If you think you or your child has ADHD or Autism you can now complete a referral form, which your GP will assess and then refer you to a specialist for a formal assessment.
Once you have completed all forms required please email these forms to us at [email protected] please mark FAO Medical Secretary Team.
Non-urgent advice: Please Note
Your GP cannot formally diagnose ADHD or Autism.
Diagnosis in children and teenagers
Diagnosing ADHD in children depends on a set of strict criteria. To be diagnosed with ADHD, your child must have 6 or more symptoms of inattentiveness, or 6 or more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
To be diagnosed with ADHD, your child must also have:
- been displaying symptoms continuously for at least 6 months
- started to show symptoms before the age of 12
- been showing symptoms in at least 2 different settings – for example, at home and at school, to rule out the possibility that the behaviour is just a reaction to certain teachers or to parental control
- symptoms that make their lives considerably more difficult on a social, academic or occupational level
- symptoms that are not just part of a developmental disorder or difficult phase, and are not better accounted for by another condition
Diagnosis in adults
Diagnosing ADHD in adults is more difficult because there’s some disagreement about whether the list of symptoms used to diagnose children and teenagers also applies to adults.
In some cases, an adult may be diagnosed with ADHD if they have 5 or more of the symptoms of inattentiveness, or 5 or more of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, listed in diagnostic criteria for children with ADHD.
As part of your assessment, the specialist will ask about your present symptoms. However, under current diagnostic guidelines, a diagnosis of ADHD in adults cannot be confirmed unless your symptoms have been present from childhood.
If you find it difficult to remember whether you had problems as a child, your specialist may wish to see your old school records, or talk to your parents, teachers or anyone else who knew you well when you were a child.
For an adult to be diagnosed with ADHD, their symptoms should also have a moderate effect on different areas of their life, such as:
- underachieving at work or in education
- driving dangerously
- difficulty making or keeping friends
- difficulty in relationships with partners
If your problems are recent and did not occur regularly in the past, you’re not considered to have ADHD. This is because it’s currently thought that ADHD cannot develop for the first time in adults.
You or your child may be referred to 1 of the following types of specialist for a formal assessment:
- a specialist child or adult psychiatrist
- a paediatrician – a specialist in children’s health
- an appropriately qualified healthcare professional with training and expertise in the diagnosis of ADHD
Who you’re referred to depends on your age and what’s available in your local area.
There’s no simple test to determine whether you or your child has ADHD, but your specialist can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed assessment.
The assessment may include:
- a physical examination, which can help rule out other possible causes for the symptoms
- a series of interviews with you or your child
- interviews or reports from other significant people, such as partners, parents and teachers