Local Offer - Understanding ADHD

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a condition that affects a person's behaviour, concentration and focus.

What is ADHD?

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the most common childhood disorders and continue through adolescence and into adulthood. 

Some who has ADHD may have lots of energy and find it difficult to concentrate. They may get easily distracted and find it hard to control their speech and actions. Traits of ADHD often become noticeable between the ages of 3-7 years.

The leaflet below has been designed for parents, to help them better understand what ADHD is. 

What is ADHD? - Information for Parents
Download (2.57MB - PDF)

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a related condition which has similar difficulties, however, it doesn’t involve constant movement and fidgeting and the main problem is a difficulty concentrating.

Diagnosing ADHD

If you feel your child or young person is displaying signs of ADHD, you should speak to their early year’s provider, school or college. If your child does not attend an education setting then you can contact their health visitor (for children aged 0-5 years) or the school nurse (for children over compulsory school age). If required, these professionals will start the process for a referral to the Needs Led Pathway (previously known as GDA) which could result in a referral to the ADHD Pathway. You can find out more about the process here.

Adults seeking an ADHD diagnosis can contact their GP to make a referral to the Adult ADHD team.

How can I exercise my Right to Choose?

If your GP needs to refer you for a physical or mental health condition, in most cases you have a legal right to choose which hospital or service you go to. This includes NHS and many private hospitals that provide services to the NHS. You may also choose your clinical team led by a consultant or named healthcare professional.

If you’re referred for consultant-led treatment, or to a mental health professional, you can:

  • decide which provider you would like to receive care from as an outpatient
  • choose the clinical team who will be in charge of your care within that provider organisation

These choices apply to both physical and mental health, but only apply at the point of referral (from your GP, dentist or optometrist) to providers that have an NHS contract to provide the service you need.

For a service to be available for you to choose, for physical health referrals, the service must be led by a consultant who has overall responsibility and in mental health the service must be led by a consultant or mental health professional. Normally the same provider you have chosen for your first outpatient appointment will also go on to provide the rest of your treatment. You can find more information on NHS services  for physical and mental health on the NHS website. 

How you can support someone with ADHD

There are lots of ways you can support someone with ADHD, both before and after diagnosis. Here are our tops tips:

  • Be understanding - ADHD isn't a choice so try not to get frustrated at the person for things they cannot control
  • Keep your language simple and clear. Speak slowly and calmly
  • Use short instructions (a maximum of two at a time if possible). Say the person's name before you say your instruction. Allow them thinking time and then repeat your instruction to check understanding
  • Use simple gestures, pointing or pictures to support your verbal communication
  • Use a visual timetable (pictures of the day’s activities) to help them prepare for the day
  • Develop methods to help the person stay organised, for example, having a designated area for items or labelling drawers and cupboards to allow them to easily identify where objects belong
  • Keep a consistent home and school routine. If you need to deviate from the routine, think about how you can prepare the person beforehand and consider what you can do to support them
  • Keep home-school communications open and raise any concerns as soon as possible so they can be resolved quickly
  • If your child is taking medication for their ADHD, ensure they are taking it as instructed and take them to their reviews at the CAMHS Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder clinic
  • Seek out support from other parent/carers with SEND children. Doncaster Parents Voice is the Parent Carer Forum in Doncaster and their friendly team would love to welcome you

Remember: Everyone with ADHD is different. What works for one person may not work for another. It's important to find out what works for a specific individual rather than assuming what will work, based on your knowledge and interactions with other people who have ADHD.

If you have a child with ADHD, you can also support them by supporting yourself. This may include:

  • Giving yourself time for yourself. You can't pour from an empty cup so it's important to look after yourself too
  • Speaking with other parent carers - knowing you're not alone helps tremendously and it you may also get ideas on things you're struggling with
  • Ask for a Parent Carer Needs Assessment - there's help available for parent carers. Ask for assessment to see what support might be available for your family

What support is available?

CAMHS Post-Diagnosis ADHD Service

Doncaster CAMHS Post-Diagnosis ADHD Service works with young people, aged 7-17 years, who have been diagnosed with ADHD.

Each young person is allocated a keyworker in our pathway, which ordinarily is one of the qualified nurses. We aim to see a young person diagnosed with ADHD within 8 weeks of referral for a face-to-face assessment with their parents/carers. During this appointment the young person will have an assessment; a discussion around expectations, and a care plan will be jointly developed and shared with the young person/parent/carer.

  • We offer support for the child, young person and family throughout their journey of having a diagnosis of ADHD until they transition to Adult ADHD services upon their 18th birthday.
  • We aim to provide support through group-based work, through face to face sessions and/or through videoconferencing. At present we offer this support through an initial psycho-education group, delivered by members of the ADHD assessment and treatment team by videoconferencing for parents to meet and learn about ADHD and issues related to this.
  • We work in partnership with other agencies to safeguard young people.
  • We work closely with other CAMHS mental health services, voluntary organisations for young people and the local authority Early Help services.
  • Our service offers advice about the level of support a young person and their family needs through developing a care plan, looking at therapeutic interventions for ADHD such as emotional regulation alongside any medications that may be prescribed to treat the symptoms of ADHD.
  • Our team comprises of Consultant Psychiatrists, Consultant Psychologists and Psychology Assistants, Children’s Nurses, Mental Health Nurses and Nurse Prescribers.
  • We work in partnership with the local CAMHS and can consult or make a referral for other therapies (e.g. if CBT or family therapy is required for the young person/family).
  • Partnership working with the local special educational needs team, the local schools and academies and with specialist educational providers. We support children and young people with ADHD and can advise professionals and families in relation to ADHD in their environments.
  • We offer support and advice to children diagnosed with Autism and their family as well as ADHD in consultation with partner agencies such as the ASCETS, as many children we support have additional neurodiverse needs.


Our friendly, helpful team are always available to support families, young people and other professionals with any questions in relation to ADHD through the process of the assessment and the support after the diagnosis. We have a team of administrative assistants who will forward any questions to the ADHD team if we are not available at that time you call.
  • Tel: 01302 796191

National and Local Organisations 

The following websites can provide further support and information:


Back to Neurodiversity


Last updated: 21 June 2024 15:56:57


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City of Doncaster Council’s Families Information Service is responsible for co-ordinating and publishing the Local Offer – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

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