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What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder which makes children hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive. 

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • A short attention span or being easily distracted

  • Restlessness, constant fidgeting or over-activity

  • Being impulsive

All children can behave in this way at times, particularly when they are anxious or excited, and this does not necessarily mean that they have ADHD. The difference with ADHD is that these symptoms occur over a long period of time and across different settings (such as when the child is at school, at home and out and about).

ADHD is estimated to affect around 2-5% of school-aged children and young people. It is more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls, although it is not yet understood why this is.

If you have any concerns then you could talk about them with your child’s school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENDCO) or your child’s GP.

More information about ADHD can be found on the NHS ADHD page.

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