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What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Symptoms of ADHD tend to be noticed at an early age and may become more noticeable when a child’s circumstances change, such as when they start school. Most cases are diagnosed when children are 6 to 12 years old. Boys are 4 times more likely to experience ADHD than girls.

The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.

People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.

Many children go through phases where they’re restless or inattentive. This is often completely normal and does not necessarily mean they have ADHD.

If no hyperactivity is present, the term Attention Deficit Disorder is used: these individuals have particular problems remaining focused so may appear ‘dreamy’ and not to be paying attention.

Students with this condition are very easily distracted, lose track of what they are doing and have poor listening skills. By failing to pay attention to details, they may miss key points.

Whether it is ADHD or ADD, individuals may have difficulty understanding when listening, expressing themselves clearly using speech, reading, remembering instructions, understanding spoken messages and staying focused.

As with other Specific Learning Differences ADHD/ADD can co-occur and the frustrations of difficulties caused by them can exacerbate what is often a challenging situation.

More helpful information can be found on THE UK ADHD Partnership website.

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