Primary - ADHD

ADHD (Primary School)

ADHD is the commonest behaviour disorder in children. Children may struggle to concentrate, cannot control their behaviour and often seem to have too much energy. Parents may sometimes notice that their child has less of a sense of danger than other children their age. Symptoms usually become obvious in early childhood around 3-8 years old, but there is also a huge overlap with normal behaviour, as being very active and impulsive are common in this age group. Children who are going through a disruptive time such as moving house, divorce or have had a recent stressful event may also display similar symptoms but these often improve over time.

Diagnosis of ADHD:

  • Click this page for a useful starting point to help you decide whether you should go and see your GP. There are various rating scales available on-line such as the Conner's or SNAP-IV scales but these need to be used with a proper clinical assessment to be really useful as they can be misleading by themselves. Parent questionnaires exist in short forms and longer forms. The short Conner's 3 form is available here and the short SNAP-IV here but the longer forms are often sent to you together with a teacher's questionnaire if your child has been referred for assessment. In some children (often girls) there may not be obvious symptoms of being hyperactive but they do struggle to focus, get organised or complete tasks. The shorter forms might be useful to do when you go to see your GP and could be sent with a referral if appropriate.
  • ADHD can be very difficult for children and their parents as children may be seen as naughty or out of control. However there are many ways to help your child once the diagnosis has been made. These include behavioural treatment, medication, counselling and special educational support in school. Not all children need medication and for those that do, they may only need to use it for school. Many adults with ADHD can learn coping strategies as they get older and may be able to stop medication if they were using it when they were younger.
  • Below are a list of resources that contain information about ADHD which you might like to use before you see a doctor, whilst you are waiting to see a specialist or alongside treatments being given by professionals.

Video. ADHD: ' It's my superpower' ( BBC )

Books for Parents:

The Pocket Guide To Understanding ADHD: Practical Tips for Parents 
by Dr Christopher Green and Dr Kit Chee. Good reviews, from the UK and brief. Available here

Can I tell you about ADHD?  A Guide for friends, family and professionals 
by Susan Yarney. A short book written for children with ADHD with a well-written section at the back for parents. Available here

Understanding girls with ADHD: how they feel and why they do what they do written by Kathleen Nadeau, who is an American author, so some of the resources aren't relevant to the UK but the content is highly rated.
Available here


Excellent Australian Podcast about sleep in children with an episode on "Sleeping with autism and ADHD" . Find it by clicking on this link : PodCastOne :Sleep


ADHD in children booklet https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/all_about_adhd.pdf - This is a downloadable booklet designed for parents, adults living with ADHD and friends or carers.  It contains some quotes from parents about how ADHD affected them.  It has very practical advice on ways parents can help communicate with their child as well as what medication can be used. There is also information on how schools can help. 

ADHD summary https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/conditions/adhd/- Contains useful information on medication and what you should be offered.  It also has a good list of contacts for you and your child.

Support Groups:

ADDISS (The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service)
Provides information and resources about ADHD and the variety of approaches that can help including behavioural therapy, medication, individual counselling, and special education provision.
Phone: 020 8952 2800 (office hours) Also can link you to local support. http://www.addiss.co.uk

Hyperactive Children’s Support Group
Helps hyperactive/ADHD children and their families, providing information particularly regarding hyperactivity and diet.
Phone: 01243 539966 (Mon - Fri 14:30-16:30) Email: hacsg@hacsg.org.uk

Books for children

All Dogs have ADHD by Kathy Hoopman. A great way to discuss what ADHD feels like with children using fun photographs of dogs. 
Available here

Can I tell you about ADHD? by Susan Yarney
Short book written for children with ADHD with a helpful section at the back for parents which also recommends other resources.
Available Here.

Cory Stories: A Kid's Book About Living with ADHD by Jeanne Kraus, Written for children, good reviews. Gives a more positive view on ADHD than some books with several short stories.
Available Here.

The Survival Guide for Kids with ADHD by John Taylor. American but mostly relevant to the UK with good reviews. Age 8-10yrs. Funny as well as informative with quiz sections
Available Here.

Primary - ADHD

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