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Neurodiversity and Co-occurring differences

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder which has features relating to both specific learning difficulties and mental health. There are three main presentations of ADHD: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive and impulsive or combined presentation which includes symptoms of both. These symptoms are present in multiple settings, such as at school, at home or at work, and affect or reduce the quality of social, academic or occupational functioning.


Common ADHD symptoms include:

  • Inattention
  • lack of focus
  • Poor time management
  • Weak impulse control
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Hyperfocus
  • Hyperactivity
  • Executive dysfunction
  • Poor working memory


Similarly to dyslexia, individuals with ADHD can show considerable strengths alongside their weaknesses and difficulties. These strengths may be associated with characteristics of ADHD such as the ability to hyperfocus, as well as increased creativity, imagination and problem solving. When supporting people with ADHD it's important to understand and build upon their individual strengths, as well as support them in managing difficulties that stem from inattention, hyperactivity or impulsive behaviour. It's also important to recognise the mental health impacts of ADHD when creating a system of support, as ADHD is known to co-occur with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

Some examples of celebrities with ADHD are Emma Watson, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Justin Timberlake, Jamie Oliver and Solange Knowles.

More information

ADDISS: The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service

ADDISS provide people-friendly information and resources about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to anyone who needs assistance - parents, individuals with ADHD, teachers or health professionals.

Website: www.addiss.co.uk

The ADHD Foundation

This organisation provides a number of services in the field of ADHD including training and consultancy for both education and employment, and also for parents. They have started a number of initiatives including ADHD friendly schools.

Website: www.adhdfoundation.org.uk

The UK ADHD Partnership

This partnership was established by mental health and allied professionals who share an interest in improving outcomes and securing better futures for children and young people affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), together with their carers and families.

Website: www.adhdfoundation.org.uk

UKAAN

This is an organisation for ADHD in adults in the UK. It offers a range of services and information on ADHD in adults, including diagnosis and treatment options.

Website: www.ukaan.org