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Understanding ADHD: Current Research and Practice

Learn about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) including ADHD symptoms, the latest research and ADHD treatment.

Understanding ADHD: Current Research and Practice

Ensure your knowledge of ADHD is up to date by exploring the latest research

What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? What are the symptoms of ADHD? How is ADHD diagnosed? Get answers with this course that features fundamental information about ADHD, as well as the latest ADHD research.

Through the course you will learn about ADHD as a developmental disorder, considering controversies related to the condition. You will learn about the diagnosis and best practice treatment of ADHD as you build your empathy towards people with ADHD. You will also learn practical strategies to help the educational and personal development of people with ADHD.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in childhood, affecting around five per cent of children and about two and a half per cent of adults worldwide. There’s a common stereotype of a boy running around the classroom, but ADHD is actually much more complicated. And, often, more problematic than that. As well as being an issue itself, ADHD has been proven time and time again, to be a risk factor for issues with mental health. As well as educational and employment problems in later life. As well as other issues, such as substance abuse and getting into trouble with the authorities. In our course–

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds Understanding ADHD– we cover four broad areas: One, what is ADHD? What do we mean by symptom? And, what’s a disorder? Two, what’s it like to live with ADHD? Three, what do we know about the causes or risk factors, both genetic and environmental? And four, treatment– both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical. Many of our students are teachers, educators more generally, or parents themselves. And, consequently, we have included practical, evidence-based content throughout this course. So, alongside the latest research, we’ll also follow the journey of several families who have children with ADHD, who join us to speak about when they first realised something wasn’t right, right through to diagnosis and treatment. We also speak with a number of professionals who work with children with ADHD.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 seconds And when you hear these stories, you’ll see that it’s clear that whilst we are making progress, there’s still some room for improvement. And we’ll also address some of the controversies of ADHD. Like, why medication is often the go-to treat. The issue of side effects and the role of diet. So, join us over the next four weeks, as we take an evidence-based, practical tour through ADHD.

What topics will you cover?

  • What ADHD is, and the controversies raised by the concept of ADHD
  • Latest neuroscientific and psychiatric research based on the mechanisms, symptoms and impairments of ADHD
  • ADHD as a developmental disorder throughout the lifespan: genes, environments (protective and risk factors)
  • Latest neuroscientific and psychiatric research based on the various means of screening and assessing for child ADHD
  • Latest neuroscientific and psychiatric research based on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD
  • Understanding best practice in treatment for ADHD Mechanisms and efficacy of psychosocial treatments, pharmacological treatments supporting positive outcomes for those with ADHD and their families

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the prevalence and impact of ADHD in children, adolescents and adults.
  • Discuss ADHD as a disorder and how it differs from normal behaviour.
  • Be able to critically assess key factors in the conceptualisation and understanding of the disorder.
  • Discuss the core challenges faced by those with ADHD, their families and relevant professionals.
  • Discuss wider issues related to ADHD, such as labelling and stigma from multiple perspectives.
  • Demonstrate an empathic understanding of the experiences of people living with ADHD.
  • Describe core principles, tools and techniques used in the screening and diagnosis of ADHD, and the factors that may impact on the accuracy of a diagnosis.
  • Explain how ADHD is distinguished from, and relates to, other common neurodevelopmental, behavioural and mental health problems.
  • Reflect upon and discuss current evidence for the genetic and environmental vulnerability for ADHD, and associated neurological mechanisms for ADHD.
  • Critically discuss the current evidence base for both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions for ADHD.
  • Evaluate the rationale, mechanism, and limitations of the primary medical and psychosocial treatments for ADHD.
  • Evaluate practical strategies to support the educational and personal development of those living with ADHD.
  • Be able to identify resources and relevant support services for those living with ADHD.
  • Evaluate the biological and environmental risk factors for ADHD.

Who is the course for?

This course is for people with ADHD and anyone working with children and adults with ADHD. This includes parents and close family members, teachers, and educational (learning disability) assessors in schools and higher education and occupational therapists.

Who will you learn with?

Katya Rubia is Prof of Cognitive Neuroscience at King's College London. Prof Rubia is a world-leading expert of neuroimaging in ADHD (and related disorders) with over 200 papers and an h factor of 70

emeritus professor of child and adolescent psychiatry

Dr Mark Kennedy’s main area of research is developmental psychology. He has a PhD in attachment theory and has worked on the English and Romanian Adoptees study since 2012.

Edmund Sonuga-Barke is Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Kings College London. He is an expert on ADHD.

Philip Asherson is Professor of Molecular Psychiatry at King’s College London. He was among the first clinical experts to work with adult ADHD in the UK. His background training is in adult psychiatry

Who developed the course?

King's College London

King’s College London, established in 1829 and a founding college of the University of London, is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the very heart of London.

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