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ADHD or not? Behavioural issues in children

In this week's Medical Podcast, we are talking to our newest GP, Dr Sonali Dasgupta about children's behavioural issues. She discusses the possible conditions such as ADHD or other developmental conditions and various signs and smyptoms. Dr Dasgupta has a special interest in paediatrics and explains here what her role can be in helping parents and children

During her training, Dr Dasgupta undertook two long placements in paediatrics, and often encounters concerns from parents about certain behavioural challenges in their children. It is important to guide parents through behaviours which may be either a normal part of a child's development, or if it signals a different condition.

COVID, ADHD and what signs to look out for

Dr Dasgupta has found that since the pandemic, many more children are experiencing emotional and life challenges. Having to remain at home with disrupted routines has unearthed an array of behavioural and mental health issues. It is important for GPs like Dr Dasgupta to be aware of this, and the impact that environmental factors might have on a child.

Dr Dasgupta finds a common question is "does my child have ADHD?". ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is mostly diagnosed in children. Signs of ADHD include:

  • Fidgeting

  • Excessive energy

  • Difficulty concentrating on and completing tasks

  • Acting without thinking

Many children do grow out of some of these behaviours, but if you suspect there might be something more that is disrupting life at home or at school, it is important to consider that these may be signs of a further condition. Being able to discuss these concerns with an experienced GP ,such as Dr Dasgupta, means the parent can either be reassured or referred for a Psychiatrist's opinion.

What types of behavioural issues can be confused with ADHD?

It is worth noting that not all behavioural issues will result in an ADHD diagnosis, and also that some of the symptoms of ADHD may overlap with other conditions. Some of these overlaps include:

Anxiety: symptoms such as feeling anxious, difficulty in finishing tasks, or impulsive behaviour can be signs of anxiety as well as ADHD

Autistic spectrum disorders: symptoms such as developmental delay, delay in speech and language, and difficulty in communication, are signs of ASD as well as ADHD

It is useful to speak to a doctor to tease out exactly what your child may be experiencing so that you, as a parent, receive the correct guidance, and that your child receives the best support.

What can you do if you are concerned about your child?

If you are concerned about your child, come and speak to us at My Specialist GP. Our role is to screen your child and see if your child's behavioural issues stem from ADHD or another condition.

If ADHD is suspected, we make a referral to a child and adolescent mental health practitioner, who is normally a psychiatrist, that deals with children and adolescents, and makes the diagnosis. Although this specialist will make a diagnosis, our GPs will pick up any ongoing care to make sure that you receive support going forth.

Dr Dasgupta and children's behavioural issues

For more information on what My Specialist GP can do to help you through your child's behavioural issues, listen below to Dr Dasgupta's full podcast.

Dr Dasgupta, whose expertise includes pediatrics, general health and women's health joins us this week on our Medical Post.

You can listen to the full podcast with Dr Dasgupta, discussing issues such as ADHD and ASD, and how you can support your child.

A consultation for your child can be booked online using the link below.

Should we run a pre-screening, you, as well as your child's teacher, will receive a questionnaire to help us make initial steps to treating your child correctly.


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