Secondary - ADHD

ADHD (Secondary School)

Could my child or teenager have ADHD? 

ADHD is the commonest behaviour disorder in children and teens. Young people 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 and teens with ADHD cope to some extent, so that symptoms may only become a real problem when they are more independent. In addition, children who have been through severe stress or trauma can develop similar issues, which can make diagnosis difficult.

What about ADHD rating scales?

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. 

  • Children 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. 
  • Young people and adults 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. This might include 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 ADHD becomes easier to cope with as they learn techniques and strategies to help them. This self- assessment questionnaire here is for young adults, and although it is not enough to give you a diagnosis, it may help you decide whether to seek a referral to a specialist. Be aware that waiting times for assessments in adults may be very long.

My child has been diagnosed with ADHD and we want to know more

Books for Parents

Books for young people


  • Mentalhealth.org 
    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.
  • YoungMinds
    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 also for young people.

Support Groups

  • ADDIS (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.
  • AADD-UK  lots of very practical advice on living with ADHD from driving regulations to organisational skills 


  • Excellent Australian Podcast about sleep in children including an episode on "Sleeping with autism and ADHD". Find it by clicking on PodCast One 






Secondary - ADHD

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