Does your child seem like a whirlwind of energy, constantly on the move and struggling to focus on tasks? Perhaps they blurt out answers before questions are finished, or their bedroom resembles a mess. These behaviours, while frustrating at times, could be signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that affects millions of children worldwide. It can manifest in a variety of ways, making diagnosis and management a complex journey for both children and their families. This blog aims to be your compass, providing you with information about ADHD in children, from symptoms and diagnosis to coping mechanisms and support options.

What are the symptoms?

ADHD presents itself in a constellation of symptoms, often categorised into three main presentations:

Predominantly inattentive:

Children with this presentation struggle to maintain focus, easily becoming distracted by sights or sounds. They may forget instructions, lose belongings frequently, and have difficulty completing tasks that require sustained attention.

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive:

These children exhibit excessive motor activity, appearing restless and fidgety. They may blurt out answers in class, have difficulty waiting their turn, and struggle to control their impulses.

Combined presentation:

This is the most common type, where children experience symptoms from both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive categories.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosing ADHD in children requires a comprehensive approach. Here’s what to expect:


 You’ll likely start with a consultation with your child’s GP. They will discuss your concerns and gather a detailed medical history.


Your child may undergo a series of assessments, including psychological testing and teacher reports. These assessments help evaluate a child’s behaviours, attention span, and cognitive abilities.


Based on the gathered information, a qualified healthcare professional like a child psychiatrist or paediatrician will determine if your child meets the criteria for ADHD.

Beyond the label: Understanding the causes:

The exact cause of ADHD remains unknown, but research suggests a complex interplay of factors might be at play:


ADHD can run in families, suggesting a genetic predisposition.

Brain development:

Differences in brain structure and function have been observed in children with ADHD.

Environmental factors:

Exposure to certain environmental toxins in utero or early childhood might contribute to ADHD risk.

Is ADHD treatable?

There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for ADHD. However, a combination of approaches can significantly improve a child’s life:


Stimulant medications are often used to improve focus and reduce hyperactivity. However, medication should always be prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional.

Behavioural therapy:

Techniques like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can equip children with strategies to manage their impulsivity and improve organisational skills.

Parent Training:

 Parents play a crucial role in supporting children with ADHD. Training programs equip parents with positive parenting techniques to manage their child’s behaviour effectively.

Educational support:

Schools can provide additional support and accommodations to help children with ADHD thrive in the classroom. These may include preferential seating, extended time for tests, and assistance with organisational tasks.

Equipping your child for the journey:

Living with ADHD can be challenging, but with the right support, children can thrive. Here are some tips for parents:

Focus on strengths:

Celebrate your child’s unique strengths and talents. Children with ADHD often excel in areas like creativity, problem-solving, or physical activity.

Establish routines:

Create predictable routines and schedules at home to provide structure and reduce frustration.

Positive reinforcement:

Focus on praising positive behaviours instead of dwelling on negative ones.

Open communication:

Maintain open communication with your child. Help them understand their diagnosis and work together to develop coping mechanisms.


Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Parenting a child with ADHD can be exhausting. Make time for activities that help you manage stress and maintain your own well-being.

Closing thoughts

ADHD can be a challenging journey, but with knowledge, support, and the right tools, children with ADHD can reach their full potential. Remember, your child is not defined by their medical condition.

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