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ADHD in the early school years

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Starting school is an important time for all children. They have the chance to make new friends, gain independence and become involved in group activities. But if your child has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD), going to school can be a scary and disappointing experience.

Schoolchildren with ADHD often: [19]

  • Get poor test results and bad marks for work

  • Approach schoolwork in a messy, disorganised way

  • Fail to finish their work

  • Find it difficult to read, write and spell

  • Find it difficult to behave in settings that don't have much structure, such as in hallways or during lunch breaks

  • Seem immature or babyish, talking excessively and crying more often than other children

  • Struggle with structured activities, such as sport or drama

  • Lack co-ordination, making it difficult to ride a bicycle, for example

  • Find it difficult to get on with other children

  • Do things to annoy other people and then blame others

  • Have a low opinion of themselves and feel inferior.

Most children with ADHD can go to mainstream schools. However, if your child is struggling at school, it is worth meeting the teacher to discuss what help is available for children with ADHD. For more information, see Educational options for children with ADHD.


For references related to Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder click here.
Last Updated: September 27, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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