ADHD (Secondary School)
ADHD is the commonest behaviour disorder in children and teens. Children often struggle to concentrate, have difficulty getting organised and are more restless and fidgety than their peers. Symptoms usually become obvious in early childhood around 3-8 years old but are sometimes not diagnosed until much later or even in adulthood. The structure of school and family can help children with ADHD cope to some extent, so that symptoms only become a real problem when they are more independent. In addition, children who have been through severe stress or trauma may develop similar symptoms, which can make diagnosis difficult.
Diagnosis of ADHD in children and teenagers
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 scales or the SNAP-IV scale but these need to be used with a proper clinical assessment to be really useful as they can be misleading on their own. Parent questionnaires exist in short forms and longer forms.
The short Conners form is available here and the short SNAP-IV form here but the longer forms are usually 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 short forms might be useful to do when you go to see your GP and could be sent with a referral if appropriate. There is also a self- assessment questionnaire here for young adults, which again might give an indication but will not give a diagnosis by itself.
ADHD can be very difficult for older children or adults as it can cause problems with concentration and focus, affecting study and work. However there are many ways to help once the diagnosis has been made. These include behavioural treatment, medication, counselling and special educational support if relevant. Medication can be used continuously or as needed e.g. for exams. Older adults often find their symptoms are easier to cope with as they learn techniques and strategies to help them.
Below are a list of resources that contain information about the condition. They may be helpful to use before you see a doctor, whilst you are waiting to see a specialist or alongside treatments being given by professionals
Books for Parents
Understanding ADHD: Practical Tips for Parents
by Dr Christopher Green and Dr Kit Chee .Good reviews, from the UK and brief.
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.
Books for teens and young adults
All Dogs Have ADHD by Kathy Hoopman. A great book with photographs of dogs which are used to explain common symptoms of ADHD with humour and sensitivity. It also focuses on some of the positives of this diagnosis and describes some coping mechanisms.
Putting on the brakes: young people's guide to understanding Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder by Patricia Quinn and Judith Stern. Simply written, great reviews from parents and young people with ADHD.
You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy? A self-help book for adults with Attention Deficit Disorder by Kate Kelly. Some american terminology but lots of good information.
Excellent Australian Podcast about sleep in children including an episode on "Sleeping with autism and ADHD". Find it by clicking on this link : PodCastOne :Sleep
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/sites/default/files/all_about_adhd.pdf - This downloadable booklet is all about ADHD in children. It is 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.
https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/conditions/adhd/- This is a much briefer summary of ADHD but contains information on medication and what you should be offered. It also has a good list of contacts for you and your child.
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. Also can link you to local support.
Phone: 020 8952 2800 (office hours) http://www.addiss.co.uk