Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service

The Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service (CAHDS) is a statewide service that works with children, young people (under 18 years old) and families who have persistent difficulties with attention and behaviour. 

Children and young people who use this service must have a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and are currently being treated for difficulties with paying attention, being hyperactive or controlling impulses.

What happens at CAHDS

CAHDS completes a multidisciplinary assessment to look at a child’s abilities and challenges and to diagnose other mental health disorders that can occur with ADHD. 

We do not provide ongoing treatment. We provide an assessment and recommend further management through services that can work in partnership with the referrer.

The assessment may include:

  • Psychosocial (the psychological and social factors that could influence someone’s mental health)
  • Speech pathology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychiatric

The team

The team is made up of mental health professionals including a: 

  • Psychiatrist
  • Senior Social Worker
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Triage Officer
  • Senior Speech Pathologist
  • Senior Occupational Therapist
  • Clinical Psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Research Psychologist

Is ADHD complex? 

Download answers to some of your questions about ADHD and how it may affect your child and family, prepared by the CAHDS team (PDF 3MB)

Information sessions

We provide information sessions on ADHD and related issues for families and schools. 

These include: 

Parent/carer information sessions

These sessions are for parents or carers with children or young people who have significant attention difficulties, including a diagnosis of ADHD.

Find out more

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Families (TCI-F)

A program on crisis intervention that runs throughout the year and is available to CAMHS families where the primary driver for dysregulation is ADHD. Priority will be given to those families that are current or previous CAHDS clients.

We do not maintain a waitlist for TCI-F. If places are available after CAHDS clients have been booked in we will contact other CAMHS teams to seek expressions of interest.

Find out more

How to be referred to CADHS

We accept referrals from: 

  • Paediatricians
  • Neurologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • other authorised stimulant prescribers who have been treating the child for attentional issues

Unfortunately, CAHDS does not accept self-referrals or referrals from GPs.

The CAHDS team completes a wide range of bio-psychosocial assessments. The assessment is dependent on the child’s presentation and is determined by CAHDS.

Assessments will involve the individual and the family. CAHDS may also liaise with the child’s school, and any other agency involved in their care where clinically indicated. 

CAHDS role is to help clarify the diagnosis through our multidisciplinary assessment process and assist the referrer with treatment planning. 

Referrals for health professionals

For more information on how to refer a patient, please visit for health professionals.

What happens when you get an appointment?

When we receive a referral, our Clinical Nurse Specialist  Triage will contact you on the phone to arrange a one-hour appointment to discuss your referral and the CAHDS service. 

This appointment is on the phone on a day and time agreed with the family. 

If your referral is accepted to CAHDS, the Clinical Nurse Specialist will then arrange an initial psychosocial assessment with a CAHDS Case Coordinator to begin the CAHDS assessment process. 

If your referral is not accepted we will discuss with you alternate services and recommendations to assist you.

Last Updated: 17/01/2023