It’s easy to get a diagnosis of ADHD for your child

I received a copy of a letter to my son’s GP today, dated 9th May 2017.

It said:

Dear Dr X,

Thank you for your referral of Kipper to the Local CAMHS triage team. We have now received all the screening questionnaires back from the family and the school and these have been reviewed.

Having considered all the information presented to us, the evidence across the home and the school environment DOES NOT support the need for further ADHD assessment at this time.

The Connors’ questionnaires completed by the parents and Kipper are significant for ADHDH concerns, although the Teacher Connors’ questionnaire reports concerns that are significant for inattention but not hyperactivity and impulsivity. The school observation form suggests attention can vary and organisation is good unless unfamiliar routine. However, the Educational Psychologist gives more evidence of distraction and attention difficulties in the context of ASD i.e. difficulties understanding language or sensory overload rather than additional ADHD symptoms. Therefore overall the evidence does not appear to be consistently significant to warrant further assessment into ADHD. We will therefore be going ahead and closing Kippers file to CAHMS.

Yours sincerely

CAHMS Nurse Therapist.

Problems with this letter:

  1. Kipper is in a phenomenal provision in an inclusive school. His needs are met not just every hour, but every minute. There is an exceptional plan to keep his motivation and attention high. He has been in 8 educational placements and previous ones have suggested I ought to seek for him, an assessment for ADHD (presumably with the aim of medication). I refused to do so until the provision was right.

  2. Kipper hasn’t seen an Educational Psychologist. They made an assumption on the basis of the exceptional quality of the report the school had written for Kippers’ annual review over a year ago. He had been there only a few months and they rightly focused on the aspects of his ASD.

  3. That parent/child questionnaires differ from school reporting is not unusual, and doesn’t mean the child not have ADHD. This should always warrant further assessment/investigation in my opinion.

  4. The school is actually in favour of an assessment for ADHD and I believe will now support my request for a further look into this by submitting further written information.

  5. If ADHD is not assessed now (in year 5) despite Kipper himself articulating well his very clear ADHD symptoms, he is at risk of hitting a crisis in Secondary and during puberty that will take considerable time and resources to resolve. We are not seeking medication at this time (unless Kipper specifically asks for it), but he will need to access it quickly if he needs it later.

I will now (And have started already) be pursuing an appeal/collection of further evidence and attempting to persuade CAMHS to change their minds. At this stage all that we are requesting is an assessment. I have school backing, but I know that is unusual.

Please don’t tell me, or any other parent, seeking and getting a diagnosis of ADHD that it is either easy or done for excusing behaviour. Neither he, nor his Primary School teachers need an excuse for his symptoms. All are doing their absolute best and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

 

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6 thoughts on “It’s easy to get a diagnosis of ADHD for your child

  1. (Insert expletive-laden entré/pro-comment of your own choice¹)

    “Having considered all the information presented to us, the evidence across the home and the school environment DOES NOT support the need for further ADHD assessment at this time.”

    I would want to know what the basis is, with evidence presented from the forms completed.

    “However, the Educational Psychologist gives more evidence of distraction and attention difficulties in the context of ASD i.e. difficulties understanding language or sensory overload rather than additional ADHD symptoms.”

    That EP had better have a pissing excellent body of references to back that up, especially having not seen the child in question! In particular, they’d better have a great study to cite on how one can determine this finding in a child whom one has not bloody seen.

    Your numbered points are comensurate with the high quality I’ve come to expect from, and to love in, your blog.

    ¹ I dare not use the one I have in mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. An additional point I would make is that teachers are expected to notice things they are not trained to see. Just because they don’t notice issues doesn’t mean they are not there. Also, some make interpretations of behaviours without considering all the options – or with considerable issues of ‘confirmation bias’. Finally where school feels hostile some children work hard to hide their difficulties as they don’t feel safe expressing them (often with good reason). Teachers observations should be presented in the context of their training, knowledge and experience, also other motivating factors (such as fears of being expected to increase provision without funding support) should be properly considered. Good luck Kipper, I hope your secondary school is just as good as this one.

    Liked by 2 people

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