CAMHS appointment- dinky gets an ADHD diagnosis, CAMHS get a complaint!

I think the title already suggests that the appointment didn’t go very well…. Here is my draft complaint letter…


To whom it may concern,


I am writing to you regarding my daughter Dinky.


She was seen in CAMHS on Monday 13th April 2015. Her appointment was for 9 am.

Unfortunately what transpired during the appointment was appalling, and showed a complete lack of professionalism from Dr P’s colleague. She did not give her name at the start of the appointment, nor did she apologise for her poor time keeping, at 9am there should be no reason for a late clinic, they were 15 minutes late. actually at the start of MY daughters long awaited appointment the ADHD nurse spoke to someone else in the waiting area, telling them she is just ‘dealing with’ us and will be right with them. We obviously were not as important as her next patients, we’ve only been waiting for this appointment for nearly a year! We hadn’t even got through the door when she said that the ADHD had already been diagnosed so it shouldn’t take long. I wasn’t even aware this diagnosis had been made!

My daughter already has a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder from the CDC at our local hospital, and I would have expected that anyone dealing with her would know what that is, however there was no concession given for Dinky’s obvious distress at going into a new building with new people with out them even introducing themselves to her.

I was told to leave my distressed child with this person and go and speak to the consultant. Dr P was a consummate professional, he apologised for a letter not being sent to me for an important meeting, and was discussing medication for Dinky with me, when in comes this unknown person, she says she has spoken to Dinky about medication and she doesn’t want it! Well of course she doesn’t! Who gave her permission to talk to Dinky about medication in the first place? I know for certain it wasn’t me! Dinky has PDA as part of her ASD, which means you have to be careful how you approach things with her, ESPECIALLY anything that can be construed as a demand, like taking medication! I could see her getting worked up and she walked off, I thought the person was dealing with Dinky so that I can talk to the doctor, as the doctor explained to me, however this person was more interested in questioning why my daughter goes to a special school and why it is in the next county. I then try and find Dinky who has vacated the premises, and she refused to come back in. I was dealing with the situation which then turned into an uncontrolled violent breakdown from Dinky where her fight or flight response was triggered because of the direct and unwarranted interference by the person, and then just as I was calming the situation, this person felt she was best placed to tell my daughter off for her behaviour.

  1. She was the cause of this behaviour-late start, direct language, not introducing herself, discussing medication with a 7 year old autistic child, more direct language, the list goes on.
  2. Anyone with any knowledge about ASD or anxiety would know it is pointless talking to a child about the behaviour until they were calm
  3. I am Dinky’s mother! I know how to handle my child, I have been doing it on my own with no help from CAMHS for 7 years, and I will be doing it for a long time after their involvement! It was not her place to say anything. I know that once in the car I could discuss with dinky what went wrong, not berate her for having a basic human reaction to anxiety and fear!

The appointment was cut short, Dinky didn’t get her prescription for her newly diagnosed ADHD, the only outcome she recieved was high anxiety and complete overload.

Once Dinky was settled in her car seat and strapped in, we drove off, on the way back, once calm, Dinky appologised for hurting me. See, I know my daughter, she wasn’t intentionally hurting me back at CAMHS, she was in fight or flight, I know this because I am her mother and spend most of my time with her, especially when she was out of school for 11 months at was a t home full time.

I do not wish for this person to have ANY more contact with Dinky, and believe that she should be re-trained in how to talk to autistic children, and maybe clear any medication discussions with the parent or guardian before talking to a small child about it! If my daughter refuses to take the medication needed due to the ADHD nurse, I will have no choice but to take this matter further. 

 I also believe I am not only entiltled to a written apology from this person, but both myself and Dinky deserve one.

I look forward to your response within the timeframe set out by your complaints policy.


Yours sincerely


One extremely peeved mother!


Yes, so Dinky has ASD with an extra sprinkling of PDA, with a neurological side order of ADHD, SPD and sleep difficulties. But as one of my facebook PDA mum friends rightly said… I wouldn’t have her any other way. I love dinky no matter how many acronyms she has!

10 thoughts on “CAMHS appointment- dinky gets an ADHD diagnosis, CAMHS get a complaint!

  1. Wow, what an ordeal for Dinky and for you! It makes me so mad that some “professionals” out there are still so lacking! Unfortunately I don’t think any amount of retraining can make up for what is fundamentally a complete lack of common sense and compassion – sadly those skills can’t be taught. These “muppets” should be left to work in the background (admin and the like) and shouldn’t have contact with children with such complex needs and they certainly shouldn’t be one-on-one. Poor Dinky! I can only imagine how she’s feeling right now. I hope that she’s not been made to over-anxious over the medication side of things. Hopefully if you can get her started on them and she sees and feels the benefits she might be more willing to take them. Keeping everything crossed for you and sending hugs. 💜

  2. Gosh, that’s terrible, particularly the talking about medication directly to her without you present! I know for my PDA girl that once they’d done that, her anxiety would be so high that it would put her off trying them forever 😦 Hope you have better luck with Dinky x

    • This is it now, I’m worried she won’t take it, and it will be all that muppet’s fault. I’ve spoken to CAMHS, she is the ADHD nurse- she should know better!

  3. Discussing medication with a 7 year old (irrespective of any diagnosis or not) without the child’s parent present?! OMG!!! I have actually heard it all now. I hope you get a satisfactory response to your letter, i.e. an apology. Boy (6yo) has a paediatric appointment on Thursday this week and I’m dreading it. It astounds me what she considers it appropriate to discuss about an ASD/PDA child in front of him as if he wasn’t there. And of course, she won’t have to deal with what follows. Grrr… x

    • I mostly refused to talk about dinky infront of her unless she was wearing headphones and I wrote down other things I didn’t want her hearing. There are just some things they shouldn’t have to hear. Luckily during the 3di the SaLT played with Dinks in the next room so I could talk freely.

      Hope it all goes well on Thursday for Boy.

      • Hubby is taking the day off work to attend the appointment so he can take Boy off on a walkabout mid-clinic. Going in there without trusted back up would be a disaster waiting to happen! x

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