Delivering virtual assessments for autism and ADHD in England


ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition. The letters stand for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

NHS England estimates that 3% of the population have ADHD. It is characterised by three main features- Inattention, Hyperactivity and Impulsivity. However, many clinicians also recognise that difficulty with emotional regulation and what we call ‘executive functioning’ skills are common features of ADHD. 

ADHD, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition that affects both children and adults. It can make it hard to pay attention, control impulses, and sit still. People with ADHD may struggle with staying focused, organizing tasks, and impulsiveness. An ADHD assessment with the right treatment can lead people towards the support and help they need.

Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school.

Most cases are diagnosed when children are under 12 years old, but sometimes it’s diagnosed later in childhood.

Sometimes ADHD was not recognised when someone was a child, and they are diagnosed later as an adult.

The symptoms of ADHD may improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.

People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders. Some adults may also have issues with relationships or social interaction.


Time management

Adults with ADHD may find they have problems with organisation and time management


Adults with ADHD may find they have problems with following instructions

Task management

Adults with ADHD may find they have problems with focusing and completing tasks


Adults with ADHD may find they have problems managing their stress levels


Adults with ADHD may find they are restless and or impatient


Adults with ADHD may find they are more prone to risk-taking or impulsiveness

ADHD can present with a wide range of signs and symptoms. Although many people with ADHD may experience similar struggles, each person has their own distinct difficulties. It is important for an ADHD diagnosis to be conducted by professionals who possess up-to-date expertise and knowledge in this field. Signs of ADHD can differ from person to person. There are different types and presentations of ADHD, including hyperactive-impulsive, inattentive and a combination of symptoms of both hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive.

It is very common for symptoms of ADHD to first appear in early childhood and persist into adulthood. The way that these symptoms present and interfere with a person’s life may change as a person gets older.

While it is common to receive an ADHD diagnosis as a child, this is not always true. As people get older, they may notice certain ADHD traits affecting them more, and an adult ADHD assessment with suitable treatment can make a positive difference.

Research suggests that ADHD is underdiagnosed in women, as they tend to experience symptoms that are less noticeable or less typical than those experienced by men. Common behaviours and signs associated with ADHD include (but are not limited to):

  • Restlessness
  • Impulsivity
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Risk-taking or impulsive behaviour
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty with organisation
  • Procrastinating
  • Losing things
  • Difficulty switching off thoughts
  • Difficulties with emotional regulation
  • Trouble sleeping

This list should not be taken as a guide to diagnosing ADHD. However, this may help you to understand if an ADHD assessment will benefit you, a friend, or a family member.


ADHD can make it difficult to maintain attention and focus on tasks, often leading to difficulty staying on track


People with ADHD often struggle with impulsivity, finding it challenging to think before acting.


ADHD can affect the ability to be organised, with difficulty structuring tasks, managing time effectively, and keeping track of belongings


Many people with ADHD experience anxiety, as the constant struggle with attention and organization can create a sense of unease and overwhelm

Taking the first step towards an ADHD assessment can feel daunting, but accessing diagnosis and treatment from an expert Consultant Psychiatrist can make a real difference.

Your psychiatrist will take into account factors such as your physical health, family history and impact of symptoms. It is important for ADHD assessments to be bespoke and developed around your specific difficulties. During your assessment, particular attention will be given to comorbidities – related conditions (such as anxiety or mood disorder) so that the diagnosis is made as accurately as possible.

In some cases, an adult may be diagnosed with ADHD if they have 5 or more of the symptoms of inattentiveness, or 5 or more of hyperactivity and impulsiveness, listed in diagnostic criteria for children with ADHD.

As part of your assessment, the specialist will ask about your present symptoms. However, under current diagnostic guidelines, a diagnosis of ADHD in adults cannot be confirmed unless your symptoms have been present from childhood.

If you find it difficult to remember whether you had problems as a child, your specialist may wish to see your old school records, or talk to your parents, teachers or anyone else who knew you well when you were a child. Source

Once an ADHD diagnosis is given, your psychiatrist will consider your individual needs when suggesting any kind of treatment plan to manage your specific symptoms. This ADHD treatment plan will be personalised to you. Although an “ADHD cure” doesn’t exist, with appropriate medical treatment and psychological support it is possible to lessen the impact of many associated symptoms.

ADHD Support Services

The following services can help you learn and understand more about ADHD and can provide you with further support if needed.

AADD-UK – Site for and by adults with ADHD: raising awareness of ADHD in adulthood Click Here

ADDISS – Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service: information and resources about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to anyone who needs assistance – parents, sufferers, teachers or health professionals Click Here

ADDItude a US online magazine for young people and adults with ADHD, parents, and professionals Click Here

ADHD Foundation: an integrated health and education service offering a unique lifespan–strength-based service, for the 1 in 5 people who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome. Click Here

ADHD Wise UK: Information, support and resources for ADHD for people with ADHD, parents and professionals:  set up by adults who are diagnosed with ADHD themselves and use it to good effect, to ‘promote positive outcomes’ for those with ADHD Click Here

ADHD Aware: – ADHD Aware is a national charity, based in Brighton. We have been supporting adults impacted by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for over a decade, and are led by volunteers with lived experience of neurodiversity. Click here

ADHD and You – ADHD information website for parents and carers, young people, adults, and professionals with tips and downloadable resources Click Here

CHADD: Children and adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder Click Here

NHS Choices: An overview of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder Click Here 

ADHDadultUK – A registered charity set up to support adults with ADHD in the UK, through resources, The ADHD Adults podcast and links to evidence. Click here

ADHDgirlsUK – To empower women and non-binary individuals with ADHD with the knowledge and skills to thrive in.  Click here

Centre for ADHD and
Autism Support: – Supporting ADHD / autistic individuals, families, their communities, and professionals in North-West London. Click here

Connections In Mind: is a Community Interest Company (C.I.C) committed to serving our
neurodivergent community. We offer training to support people in understanding their brains better so that they can be kinder to themselves and those around them. Click here

The Royal College of Psychiatrists: -The Royal College of Psychiatrists have a Policy Unit which deals with issues affecting National Mental Health policy and psychiatric practice. Details can be found on the website (under Policy and Parliamentary). 

Sleep Foundation: – As the leader in digital sleep health, we aim to be a trusted and comprehensive companion for you on your journey to healthy sleep habits. Click here

Mind UK – We’re Mind. We’re here to fight for mental health. For support, for respect, for you. Click here

Choice Support – social care charity working across much of England to provide the best possible support to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs Click Here

Disability Law Service – free advice via information, factsheets, training courses and telephone and written advice in areas relevant to people with disabilities and their carers Click Here

Mencap – The Voice of Learning Disability: information about learning difficulties and learning disabilities related to autism, Down syndrome and other conditions Click Here

Sunflower – Hidden Disabilities: information about Sunflower lanyards, increasingly used to  discreetly indicate to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you have a hidden disability and you may need additional support, help or more time Click Here

Ways Into Work – Supported Employment, Supported Internships, Recruitment and Workplace Support for disabled people Click Here

Graft – Work with their clients on a one-to-one basis, setting agreed goals for the client to achieve to improve their employability, adopting a holistic and “stepping stone” approach to progress them into employment. Click here

Shaw Trust – Helping build a future where rewarding employment is accessible for all. Click here 

ACAMH – Association for Child and Adult Mental Health: online portal with professional seminars on topics related to autism and ADHD Click Here

Anxiety UK: supporting people with anxiety, stress, anxiety-based depression or a phobia with downloadable guides and online or helpline support Click Here

CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably (mental health support for men): a free and confidential helpline and webchat – 7 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems Click Here

Harmless – Self Harm Support: a national voluntary organisation for people who self-harm, their friends, families and professionals Click Here

Mental Health Foundation: aims to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive, to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health Click Here

Mind – mental health charity: provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem Click Here

The Samaritans: 24-hour a day suicide prevention support online or by telephone Click Here

Shout 85258 – For free, confidential support, 24/7, text SHOUT to 85258. If you are struggling to cope and need to talk, trained Shout volunteers are available day or night. Click here

Rethink Mental Illness – You can call the Rethink advice and information line Monday to Friday, 10am to 2pm for practical advice. Click here

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