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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) affects approximately 1 in 20 children1. ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects individuals of all ages. It is characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, which can significantly impair daily functioning and quality of life 1. However, ADHD symptoms can vary widely among individuals, and not everyone with ADHD displays all three symptom categories. These categories present as follows1:

  • Inattention: symptoms of inattention may include difficulty maintaining attention, easily distracted, forgetful or difficulty following instructions and organising tasks.
  • Hyperactivity: this may appear as excessive and restless motor activity, such as constant fidgeting, difficulty staying seated, and may appear “on the go.”
  • Impulsivity: may present with difficulty resisting impulses and putting the brakes on actions.

Children with ADHD face a number of challenges including both social and academic functioning. These can include difficulty completing tasks at school as well as difficulty managing interactions with peers. Although children with ADHD experience a number of challenges, it is important to understand and utilise their strengths. Some strengths commonly associated with ADHD include1:

  • Highly creative and imaginative
  • Hyper focus on tasks that truly engage them
  • Energetic and enthusiastic
  • Out of the box thinking
  • High energy levels
  • Spontaneity and willingness to try new things
  • Heightened empathy and compassion towards others

Early intervention is important for successful outcomes for children with ADHD. Intervention will focus on understanding your child’s strengths and challenges and will aim to arm them with the skills and strategies required to succeed. This may include strategies to support attention in school or skills to effectively navigate social situations. Allied health professionals will also work with parents to provide strategies to manage tricky behaviours and support parents to advocate for their child. By addressing ADHD early on, children can develop a positive self-image and a stronger sense of confidence, reducing the risk of emotional difficulties and mental health issues later in life2.


1ADHD Australia (What is ADHD)ADHD Australia (What is ADHD? (factsheet))Royal Children’s

2Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity (2015). Disorder Preschoolers and ADHD.

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