Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Understanding ADHD For Young People and Parents and Carers

ADHD means: Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder

It is a Neurodevelopmental Disorder. This means:

Everyone experiences these difficulties sometimes, although people with ADHD experience them more frequently, and more intensely which can make concentrating in school or on activities really challenging.

Despite struggling with some things people with ADHD are also capable of things others find tricky! ADHD cannot be prevented or cured.

But it is considered to be highly treatable, spotting it early having a good treatment to identify strategies to support the child’s or young person’s difficulties.

Despite ADHD being characterised by what individuals find challenging, living with ADHD enables children to have a variety of skills and abilities beyond those without ADHD. Although it is important to manage symptoms of ADHD, it is also crucial to not lose sight of their strengths.


With the appropriate support, individuals can enjoy successful lives and careers.

For example, many well-known public figures, celebrities and athletes have achieved high levels of success by overcoming their difficulties and exploiting the positive features of ADHD.


The diagnosis of ADHD requires a detailed assessment made by specialists who utilise a variety of methods. There is not one single test for ADHD.

An ADHD assessment can include:

The assessment can be a lengthy process, especially if the child has other medical or mental health conditions. Plus, due to the depth of assessment required to diagnose ADHD a number of clinicians are involved in the process e.g. mental health nurses, psychiatrists, or clinical psychologists.

This variety of different clinicians, all trained within their own field, are united in the process to provide the best support for both child and family. An ADHD assessment is usually only considered in children over 6 years old, due to the developmental stage of children below this age having common features of ADHD.

What Treatment Is Available?

Psycho-education (providing education and information) and parent training programmes focused upon behavioural approaches are considered in the first instance when an ADHD diagnosis is given.

Many psychological therapies are effective in treating additional problems which commonly co-occur with ADHD, such as anxiety.

Medical treatment is not considered for school age children presenting with mild symptoms.

Medication is only considered for those over 6 if:

Group Information

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