ADHD – Post Diagnosis Support


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects people across the lifespan. It’s characterised by difficulties with paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. These problems affect the person’s functioning and everyday life to the point where it is a disorder. Symptoms of ADHD in children and young people can be mistaken for being naughty or lazy or not intelligent. Young people with ADHD can struggle with many aspects of the functioning:

  • school work and academic performance issues
  • impulsivity and risk taking behaviours
  • getting into trouble for behaviour problems
  • being volatile or struggling to regulate their emotions difficulties with sleep
  • anxiety and low self esteem
  • friendship difficulties or social skills problems
  • sleep problems

This list is not exhaustive and how young people are affected may vary from person to person. Children and young people with ADHD can be hard to parent and this creates stress for parents and for the family as a whole.

Treatment and support for ADHD

There are two main routes for support – medical and non- medical interventions.  We have found that medication can be very useful in helping young people to cope with their difficulties in paying attention and regulating some of their impulsivity but its not the whole answer for many young people. Often young people with ADHD need to learn skills in helping them to cope with the disorder like how to manage their emotions an their behaviour, how to organise themselves and cope with their school work and so on.

Psychoeducation for young people and families: This is often the first step in learning to manage the symptoms of ADHD. What is ADHD? How does it affect everyday functioning? How does it affect the particular young person specifically. ADHD tends to affect the executive functioning of the young person e.g. struggles with memory, organising themselves and their things, and so on. For some it affects their social skills more than others. So it’s important to establish which aspects of a young person’s functioning is most affected by having ADHD. This part of our programme supports young people and their families to better understand how this disorder affects them and strategies for coping. Sometimes ADHD comes with ‘superpowers’ like the advantages of quick thinking in some situation and these also need to be appreciated.

Academic coaching: These sessions tend to support the young person with practical skills around coping with executive functioning difficulties that impact in the school setting. This may include liaison with the young person’s school.

Occupational Therapy: ’how fast is your engine?’ OT support can help children and young people with regulation skills. OT can also help young people who are struggling with other skills like fine and gross motor co-ordination

Therapeutic support: help with anxiety, coming to terms with the diagnosis, emotion regulation skills and support in developing more healthy self esteem

Social Skills programmes: At Cherrycroft we recognise that being able to interact well with peers in a key to mental health and wellbeing and so we believe that having skills to build friendships and cope with conflicts are important life skills. We use aspects of the Talkabout programme.

At Cherrycroft, we create bespoke packages of support based on what children and young people are most likely to benefit from. This is usually done after an initial assessment with a Clinical Psychologist.