Adult ADHD Assessments

At Join Psychology, we have expertise in providing diagnostic assessments of ADHD for young people and adults (aged 16+).

Adult ADHD Assessments

Understand your patterns, discover your strengths and find out if ADHD could explain your experiences

As we are learning more about neurodiversity, an increasing number of people are wondering whether some of their patterns could be explained by ADHD. Our understanding about neurodiversity, including ADHD has developed a lot over recent years as more research has been completed around ADHD and people share their lived experience stories of what it is really like to have ADHD.

ADHD can affect people in a number of ways, including:

  • Finding it difficult to keep attention on tasks or activities, unless they are of particular interest.
  • Being distracted by the environment and finding it very difficult to re-focus on the task or activity they were working on.
  • Finding it difficult to get organised for school, work and leisure activities.
  • Finding it difficult to have a sense of time or manage time.
  • Losing and/or forgetting things.
  • Feeling restless inside and needing to move a lot – either by moving their hands and feet, standing up and changing position a lot.
  • Finding it difficult to relax and being constantly ‘on the go’.
  • Talking a lot, which sometimes leads to interrupting others and/or finishing others’ sentences. 

There are also many strengths associated with ADHD, such as:

  • An incredible capacity to focus on areas of interest for long periods of time – this is sometimes known as hyperfocus.
  • Working incredibly hard to try and look out for difficulties with concentration and organisation and using a range of strategies and tools to try and help themselves. Neurodivergent people have often had to work incredibly hard at adapting, meaning they demonstrate flexibility and resilience.
  • Creativity and a great ability to develop unique ideas and solutions, or ‘thinking outside the box’. 
  • Being in physically active jobs or using physical activity to help regulate an inner sense of restlessness.
  • Being spontaneous, taking risks/opportunities and seizing the moment.
  • Lots of energy!

An ADHD assessment with Join Psychology focuses on both the strengths and difficulties that ADHD brings. Sometimes, people wonder whether they are autistic and affected by ADHD and we are able to offer combined assessments of autism and ADHD.

 ADHD is often missed in younger years because parents and teachers may have had particular ideas about what ADHD is and how it affects people. We commonly hear our clients and their family members describe how they did not think that ADHD may explain their experiences because they were not “naughty", “hyperactive” or “in trouble” at school. There have been many misconceptions about ADHD and how it affects people.

Our understanding of neurodiversity is changing and there is now lots of information more widely available about ADHD and how it affects people in different ways. A lot of people start to wonder about ADHD when they hear the lived experience stories of other neurodivergent people which sound similar to their own experiences.

ADHD in girls and women has also been greatly under-recognised and there are a number of reasons for this, some of which include the understanding of ADHD, societal assumptions and expectations about gender and masking of ADHD traits.

 The benefits of receiving a formal assessment and possible diagnosis can include: 
  • An understanding of your patterns and why you may experience certain difficulties. Learn how to reconnect with your strengths.
  • Better coping strategies and practical techniques to make life easier.
    Improved mental health - less anxiety, less stress and a happier outlook on life.
  • Access to the right kind of support and benefits from health professionals. Educators and employers can make reasonable adjustments to help you in education and/or work if the ADHD affects you in those settings. 

There are several stages in an ADHD assessment which are outlined below. Our ADHD assessments can be completed in-person, online or a combination of both.

  • Step 1 - Initial consultation: We meet for a 90-minute initial consultation to talk about the reasons for seeking an ADHD assessment and to take some background information. We will also ask you to complete and return some forms and questionnaires relating to ADHD which we'll review before we meet with you. From this initial consultation, we will consider whether there is a clear clinical rationale for you pursuing a full diagnostic assessment and explain the options and next steps. If you are clear that you want to pursue a full ADHD assessment from the outset, without the need for an initial consultation to help you decide if this is the right path for you, we can go straight to the full assessment stage. 
  • Step 2 - Forms, questionnaires and background information: We will ask you and someone who knows you well to complete some more forms and questionnaires and return them before we see you for the ADHD diagnostic interview. We will also ask you to share any other relevant background information, such as school reports and letters/reports from health care professionals you've seen in the past. This helps us to gather as much information as possible before we meet for a more detailed interview. 
  • Step 3 - Diagnostic interview: If you decide to go ahead with the full ADHD diagnostic assessment, we will meet with you and someone who knows you well (a partner, friend, parent) to complete a diagnostic interview relating to the core ADHD symptoms and diagnostic criteria. 
  • Step 4 - Qb-Check computer-based task: We will ask you to complete a 20-minute computer-based task called the Qb-Check which measures the core symptoms of ADHD. 
  • Step 5 - Review and case discussion between assessors: We will review and discuss the information gathered and agree on a diagnostic conclusion. 
  • Step 6 - Feedback sessionWe will meet with you to talk about the diagnostic conclusion and any recommendations made. 
  • Step 7 - Report: We will write a full report summarising the information gathered, the diagnostic conclusion and recommendations. The report comes in three parts - a summary version to share with employers/educators if needed, the main report and a technical appendix with the relevant assessment data in. We will ask you to check the report for accuracy before finalising with you. We will only share copies of the report with people or agencies you consent to. 

We also understand that there have been some concerns more recently in the media about the robustness of some diagnostic assessments of ADHD. We can assure all of our clients that our assessments are very thorough and follow the national policy guidance for the diagnostic assessment of ADHD in adults and we outline this process in our summary reports which are shared with you at the end of the assessment. 

We always gather a full background history alongside completing an interview about the presence and impact of ADHD traits across the course of your life. We highly recommend that an informant is involved in the assessment who can give their perspective about the presence and influence of ADHD traits in your life. We carefully consider whether there are other factors which could account for the patterns you experience.

If an ADHD diagnosis is made, we will specify which presentation we think best describes your experiences. There are 3 possible presentations in ADHD, including:

  • Inattentive presentation – predominantly inattentive patterns are present and impacting your life.
  • Hyperactive/impulsive presentation – predominantly hyperactive/impulsive patterns are present and impacting your life.
  • Combined presentation – patterns of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are both present and impacting your life.

An ADHD assessment may not always lead to an ADHD diagnosis. The assessment gathers all the relevant information to help the clinician decide whether they think you meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. Sometimes, a diagnosis of ADHD will be made and sometimes, no diagnosis will be made. In some circumstances, the assessment may be inconclusive, for example, if there are gaps in the information available or limited collateral/supporting information. We will make suggestions for other things that might help you, if these are clear to us in the assessment.

At Join Psychology, we can provide post-diagnostic support to help you personalise and understand the meaning and impact of ADHD in your life, including how it affects you, your relationships and work. Our post-diagnostic work with you will always include a focus on the strengths associated with neurodiversity.

We may sometimes signpost you to another service who are able to provide more specific help, such as ADHD coaching to help with understanding ADHD and developing strategies to help you manage some of the difficulties you might experience related to ADHD. 

We cannot prescribe medication for ADHD as this can only be prescribed by a specialist clinician, such as a psychiatrist or a nurse prescriber. We recommend that clients with an ADHD diagnosis who would like to consider medication talk to their General Practitioner (GP) about local services who offer this and/or we can also suggest some independent services who may be able to help.