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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Five children stood opposite an adult who is pointing at a dinosaur skeleton.

Overview

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is defined as a neurodevelopmental condition, thought to be caused by differences in the way the brain develops that affects the parts controlling attention, concentration, impulsivity, activity levels and memory.

This means a child or young person may experience difficulties in any or all of the below:

Everybody is different, but a person with a diagnosis of ADHD has difficulty filtering out unimportant information, and maybe easily overstimulated and distracted, struggle to identify and retain the important information, have memory difficulties, feel overwhelmed by their own thoughts, respond before considering things properly, and find it difficult to regulate their feelings and behaviours.

ADHD in children is usually identified when parents and carers and practitioners in educational settings compare their different experiences of the child at home and in school or nursery. 

Treatment can take different formats, from adjusting approaches to education, to therapy and medication. 

Diagnosing ADHD

The NHS website outlines the steps taken in diagnosing ADHD and explains what happens during an assessment:

Waiting for an ADHD Assessment or Diagnosis

Assessment and diagnosis of ADHD can include a long wait.

During this time, your child may still require support. 

Schools will use good quality inclusive teaching strategies for all children and young people and these approaches will support learners with a wide range of learning needs, including those with ADHD, with or without a diagnosis.

If your child needs more targeted support, schools use a wide range of interventions in order to assist their learning. These interventions should be of high quality and assessed on a regular basis to check they are supporting them to develop the skills they need.

Find out more about the support offered by schools, by visiting our pages on SEND Support at School (Universally Available Provision).

Additional Help and Support

Amaze SENDIASS

Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) are a local charity who offer free, independent, and impartial advice for all matters relating to SEND, including ADHD. Contact Amaze SENDIASS:

East Sussex Local Offer directory of services

You can visit our SEND-specific online directory, hosted on East Sussex 1Space, that lists many different services both throughout the county and online. Services include advice, guidance and support groups, activities and events and mental health and wellbeing support among many other topics:

All services on 1Space have been split into categories. Once you have selected the category that you wish to visit, you can then use the filters on the left hand side to further refine your search, depending on need:

NHS - Health A to Z

While the East Sussex Local Offer aims to provide as much information as possible, there may be some conditions that aren't covered in thorough detail. The NHS website has pages that list all conditions, with information and advice on how to get extra support:


Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms.

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