Information for young people with ADHD

Information for young people with ADHD

If your parents, carers or teachers think that your behaviour is causing problems for you and you are not able to concentrate at school, they may talk to you and arrange for you to see a doctor about these problems. The doctor will talk to you about whether your behaviour is causing you serious problems at home and at school. If it is, then you will be offered an appointment with an expert or specialist, who will ask you some questions about how it feels when you can't keep still, or can't concentrate.

If the specialist thinks that you have a condition called ADHD (which stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), they will work out what treatments can best help you. If you agree, you and your parents should be involved in all the decisions about your care (see working with you). You can find more information about ADHD in ADHD.

The treatments for ADHD include medication and psychological therapy to help you cope with your feelings and behaviour. If your ADHD is not causing you serious problems, you should not usually be offered medication first.

If you and your parents agree, your doctors may let your teachers know about your ADHD so that they can help and support you at school. Your parents or carers should be offered a place on a course that will help them to give you extra support when you need it. You may also be offered psychological therapy with other young people with ADHD, which can help you to:

  • solve problems by yourself

  • control your feelings and behaviour

  • listen to other people when they are talking

  • have better relationships with your friends and other people.

If you are a teenager, your doctor may offer you a psychological therapy for you on your own.

If these treatments do not help your ADHD, you may be offered medication (there is more information in about medication).

If your ADHD symptoms are severe and are seriously affecting you, your doctor should offer you a package of care that includes medication and psychological therapy. Medication, which should be the first treatment offered, should only be started by a specialist in ADHD and not by your GP.

If you decide not to have medication and the course for your parents or your psychological therapy does not help, then your doctor may talk to you again about the possibility of taking medication or having another type of psychological therapy.

If you want to know more about the treatments for ADHD there are some examples of questions you could ask your doctor in information for adults with ADHD. When you reach school‑leaving age, you should be offered another assessment to see if you need to carry on with your treatment. You should be given full information about the care and treatment available for adults.

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