ADHD Assessment and Support

I use NICE and Royal College of Psychiatrists guidelines for ADHD assessment and diagnosis

ADHD Assessment and Support services in Newbury, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people’s behaviour. People who have ADHD can have one of three types:

  • Predominantly inattentive
  • Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
  • Combined presentation of both of the above

These behaviours will have been present across 2 or more settings before someone is 12 years old if they have ADHD and will have persisted for at least six months to a degree that has negatively impacted the person either socially or occupationally.

Adults who have predominantly inattentive ADHD will report at least five of the following:

  • Overlooking or missing details in tasks
  • Difficulty remaining focused during tasks, conversations or reading
  • Seeming like they are not listening in conversations
  • Starting tasks but quickly losing focus and being easily sidetracked
  • Have difficulty managing sequential tasks
  • Avoiding or being reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Appearing messy or disorganised
  • Losing items such as keys and paperwork
  • Often being forgetful

Adults who have predominantly hyperactive-impulsive ADHD will report at least five of the following:

  • Often fidgeting or moving around
  • Often leaving their seat in meetings
  • Feeling restless
  • Unable to engage in activities quietly
  • Feeling “on the go” and acting as if “driven by a motor”
  • Talking excessively
  • Difficulty waiting their turn in conversations or in queues
  • Interrupting others’ activities or intruding on others
  • Blurting out answers to questions before they have been asked

Adults who have a combined presentation will have 5 or more of each of the above. Often the symptoms of ADHD have been poorly understood and therefore missed in childhood. As children they may have been criticised or labelled unfairly. People then have to work very hard to manage these difficulties and this can lead to exhaustion and burnout but also low self-esteem and perhaps even anxiety and depression.

ADHD diagnosis Newbury, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire

Why is an ADHD diagnosis helpful for me?

Researchers in a study reported by ADDitude (a quarterly online consumer publication containing articles, research and information about ADHD) showed that an ADHD diagnosis and subsequent treatment positively impacted people’s self-esteem and enabled them to begin to view themselves less critically. With diagnosis and support for ADHD they could make more sense of their lives, fully accept themselves and find ways to thrive. Researchers conducting this study wrote that many people in these studies “experienced a sense of relief after diagnosis and felt that a professional diagnosis served as an external validation of their struggles”.

Many people reported that it was only after diagnosis that they could feel more in control of their symptoms. “Knowing that they had ADHD may have allowed them to view difficult situations from a different perspective; results suggested they now felt they had more control and viewed situations as more changeable,” the researchers in this study wrote. They replaced their upsetting emotions with feelings of pride as they began to view their ADHD as a strength.

What is the assessment process?

In order to ensure a gold standard of assessment is conducted, I follow the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Royal College of Psychiatrists guidelines. I use the most up-to-date recommended and validated psychometric tools such as screening tools, questionnaires and interviews. It is important that I assess your current situation and how you are being impacted, but also understand your early history as far as possible. I try to involve family members who knew you when you were younger, where possible. The stages in the assessment process are as follows:

  • Stage 1 – Email or phone conversation and screening questionnaire.
  • Stage 2 – A psychological assessment and questionnaires given to you and family members (where possible).
  • Stage 3 – The full diagnostic assessment (known as the interview but it will hopefully feel more like an informal chat). This will follow a format to ensure all the relevant information is obtained and may take between 1.5 and 2 hours.
  • Stage 4 - Questionnaire scoring and interpreting, assessing all the information obtained and providing a diagnosis where relevant.
  • Stage 5 – A full report is written providing feedback which you will receive during stage 6.
  • Stage 6 – A follow-up session (which will last up to an hour). During this session, if you are diagnosed with ADHD, I can share some evidence-based information on how people with ADHD have learned to manage some of their challenges which will hopefully help you to thrive.

What is the cost of the assessment process?

A full assessment will cost £950. This includes all of the above stages.