How to choose the best informant for an ADHD assessment

March 8, 2024
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What is an informant?

When preparing for an ADHD assessment, it’s important for you to choose a reliable informant. An informant is someone who can provide us with valuable insights into your early childhood and development. They should also be able to provide information on how your symptoms affect you now.

What is the purpose of an informant in an ADHD assessment?

Your chosen informant will tell us about any potential signs of ADHD that you displayed during your childhood, as well as those that you display now. Your informant can explain the impact that this has on your daily functioning.  

An informant plays an important role in the ADHD assessment process, particularly if they have known you since childhood. They can provide evidence that your signs of ADHD meet clinical criteria, potentially warranting a diagnosis.

How does the process work?

Your informant needs to complete an Informant Questionnaire as part of the assessment process. This questionnaire will gather important details about your childhood, developmental milestones, medical and educational history, social characteristics, and neurodivergent traits, and how these have impacted your functioning.  

Here is an overview of what your informant will be expected to do:  

  • The Informant Questionnaire can be accessed from the pre-assessment forms page of your client dashboard. You will need to download it and email it to your chosen informant. 
  • Once your informant has completed the Informant Questionnaire, they should send it back to you to re-upload onto your client dashboard with the rest of your pre-assessment forms. 

Who to choose as your informant

To ensure that the information they provide is accurate and relevant, your informant should be somebody who has known you since childhood.  Ideally, this should be a parent, caregiver, or sibling. However, if this is not possible, a long-term partner or close friend or employer can also act as your informant.

What to do if you don’t have a suitable informant for your ADHD assessment

Please note that it is NOT possible to act as your own informant for an ADHD assessment. However, we understand that there may be cases where an individual does not have anyone they can ask to be their informant.

While this isn’t ideal, we endeavour to make the process of accessing a ProblemShared ADHD assessment as inclusive as possible. Therefore, although involving an informant is an important part of ensuring a clinically robust assessment, our team will never turn a client away for being unable to source an informant. Instead, we will work closely with the individual to explore other avenues to gather the information needed for their ADHD assessment.  

If you find yourself in this situation, please let our clinical team know that you do not have a suitable informant as soon as possible. A clinician will get in touch to discuss alternative options with you.

How to ask someone to be your informant

Reaching out to ask someone to be your informant can feel daunting. Here are a few things to consider when initiating a conversation with your chosen informant:

  • Firstly, choose a suitable time and location to have this conversation. You should talk to your potential informant in a comfortable and private setting when neither of you is in a rush.  
  • Before starting this conversation, learn as much as possible about the ProblemShared ADHD assessment process. You will then be able to explain to your potential informant what their specific role will be. If they want to learn more about the process, you can direct them to this guide.
  • Ensure they understand the potential benefits of an accurate diagnosis, such as access to appropriate treatment and support.
  • Emphasise your informant's vital role in the ADHD assessment process and ensure they realise how valuable their support is to the outcome.
  • Give your potential informant plenty of time to consider your request.
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