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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder characterised by a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Many toddlers and young children are restless and excitable. This is normal, as they have lots of energy and are constantly learning about the world and moving from one experience to the next.

However, some children are extremely overactive and do not grow out of this type of behaviour. It can become rare to see them calm and relaxed.

Children and young people with ADHD may experience the following symptoms:

  • Issues around attention – problems with concentration, short attention span, getting distracted, finding it hard to follow instructions, losing things or not being organised
  • Issues around hyperactivity – struggling to sit still, finding it hard to keep sitting down, fidgeting and moving a lot, talking or making noises, fiddling with things
  • Issues around impulsiveness – interrupting other people, finding it hard to wait their turn, doing things or saying things without thinking through the consequences, having a reduced sense of danger

Guidance and helpful information on ADHD

Ensuring your child sleeps well and does lots of outdoor activities, such as sports, can help them with their behaviour. 

You should meet with your child’s teacher and the special educational needs co-ordinator for the school to talk about their difficulties.

You can look into doing a parenting course (information on this is available through Wiltshire Parent Carers Council) or accessing parenting support through your child’s school.

You do not need to wait to see a doctor before accessing this help.

Information packs are available to the right of the page on how you can support your child or a child in your care with ADHD

How we can help

Your healthcare professional (e.g. GP or health visitor) will refer your child into our service if they feel it is appropriate.

We investigate and diagnose ADHD. There is no cure for this condition but behavioural strategies can be helpful.

Sometimes we use medication to help the symptoms of ADHD. Your child would need to be seen regularly by one of our team if they need medication. 

What happens next?

You and your child will be seen in a clinic room relatively near to your home. The doctor will talk through your concerns and worries. They will ask you questions about you and your child’s medical history, questions about your family and about your child’s development and progress.

The doctor may then ask some more specific questions relevant to ADHD. They may check your child’s height and weight and examine them. The doctor will gather information and complete a formal rating scale to see if your child meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. They will get information from home and school.