Complex Assessment, ADHD and Behaviour Pathway
Our assessment process
Our assessment draws on information gathered from parents and teachers, developmental (early) history, school observations and parent-child sessions. The clinicians leading on this assessment go back to the Team to make decisions. In situations where a diagnosis is given, we offer feedback sessions to parents, the child or young person and then the school.
Our assessments have the following intentions:
- To listen to your concerns as parents and/or teachers and to consider the possibility of ADHD and other needs
- To look out for strengths, resources, abilities and skills at home, school and any other activities
- To assess the severity of ADHD features
- To explore physical health and sensory problems
How we gather this information
Our assessments for ADHD take five to six meetings, at our clinics or at school. We tend to focus our assessments only on children of school age. If we start our assessments too young, it can be tricky to know what is happening, because children change so much before the age of 5 or 6.
We always have a general first assessment (Choice appointment) at school or clinic/children’s centre. Usually, the parent and child attends this first meeting, and we gather as much information as we can about family, school, early development and current strengths or needs.
We also look at:
- Questionnaires about life at home or school
- Full history from parents about the child’s development
- Meet with the child or young person to get to know him or her as much as we can
- School/nursery observation
We always work within a ‘strength-based approach’ to ADHD. This means we consider what ADHD might bring to a child and to a family, including abilities and resources as well as challenges. We are keen to consider what diagnosis might mean to children, families or schools at the point of assessment.
Over the past 18 months, we have focused initially on becoming clearer about our interventions (treatment options):
- Parent groups (for primary aged children)
- Individual work with children/young people and parents
- Support and ADHD training to schools
- Workshops or individual work with families making sense of diagnosis
We are keen to remain closely linked to the local ADHD parent support group and also to consult closely with parents themselves about what would be most useful for families.