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Right. I've been dancing with this for about 6 years now. What is the process for getting an ADHD diagnosis in the UK?

(8 Posts)
TulipsInACampervan Tue 23-Apr-13 12:17:45

DS is 8. he is much better than he was. But he ticks so many of the ADHD boxes. He is doing ok at school, but I think he could do so much better if his needs were better understood. Everything is done at breakneck speed so rushed, careless, not fully understood. He doesn't listen properly, often only to the first bit of an instruction. He knows he tries really hard to 'be good' but still can't help himself leaping about, pushing into people, making lots of random noise.

So. What do I do? School are watching him, but don't think he needs much other than a fidget toy and a computer to do his writing on; he is meeting national expectations. Do I go to my GP? Who can actually diagnose? Will I get anywhere if school aren't mega concerned? He is definitely 'worse' at home.

How are children diagnosed? Is it a case of questionnaires filled out by parents/school, or are other cognitive/physical tests involved?

Please help me so I know at least what the path looks like.

armani Tue 23-Apr-13 12:30:33

I am currently going through the process with dd. I took her to gp who ref to child development clinic. There she was seen by a pead, occupational therapist and physiotherapist.
Pead noted that she was excessively restless, took my concerns seriously and have issued myself and the school with conners questionnaires. We have to see the pead again in a few months, once they have spoken to dds teacher and senco.

Also school have ref to an educational pscyologist as dd is not making any progress. We are currently waiting for an assessment to take place.

higherhill Tue 23-Apr-13 12:36:38

We were referred to a paediatrician after being seen for speech therapy when ds had delayed speech at 3 years of age. he was monitored by paed and then when he started school, staff were asked to complete the Connors questionnaire. from memory i think we were told there has to be similar behaviour in 2 or more settings for ADHD diagnosis to be accurate.

TulipsInACampervan Tue 23-Apr-13 13:07:31

Thanks for your replies. So, a paediatrician can make a diagnosis? And school have to be on board too? How long a process is it? How long does it take to get an appt with a paediatrician?

Do school's minimise problems when children are doing ok academically because they don't want to have to fund interventions, or is that just cynicism?

I have been tempted to film DS outside of school to show what he can be like. What do you think?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 23-Apr-13 13:55:04

I would ask your GP to refer you to a developmental paediatrician because these people can diagnose.

Sometimes children with additional needs can behave worse at home because they bottle up all the frustrations of their school day. They do this because their additional needs at school are not being met.

Even though you do not have a diagnosis I would also now consider applying for a statement of special needs from the LEA if you feel his needs at school are not being met by them.

armani Tue 23-Apr-13 15:16:11

Our referral from the gp to pead took around 6 weeks, although the gp said it could take up to 18 weeks! Once we had seen the pead we then had to wait another 4 weeks to receive the conners questionnaires through the post. We have another appointment next week with an occupational therapist aswel.

School have only just received their questionnaire. In my opinion things at school have to be extreme before they will intervene. Dd is in year 2 and it has taken until now for the school to listen to and take into account my concerns. Dd is still working at p levels and not working to the national curriculum. She struggles with all aspects of school and is not making any progress sad I feel that she would have been ref to an educational psych last year, although school had a wait and see approach.

TulipsInACampervan Tue 23-Apr-13 19:38:51

School dragging their heels is my concern. The SENCO says DS doesn't show much grounds for concern other than immaturity. The class teacher says he is a pita and class clown and doesn't really know how to get him to get on iykwim?

However, I do think he tries very very hard in school to contain himself, so when he comes out he can be all over the place. Very excitable, physical, not wanting to listen or be told anything. It is very wearing. He is just like a big toddler in some ways. Or a puppy.

Are we likely to get anywhere if school aren't on board though? I don't want to go through all the stress just to be labelled an anxious parent and be no further forward.

Sorry to hear that others are going/have gone through this too. Especially if they too feel like they are pushing things uphill even when they know that something is wrong.

armani Tue 23-Apr-13 20:29:09

If I were you I would go to the gp and explain your worries. Ask for a referral to a developmental pead. I wouldn't worry about school too much at this stage, if the pead feels the need to investigate further they will contact the school direct.
If your ds is achieving in school then I can't see how an ed psych would benefit him tbh. A developmental pead is the best route to go down as they can dx and ref you to other professionals who can help.
The only involvement you need from the school is the conners questionnaires to be completed. Signs of ADHD have to be present in two settings (school & home) to dx.

My dd also comes home from school and is full of energy. She will either be angry or exciteable and constantly on the go. She will climb things on the way home - walls, postboxes etc. Basically anything that gets in her way. She often falls and hurts herself and will run across roads etc. once home she will wander around the house and not engage in any specific activity. She often has angry outbursts, shouts, screams, hits etc. She will climb the sofas, bounce on them, do head stands etc. she will be like this until the moment she falls asleep.

I'm finding it such a help now the weather has improved as she can go into the garden and skip etc whilst I'm preparing tea. What ADHD traits does your ds have?

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