Some children, young people and adults live a happy and fulfilled life with undiagnosed ADHD; this could be due to their support network, environment, job choice or culture. Some cultures are more active which means an inability to sit still does not raise concerns.
ADHD has three subtypes:
- Hyperactivity and impulsivity
- Combined inattentive, hyperactivity and impulsivity
There are so many ways to support a child or young person with ADHD, which can really support their emotional wellbeing and learning.
UK incidence of ADHD officially 1-2%. Incidence of ADHD in Manchester 0.5%.
Being prepared is really useful when supporting a child or young person with ADHD as it means that you will have a variety of support strategies available when you need them, which should reduce stress for all involved. Some of the following support strategies may help:
- Fiddle toys
- Wobble cushion
- Note taking
- Setting clear (realistic) boundaries and expectations
- Clear instructions
- Movement breaks
As frustrating as it may be to have a conversation with someone who is constantly moving, it is less frustrating (and distressing) than asking an individual to suppress their impulses. When a child or young person with ADHD is able to release some excess energy through movement it actually supports concentration rather than hindering it.
Each child and young person with ADHD is unique, meaning that their movement needs will differ and it is important that they are included in the selection of a fiddle toy or strategy.
ADHD can be managed through mental strategies and medication. When ADHD goes undiagnosed or untreated the implications for quality of life are dramatic. Untreated ADHD may lead to:
- Substance or alcohol misuse
- School exclusion
- Poor relationships
Increased impulsivity combined with environmental factors can make children and young people with ADHD extremely vulnerable. If the offer of drugs are there, a young person may be more willing to take drugs without considering the implications, which could quickly lead to addiction. But through using supportive strategies and staying on top of any treatment can help to prepare children and young people for adulthood from the earliest opportunity, helping them to be happy, safe and ready for life’s challenges.
When a child or young person with ADHD is able to release some excess energy through movement it actually supports concentration rather than hindering it.
Preparing for adulthood from the earliest age is highlighted in the SEND Code of Practice, 2015, and this is particularly important within children and young people with ADHD. A young person with ADHD who is considering a future in the Armed Forces might not be able to take medication to manage their symptoms, because the Armed Forces require individuals with ADHD to have not taken ADHD medication for three years prior to starting. Becoming a chef may not be a possible career choice due to the stressful environment potentially making symptoms more difficult to manage, and impulse control may be impaired, which when combined with sharp knives and hot pans can be a dangerous mix.