Attention ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a range of behaviours that include being impulsive, not paying attention, restlessness, and always being on the go. It occurs in boys and girls and is sometimes difficult to get a diagnosis or support. It also occurs in adults, often being missed as a child.


Parents can experience stress as a result of the chaotic and disorganised behaviours of their child, as well as having to talk with teachers and doctors about what is happening. This is exhausting - it can feel like going round and round in circles when trying to get a diagnosis. It takes a while yet it is important to get the right diagnosis as treatment and support for ADHD is important and needs to be right.

A number of people will be involved in making a diagnosis and, once made, there are a number of treatment and support options. Medication can be helpful; the older the child gets, the more behaviours can become difficult, and the ups and downs of ADHD family life will occur. Having medication is a choice to make; discuss it. Family and individual support are important (whether or not you choose medication).

How can counselling help?

Part of the work done in therapy is to ease some of the stress on the parents, other children and the child with ADHD. There are lots of tools and techniques to help get a bit more organised, support paying attention in school and help to manage bursts of energy and disruptive behaviour.

Techniques could include:

  • Making sure you as a parent get enough sleep, food, exercise, rest, etc.
  • Making time for the other children in your family.
  • Getting more routine to things like bedtime, mealtimes, school work and play. Play could be the energy-zapping kind like kick-a-round, frisbee throwing, etc.
  • More specifically, school work could be done in short periods of time with a break. Three lots of 15 minutes is better than one slog of 45 minutes.
  • For a really fidgety child, a spinner might be a good idea with guidance on when it could be used.

Involve the school as they are part of how your child is supported. It is important for them to realise that ADHD is real and can stop a child from learning. They may need extra breaks, permission to use the fidget toy, time and advice from the school's special education support staff.

A child who is supported will develop the skills to cope with ADHD in adult life, and find ways to manage their behaviours in work, relationships, social life, etc. Occasionally, they may hit a sticky patch but support is available through groups, GP or private services such as ADHD counselling or coaching. Private options lack waiting times, are able to support for longer and offer a broader range of services and support, so it can be beneficial to check them out first.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4
Written by Simon Mathias, Psychotherapist/Counsellor
Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4

Simon works supporting children, families and adults with a range of issues. Specialty areas include ADHD, bullying, alcohol, drugs, depression, anxiety, PTSD and eating disorders. Experienced in working with professional, emergency services and MOD. His work includes talking, playing with toys, drawing, and other activities that help support.

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