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Sketty Primary School

Ysgol Gynradd Sgeti

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Let's talk about ADHD


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and teens and can continue into adulthood. ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children. Children with ADHD may be hyperactive and unable control their impulses. Or they may have trouble paying attention.


Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a term used for people who have excessive difficulties with concentration without the presence of other ADHD symptoms such as excessive impulsiveness or hyperactivity.  Some children with ADD are also impulsive but have never been hyperactive.



Children and young people with ADHD often have lots of energy and difficulty concentrating. They might also find it hard to control what they say or do. For example, they might speak without thinking first, or find that they do things on impulse.

About one in three people diagnosed with ADHD as a child will grow out of the condition and not require any treatment as adults. Those who receive specialist treatment tailored to their needs often see the benefits in their learning, friendships, employability and life skills as they understand how best to cope and adapt. 


ADHD diagnosis requires a specialist (child psychiatrist or paediatrician) assessment. This involves observing your child, obtaining reports of their behaviour at home and at school and sometimes using computerised tests. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, these observations then inform a Learning plan or IEP, that aims to ensure your child can flourish and achieve their full potential.




Symptoms of ADHD in Children


ADHD in children has three main symptom groups – hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention.


To be diagnosed with ADHD a child does not have to have all three symptoms. Some children with attention deficit disorder only manifest two symptoms, or even one. This means that quiet children who always seem lost in their thoughts can have ADHD just as much as the hyperactive child who runs heedlessly into the street or breaks all their toys before they realise what they are doing.


Hyperactivity is always being active. This would see a child:

  • always on the move
  • fidgeting non stop if asked to sit still
  • seeming to have a battery that never runs out
  • finding relaxing difficult, no 'off' switch
  • having illogic and quick changes in mood.


Impulsivity is acting without thinking of consequences and speaking without filters. This sees a child:

  • saying whatever they think
  • blurting out mean comments to others
  • taking toys that don't belong to them
  • interrupting others
  • not understanding the concept of personal space
  • breaking and smashing things
  • doing thoughtless things like touching a hot stove
  • being overreactive or volatile
  • upsetting or scaring other children.


Inattention is difficulties maintaining attention. This would see a child:

  • sitting at her desk at school staring out the window
  • being seen as a 'daydreamer'
  • not listening well when spoken to
  • having difficulty following directions
  • unable to finish things
  • often forgetting their homework
  • losing their possessions
  • upsetting other children due to an inability to grasp rules or protocol.




All children, by their very nature, will at some point manifest signs of ADHD – they will struggle to pay attention if there is something more exciting to do, they will impulsively grab a toy off another child, or will forget instructions you told them only five minutes ago.


So it's important not to jump to conclusions that your child has ADHD or make a diagnosis by yourself. The only way to be sure is to consult a paediatrician or psychiatrist who specialises in ADHD and has the right experience.


For further information please visit the following websites :


If you are concerned that your child finds it difficult to focus and concentrate and want to discuss it further, please contact the school ALNCo @ or your child's class teacher.


Please note we follow a graduated response and if referrals are to be made by school, a period of evidence gathering is firstly required. The referral process is a long and thorough one, which can take up to 24 months for assessment. 




Dr Jo Steer - Understanding ADHD in Girls & Women

This is "Dr Jo Steer - Understanding ADHD in Girls & Women" by AutismWales on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.