What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder. It makes children hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive.

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • A short attention span or being easily distracted
  • Restlessness, constant fidgeting or over-activity
  • Being impulsive
  • Physical and verbal behaviours that are hard to manage
  • Education and the classroom environment can be challenging and children and young people may require extra support

All children can behave in this way at times, particularly when they are anxious or excited. This does not necessarily mean that they have ADHD. The difference with ADHD is that these symptoms occur over a long period of time and across different settings. This might be when the child is at school, at home and out and about. 

ADHD is estimated to affect around 2-5% of school-aged children and young people. It is more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls, although it is not yet understood why this is.

If you have any concerns then you could talk about them with your child’s school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCo) or your child’s GP.

More information about ADHD can be found on:

Help and support

Often, families with children, young people and adults with ADHD feel isolated and can find it hard to access support and help.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) can offer support. If required, they can assess your child or young person if you believe they show signs of ADHD. Visit the CAMHS information page.

Local support groups can be really helpful for parent/carers to talk to other parent/carers in a similar situation and to offer a listening ear/advice and support. Visit the support for parents/carers page.

Re:minds are a local charitable organisation offering support and advice for families with children and young people with ADHD. They also offer Virtual CAMHS Advice Clinics. Visit the Re:minds website.