There are a number of different professionals involved with ADHD including:
- child and adolescent psychiatrists
- educational and clinical psychologists
- speech and language therapists
- occupational therapists
- health visitors
- social workers.
The best way to have good communication between different professionals is to have a case coordinator. They could be a community paediatrician, educational psychologist or a social worker. The role of the case coordinator includes forming a trusted relationship with the child’s family, they also have to coordinate the input of the different professionals that are involved.
A health visitor plays an important role in recognising developmental problems that a child may have before they get to the age of going to school. They should be able to spot the first signs of ADHD.
When a parent is concerned that their child may have ADHD, they may want to speak to their GP. The GP will normally refer the child to a specialist. The GP can agree to share care with the specialist which means that they will prescribe the drugs that are chosen by the specialist, they will monitor the child’s progress on their treatment and will contact the specialist if they are concerned about any aspect of the treatment.
The specialist will be able to carry out a detailed assessment of the child before the decide on the diagnosis. When the child has been diagnosed with ADHD, they will recommend a treatment plan and each plan will be tailored differently for each child depending on their needs.
Children can be referred to a specialist if their teachers thinks that they have symptoms of ADHD. The local education authorities may make special arrangements to help the child with learning difficulties. Once the treatment has started , the teacher will have an important role in performing an ongoing assessment of the child’s behaviour. They can use strategies to help improve the child’s achievement and self-esteem.