Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This material reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

Also available in:


Homepage > Database > Publications

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in Children
Centro de Estudos, Documentação e Informação sobre a Criança do Instituto de Apoio à Criança
Instituto de Apoio à Criança
Lisbon, (December)2009
Web Article
Students with learning difficulties
This is a free monthly newsletter, available on-line from the website of Centro de Estudos, Documentação e Informação sobre a criança do Instituto de Apoio à Criança ( The newsletter’s main theme is and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD), which are the disorders with bigger impact in the classrooms. The newsletter classifies three different types of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders that need to be defined rigorously and calls attention to the fact that in order to be diagnosed with any of these types of disorder, the child has to show at least six of the eighteen symptoms listed persistently and as a source of trouble. These symptoms are related with attention deficit problems, and hyperactivity/impulsiveness. Although it is still difficult to identify the main cause for these disorders, it may be concluded that the causes that lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders are related with several aspects that may imply the family, the brain and the genetic domains, though it is not always possible to pinpoint a precise etiology. As to incidence of the disorder, it seems to vary according to gender, age, social statute, race/ethnic group.
Besides the main features of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, there are also other characteristics that may be related to them, such as cognitive disabilities, low persistence and low motivation in completing certain tasks, difficulty in controlling own emotions, among several others. The carrier of a certain disorder may also be more predisposed to develop other kinds of disorder. Some relations between Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders and other diseases such as Bipolar disease, Mental disabilities, and Tourette’s are a possibility. In relation to the diagnosis of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, suggestions on how to evaluate and act towards similar cases are given, highlighting the need for calling on a team of experts, using different instruments with different objectives. One of these instruments is the DSM-IV - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which gives diagnostic criteria for many mental disorders, including descriptive components of diagnosis and treatment, which makes it a reference instrument for mental health professionals (available on-line).
This publication also introduces a series of national and international materials like theses, European declarations, scientific articles, and conference minutes about children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders in the family and at school. There are also some national and international statistic data about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, as well as the legal framework for children with Special Educational Needs. However, the situation of children with Hyperactivity and Attention Deficit Disorders is not ruled and support for them will depend on the good will of school headmasters and executive boards.
At the end of the newsletter there are websites about Seminars, Conferences, and Congresses as well as information on Training Courses about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders.
This newsletter was chosen because Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders are the disorders with bigger impact in schools nowadays. Thus, it is important to to reflect about this issue, try to recognize what is an hyperactive child, demystify some wrong concepts and, mostly, convey some basic notions and concepts to parents and teachers.
It is really hard to distinguish undisciplined behaviours from symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, but this is the purpose of this document, which gives parents and teachers a wider view on the characteristics and symptoms of this disorder and thus help them to confirm the diagnosis.
The document highlights also that the pedagogical action of the teacher has to happen in close contact with the family, doctors and other experts in a multidisciplinary team effort.
This newsletter aims at improving positive strategies, minimizing negative ones, and creating new strategies that will improve the teaching and learning of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders. Thus it approaches a series of topics, such as features of ADHA, its causes, its diagnosis, problems associated to it and guidelines on how to deal with it.
The diagnosis of these disorders requires precise medical observation and evaluation in terms of behaviour, cognition and learning capacities of the child. So, the document emphasises the importance of parents, teachers, and eventually other people that are related with the child, since they are the ones that can better describe and recognize the behaviour of the child. That is one of the reasons why doctors sometimes ask for school reports, because it is based on them that they can gather all the information needed and complement the information given by parents; they may also ask parents and teachers to fill in questionnaires.
Name of Compiler
Catarina Louro
Name of Institution
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco
Role in the institution
Junior Researcher

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.