We offer prompt, diagnostic assessments in line with best practice standards for children and young people (up to the age of 18 years) where there are concerns about possible attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or autism spectrum disorder (ASD, including Asperger’s Syndrome).
We also offer medico-legal assessments in respect of child and adolescent psychiatry.
All patients are seen by a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Mental Health (a specialist doctor). Our focus is on offering a timely assessment with diagnosis (if appropriate) and provision of a comprehensive report which families can use for access to specialist support in education, health, training or employment. We do not offer a therapeutic service but rather advise and/or refer regarding onward support from established services as is relevant to each individual case. For further information regarding Child & Adolescent Assessments Northern Ireland (CAANI) , please see our services.
All of our clinicians are very experienced, specialist doctors and nurses. We are a small team, enabling excellent multidisciplinary working and assessments where required. All assessment processes meet NICE recommendations and are therefore valid for Education Authority etc. Our clinicians also all have/had NHS roles in the assessment and management of ASD & ADHD.
Please note that we do not usually recommend formalised assessment in respect of possible ADHD until a child is aged at least 6 years (in line with trust practice, guidance on the validated assessment tools & issues with age of licensing for medications). Please be advised that in keeping with practice in local trusts, we do not typically recommend formalised assessment for ASD before nursery school age. We do sometimes see slightly younger children where there are clear indicators of concern and the New Patient Appointment can be useful in identifying issues and signposting for supports/interventions.
Although our doctors are psychiatrists in child & adolescent mental health and intellectual disabilities, in their private capacity, with our service, they focus their role on ASD/Autism & ADHD assessments and diagnoses. Our New Patient Appointment includes a thorough mental state/health assessment (and they will obviously assess and advise accordingly therein & thereafter) but child psychiatry/mental health issues per se are not the main aspects of the services we offer in that we focus on neurodevelopmental assessments & diagnoses (possible ASD & ADHD). One of the benefits of our specialist service for children and young people (up to but not including or over the age of 18), is that our doctors can provide a thorough assessment and consider co morbid mental health or emotional difficulties, directing accordingly as and if indicated.