Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition which affects parts of the brain which control attention, impulses and concentration. It can have an impact on school, peer relationships, self-esteem and family life without appropriate treatment.

There are theories about ADHD that:

  • boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD
  • ADHD can go unrecognised in girls
  • it tends to run in families suggesting it’s genetic
  • there are also dietary and environmental factors
  • many children will have another condition as well as ADHD.

How to get an assessment or diagnosis

ADHD starts at a very young age but may not be diagnosed until later. It is more likely to be diagnosed during the school years when children are in an environment that places greater demands on them. Where they are trying to function in larger groups of children with less adult support.

There's no simple test to determine if your child has ADHD, but a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed assessment.

Your GP or school can refer your child to a specialist for a formal assessment.

Where to get support

Read our handbook for Kent families who would like to know more about autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

Please also speak to your school. There are many services both locally and nationally to support you and your child including: