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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Service

We are the provider for the NHS children’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Service in West Essex which includes Harlow, Epping and Uttlesford District.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a behavioural disorder that includes the symptoms:

  1. Inattentiveness
  2. Hyperactivity
  3. Impulsiveness

Symptoms of ADHD are often noticed from an early age and may become more noticeable when children start school. It is not usually possible to diagnose a child with ADHD until they are at least 6 years old.
The symptoms can improve to some degree with age, but many adults with ADHD, who were diagnosed as children, continue to have symptoms.

Let’s Talk about ADHD

What causes ADHD?

The exact cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not fully understood, although a combination of factors is thought to be responsible.

ADHD tends to run in families and, in most cases, it’s thought the genes you inherit from your parents are a significant factor in developing the condition. Research shows that parents and siblings of a child with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves. However, the way ADHD is inherited is likely to be complex and is not thought to be related to a single genetic fault.

Brain function and structure
Research has identified several possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD from those without the condition, although the exact significance of these is not clear. For example, some studies have suggested that people with ADHD may have an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, or that these chemicals may not work properly. Other studies involving brain scans have suggested that certain areas of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, whereas other areas may be larger.

Groups at risk
Certain groups are also believed to be more at risk of ADHD, including people:

  • who were born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy) or with a low birthweight
  • with epilepsy
  • with brain injury – which happened either in the womb or after a severe head injury later in life

When to consider ADHD

Where there are significant difficulties with a combination of

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity

Which are being demonstrated within both the home and school setting which have not responded to behavioural support and are keeping with that child’s developmental level

How to be referred

If a diagnosis of ADHD is suspected, where there are significant difficulties with a combination of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity across both the home and school setting, which have not responded to behavioural support and are out of keeping with that child’s developmental level a referral can be made in line with the information and guidance below:

  • The Child or Young Person must have a Registered GP in West Essex (Harlow, Epping or Uttlesford District)
  • Referral form completed and questionnaires in partnership with G.P and school
  • Referral can only to be received from G.P, School Nurse, or Health Visitor.

If you child is 17 and a half you will referred to the Adult ADHD Service which is provided by EPUT, please follow the link for further information for Adult ADHD Service West Essex

If you do not meet the criteria or living outside of West Essex, please contact your local team to gain further information and support on services in your area.

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