). If there are no other issues, these appointments last no more than 30 minutes. The clinician will “titrate” the dose (gradually increase it depending on how it is helping and any side effects). Medication review appointments are usually every 4 weeks. Further to the cost of the appointments, you will need to pay for the cost of the medication at the chemist (approximately £25-30). You may also have to pay the chemist’s dispensing charges. If the client commences medication on a private prescription, the GP may agree to take over the prescribing under ‘shared care’ once the client is stabilised (or agree to make a referral to an NHS psychiatry service). ‘Shared care’ means that the GP would issue NHS prescriptions on repeat as long as the person continues to see a specialist psychiatric prescriber and is being monitored. You may want to ask your GP about this possibility prior to commencing assessment/ treatment with Purple House if you are concerned about the cost of private prescribing.

Other treatment options include psycho-education sessions, focusing on the management of symptoms. These may include advice about how to structure the home, school or work environment and how to maintain a good mental health. Treatment, in the form of medication or psychological therapy, can also be offered for secondary mental health symptoms including anxiety and depression. Regardless of the type of treatment undertaken, one of the most positive outcomes of ADHD assessment for many people is to have gained an understanding of their problems- for themselves and others around them.

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Please contact us for further information including information about fees.