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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

School trip to a history museum


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. 

Diagnosis of ADHD is carried out through assessment by medical practitioners. It is quite common for children to have high energy levels, or become easily distracted, so this in itself is not evidence of ADHD. Formal diagnosis requires careful assessment of a child's experiences and behaviour. 

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

If you are concerned your child may have ADHD, please talk to your child’s class teacher. They will be able to discuss your concerns with you and ensure they are supporting your child or young person. The teacher and SENCo will then work together to decide whether your child needs to be referred for an assessment. 

For more information, we recommend reading this document on ADHD guidance:

You can also find out more about the support offered by schools for all children with SEND, by clicking the link below to visit our pages on:

Help and Services

If you would like to talk to someone about any aspect of your child's SEND, including ADHD, the Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service) offers impartial, confidential advice. This service is free and can be contacted on:

Alternatively, you can visit their website for more information:

Our directory on East Sussex 1Space provides various services, including some that aim to help those with ADHD:

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. To find out more on how to use 1Space, please click the link below:

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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