Frequently asked questions
Is ADHD real?
Yes - ADHD is a real and recognised disorder, which affects an estimated 5% of school-aged children in the UK2. Although there is no single 'cause' and the exact mechanisms involved in the development of ADHD are not fully understood, there is a lot of evidence suggesting a biological cause. In many cases ADHD can be treated successfully with behavioural therapies and/or medication.
Can ADHD be cured?
ADHD often responds well to treatment, and the good news is that there are a range of treatments available, including behavioural therapies as well as various medications. While there is no 'cure' for ADHD, many children, with the help of treatment, can manage their symptoms and consequently have little or no disruption to their lives. Once a full assessment has been carried out on your child, the hospital specialist team will decide on the appropriate management and treatment tailored to your child's specific needs.
Will my child have ADHD for life?
ADHD varies according to the child; while some children will grow up and continue to require treatment for their symptoms, others may experience a reduction in their ADHD symptoms and be able to control them, eventually becoming treatment-free. Regular follow-up visits to your doctor will allow them to assess your child's ADHD symptoms and assess whether they are still affected by their symptoms enough to maintain their treatment.
Do food additives and colourings cause ADHD?
The role of food additives and colourings as a cause of ADHD is not proven and there is little published evidence to support this theory.
How long will my child need treatment for ADHD?
Every child is different, and so "the most effective treatment" programme varies between children. The length of time for which your child will receive treatment cannot be fixed in advance. Treatment may continue for a couple of years and may even in some cases continue into adulthood. Occasionally your doctor may recommend that your child stops taking their medication for a period of time so that they can see how they get on; this is called a treatment holiday and should only be carried out under the supervision of a specialist.