We’re an experienced multi-disciplinary team who assess and provide treatment for young people between the ages of 6 and 18 who are suspected of having, or who have been diagnosed with, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The team is made up of consultant psychiatrists, staff grade psychiatrists, clinical nurse specialists, non-medical prescribers and assistant psychologists.
If the young person is over the age of 18, please see our Berkshire Healthcare website for information on Adult ADHD Assessments.
For more information on the support available, please see our ADHD support page.
ADHD is characterised by several symptoms. These can be experienced by many young people but those who receive a diagnosis of ADHD experience these to a greater extent, duration and level of impairment.
These can include:
- Inattentiveness: not being unable to concentrate for very long or finish a task, being disorganised, often losing things, being easily distracted and forgetful and unable to listen when people are talking
- Hyperactivity: being fidgety, overactive, unable to sit still, talking constantly and having difficulty doing quiet activities
- Impulsivity: speaking without thinking about the consequences, interrupting others and being unable to wait or take turns
You may be referred to the ADHD team after having an initial assessment with a clinician from our CYPF Hub, or another one of our CAMHS teams. You may also be referred by someone you already know in CAMHS.
Initially, questionnaires for you and your school teacher are sent out, to help us see which areas of your life you are having difficulties with. You may be invited to one of our clinics to complete a computer-based test called a QB test, as part of the assessment.
Most new assessment or review appointments will be online or telephone appointments to help us get to know you better and discuss some of the difficulties you’ve been experiencing. Some children and young people will be invited in to attend appointments, mainly for height/weight/blood pressure and pulse checks when these are needed and cannot be taken at home.
In order to help us, if you have a Blood Pressure Monitor, have access to scales and are able to take your child’s height we would be grateful if this could be done prior to the booked telephone/video review. Please see this guidance on how to do this. You may also find this video on taking a blood pressure reading helpful.
A school observation or interview with your teacher may also be carried out.
Some young people with similar symptoms to ADHD may have other underlying difficulties, and after the initial appointment a referral to another team in CAMHS or a more appropriate local service may be made.
What happens after the assessment
We will discuss the outcome of the assessment with both you and your parent/carer. You may receive individual support to help you manage difficult feelings or behaviours. It may be that your parent/carer finds behavioural support in the form of parenting interventions helpful. This may vary according to your local authority.
If it is felt appropriate you may be offered a trial of medication. This may help young people with severe ADHD concentrate, focus, and think about things before doing them. There are different types of medication, with different effects and strengths. We will discuss these with you and your parent/carer to make sure they are the best fit for you. Once we have found a helpful routine of medication, a clinician from our team will check how you are getting on every six months.
Interventions depend on the findings of the assessment and level of impact on the child or young persons life.
They will usually include:
- Recommendations for behavioural strategies at home and at school
- Signposting to targeted ADHD parenting programs and parenting support in the community. Visit Parenting Special Children for information on workshops available locally for parents and carers.
- Consideration of medication to manage symptoms in the most severe cases
- Medication reviews.
Before making a referral to us please take the following steps:
Observe the child’s behaviour for 10 weeks and make notes including any changes and patterns in their behaviour (this must include difficulties with their concentration, impulsiveness, and activity levels).
If the child’s behaviour is still having a negative impact on themselves and their family/school life, please make a referral as below.
Please read the ADHD referral criteria document for more in depth information.
If you are a professional
Referrals should be made by a professional, such as a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO) or an educational psychologist, who has been able to observe the child, after following the steps above.
The child must be over six years old.
If available, it's advisable to refer parents and carers to a training or education programme.
Please note, we also have training available for professionals, please see our PPEPCare Training page.
If you are a parent/carer
Please speak to a professional as above about making a referral. If you cannot get a referral from a professional, please call the CYPF Hub to discuss further on 0300 365 1234
You can find out what help is available from your Local Authority by looking at the Local Offer for your area.
Private sector assessments
If you decide to look into paying for an assessment in the private sector this is what we require if you wish to return to the NHS:
+ Appropriate professional with experience in assessing for ADHD
+ Adequate history including persistence & pervasiveness of symptoms
+ Family history Information gathered from two or more environments
+ Mental state
+ Observer report of child
+ Diagnostic criteria including standard evidence screening tools
+ Monitoring on medications
+ All information handed over including
+ Allergies and adverse reactions
The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Parenting Special Children
Phone: 0118 207 0930 (9am-5pm Monday to Friday. Please ask to speak to the ADHD administrator)
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