Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that begins in childhood and involves psychological and behavioral features that can negatively affect all aspects of life, including school, work and relationships.
ADHD is characterised by symptoms of inattention, hyperavtivity and/or impulsivity.
Between childhood and adulthood the hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms tend to decrease and inattention symptoms become predominant.
Treatments that target both biological and behavioural factors can be helpful, and evidence shows that outcomes are more effective when medication and behavioural treatments are combined.
Approximately 1 in 20 adults are affected by ADHD, with many undiagnosed and untreated.
ADHD Assessment and Treatment
At the Nelson Clinic, we offer a streamlined ADHD assessment and treatment service.
ADHD assessments are conducted by trained psychologists. If treatment is recommended, an appointment can be booked with our neurodiversity coaching team and/or our Paediatrician or Psychiatry team.
We undertake comprehensive assessments of children and adults to address questions about the existence and diagnosis of ADHD.
Appropriate diagnosis involves identifying symptoms, understanding how the symptoms are exhibited in the person’s life, and excluding other conditions that may look like ADHD.
Observation and the use of psychological tests and questionnaires are important in determining if someone meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.
To assess for ADHD, information gathered includes:
- Developmental History
- Educational History
- Family History
Assessments are primarily being conducted online with limited face-to-face appointments available in Nelson.
Treatment options are available online or face-to-face appointments are available in Nelson.
The gold-standard treatment recommendation for ADHD is a combination of medication and psychoeducation interventions, such as ADHD coaching.
This service is available to anyone and does not require a diagnosis.
ADHD Coaching involves education about ADHD and executive functions with the focus on improving performance. We do this by creating strategies that you can use to manage your ADHD-related symptoms across different settings, including school, work and relationships.
Executive Functions are the complex processes our brains use to help us plan, focus our attention, remember, and juggle multiple tasks.
ADHD is typically characterised by deficits in executive functions that may result in:
- Poor time management - being late, getting everything done last minute.
- Poor planning ability
- Poor organization
- Low motivation
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling overwhelmed by daily tasks
- Irritability and heightened stress
- Poor self-image
- Feelings of anxiety and low mood
Coaching is offered for approximately 10 sessions and these are tailored to suit individual needs. The goal of ADHD coaching is to support clients to create and implement skills and strategies that can help reduce the symptoms and behaviours associated with ADHD.
This service is available to anyone who has received a diagnosis of ADHD.
Medication is highly effective at improving underlying problems in staying focused, remembering things, and controlling impulses. It does this by adjusting biochemistry within the brain. While medications are not curative, they have been shown to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms and difficulties associated with ADHD. However, improving these abilities with medication alone does not necessarily mean a sudden improvement in the more complex behaviours like planning and organizing.
Medication consultations are offered by either Psychiatrists or Nurse Practitioners (who liaises with a psychiatrist post-consultation).
Please note that a GP referral is not compulsory; however, your GP will be responsible for initiating your medication and providing ongoing prescriptions.
Initial Psychometric Forms
A series of questionnaires and psychological tests are administered which address different aspects of functioning.
If a diagnosis of ADHD is made, a medication consultation can be booked with our paediatrician or psychiatry team.