Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a developmental disorder causing persistent behaviour patterns.
It begins at birth, affecting both genders across all age groups and continues throughout life. ADHD tends to run in families and there are a number of factors that may contribute to its development, such as premature birth, low birth weight, brain injury, oxygen deprivation at birth or exposure to chemicals in early childhood.
People with ADHD may have difficulties with:
- Staying focused
- Remembering to do things
- Losing or misplacing items
- Managing emotions
- Being impulsive
- Time management
They are often creative thinkers and full of energy. It is important to be patient with someone with ADHD as small tasks can feel overwhelming to them, but they might just need a little more time or support to complete the task.
To support a child with ADHD to develop consistent routines at home and school, establish clear and simple rules, only give one or two instructions at a time, praise your child where appropriate and discipline unacceptable behaviour. A specialist can help you to develop a plan for how to support your child so that they feel comfortable, confident and can reach their full potential.
Early interventions such as positive parent strategies, school support and counselling, and sometimes medication, can be recommended for children with ADHD. If left untreated the condition can affect self esteem, relationships, education and career progression.
If you suspect your child may have ADHD, speak to your GP, paediatrician, psychiatrist or psychologist.