Reading Time: 5 mins
Suitable for: Families of secondary-age children
Read the primary-age version of this Quick Read
About 1 in 20 school-aged children are affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the UK. Most children are diagnosed when they are 3 to 7 years old, but some will be diagnosed much later, or even as an adult.
ADHD is a complex condition, and it can affect behaviour in several ways. Your teenager could appear restless or always on the go. They may seem unfocused, always daydreaming, and struggle to manage their time and belongings.
There are also many positive benefits to having ADHD. Many young people can hyper-focus on a task, blocking out everything around them. They often show resilience and that high energy can make them spontaneous and creative.
Common behaviours seen in ADHD
Some common behaviours of ADHD include:
- Inattention: lack of focus, restlessness, distractibility, appearing forgetful, appearing not to listen, difficulty organising tasks.
- Impulsivity: heightened emotionality, acting without thinking, little or no sense of danger, poor decision making.
- Hyperactivity: constantly fidgeting, excessive physical movement, unable to sit still, excessive talking.