Childhood ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Childhood ADHD?

ADHD is a neurological condition that affects around 5% of the population. It can affect anyone from all different walks of life.

It is important to remember that ADHD is not caused by bad parenting, diet, or social circumstances. It is something that individuals are born with, and this means that symptoms are usually noticed before the age of 13.

What are the Symptoms of ADHD?

The symptoms of ADHD are varied and can impact on many aspects of an individuals life, whether it be education, occupation, relationships, finances or social circumstances. Common symptoms are as follows:


  • Making careless mistakes / failing to give close attention to details
  • Difficulties sustaining attention
  • Difficulties listening and with “zoning out”
  • Difficulties following through or finishing tasks
  • Difficulties in organisation and time management
  • Avoiding and procrastinating tasks
  • Losing or misplacing things
  • Forgetfulness
  • Getting distracted easily


  • Becoming highly focussed for prolonged periods of time to the point you lose track of everything else going on around you. Please note this is for tasks that are particularly mentally stimulating to the individual

Hyperactivity / Impulsivity

  • Fidgeting (playing with pens, bouncing leg, biting nails, fidgeting with hands/feet)
  • Physical restlessness
  • Mental restlessness (racing thoughts, particularly when trying to relax)
  • Difficulties relaxing
  • Difficulties with patience and waiting
  • Difficulties in social situations (being loud, interrupting, talking excessively)
  • Becoming easily bored
  • Taking risks
  • Making spur of the moment decisions

Difficulties regulating Mood

  • - Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Quick temper
  • Impatience
  • Low self-esteem
  • Inability to deal with stress

How do we diagnose Childhood ADHD?

At Harley Street Mental Health we diagnose ADHD through the use of a structured clinical interview that has specifically been developed to assess for ADHD in young people. We understand that attending these appointments can be nervous for both the child and individual with parental responsibility, and therefore our experienced psychiatrists will be there to support you throughout the whole assessment.

Prior to your appointment we will need the following things:

1) Speak to your GP to ensure that they will be able to prescribe medication as part of a shared care agreement once treatment has been completed with our service.

2) A summary care record from your GP. This can be accessed through the NHS app, or by phoning your GP directly.

3) Filled in pre-assessment questionnaires by yourself, the child and someone from your child’s school or learning environment that interacts with them regularly.
We expect the individual with parental responsibility to attend these appointments. You will be asked about your child’s development and milestones so it is helpful if you can have this information to hand (when they first walked, talked, potty trained).

If you have any school reports or communications showing how your child has progressed this is also very helpful. One thing that we often find very helpful, is if your child’s personal health record / red book is brought along to the appointment.

If your child meets the diagnostic criteria, we can talk about the different treatment options that are available and come to a shared decision on how to progress.

Prior to the initiation of any treatment we will need to know your child’s height, weight, blood pressure and pulse rate. We will need to know these at each follow up appointment too.

After the appointment, your diagnostic report will be emailed to you within 72 hours provided we have received all the questionnaires. If the questionnaires are not completed in time a diagnosis, report, and treatment plan cannot be finalized until these are received. There will be an additional charge if these are received more than 7 days after the appointment. If medication is prescribed this will be sent to your nominated pharmacy within 5 working days of approval.

Following the appointment we ask you to book a follow up at least every 4 weeks whilst we titrate your child's medications, monitor side effects and get them stable.

Our Process

How do we treat Childhood ADHD?

Unfortunately there is no cure for ADHD, but it can be managed through advice and support, alongside medications.

There are a number of different medications available to treat ADHD and these will be discussed with you at the appointment.

Each individual can respond differently to medication. What may work ell for one person may not for another which is why we have titration appointments post diagnosis.

The first line medications for ADHD are known as stimulants. They boost and balance levels of neurotransmitters with the aim of improving symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity. They can be prescribed as long acting medications, or shorter acting medications. If these are not tolerated we can discuss alternatives such as non-stimulants.
© Copyright Harley Mental Health LTD | All Rights Reserved.
©Copyright Harley Mental Health LTD | All Rights Reserved.

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