ADHD in children and teenagers
For children and teenagers up to the age of 18, we offer a comprehensive assessment that will look at
- general health and well-being; and
- the issues both at home and at school.
To aid diagnosis we often use questionnaires that are for completion by parents and a teacher. They include
- the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), which provides a measure of general well-being; and
- the SNAP-IV, which is ADHD specific.
It is very important to involve older children and teenagers in the diagnostic process. When a child over the age of 11 or a teenager is worried about having ADHD we ask them to complete both an SDQ and a Connors Questionnaire that is ADHD specific for young people.
The diagnosis is made if three clinical features
- overactivity; and
have been present from an early age, persist in more than one situation (e.g. at home and in school) and impair function.
The treatment we offer is not solely based on prescribing medication. For instance, particularly with milder cases of ADHD, there may be circumstances where working with parents on managing behaviour and changing relationships is appropriate. There may also be times when it is appropriate to work individually with a child who may have developed low self-esteem or poor confidence when their difficulties were unrecognised. Additionally, there may also be circumstances when help with family relationships can be beneficial.
We are increasingly offering help with ADHD through the use of dietary change and circadian rhythm realignment.
Where it is felt to be necessary to prescribe medication we work in partnership with parents, children, teenagers and teachers to establish the use of a dose that is tailored to fit an individual's needs.
Once the use of medication is established, we work in partnership with GPs to ensure continuity of care along with good health and well-being.
The Blood Red Shoes is a Brighton based band that in 2006 released the song ADHD. It was initially released in a limited edition as a vinyl record but went on to appear on their 2008 album Box of Secrets. Written by Steven Ansell and Laura Carter, the lyrics describe some of the symptoms of ADHD and what the experience may be for a child or teenager who has those symptoms.