About ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects people’s concentration and organisational skills and they may act impulsively. Some people report they can feel restless.

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.

The symptoms of ADHD can 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 difficulties with sleep and other emotional difficulties.

Source: Click Here

The estimated prevalence of ADHD in East Berkshire is 3.1% or 14,448 people and is projected to grow to 4.2% or 19574 people by 2035 (Attain, 2019)


The exact cause of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not fully understood, although a combination of factors is thought to be responsible.

ADHD tends to run in families, and research shows that parents and siblings of a child with ADHD are more likely to have ADHD themselves. However, the way ADHD is inherited is likely to be complex.

Studies involving brain scans have suggested that certain areas of the brain may be smaller in people with ADHD, whereas other areas may be larger. Other studies have suggested that people with ADHD may have an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, or that these chemicals may not work in the same way.

What are the symptoms of ADHD?

ADHD is characterised by difficulties with attention, with impulsivity or motor activity or a combination of these. The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are well defined, and usually noticeable before the age of 6. They occur in more than 1 situation, such as at home and at school.


The main signs of inattentiveness are:

  • having a short attention span and being easily distracted
  • making careless mistakes, for example, in schoolwork
  • appearing forgetful or losing things
  • being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
  • appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
  • constantly changing activity or task
  • having difficulty organising tasks

Hyperactivity and impulsiveness

The main signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness are:

  • being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  • constantly fidgeting
  • being unable to concentrate on tasks
  • excessive physical movement
  • excessive talking
  • being unable to wait your turn
  • acting without thinking
  • interrupting conversations
  • little or no sense of danger


To find out more about autism assessment for children and young people aged 6-18 years please visit the ADHD team page on the Berkshire Healthcare website Click Here

NICE guidance describes the standards expected for assessment, treatment and management of ADHD at Click Here

ADHD treatments explained

The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance recommends the following for children and young people: information about ADHD, advice on parenting strategies, in some cases a parent training programme, medication if ADHD symptoms are still causing persistent difficulties, after other strategies have been tried, consider offering Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) in certain circumstances (where medication has helped but there are still issues).

NICE also emphasise a balanced diet, good nutrition and regular exercise Click Here

Medicines can help some people with ADHD concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer, and learn and practise new skills.

How can people with ADHD take a strength-based approach?

Living with ADHD discusses ten ways in which people can talk about the positives of ADHD Click Here

Learning from and getting support from others is important and there are numerous support groups and people willing to help.

Here are some examples of people who live with ADHD and have been successful, Harry Potter star Emma Watson, Michael Jordan, Bill Gates – there are many more.

Talking to your child about ADHD

The following ten minute videos produced for parents by the UKADHD charity may be helpful Click Here

The following tips are sourced from WebMD Click Here

1. Do make sure your child feels loved and accepted. Help him/her to understand that ADHD has nothing to do with his/her intelligence or his/her ability and that it is not a flaw.
2. Choose a time when you are not likely to be interrupted and leave some time for follow up.
3. Do let your child know they are not alone. Let your child talk to someone in the family or a friend who has ADHD.
4. Do not be surprised if your child does not respond immediately or seems uninterested. It takes some children, particularly younger ones, time for new information to make sense, or to know what questions to ask.
5. Do learn more about ADHD. There are numerous courses on our workshops and learn more pages. You can also join advocacy and support groups in your local area; these are advertised lists of support services for your area (see the SEND links below)
6. Focus on their strengths, what they do well, and praise their accomplishments so they can pursue their interests and do well with your support.
7. Do not let your child use his/her ADHD as an excuse. Parents need to help their child understand that ADHD is not a reason to not turn in homework, to not try their hardest, or to give up
8. Keep the dialogue going, talk about school, their friends, homework, extracurricular activities, and keep a positive attitude.

Talking to your child’s school about ADHD

Your child’s school special educational needs coordinator will be able to advise as each school must follow national guidance on the inclusion of children and young people with ADHD in schools and further educational settings.

Living with ADHD provide tips for teachers about how to take a strength-based approach to supporting young people in school. This will involve staff talking to parents and finding out about the young persons’ strengths when they are at home and in school.

The Joint Council for Qualifications notes that there are special arrangements for teenagers diagnosed with ADHD who are sitting GCSE or A levels. These include

  • supervised rest breaks
  • a prompter
  • separate invigilation in another room
  • extra time
  • a reader
  • a word processor
  • a scribe
  • coloured overlays (for those who find this makes print clearer)

Local SEND services provide support for those who have special educational needs– see the links for the local authority areas in East Berkshire below.

Further support

You may find the following list of services and voluntary sector groups useful, however inclusion on this website does not constitute a recommendation.

East Berkshire services

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust ADHD team for children and young people Click Here

And Click Here

Berkshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust ADHD team for adults Click Here

Parenting Special Children; provide specialist parenting support to parents and carers of children and young people with Special Needs, so that they can create positive change in their lives Click Here

Bracknell Forest

Bracknell Forest SEND Local Offer: a guide to services available for children and young people in Bracknell Forest with special educational needs and/or disabilities aged from birth to 25. Click Here

Bracknell Forest Information and Advice Service: provides confidential and impartial advice and information to support parents or carers and children and young people who have, or may have, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in Bracknell Forest by clicking here. 

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

RBWM SEND Local Offer: provides information on local services and support available for families including children and young people aged 0 – 25 years with special educational needs or disabilities Click Here

RBWM Information and Advice Service: free, impartial and confidential information, advice and support to children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) up to age 25, and their parents/carers. Click Here


Slough SEND Local Offer – information and advice for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families about education, health, social care and other services in Slough Click Here

Slough SENDIASS – Information Advice and Support Service: a confidential and impartial support and advice service for parents, carers and children and young people (aged up to 25 years) on issues to do with special educational needs and disabilities and needs of children/young people with special needs. Click Here

Special Voices – Slough Parent Carer Forum: raise awareness about the rights and needs of children/young people with special needs and to ensure that they and their families are consulted and involved in any decisions made during planning or developing services for them Click Here

National links for ADHD

AADD-UK – Site for and by adults with ADHD: raising awareness of ADHD in adulthood Click Here

ADDISS – Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service: information and resources about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to anyone who needs assistance – parents, sufferers, teachers or health professionals Click Here

ADDItude a US online magazine for young people and adults with ADHD, parents, professionals Click Here

ADHD Foundation: an integrated health and education service offering a unique lifespan – strength based service, for the 1 in 5 people who live with ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Tourette’s syndrome. Click Here

ADHD Wise UK – Information, support and resources for ADHD for people with ADHD, parents and professionals:  set up by adults who are diagnosed with ADHD themselves and use it to good effect, to ‘promote positive outcomes’ for those with ADHD Click Here

ADHD and You – ADHD information website for parents and carers, young people, adults, and professionals with tips and downloadable resources Click Here

CHADD Children and adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder Click Here

NHS Choices: overview of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder Click Here

UK ADHD Partnership: video resources and support groups for parents and professionals Click Here


National links for disability

Cerebra – children with a brain condition: advice and support on subjects including education, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), toilet training and sleep Click Here

Chatterpack – a voluntary-run, special educational needs and disabilities hub free SEND resources for families, schools and other professionals Click Here

Choice Support – social care charity working across much of England to provide the best possible support to people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health needs Click Here

Contact – for families with disabled children: supporting families with the best possible guidance and information Click Here

Disability Law Service – free advice via information, factsheets, training courses and telephone and written advice in areas relevant to people with disabilities and their carers Click Here

IPSEA – Independent Provider of Special Education Advice: information and training on the support disabled children are legally entitled to at school, including Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) Click Here

Mencap – The Voice of Learning Disability: information about learning difficulties and learning disabilities related to autism, Down syndrome and other conditions Click Here

Sibs – for siblings of disabled people: Sibs aims to enhance the lives of siblings of disabled people by providing them with information and support, and by influencing service provision throughout the UK Click Here

Sunflower – Hidden Disabilities: information about Sunflower lanyards, increasingly used to  discreetly indicate to people around you including staff, colleagues and health professionals that you have a hidden disability and you may need additional support, help or more time Click Here

The Continence Foundation – treatment, prevention, causes, types and living with continence issues Click Here

Ways Into Work – Supported Employment, Supported Internships, Recruitment and Workplace Support for disabled people Click Here

Mental Health links

ACAMH – Association for Child and Adult Mental Health: online portal with professional seminars on topics related to autism and ADHD Click Here

Anxiety UK: supporting people with anxiety, stress, anxiety-based depression or a phobia with downloadable guides and online or helpline support Click Here

CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably (mental health support for men): a free and confidential helpline and webchat – 7 hours a day, 7 days a week for anyone who needs to talk about life’s problems Click Here

Childline: support for children’s metal health online and by telephone Click Here

Family Lives – supporting parents and families in crisis: family support services offered through helpline, and offering tailored support around issues such as bullying, special educational needs, and support for specific communities Click Here

Harmless – Self Harm Support: a national voluntary organisation for people who self-harm, their friends, families and professionals Click Here

Mental Health Foundation: aims to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive, to help people understand, protect and sustain their mental health Click Here

Mind – mental health charity: provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem Click Here

Salvesen Mindroom Centre– Back to School Toolkits for children, parents and carers and teachers Click Here

The Samaritans: 24 hours a day suicide prevention support online or by telephone Click Here

Young Minds: fighting for children and young people’s mental and emotional health. Support for parents and carers as well as young people Click Here

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