Adult ADHD, Autism and Tourette’s Team (AAATT)

Our service offers detailed diagnostic assessments for ADHD, ASD and Asperger’s, as well as post-diagnosis support. We help develop coping strategies for the patient and their families, to promote independent living skills and offer support with further education and employment.

Find out more about ADHD

What is ADHD?

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 3% of adults but may not have been diagnosed in childhood. There are different subtypes of ADHD:

  • Combined presentation – a wide range of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms present
  • Inattention presentation – mainly inattention symptoms (e.g. being easily distracted or having difficulties with organising tasks) present.
  • Hyperactivity/Impulsivity presentation – mainly hyperactivity symptoms (e.g. fidgetiness, restlessness, constantly on the go) present
  • ADHD in partial remission – some ADHD symptoms after a previous diagnosis, but does not meet the full criteria anymore.

People without ADHD may experience ADHD symptoms, but for people with ADHD this happens often and interferes with the person’s ability to do the things they want and need to do in everyday life.

People with ADHD may also experience mental health difficulties including mood and anxiety issues.

Getting an ADHD diagnosis

Getting an ADHD diagnosis

The first step to receiving a diagnosis for ADHD is speaking to your GP or other relevant healthcare professional.

If they think you would benefit from our service, a screening appointment will take place to decide whether an assessment is required. If this is agreed the person will be added to our waiting list.

The diagnostic process typically includes either 1 longer (approximately 2 hours) or 2 shorter appointments with a diagnostician. Prior to this, questionnaires are to be completed by the person and ideally someone who knew them as a child. Feedback is usually at the end of the appointment and will include a discussion of your potential follow-up options.

ADHD support we offer

ADHD support we offer

Depending on the persons, our ADHD Advice Service or our Comprehensive/Complex Therapeutic Intervention Pathway may offer the following support:

  • Psychoeducation - to enable the person to better understand ADHD, develop coping strategies for associated challenges, and/or promote independent living skills. We may also offer some support with further education and employment if appropriate.
  • ADHD medication - If you wish to consider ADHD medication, you may be offered an assessment appointment and depending on the outcome you will be referred to one of the following pathways:
  1. Non-medical prescriber
    You will be required to do a physical health check at your GP surgery to ensure it is safe for you to start ADHD medication. You will be supported to find the right dosage for you (known as titration), and you will be monitored with a non-medical prescriber throughout your ADHD medication journey. Once stable on the medication, your care will be transferred back to your GP for continuous of ADHD medication. Frequent reviews will take place, to support you throughout the process.
     
  2. Community Mental Health Team,
    This team will do your physical health checks with you to ensure it is safe for you to start ADHD medication.You will be supported to find the right dosage for you (known as titration), and you will be monitored by the team throughout your ADHD medication journey. They will offer you all your medication appointments, and any medication queries will be dealt via CMHT.

 

ADHD Advice Service

We run a virtual Advice Service for adults with ADHD (18 and upwards). This service offers advice is offered on a variety of topics issues, such as learning about ADHD, anxiety, and impulsivity, managing anger, and medication. Our support worker can offer advice on activities of daily living, such as budgeting, daily planning, meal planning and budgeting. This service is on the telephone and/or video.

You can use this service if you:

  • Have been assessed by our team and their carers.
  • Have a diagnosis of an ADHD.
  • Are 18 years of age and over.
  • Have a Northamptonshire GP.

An initial assessment is required to ensure the service is suitable for your needs. People who are diagnosed by our team are automatically assessed.

For individuals who are already diagnosed, please visit your GP, and ask to be referred to the Adult ADHD, Autism and Tourette’s Team & Asperger’s Team. We will need a diagnostic assessment report to be provided to us prior to your appointment. The assessment does not need to have been carried out by our team, however we do require evidence of a comprehensive diagnostic assessment in line with NICE guidelines. If no report is available, you can be referred for a diagnostic assessment with our team by your GP.

 What if I am already diagnosed with ADHD or ADHD and Autism  (dual diagnosis)?

If you already have a diagnosis, you may be able to receive short-term support from our team (as above). An appointment would be offered to assess whether we are the best team to support your needs.

  • ADHD resources

Find out more about ASD

Autism without a learning disability

Autism without a learning disability

Autism is a lifelong developmental disorder that affects around 1 in 100 people. People experience autism in different ways and see, hear, and feel the world differently to other people. Like everyone, every autistic person has their own unique strengths and challenges.

An autistic person may wonder why they are 'different' and feel their social differences mean people don’t always understand them. Autism may affect people in different ways and may not be obvious to others.

The term Autism Spectrum Disorder Condition (ASD) is a collective term for people who have diagnoses like Childhood Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Autistic people have average or above average intelligence.

Autism can mean a person is likely to experience differences with communication, and social interaction, repetitive behaviours/thinking, routines, and interests. These have a noticeable impact on daily life.

An autistic person may experience differences such as:

  • Finding social interactions very confusing
  • Struggling with social imagination and find it difficult to always work out how the other person is thinking or feeling
  • Challenges in developing and maintaining relationships
  • Having particular interests and focusing on these intensely 
  • Some people may find they notice small details more than others
  • Having strong preference or need for routine and find it difficult to adjust to change 
  • May be perceived by others as being rude or blunt when not meaning to come across this way
  • Individuals may take on too much or too little sensory information such as sound, smell, taste/texture, and/or touch.

An autistic individual may also experience mental health difficulties including mood and anxiety issues.

Having a diagnosis can be helpful in supporting a person to understand themselves, the impact of their autistic spectrum diagnoses, as well as gaining support. 

For more information about autism please visit these websites:

NHS information about autism

National Autistic Society

Getting an autism diagnosis

Getting an autism diagnosis

The first step to receiving a diagnosis of autism is speaking to your GP or other relevant healthcare professional.

If they think you would benefit from our service, a screening appointment will take place initially to determine whether an assessment is required. If this is agreed the person will be added to our waiting list.

The diagnostic process typically includes 3 face to face or video appointments with a diagnostician. Prior to this, questionnaires need to be completed by the person.

  • Appointment 1 - Semi-structured interview based on responses from the pre-appointment questionnaires.
  • Appointment 2 - Where possible someone who has known the person well in childhood will attend to discuss childhood.
  • Appointment 3 - Feedback will be provided on the outcome of the assessment and possible follow up options.

Depending on the person’s needs an additional 1:1 follow-up appointment with a clinician from our team may be offered. Some people that we assess do meet the criteria for a diagnosis, while others do not. In either case we will discuss the information that we have collected during the assessment and discuss the different sources of further support that may be available to you.

 

ASD support we offer

ASD support we offer

Depending on the persons need we may offer psychoeducation to enable the person to better understand Autism, develop coping strategies for associated challenges, and/or promote independent living skills. We may also offer some support with further education and employment if appropriate.

The support is provided by our Autism Advice Service or 1:1 Occupational Therapy.

Autism Advice Service

We run a virtual Advice Service for adults (18 upwards) with autism diagnoses (without a learning disability i.e., Asperger’s), their family, friends and/or carers. This service offers advice on topics, such as understanding autism, sensory issues, problem solving, routine development, budgeting and other daily activities as well as relevant groups and workshops. This service is based on the telephone and/or on video.

The service is open to people who:

  • Have been assessed by the adult ADHD, Autism and Tourette’s Team and their carers.
  • Have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder without a diagnosed Learning Disability.
  • Are 18 years of age and over.
  • Have a Northamptonshire GP.

An initial assessment is required to ensure the service is suitable for you. People who are diagnosed by our team are automatically assessed.

For individuals who are already diagnosed, please visit your GP and ask to be referred to the Adult Autism and Tourette’s Team. We will need a diagnostic assessment report to be provided to us prior to your appointment. The assessment does not need to have been carried out by our team, however we do require evidence of a comprehensive diagnostic assessment in line with NICE guidelines. If no report is available, you can be referred for a diagnostic assessment with our team by your GP.

 What if I am already diagnosed with Autism or ADHD and Autism (dual diagnosis)?

If you already have a diagnosis, you may be able to receive short-term support from our team (as above). An appointment would be offered to assess whether we are the best team to support your needs.

  • ASD resources

Find out more about Tourette's

What is Tourette Syndrome?

What is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalisations (sounds) called tics.

The early symptoms are typically noticed first in childhood and the tics could be either simple sudden, brief, repetitive movements or sounds e.g., eye blinking, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging; throat-clearing or complex e.g., facial grimacing combined with a head twist and a shoulder shrug. Tics come and go over time, varying in type, frequency, location, and severity.

Many people with TS often experience additional developmental difficulties that often cause more challenges than the tics themselves. Although TS can be lifelong, most people experience their worst tic symptoms in their early teens, with improvement occurring in the late teens and continuing into adulthood.

Getting a Tourette Syndrome diagnosis

Getting a Tourette Syndrome diagnosis

The first step to receiving a diagnosis for Tourette’s is speaking to your GP or other relevant healthcare professional.

If they think you would benefit from our service, a screening appointment will take place initially to determine whether an assessment is required. If this is agreed the person will be added to the waiting list. The diagnostic process typically includes 1 video or face to face appointment with a diagnostician.

The appointment will include a semi-structured interview relating to past and presence of tics. Often, we can give you feedback at the end of the appointment with regards to the outcome of the assessment, and possible follow up options. If medication is appropriate and something the person wishes to explore, we will direct you to the appropriate service.

If possible, it is helpful to bring someone with you who has known you since you were a child i.e. parent or carer. This is to provide additional background information about your childhood.

Tourette's support we offer

Tourette's support we offer

Support options may include behavioural interventions, or advice about other services.

 What if I am already diagnosed with Tourette's?

If you already have a diagnosis, you may be able to receive short-term support from our team (as above). An appointment would be offered to assess whether we are the best team to support your needs.