ADHD Service-Alder Hey Hospital
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. 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.
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 source of information will be school and will be gathered in the form of specific questionnaires.
- Referral to us: The first step is for School Special Educational Needs Coordinators or an appropriate member of the teaching staff to submit the referral form below. If a GP wishes to make a referral they should contact the School Special Educational Needs Coordinator to facilitate this.
- If the evidence in the referral form meets our criteria for acceptance, then we will send out ADHD Questionnaires to parents to be completed by parents/carer and school.
- Your child will be accepted within the Alder Hey ADHD Service ONLY on receipt of all these documents. If we do not get a response, your child will be discharged from our services.
- Upon their return, the information will be assessed and questionnaires scored to determine if they reach the clinical threshold for ADHD. If this is the case, you will be invited to attend a Neurodevelopmental History Appointment, where a specialist nurse will take a detailed history of the child or young person’s life through to present day. We expect the child or young person to attend this meeting with their parent/carer for observation.
- If you fail to attend your child’s Neurodevelopmental History you will unfortunately be discharged at this point.
- If the information available is deemed insufficient, we may arrange further assessment using a QB test or Specialist School Observations to provide us with more information. None of the tests can diagnose ADHD by themselves.
- If the evidence presented at any stage of the assessment is not suggestive of ADHD, we will be unable to proceed with the assessment process and the child or young person will be discharged.
- Once we confirm that a child or young person has ADHD, parents/carers will be invited to attend an ‘ADHD Information Workshop’. Attendance at this Workshop is essential prior to starting medications. We will discuss how we made the diagnosis, different treatment options and provide you with information and links to useful websites and organisations. You will be given a chance to ask any questions you might have to a clinician.
- If you decide to go for the ‘medication approach’, you will be booked into one of our ‘Medication Initiation Clinics’.
- If you do not want medication then you will be discharged into the care of your GP and can refer back in to the same point of the service at any time in the future.
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 note that it is a parents’/carer’s responsibility to provide up to date contact details and notify us of any changes in these. Otherwise we will be unable to contact you for appointments and the child or young person may be discharged from our service.
Please find below the link to the ADHD website. The referral form can only be submitted by School Special Educational Needs Coordinators or an appropriate member of staff. 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.
For more information regarding ADHD and its management please follow the links below:
Who to contact
Where to go
Last updated: 29/01/2021