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What does ADHD mean?

We hear a lot about ADHD in the media, but do we really understand what the condition is and what it can mean for the sufferer?

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurobiological order.  It occurs in around 5 – 10% of children in the UK, but affects boys more than girls.  When we say hyperactivity and attention-deficit, we should not simply view this as boisterous behaviour or poor behaviour, as it can cause chronic difficulties for the child, and later into adulthood.

A person with ADHD may -

  • Have poor attention
  • Be forgetful
  • Sometimes not comply or will be defiant
  • Find it difficult to complete certain tasks, such as homework, activities and chores
  • Be easily distracted.
  • Sometimes have difficulties controlling what they say
  • Be impulsive
  • Find it hard to keep stick. They may be restless and fidgety.
  • Often interrupt

All of these factors can make it hard for the child in an educational environment. The condition can be overlooked in some situations. Not all children with ADHD will have all symptoms, so a quiet child who sits quietly and still may be overlooked as they do not display the restlessness we would expect, but that does not mean that they do not have other of the symptoms of ADHD. As it is not always easily diagnosed at first, it can mean that the child does not get the help and support they need at first.


And it doesn’t just affect children, it can carry on into adulthood. It is thought that around 30 – 60% of people with ADHD will have significant symptoms throughout their adulthood.  For some, the effects will diminish, but it is usually thought of as a life-long condition.   We can see how this might also impact upon the person within their job. They may find it hard to maintain concentration on tasks.

Another factor of ADHD is that sometimes children and adults will find it hard to maintain and develop relationships, which can also make education and work harder.

But having ADHD does not mean that a person cannot go onto a productive and successful life. There are a number of high profile celebrities who have ADHD and have achieved a great deal. Who would have guessed Albert Einstein? Richard Branson? Walt Disney? JFK? Jim Carrey? Jamie Oliver?

Jamie Oliver has worked tirelessly to improve the nutrition of children in the UK and part of this driving force has been to remove unnecessary additives and colourants from foods, which are thought to impact upon ADHD.





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