Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) support

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) 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.

Theories about ADHD are:

  • 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.


Developed with help from parents and carers of children and young people waiting for an assessment for autism and/or ADHD in the Canterbury area, the handbook includes sections on where to go for help with health, education, rights and benefits, and a listing of local and national organisations. We’ve also included tips that may help manage your child’s behaviour and pages for you to make notes.

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:

NHS support

National ADHD support charities

Alternatively you may also want to contact local groups, charities and support networks that on our local online directory.

If you are an adult looking for ADHD support for yourself, visit the NHS website.

Videos to help you understand ADHD

Sometimes it is hard to understand how someone may be feeling if they have ADHD, or if you as a parent or carer are unsure if they have ADHD. Here are a few videos that may help you:

Assessment and 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 is no simple test to determine if your child or young person has ADHD, but a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis after a detailed assessment.

We recommend that while you are waiting for your diagnosis, you can contact any of the support organisations to help you and your family at home.

Your GP or education setting can refer them to a specialist for a formal assessment.

Visit the NHS website for more information.