According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), it is estimated that between 3% and 7% of school-aged children in the UK have ADHD, now more than ever parents need help with child ADHD.
This equates to approximately 1 in 20 children in the UK. However, it is important to note that ADHD is often underdiagnosed and underreported, so the actual number of children affected may be higher.
Additionally, ADHD can persist into adulthood, with around 2-4% of adults in the UK estimated to have ADHD.
What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects both children and adults.
It is a condition that impairs a person’s ability to pay attention, control their impulses, and regulate their behaviour.
Symptoms of ADHD vary from person to person and are generally divided into three types:
- Combined type.
Inattentive symptoms include difficulty paying attention to detail, forgetfulness, and being easily distracted.
Hyperactive-impulsive symptoms include restlessness, impulsiveness, and difficulty staying still.
Combined type involves both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.
The symptoms of ADHD can differ between children and adults. While children with ADHD often display more hyperactive and impulsive behaviors, adults with ADHD tend to exhibit more inattentive symptoms.
Adult vs Child ADHD
To understand the differences between the symptoms of ADHD in children and adults, refer to the following table:
|Inattentiveness||Difficulty paying attention to detail, easily distracted, forgetfulness||Difficulty paying attention, forgetfulness, disorganization|
|Hyperactivity||Constant fidgeting, running around, talking excessively||Restlessness, difficulty sitting still, impulsiveness|
|Impulsiveness||Interrupting others, difficulty waiting their turn||Impulsiveness, poor self-control|
ADHD affects boys more frequently than girls, with boys being three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls.
Girls with ADHD tend to have fewer symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity and more symptoms of inattention, which may lead to them being overlooked and not diagnosed as often as boys.
There are various types of therapies available for treating ADHD in children, and the choice of therapy depends on the child’s age, severity of symptoms, and individual needs.
Some of the most common therapies for ADHD include:
- Behavioural Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on teaching children how to manage their behaviour and improve their social skills. Behavioural therapy can involve various techniques, such as rewards and consequences, to reinforce positive behaviours.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): This type of therapy is a combination of behavioural therapy and talk therapy. CBT helps children with ADHD to recognise their negative thoughts and behaviour patterns and provides them with strategies to replace them with positive thoughts and behaviours.
- Medication: Medication is often prescribed to children with ADHD to manage their symptoms. Medications such as stimulants and non-stimulants are effective in improving attention and reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity.
- Parent Training and Education: Parents can also learn strategies to help manage their child’s behaviour and improve their social skills. Parent training can involve learning how to set routines, provide structure, and provide positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviours.
Child ADHD Therapy
The length of therapy depends on the individual child’s needs and can range from a few months to several years. It is important to note that therapy is often most effective when it is tailored to the child’s individual needs and is delivered by a trained and licensed professional.
When searching for a therapist to treat a child with ADHD, it’s essential to find a professional with specific training and experience in treating this condition. Here are five things to consider when seeking a therapist:
- Qualifications and experience: Look for a therapist who has expertise in treating ADHD, such as a child psychologist, a developmental-behavioural paediatrician, or a licensed clinical social worker.
- Treatment approach: Inquire about the therapist’s treatment approach and methods for treating ADHD. Some therapists may use a combination of behavioral therapy and medication, while others may focus solely on non-medication approaches.
- Availability and location: Consider the therapist’s availability and location. Are they able to accommodate your schedule? Do they have availability for regular appointments?
- Parent involvement: Find out how the therapist involves parents in the treatment process. Parental involvement and support can play a crucial role in the success of treatment for children with ADHD, so it’s important to find a therapist who values and encourages parental involvement.
- Compatibility: It’s important to find a therapist who is a good fit for your child and family. Consider factors such as the therapist’s personality, communication style, and whether your child feels comfortable with them.
A recent study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry found that a combination of behavioural therapy and medication was the most effective treatment for children with ADHD.
The study found that children who received both therapy and medication showed the most significant improvements in their symptoms.
Support for child ADHD
There are several organizations that offer support and resources for parents with children who have ADHD in the UK. Here are a few:
- ADHD Foundation – This UK-based charity provides support and information for individuals and families affected by ADHD. They offer resources such as training for parents, workshops for children and young people, and a helpline.
- ADDISS – This charity offers support and resources for individuals with ADHD, as well as their families and professionals. They provide training, workshops, and a helpline for parents.
- The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service (NADDIS) – This organization offers information and support for individuals with ADHD, as well as their families and professionals. They provide a range of services, including a helpline, support groups, and training for professionals.
- YoungMinds – This charity offers mental health support for children and young people, including those with ADHD. They provide resources for parents, as well as a helpline and online chat service for young people.
- Contact – This charity provides support and information for families with disabled children, including those with ADHD. They offer a helpline, support groups, and information on topics such as education and benefits.
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If you require help with child ADHD, we offer a private ADHD assessment in London, alternatively check out the links to the organisations above: