Dr James is an Irish general paediatrician working in a community practice setting in Melbourne, Australia. He has a specialist interest in neurodevelopmental and behavioural disorders in children and teenagers.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is a common yet complex neurodevelopmental disorder affecting up to 5% of the population. Despite its high prevalence it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.
The characteristic and more commonly recognised core features include inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
More broadly ADHD impairs what are known as executive function skills including emotional regulation capacity, planning and organisation, time management, goal setting, prioritising and initiating tasks, and self-control.
Causes are multifactorial, however, there is a strong genetic component and it can affect multiple individuals in the same family.
Bad parenting does not cause ADHD but parenting a child with ADHD can be extremely challenging!
ADHD can have a substantial negative impact on academic achievement, interpersonal relationships, confidence, self-esteem, and overall performance in social, workplace and educational settings.
ADHD commonly coexists with other conditions including anxiety, depression oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder.
Although the long-term impact of untreated or poorly managed ADHD can be severe many people with ADHD live very successful and fulfilling lives.
Thankfully highly effective and well tolerated treatments are available which generally includes a combination of medication and behavioural therapies.
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Helpful resources can be found at;
Helping children and teens with ADHD:
Evidence based ADHD resources:
Parenting strategies and support:
Dr James consults at: