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Last Updated: Monday, 18 September 2006, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Many ADHD pupils excluded - poll
boy in special behaviour unit
Children with ADHD have trouble concentrating
More than one third of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been excluded from school, a survey of parents suggests.

The poll of 526 families found 39% had had a child excluded from class, and in 11% of cases this was permanent.

Almost two thirds said their child's ability to achieve at school was "very affected" by their condition.

The government said exclusion rates for children with special needs had decreased in the past three years.

ADDISS - the Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service - carried out the survey of 526 families as part of the first national ADHD awareness week.

Lack of resources

The charity said the survey highlighted a lack of resources and support available for children with ADHD and their families.

More than two thirds of parents questioned did not have access to a local ADHD clinic, nurse or advisory teacher.

Parents said the disorder affected the rest of the family, with the associated behaviours - extreme difficulty sitting still or concentrating - making normal family life difficult. Many parents said they had had marital problems.

Over half of parents surveyed said it had an impact on the family's ability to go on holiday, 76% said it hindered their ability to visit friends and 82% said it affected their ability to go shopping.

And 80% felt their child with ADHD had low self-esteem compared with other children.


The survey also found many parents felt the benefit of early diagnosis.

Of those questioned, 80% felt their child's relationships with other children has improved as a result of receiving treatment, be it medical or non-medical.

And 89% felt their child's performance at school had improved as a result of receiving treatment and 84% that their child's relationship with their teacher had improved.

"Early identification of ADHD is key," said Andrea Bilbow, founder of ADDISS.

"With the right help from schools and access to appropriate medical and non-medical treatment, we can support children with ADHD through their developing years and help them succeed in life."


The Department for Education and Skills said it was tackling disproportionate exclusions for pupils with special needs.

A spokesman said: "We fully back head teachers that take tough action to tackle misbehaviour and disruption in the classroom, permanently excluding pupils where their behaviour warrants it.

"Equally, we need to ensure that this power is not used disproportionately with regard to any particular group.

"That is why we have strategies in place to support schools with SEN pupils and tackle disproportionate exclusions, and the rate of exclusion for pupils with statements of SEN has decreased in each of the last three years - including by 8 percentage points in just the last year."

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