ADHD assessments

ADHD assessments for children and teenagers in London

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that make concentrating, paying attention, sitting still and controlling impulsive behaviour very difficult. Although many children and teenagers can be restless or hyperactive at times, those with ADHD experience this a lot more frequently with a big impact on their everyday lives.

Assessing for ADHD can be important. It ensures that everyone, including school, family and peers, recognise that your child is not deliberately being “naughty” or misbehaving. It is a neurodevelopmental difference that needs to be recognised and accounted for. Your child will have certain superpowers but also certain weaknesses. If the superpowers are allowed to flourish and the weaknesses supported, a child with ADHD can thrive. If they constantly get in trouble, it can damage their self-esteem and put them off school and learning completely.

We have the specialist clinicians to complete assessments with traditionally hard to assess young people, such as girls who have learnt to mask their behaviours, teenagers with strong co-morbid mental health conditions and children with high levels of emotion regulation difficulties.

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What makes an ADHD assessment with Harwood Child Psychology stand out?

Harwood Child Psychology provide the highest quality assessment with the highest quality support. We do not just diagnose and leave children and families with no support. We see the child and family as a whole, we are not in the market for just churning out labels. Our reports will provide a comprehensive plan of support and a lot of recommendations. We will also have a feedback session where we will plan any future intervention that is needed. That might be support for you as parents to learn more about ADHD or it might be support for your child to help them learn how to manage their own ADHD through behavioural methods.

If there are mental health difficulties such as low self-esteem, anxiety, low mood, tics or OCD, we can also help to support your child with those. We can work with schools if needed.

We have an amazing and compassionate child and adolescent psychiatrist in our team. Should you wish to think about medication in the future, you will be in very safe hands and will not have to go to another service with long waiting lists. We always give priority to existing Harwood Child Psychology families.

All of our assessments follow the guidance set out by the NHS and by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which means our assessments are gold standard and likely to be accepted by other organisations, such as schools. They can contribute towards an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) in school if it is needed. Many companies and clinics take shortcuts to save time and money, which puts your child at risk as the recommendations of the assessment might not be accepted by other organisations.

  • We only use child specialist clinicians with the highest level of qualification and experience with ADHD assessments.
  • We liaise with your child’s school (with your consent) so they are on board with the assessment and they can provide evidence for what your child is like in their school environment.
  • Our reputation for providing high quality assessments means organisations are more likely to trust our findings.
  • We clearly document everything that we do, meaning that the report you receive will be extremely detailed, but it also means any organisations you might want to share the report with will have confidence that we have completed the assessment correctly.

How does an ADHD assessment work at Harwood Child Psychology?

  1. A quick call with a member of the Harwood Child Psychology team will help to answer any of your questions and help you to decide if you would like to proceed with a full ADHD assessment. You will then be given a date for your first appointment.
  2. School information will be requested from you, including details of a teacher who knows your child well. With your permission we will contact your child’s school directly to obtain the information we need. If you would prefer your child’s school not to be involved, we can still proceed with the assessment but you should discuss this early on with your allocated clinician.
  3. A warm and friendly specialist ADHD clinician will meet with your child directly for approximately 1.5 hours. They will play or talk with your child, asking them questions but also observing their behaviour in the session.
  4. Parents will be invited to an in depth interview where ADHD will be assessed from a parent’s perspective. Highly validated and up to date tools will be used, for example the ADHD child examination (ACE) interview. This can be done online or face to face, depending on your preference.
  5. You and your child (depending on their age) will be given a couple of psychometric questionnaires and tools to complete to help with the diagnosis.
  6. If you have selected to have a full learning assessment as well (see details below), a member of the team will complete this with your child. This will take 1.5 hours and can be scheduled for the same day as the other child parts of the assessment, as long as the schedule allows for it.
  7. Once we have gathered all of the information, your child’s clinician puts it all together and writes the report. If more information is needed we will let you know.
  8. A report is written, which will be detailed and comprehensive and will outline the outcome of the assessment, alongside recommendations and a plan.
  9. All assessments include a one hour feedback session with your lead clinician, where you can ask questions about the report and plan for further support if it is needed.
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Other important information

  • All assessments include screening for other potential neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism spectrum conditions.
  • We screen for common psychiatric and mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression and OCD.
  • These assessments are comprehensive, involving different people and therefore take some time to complete. We want to have the assessments completed within 4-5 weeks, but this can sometimes depend on how long it takes your child’s school to get back to us.
  • Clinical psychologists can diagnose and help with behaviour support, but they cannot prescribe medication. If you would like to consider medication as part of your treatment plan, this will need to be initiated by a consultant child psychiatrist and can then be maintained by your child’s GP. Harwood Child Psychology has an in-house psychiatrist, with appointments prioritised for families completing assessments with us.

What is the comprehensive learning assessment?

A comprehensive learning assessment, sometimes called a cognitive assessment, is an essential addition to an ADHD assessment. It can also be completed on its own, not as part of a diagnostic assessment. A learning assessment allows our clinicians to learn a bit more about how your child’s brain works, in particular what their pattern of strengths and weaknesses are with learning. This is extremely useful when figuring out what is going on for your child and giving recommendations for school and home.

A learning assessment is a detailed IQ test, but as well as an overall ability score, the results are broken down into specific categories such as:

  • Processing speed
  • Working memory
  • Verbal comprehension
  • Perceptual reasoning
  • Visual spatial ability.

Depending on your child’s age, different tests will be used. Cognitive tests have been studied on tens of thousands of children of all different ages, so you’ll be able to see how your child performs in different areas compared to children of their exact same age. Parents and teachers say this is very helpful as we often find that a child who is very able in one area is often less able in another, and their learning needs go unrecognised because they mostly “get by”. The exact tests to be used will be discussed with you at the start of your child’s assessment to make sure they are fully relevant. Don’t worry, these assessments are mostly completed on iPads and young people tend to find them fun.

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How much does an ADHD assessment cost?

Our assessments are very comprehensive and reliable, and therefore not the cheapest. All of our assessments are completed at a fixed cost and include everything written above, so there are no added costs later unless this is agreed with you in advance.

  • Core ADHD assessment (includes comprehensive learning assessment): £1995
  • Comprehensive neurodevelopmental assessment, which includes a full autism, ADHD and learning assessment (see link to autism assessment for further information about that part of the assessment): £2995
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