ADHD Assessment

ADHD Assessment

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition (meaning that it relates to how the brain develops). Symptoms of ADHD include inconsistent attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.  These can change and fluctuate over time, but some common difficulties for adults with ADHD include:

  • Struggling to focus on boring tasks (though able to hyperfocus on tasks they are interested in)
  • Feeling restless – either physically or mentally
  • Difficulties in planning and organising
  • Getting easily distracted
  • Not meeting deadlines
  • Being late
  • Losing things
  • Procrastinating
  • Finding it hard to relax
  • Saying or doing things without thinking them through
  • Being impatient
  • Getting upset about things very quickly

These difficulties can have a significant impact on work, education, relationships and lifestyle, with knock-on effects on self-esteem and mental health.

Whilst traits will have been present in childhood, many people do not receive a diagnosis until they are adults. This may be because difficulties were mis-attributed to a child being “lazy” or “naughty”; because they were able to find ways to compensate for and mask the challenges; or they had a very supportive environment that enabled them to manage despite their difficulties. 

Adults may begin to question whether they have ADHD when the demands in their environment start to overwhelm their coping strategies and they seek support for this; they have a child who gets a diagnosis of ADHD; or they learn about ADHD in the media and recognise signs from their own life.

Receiving a diagnosis of ADHD can help to make sense of the things people have found difficult (often throughout their life) and to understand why they may have felt different to the “norm”. This can enable people to develop greater self-awareness, acceptance and compassion – as well as learning strategies to make life easier, and to work with your brain, rather than against it. It can also be helpful in communicating these needs to your workplace or educational setting to ensure you get the right kind of support to enable you to thrive and meet your potential.

ADHD often co-occurs with other conditions, such as depression, anxiety and autism.  These all need to be considered as part of the assessment.  Research suggests that 20-50% of those with ADHD are also autistic. For this reason we always include an autism screening assessment. This can offer guidance as to whether or not it is worth pursuing a separate autism diagnosis (this is something we do not currently provide).

Due to the overlap of ADHD symptoms with other conditions the diagnostic process is a complex one. It requires a thorough analysis of current lived experience as well as a developmental history, alongside consideration of differential diagnosis, to ensure that the symptoms could not be better explained by any other conditions.  The assessment involves multiple stages and ideally includes discussion with someone who knows the person well.

If you would like to know more about ADHD assessment, please reach out to us on the enquiry form below. After contacting us we will send you more information outlining the assessment process and whether an assessment is right for you.

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