Although treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) usually involves specialist input, the GP plays an important role in assessment and arranging nonpharmacological treatment while waiting for a paediatric appointment. Assessment of a child showing typical ADHD features of inattention, hyperactivity or impulsivity focuses on whether the behaviour is out of proportion to his or her developmental level and whether it is causing functional impairment.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common condition of childhood, affecting about 7 to 11% of school-aged children.1 ADHD typically runs in families. It is often associated with other conditions, such as learning difficulties or premature birth.2 Although ADHD is considered a categorical diagnosis – a person either has it or not – the features of ADHD are continuously distributed in the population. It is a lifelong condition, although the symptoms change with different stages of development.