Information for the public
Assessment and diagnosis for children and young people
When you first see or talk to a health or social care professional about your problems, they may ask you a few questions. These include whether you get very scared about doing things with other people, like talking, eating, going to parties or other activities at school or with friends. They may also want to know if you find it difficult to do things when other people are watching, like playing sport, being in plays or concerts, asking or answering questions, reading aloud or giving talks in class. It can help professionals if you are able to tell them whether you ever feel that you cannot do these things or try to get out of doing them.
Your health and social care professionals should make sure you understand all of the information they give you. They should use pictures, symbols, large print, braille or sign language if these help you. If you feel unable to talk to them you should be asked if you would rather write or draw instead. If you like, your parents or carers can say your words for you.
Health and social care professionals should explain the reasons for any meetings about your care, which should take place in private with your parents or carers. They should also explain that sometimes they may need to discuss your care with other professionals. Professionals should think about your social anxiety disorder when they plan a meeting, for example they may make it shorter.
If you are a young person and are able to make decisions about your care, your health and social care team should discuss with you how you would like your parents or carers to be involved. They should talk to you about this again from time to time in case you change your mind. There is a section for parents and carers in this information.
If the professional thinks you may have social anxiety disorder, you should be offered an assessment. The assessment should be with a healthcare professional experienced in treating people with mental health problems – this may be the same person you first saw about your problems and worries.
The assessment should include your parents or carers if possible, but you should also be offered the chance to talk to the healthcare professional alone at some point during it. There may be more than one professional at the assessment.
The professional should ask you more questions about feeling scared when doing things with other people or when people are watching. They should also ask you:
about your life at home, at school and with your friends
whether you have any problems communicating with people
whether you are taking any medication
whether you drink alcohol or take drugs.
The professional should ask you or your parents or carers about any other mental health problems you or they have. You may be asked to answer a questionnaire.
The professional should check whether you are at risk of any harm, such as self-harm, not looking after yourself properly, or are being hurt or treated badly by others. They should make a plan to help protect you from these.