Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a Neurodevelopmental condition identified by inappropriate age and stage levels of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention.

It is a recognised disability within the UK and therefore schools and educational settings must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to support your child by law.

To receive a diagnosis of combined ADHD children must present with 6 or more behaviour symptoms across each category and in two or more settings.

For Predominately Inattentive ADHD also known as (ADD) these symptoms will only be present in the Inattention category.

For predominately Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD these symptoms will only be present in the Hyperactive/Impulsive category.

Behaviour in either category must be present for at least 6 months and before the age of 12 to be regarded as being because of ADHD. As well as being present in more than one setting (home and school) symptoms must also interfere in many aspects of the child’s everyday life.

It is important to note that symptoms of ADHD may present differently in girls than in boys. Boys with ADHD can display more obvious signs as their behaviours are more external and can include physical aggression, running around and shouting out. Girls on the other hand can present with behaviours which are more ‘internal’ and include anxiety, social withdrawal, daydreaming and low self-esteem. These symptoms and behaviours are not defined by gender but it’s important to recognise that how ADHD presents in girls and boys CAN be different.

Due to ADHD subcategories children can present with a multitude of characteristics:

Symptoms of Inattention behaviour may include:

  • Not appearing to listen when spoken to
  • An inability to follow through with instructions or failing to finish tasks
  • Avoids doing things that require sustained mental effort
  • Being easily distracted and forgetful
  • Unorganised
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • Frequently loses things
  • Difficulty with listening

Symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity behaviour may include:

  • Being fidgety and restless
  • Running or climbing in places which are deemed to be inappropriate
  • Struggles to remain seated
  • Talking excessively and interrupting conversations
  • Being impatient struggling to wait their turn
  • Little or no sense of danger
  • Acts or speaks without thinking Unable to play quietly 


ADHD can exist alongside a multitude of other conditions which are known as co-morbidities. These include but are not limited to: ASD Anxiety Dyslexia ODD Depression Sleep issues Epilepsy Websites that you may find useful: