It is widely accepted that ADHD is a developmental condition that can be formally diagnosed.
ADHD is a term that is used to describe students who typically have the following problems:
Overactive behaviour (hyperactivity)
Difficulty in paying attention and distractibility (inattention)
Students typically have a short attention span and so can find it hard to concentrate and learn, especially in group situations. This can impact on their education and many of these students underachieve at school.
It is important to recognise that not all students with ADHD have all the symptoms. There are three presentations of ADHD according to the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic scheme (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition [DSM-5]) classification.
ADHD (inattentive presentation) describes students who mainly have problems with concentration and attention span but who are not usually impulsive or overactive
ADHD (hyperactive/impulsive presentation) describes students who predominantly have problems with overactive and impulsive development
ADHD (combined presentation) is where symptoms from the ADHD hyperactive/impulsive and ADHD inattentive combine, and is the most severe form of the condition
ADHD is included in the 2015 version of the SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) Code of Practice under the SEND category Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH).