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Role of education settings in transition from child to adult health services for young people with ADHD
Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-10-27, DOI: 10.1080/13632752.2021.1989844
Simon Benham-Clarke, Tamsin Ford, Siobhan B Mitchell, Anna Price, Tamsin Newlove-Delgado, Sharon Blake, Helen Eke, Darren A Moore, Abigail Emma Russell, Astrid Janssens

ABSTRACT

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental condition. As such most schools, Further Education colleges, vocational training and Higher Education settings will need to support affected children and young people. When young people who require ongoing treatment for ADHD are around 18 years of age, they must transition from child to adult mental health services. However, only a small proportion successfully transition. As significant educational transitions are often happening at the same time, there is a need to consider how education and health service transitions may impact on one another. This paper presents findings from a large UK qualitative study involving 144 semi-structured interviews with young people who had ADHD, parents and health professionals.

Two themes were identified which support the notion that education transition can impact health transition. Firstly, transition to adult health services typically requires continued prescription of ADHD medication, yet many young people stop taking their medication due to a belief that it is only needed for education-based learning. Secondly, if a young person is continuing education post-18, a lack of joined-up planning between education and health (outside of special schools) or consistent support in Higher/Further Education can leave young people with ADHD in limbo between health services and struggling within education.

Given these findings, we recommend regarding multi-agency service statutory health care transition, educational staff training and ongoing oversight of child to adult health service and adult to adult health service transition effectiveness.