How can I support a child with ADHD?

If your child has ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), it’s useful to understand how they may behave and what they might need from you.

We also have advice if you think your child may have ADHD but they don’t have a diagnosis.

Supporting child with ADHD - child playing in forest

Understand how ADHD can affect behaviour

People with ADHD find it hard to suppress impulses. Some ways this can affect day-to-day behaviour in children includes:

  • Struggling to get to sleep or staying asleep. It may seem like they need less sleep than other children.
  • Finding it hard to concentrate on learning. They can be easily distracted or be uncomfortable with sitting still. They may struggle to remember information.
  • Having difficulty with listening or following instructions. This can make activities like getting ready for school challenging.

Find what works for your child

Explore different ways of helping your child feel healthy and happy.

  • Use visual aids and timetables. This can help children with ADHD to follow instructions and take in information.
  • Set a clear bedtime routine. You can also speak to your doctor about possible supplements that might help with sleep.
  • Look for how to help your child get exercise on a daily basis. Think about what they might enjoy. Using up energy should help them fall to sleep later.
  • Talk to your doctor or health visitor about how nutrition can affect mood and behaviour. Make a food plan that suits your child.

Get ongoing support for you and your child

  • Speak to the SENCo (special educational needs co-ordinator) at your child’s school. They should be able to help you with any challenges and put extra support in place.
  • The ADHD Foundation has advice and support for parents and carers. 
  • Find your local SENDIASS. This stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Services. You can also get advice online.
  • The NHS has advice on living with ADHD.
  • Find advice on looking after youself and your child from ADHD and You. 

Want more support? For advice on your specific issue, speak to one of our parenting coaches. 

Go back

Does my child have ADHD?

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What can I do if my child has a meltdown?

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Tips for keeping your family healthy

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Activity: wind down before bed to fall asleep faster

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