10 things parents need to know about ADHD

Smiling children
ADHD can be a difficult condition for parents to understand. Read on for an insight into it and how you can help your child cope.

1. ADHD stress points are often before school and between 5-7pm. So get organised for the next day the night before and have your child tackle homework early.

2. Having ADHD can mean your child will be original and creative. Famous names who exhibited classic symptoms include Robin Williams, Jim Carey, Roy Keane, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. It's been said that Mozart displayed many of the hallmarks of ADHD. He was a whirlwind of energy, agitated, impatient, impulsive, easily distracted, provocative, irreverent, and a maverick. He also gave the world some of the most complex and beautiful music ever written.

3. You can't get ADHD by watching too much television or by attending the wrong school.

4. More children than ever now take Ritalin to help with their ADHD - it has been estimated that if the upward trend continues as many as one in seven British children will be taking the drug within four years.

5. Many American parents get support from private ADHD coaches to help them structure their lives. Check out www.coaching-uk.org.uk for companies that offer the same service over here.

6. Some gifted children may be misdiagnosed with ADHD. If your child acts out in specific situations rather than across the board, they may be gifted rather than have ADHD. Of course, some children can be both.

7. Children who ‘miss' things on their left field of vision may have ADHD.

8. Parents of children with ADHD often show signs of the condition themselves.

9. A team from London's Brunel University has developed a visual test that says it can diagnose ADHD. It involves children following a spot of light on a computer screen and identifies ADHD with 93 per cent accuracy. Those with ADHD had a different eye movement pattern to those without the disorder.

10. Need more information? You can turn to ADDISS, The National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service, for help.