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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Our primary mandate is to provide specialized consultation for children and youth ages 6-18 with complex symptoms suggestive of ADHD.
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ADHD is a brain-based disorder in which the child or youth's ability to focus is inconsistent. Sometimes they are able to focus for long periods of time, and other times they cannot focus for even short periods of time. They may also be hyperactive or impulsive. 

ADHD is one of the most common behavioural disorders of childhood and usually persists through adolescence and into adulthood. It affects an estimated 5-9 percent of school-age children and 4 percent of adults. 

Research strongly supports a combination of genetics and neurobiology as the causes of ADHD in most cases. 

ADHD usually causes difficulties with a child or youth's functioning at school, at home, in extra-curricular activities, and when interacting with friends. For more information about ADHD, please visit Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre.

Who we treat

The Provincial Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Outpatient Program provides diagnostic clarification and treatment consultation for children who have not responded to treatment services in their community. 

In some limited cases, we also provide consultation for children and youth with less complex concerns, in order to meet our multiple mandates of teaching, research, and program development.

Access to the program is by physician referral only and requires the following:

  • Ongoing care and support by a health care provider in the community including at discharge
  • Parent / caregiver involvement

A recent physical exam is recommended.

Services we offer

  • Consultation
  • Assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Limited treatment
  • Limited education / family support

The interdisciplinary team is comprised of physicians, nurses, psychologists and occupational therapists. Involvement of these professionals is determined by the clinic. Our assessment and consultation process requires the active participation of the child and their entire family. We also send a questionnaire to be completed by the child's teacher.


Research into the cause and treatment of ADHD is an integral aspect of the clinic activities. Research on outcome of group treatment, pharmacological studies, and other new research projects have been integrated into the clinic. All research is done with informed consent and protocols have been reviewed by the University of British Columbia and Hospital Ethics Committees.

Learn more about our research at Child & Family Research Institute.

Student placements and training opportunities are provided to students at all levels and from multiple disciplines including: social work, nursing, psychology, medicine and psychiatry.



During consultation

Primary caregivers and the child or adolescent are expected to attend the first appointment. During this appointment the parents and child are interviewed. The child is typically interviewed separately for a portion of time. Referral information and questionnaires are reviewed and clarified with the child and family. 

The initial appointment may range in length from 1-1/2 to 2 hours. In some cases, 2 or 3 appointments may be required to complete the basic assessment.

When the assessment is complete, the clinician will discuss the findings with the child or adolescent and family. Generally, this will include a diagnosis and a specific plan for further assessment, or recommendations for further treatment and intervention, with suggestions for where this might take place. A report will be prepared and sent to the appropriate people.


When a child has been accepted to the waiting list, questionnaires regarding developmental and family history and symptom checklists are sent to the parents / caregivers to complete. We will also send a questionnaire to be completed by the child's teacher.

For adolescents, we need the same information, plus the adolescent needs to complete a self report.

A request is also made to the parents / caregivers to bring all relevant previous assessment reports to the first visit.

After consultation

After our assessment and consultation is complete, children and families who require long-term intervention are directed to resources in the community.

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SOURCE: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ( )
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