ADHD Diagnosis & Treatment
Children with ADHD have a disability.6 As with autism in the past, ADHD has been dismissed by some as a convenient ‘label’ to excuse poor behaviour or impaired learning. However, a substantial body of research evidence demonstrates that it is, in fact, a specific condition with clearly identifiable symptoms and clinically effective treatments.3
Children with ADHD are not problem children, but children with a genuine problem.
Dr Geoffrey Kewley, Consultant Paediatrician
ADHD is a clinically distinct neurobiological condition that is caused by an imbalance of chemicals affecting specific parts of the brain responsible for behaviour.7 The core features of ADHD are behavioural characteristics,
Analysis of ADHD groups versus non-ADHD groups has identified consistent changes in brain structure and function and in performance in neuro-cognitive tests.3 Additionally, ADHD is known to have a strong genetic basis with studies showing that children of a parent who has ADHD have up to a 50% chance of experiencing the same difficulties.8
A specialist consultant using standard criteria and rating scales can diagnose ADHD in school-age children.3 Once diagnosed, there is no ‘quick fix’ for children with ADHD but the good news is that the condition is manageable with a combination of regimes that can include behaviour management, cognitive therapies and medication.3 The problem is that many specialists believe that ADHD is under-diagnosed and under treated. In a research report investigating ADHD in the UK, 54% of adolescent psychiatrists and paediatricians stated that ADHD is currently underdiagnosed in the UK.9