Skip to main content

a mum and dad with serious faces talking to a person who has their back to the camera. On the mum's knee is a child of about 10 years who is looking out of the window.

What to expect at your child’s ADHD assessment

The aim of your assessment appointment is to identify whether your child fits the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. The assessment team will work with you and your child to find out about their strengths and needs.

Your child will either be assessed by the Child Development and Neurodisability Service or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (known as CAMHS). Professionals will select the most appropriate service based on your child’s needs. ADHD assessments can take place in different locations, such as:

  • Ryegate Children’s Centre
  • Centenary House
  • Beighton Community CAMHS (Based at the Becton Centre)
  • Outpatients at Sheffield Children’s Hospital on Western Bank
  • Northern General Hospital
  • Virtual video link appointment

ADHD assessments in Child Development and Neurodisability  

Getting a diagnosis of ADHD requires a full and detailed assessment. This is usually done by a specialist clinician for example a paediatrician or child and adolescent psychiatrist – unfortunately, there is no quick and easy test for ADHD. Assessments often gather information from a number of different sources and may include observations and reports of the child’s behaviour at home and school.

The assessment appointment usually takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. You may wish to bring some activities and drinks or snacks to occupy your child. Following the pandemic, there is now a limited number of toys and activities provided by the hospital.

When you arrive with your child, we will take their height, weight, pulse and blood pressure as part of the stanard routine.

Taking a detailed history

This will cover information all the way from before your child was born to the present day. We will want to know about your child’s health and their development. We will ask about your health and your family’s health. You will have the chance to tell us about any concerns you may have or any difficulties at home and in school.

We would also like to speak to your child to gain their views and observe them throughout their session. We may want to carry out a simple medical examination.

When will we find out the results?

We will aim to complete the assessment at the initial appointment, in some cases an additional appointment might be required. We will give you feedback about the assessment on the day.

ADHD assessments in CAMHS

Once your child reaches the top of the waiting list for the CAMHS Neurodevelopmental Assessment Team, they will be allocated an assessor within the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Team.  This will be a child psychologist, nurse specialist or child psychiatrist and they will lead your child’s assessment.

There are multiple parts to our ADHD assessments:

Collecting a detailed history from the parent or carer

We will ask you lots of questions about your child’s development, from your pregnancy to your current concerns about your child. We will ask you about what your child did at different ages, such as when they met milestones like walking, talking and potty training. We will also ask about their activity levels, concentration, attention and impulsivity levels during their childhood. You will have the opportunity to share your current concerns and your views about ADHD as a possible diagnosis for your child.

Collecting information from your child through either observations, discussions, or both

Depending on their age, we may offer your child a session to talk about their difficulties and their views about an ADHD diagnosis. We will also observe your child, regardless of their age. This is most likely to take place in our clinic.

Some children may also be observed at school. This is because we need to have evidence of difficulties across more than one setting to diagnose ADHD. During these observations, we will be considering your child’s activity levels, ability to concentrate and focus, and any impulsivity. We will also look at their general behaviour and how they interact in clinic or with their peers and teachers in school.

Collecting information from others

An assistant psychologist or community mental health nurse from the Neurodevelopmental Assessment Team will speak to a member of staff at your child’s school. They will gather information about how your child is at school, especially in relation to activity levels, concentration, attention, impulsivity and behaviour. They will also find out about any challenges your child has with learning and any other concerns the teacher may have. This information may be gathered over the phone, or if a classroom observation is planned, with the teacher following the observation.

If there are other professionals who know your child well, such as social workers or previous CAMHS clinicians, we will also seek information from them, with your consent. This is to make sure that we get a good understanding of your child’s strengths, difficulties and life experiences from different perspectives. We may also review other information, such as primary school reports if your child is now at secondary school, or social care records that have been shared with us.

You might also be interested in...

    [0] => Array
            [message] => You currently have access to a subset of Twitter API v2 endpoints and limited v1.1 endpoints (e.g. media post, oauth) only. If you need access to this endpoint, you may need a different access level. You can learn more here:
            [code] => 453


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.