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Lord Bradley (left) with SEN Magazine Editor Peter Sutcliffe at the House of Lords reception.Children who are given a second fixed-term exclusion from school should be routinely assessed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), says a group made up of medical and educational specialists.

The link between behavioural issues, school exclusion and ADHD is well documented but the Better Futures group claims that the condition is still “under-diagnosed and under-treated”. Unidentified and poorly managed ADHD can lead to problems with anti-social and even criminal behaviour, and the group argues that improvements in diagnosis and treatment would provide long-term cost savings and have a positive effect on education, criminal justice, healthcare and family welfare.

The Building Better Futures For Children With ADHD reception, funded by Shire Pharmaceuticals, was hosted by former Labour MP Lord Bradley and speakers included group members Dr Susan Young, a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist, and SEN consultant Fintan O'Regan. There were also speeches by Hilary Luxford, the mother of a child with ADHD, and comedian Rory Bremner, who said he recognised the signs of ADHD in himself when a family member was diagnosed with the condition.

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