Counselling, Therapy and Diagnosis for ADHD and overactivity problems in children and teenagers

Attention and over-activity problems in children and teenagers

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that make concentrating, paying attention, sitting still and controlling impulsive behaviour very difficult. Although many children and teenagers can be restless or hyperactive at times, those with ADHD experience this a lot more frequently with a big impact on their everyday lives.

These behaviours can be challenging for children and teenagers, mainly due to difficulties faced in school and issues maintaining healthy relationships with peers, family and teachers. Children and teenagers with ADHD are often described as ‘disruptive’ or ‘badly behaved’ which can be upsetting and frustrating for them and their families to hear. This can result in a negative impact on the child’s self-esteem and mood.

If you believe your son or daughter may be struggling with ADHD, assessment and support from a qualified clinical psychologist at Harwood Child Psychology in North West London can help.

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How do I know if my child has ADHD?

There are different types of ADHD and not all children and teenagers with the condition have the same symptoms. Some may struggle with attention, others may have difficulties with hyper-activity and impulsivity, and many have issues with both.

Attention difficulties

You might notice your child is struggling with the following:

  • Failing to pay close attention to details, this may be presented as making careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities.
  • Difficulties maintaining attention on certain effortful tasks for example during conversations or reading lengthy text.
  • Failure to finish certain tasks, such as homework.
  • Not listening, even when being spoken to directly.
  • Difficulty with organisation such as keeping belongings in order or failing to meet deadlines.
  • Forgetfulness, for example, forgetting to do chores or keeping appointments.
  • Having ADHD does not mean a child is unable to focus at all, they can often focus on activities that they enjoy or find exciting such as video gaming.

Hyper-activity and Impulsivity

You might notice your child is struggling with the following:

  • Frequent fidgeting behaviours like tapping hands or squirming in seats.
  • Getting up and leaving when they are expected to stay seated, for example leaving a class before it has finished.
  • Running around or climbing at inappropriate times.
  • Being ‘on the go’ or as if they are ‘driven by a motor’.
  • Trouble staying quiet during leisure activities such as playing.
  • Difficulty when waiting for their turn in games or conversations, which may cause them to interrupt others.

When doing an assessment for ADHD, a full developmental history will be taken as these symptoms will usually need to be present since when a child was very young. Conversations with the school will also be important.

How can I help my child or teenager with ADHD?

If you are unsure whether your child’s behaviour is a sign of ADHD, Harwood Child Psychology can offer a full specialist assessment following the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. A diagnosis is an important step to identifying your child’s needs. Establishing an appropriate support plan can help your child cope with the challenges of ADHD, allowing them to reach their full potential.

Harwood Child Psychology can provide the necessary support if your child is diagnosed with ADHD, this includes medication, family therapy, parenting support and behavioural management for the child.

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Where medication is required your child will be paired with a consultant psychiatrist who will manage and prescribe the necessary drugs to help lower hyperactivity and increase concentration, this will help your child to function better at school and in social situations. Medication is a very personal choice and there are many other forms of treatment available that do not require medication.

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Therapy at Harwood Child Psychology in North West London is conducted by a highly qualified clinical psychologist using evidence-based techniques. This can help you and your child to problem-solve and communicate their challenging behaviours to improve their experience and relationship with you. We pride ourselves on a high quality, warm and compassionate service that can help your son or daughter overcome the challenges associated with ADHD.

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Harwood Child Psychology provides specialist assessment and effective support for ADHD in Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Highgate, Hampstead, Finchley and the wider North West London area.

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