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Unlocking the Puzzle Of ADHD

It's no secret that parenting comes with its fair share of worries, especially when it comes to your child's development and behaviour. It's natural to observe your little one closely, wondering if there is more to their quirks and habits. One concern that can weighs heavily is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Here, Paediatric Consultant Dr Harry Woodward explains more about the condition.

Unlocking the Puzzle Of ADHD

Navigating the landscape of childhood ADHD requires a delicate blend of sensitivity, awareness and expert guidance. While it's only natural for parents to observe and ponder their child's behaviour, it's paramount to recognise that only qualified healthcare professionals, such as paediatricians or child psychiatrists, hold the key to a definitive diagnosis. If the suspicion of ADHD arises, seeking guidance and assessment becomes the crucial first step toward understanding and managing this complex condition.

Signs and Symptoms: Decoding the ADHD Flag

The journey begins with recognising the subtle signs and symptoms that might raise the ADHD flag. The common indicators that every parent should be attuned to include:


  • Difficulty staying focused on tasks, especially those demanding sustained attention.

  • Frequent careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities.

  • Struggles with organisation, leading to hurdles with school assignments and personal belongings.

  • Appears forgetful and easily distracted.


  • Excessive restlessness and difficulty remaining still, particularly in expected situations.

  • Inability to stay seated when required, whether in class or at the dinner table.

  • Frequent fidgeting, tapping or constant movement of hands and feet.


  • Interrupts or blurts out answers or comments before questions are complete.

  • Difficulty waiting their turn in activities or conversations.

  • Acts without considering consequences, leading to impulsive decisions.

Difficulty with Organisation:

  • Struggles to complete tasks that requiring planning and organisation, such as school projects or household chores.

  • May avoid or procrastinate on tasks involving multiple steps.

Time Management Issues:

  • Difficulty estimating task duration or managing time effectively.

  • Often runs late for appointments and deadlines.

Academic Challenges:

  • Lower-than-expected academic performance, particularly in tasks requiring sustained attention.

  • Difficulty following instructions or completing assignments.

Problems with Relationships:

  • Issues maintaining friendships or social relationships due to impulsive or inattentive behaviours.

  • Tendency to interrupt others in conversations.

Emotional Dysregulation:

  • More frequent mood swings and emotional outbursts.

  • Difficulty managing frustration or anger.


  • Frequently appears lost in thought, even when others are speaking to them.

It's crucial to note that these signs can vary among children with ADHD, and not all will exhibit all of them. Additionally, some of these are a normal part of childhood development. A formal evaluation is necessary to determine if ADHD is present and to rule out other potential causes.

The Expert's Role: Intervention and Solutions

If you suspect ADHD, seeking guidance from a qualified healthcare professional is not only advisable but essential. We can provide a comprehensive assessment with appropriate interventions or treatments. These may include behavioural therapy, medication or a combination of both, tailored to the needs of the child.

Unlocking Potential: Early Diagnosis and Intervention

Early diagnosis and intervention become the linchpin in managing ADHD and paving the way for a child's success. Understanding the puzzle of ADHD is the first step towards unlocking the potential for a brighter future. By unravelling the complexities, parents can embark on a journey that leads to effective solutions, resilience and the promise of a flourishing tomorrow for your child.


Dr Harry Woodward is a fully qualified Paediatric Consultant with subspecialty training in Community Child Health. His particular passion is ADHD assessment and management. In his current NHS role, he runs a busy ADHD clinic where he assesses children aged 5-16 years who are referred by their GP or school. He also serve as a Medical Advisor to Birmingham Adoption Service.

If you are concerned that your child might have ADHD, please get in touch to arrange an appointment. Email or call 0121 455 9496


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