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Autism and ADHD Pathway

What you can expect when going through the Autism and/or ADHD Assessment Pathway

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Training and strategies to help self-manage and support life with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

After diagnosisServices that may be involved following review appointmentsMoving into adult services at 18 years old

Part of
Autism and ADHD Pathway

What you can expect when going through the Autism and/or ADHD Assessment Pathway

After diagnosis

After a diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), you can access follow-up services. These include training and strategies to help self-manage and support life with ADHD .

Understanding ADHD Course

Ideally, this will happen a few weeks or months after the diagnosis, but it might be delayed if we think it will help. The course is in person and happens every other week. Each family can have up to 2 important caregivers or parents, and there will be a total of up to 25 people attending. The child or young person with ADHD should not come to the sessions, but we will give families resources to use together.

Session 1

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Learn about the Children and Young People Neurological Partnership Team
  • Create a safe space with agreed ground rules
  • Understand the ADHD basics
  • Hear about some ADHD Theory
  • Learn about Executive Function
  • Think about ADHD across the lifespan

Session 2

  • Understanding the Iceberg Model
  • Discussing parenting styles and general behaviour strategies
  • Learning about strategies to support ADHD :
    • The impact of being misunderstood
    • Societal and parental narratives
    • Executive function
    • Working memory
    • Sleep
    • Young people’s previously learnt strategies that are no longer effective
  • Understanding the pros and cons of ADHD medication

Session 3

  • Understanding ADHD and how it affects sensory processing
  • Think about your young person’s unique sensory processing needs
  • Understand how emotional and sensory regulation are linked
  • Learn about the fight, flight and freeze responses
  • Support your child’s self-esteem and confidence
  • Supporting your own parental well being
  • Develop a regulation plan for your child

First Review appointment with member of ADHD Post Diagnostic Team

Once you have finished the Understanding ADHD Course, you will have a nurse-led appointment within a month. This gives you time to think about and try out the strategies and suggestions. If you have not taken the course we will go through other experiences you may have had. During the appointment, we may talk about:

  • General experience of ADHD education and courses
  • Strategies and environmental modifications
  • ADHD related current challenges
  • Current strengths and resilience to support ADHD challenges
  • Safeguarding
  • Education
  • Sleep issues
  • Sensory issues
  • Mood, well-being and resilience

If medication does not need to be considered

We will schedule a follow-up appointment with a member of the ADHD Post-Diagnostic Team every 6 to 12 months, or sooner if the family has any concerns. Discussions at this review will follow on from the first review appointment topics. Children and young people can stay with the team until discharge at 18 years, or they move out of the area.

If medication needs to be considered

information

This stage may be expedited for young people identified as at-risk.

Medication is not needed for every child or young person and is a personal choice of the family. The reasons for considering medicines will vary from situation to situation and over time.

Medicines are not a permanent cure for ADHD but may help someone with the condition concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer, and learn and practise new skills. Some medicines need to be taken every day, but some can be taken just on school days.

Stimulants work by increasing activity in the brain, particularly in areas that play a part in controlling attention and impulsive behaviour.

Melatonin works by adding to the body’s natural supply of melatonin, helping to fall asleep more quickly and be less likely to wake up during the night.

We will try to use the Paediatrician or Psychiatrist already involved with the child or young person.

Appointment with medical prescriber

This includes a cardiac assessment before titration is started. We will follow up with you after 2 to 4 weeks, then again 3 months, to see how the child or young person is doing on the dosage.

You will also have regular check-ins with the Neurodevelopmental Nurse Specialist every 6 months to review medications and check things like height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse. This will be at the following clinic locations:

  • Robert Blake NHS Centre, Bridgwater
  • Ballidon Centre, Yeovil
  • The Hub, Taunton
  • Minehead Community Hospital, Minehead
  • Bracken Centre, Chard
  • Wellington Community Hospital, Wellington
  • Polden Bower school, Bridgwater

Services that may be involved following review appointments

Psychiatry – This may be at any point in the child or young person’s journey. Any professional in the Children and Young People Neurological Partnership Team can discuss direct with the Psychiatrist.

Occupational Therapy – An occupational therapist in the Children and Young People Neurological Partnership Team with dedicated ADHD time will be involved with post-diagnostic support.

Mental Health Nurse – This may be at any point in the child or young person’s journey. Any professional in the Children and Young People Neurological Partnership Team can discuss directly with the Psychiatrist or Mental Health Nurse.

Clinical Psychology – This is a new addition to the post-diagnostic ADHD pathway. Details of what this offer involves are yet to be finalised.

There’s also a Nurse-led ADHD helpline (phone and email) that you can use anytime once diagnosed. You can find the details on clinic letters.

Moving into adult services at 18 years old

Between the ages of 14 and 18, you’ll meet with the ADHD nurse every 6 months for a check-in. We will go over a checklist about your understanding of ADHD , lifestyle issues, and self-care. If we need to talk more about something, we might refer you to other experts. We will send you copies of any letters we write, and you can come to the check-in without your parents if you want. 

At the last 6 monthly review before 18 with the ADHD Nurse specialist, the transitions checklist is completed. We will send a letter to your GP and also share it with the Community Mental Health Team for more details. If you are taking medication, you’ll need to see your GP for a medication review in 6 months. 

Last reviewed: March 20, 2024 by Jenny

Next review due: September 20, 2024

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