What is it
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be characterised by either predominantly inattention, predominantly hyperactivity / impulsivity, or a combination of both. In a broad sense, it can affect learning, social skills and behaviour, which may impact on academic progress and family functioning. ADHD is usually identified in childhood, and diagnosis must be made by a trained health professional, using information from across home and school environments.
What does it include
The common signs and symptoms of ADHD include:
- Inattention: Wandering off task, difficulty persevering with a task, trouble with sustaining focus, forgetting / losing things, and appearing disorganised.
- Hyperactivity: Excessive motor activity, including fidgeting, tapping or talkativeness, and restlessness.
- Impulsivity: Acting in the moment without forethought with the potential for harm to the individual (eg. accident prone), difficulty managing emotions.
It is important to remember that all young children are developing their ability to sit still, listen, and pay attention to details, and may do things without thinking through the consequences.
How can a psychologist help
A Psychologist may be able to assist a child with ADHD through:
- Assessment and diagnosis: Information is usually gathered through interviews with parents / carers and school staff, observation of the child, and/or completion of psychometric assessments. This may involve collaboration with other health professionals (eg. Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Paediatrician, Dietician) to ensure all aspects of the child’s well-being are taken into account.
- Psychoeducation: Support to parents / carers and school staff in relation to what the diagnosis means.
- Behaviour strategies: Working alongside parents/ carers and school staff to implement child-centred routines and structure in the home and classroom to improve the child’s outcomes.
- Coping skills: Supporting the child to develop skills that may assist them to manage the symptoms of their ADHD, such as building their play and social skills, self-esteem, understanding their learning styles, and learning how to better manage their behaviour.
- Family therapy: As the child’s ADHD may affect the family functioning, Psychologists can work with the whole family unit to improve relationships and harmony in the home.
APS consumer booklet on Autism
If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.