There is a new ADHD pathway primarily for children aged between 6 and 18 years
old. It includes a new service called Trafford Combined ADHD Service (TCAS).
This is jointly provided by Community Paediatricians and Healthy Young Minds
who provide Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
The pathway encourages schools to identify children with behaviour difficulties, address any learning and training needs, and put the appropriate behaviour strategies in place
based on your child’s needs and without waiting for a formal diagnosis.
What to do initially
If you have initial concerns around your child’s behaviour or learning, you should
first speak to your child’s school. A support plan will be developed and you will get
help with behaviour strategies. You may also be offered a parenting course. If your
child is home-schooled then you should speak to your GP.
Referral and Assessment Process
If your child does not progress as expected after receiving support through school,
a referral should be made by the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
(SENCO). They will send the relevant information to support the assessment which
will help to speed up the process. Based on the referral information, the TCAS team
will make an appointment with a Paediatrician, ADHD Nurse or with Healthy Young
Minds, as appropriate.
How can I explain to my child the reason for the assessment?
It would be useful for you to have a discussion with your child ahead of the
assessment. You should ask them to think about their strengths and difficulties and
explain that all of us are good at some things and find other things more difficult,
such as paying attention. Explain that the doctor or nurse can help with the things
that they struggle with.
What to expect from the assessment for ADHD?
- A discussion with the doctor/nurse for information to be gathered, allowing you to express your concerns as well as exploring any additional difficulties, such as social communication and motor skills.
- Information gathering from the school. This may have already been done if the school has completed the relevant forms. It will include questionnaires completed by the parent carer and teacher.
- An appointment letter will be sent to you for your child to have a Qb Test. This is an ADHD assessment tool.
How long will the assessment take?
If all the information is complete and received in good time, the outcome of the
assessment can be given at the first or second appointment. This is usually within
18 weeks but it can take longer if the information gathered requires further
investigation or the case is more complex.
Diagnosis and post diagnosis
If your child receives an ADHD diagnosis, treatment options will be discussed and agreed:
- You will be invited to the ADHD parent workshop as behaviour modification strategies are the first line of treatment for children who have mild to moderate impairment. This will include learning how to teach your child to understand and self-manage their difficulties.
- Notifying your child’s school of the diagnosis so support can be given.
- National guidelines recommend that medication for ADHD is reserved for children with severe impairment. Severe ADHD has an impact on learning, home life, social life or friendships. Behaviour modification strategies will also be used for those with a severe impairment.
If your child does not receive a diagnosis of ADHD:
- This does not mean that your concerns are not valid but other conditions or causes of your child’s behaviour difficulties will be considered.
This may require referral to other specialists, therapies or agencies for either assessment or general support and advice. TCAS will co-ordinate post-diagnostic support.
Children younger than 6 years
- Although children can present at a young age with ADHD like symptoms, many are related to immaturity/delayed control of attention and impulsivity and this improves with age rather than having a disorder. It is therefore recommended to wait until they are older.
- Diagnostic tools are not reliable for children under 6 years of age, and medication is not licenced. Side effects are also more common for this age group.
- For young children, the focus of treatment and support is parent training courses and school based support.
More information can be accessed via a Health Visitor, although support will also be available from the School Nurse, SENCO, Early Help Hubs or the Trafford Directory.
You can download and print the Parent carer ADHD Pathway and TCAS Service leaflet, co-produced with Trafford Parents Forum.
Trafford SEND local offer
You will find details of all the help and support available locally on the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) local offer.
Some local sources of support:
- Trafford Talkshop - Advice, information and health services for young people aged between 13 and 19 years old.
- Stretford & Partington Early Help Hubs - Children’s Centres that provide support for children aged 0-11 and their parents/carers.
- 42nd Street - Support young people aged 13-25 years with their emotional wellbeing through counselling, 1:1 support or groups.
- Trafford Sunrise - Support for children aged 5–12 years in coping with stress and promoting emotional wellbeing.
- Short Breaks – these range from going to local groups through to having specially trained carers coming to your home.
If you do not have access to the internet or need this information in a different format,
please contact Trafford Family Information Service on 0161 912 1053 or email email@example.com
- National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service
- ADHD Foundation
- NHS ADHD site
- Minded - provides online training courses around a variety of issues including ADHD
- Healthy Young Minds
- NICE National Guidelines about recognising, diagnosing and managing ADHD