“The Parent Factor in ADHD” course is run according to demand. If you would like to be notified when the next course has been arranged, please click the Register Interest button or Contact the PSC.

About “The Parent Factor in ADHD”

The course was developed by the charity Barnardo’s, specifically for the parents of children who have received a diagnosis of ADHD (i.e. as opposed to parents who think that their child may have ADHD).

Aims of the programme

The overall aims of “The Parent Factor in ADHD” programme are as follows:

  • To increase parents’ knowledge of ADHD and its treatment
  • To give parents insight into how it feels to be a child with ADHD
  • To give parents advice on how to promote a more positive relationship with their child
  • To educate parents on strategies for effective behaviour management

Programme structure

The programme starts with a pre-group meeting which allows the group participants to meet with the facilitator. This serves a number of functions, but most importantly it gives parents the opportunity to talk (as much or as little as they wish) about their experiences, including any concerns they may have. Participants then attend a weekly series of eight, two-hour long sessions. Each session has specific aims and is led by someone who has been trained to facilitate the course. For some sessions, ADHD experts (e.g. specially trained ADHD school nurses) will be invited to provide their specialist knowledge and experience of ADHD. The sessions consist of group discussions/exercises, small group/pair exercises and utilise a variety of support materials such as information sheets, slide presentations, videos and practical activities. Home activities are also incorporated into some of the sessions. The specific aims of each session following the pre-group meeting are as follows:

Session 1

To give parents relevant and understandable information about ADHD and how it can be treated.

Session 2

To facilitate parents to think about all the tasks involved in being a parent and then about the extra tasks there are if children are diagnosed as having ADHD.

Session 3

To look at different parenting styles and to think about which style we predominantly use and whether this is always the best choice

Session 4

To demonstrate to parents, the importance of good communication (talking and listening) and rewarding/reinforcing positive behaviour.

Session 5

To show how important feelings are and to show how they nearly always impact on behaviour.

Session 6

To give parents relevant and understandable information about the education system and their rights within it.

Session 7

To help parents think about the different ways people get attention and how the response they get can influence the way they get attention in the future.

Session 8

To review the programme and evaluate the group experience. To give out certificates and celebrate achievements.


What does the course cost?

The course costs £130 per person for the nine sessions. A second person accompanying someone (e.g. a partner or another family member) costs £100.

Concessions are available for parents on a low income. Any parent (or partner) is entitled to a 50% fee reduction if, at the time they are allocated a place on a course, they can provide up to date documentary evidence that they receive one of the following benefits:

  • Income related JSA (Job Seekers Allowance)
  • Income related ESA (Employment and Support Allowance)
  • Contribution based ESA
  • Contribution based JSA
  • Income support
  • Housing benefit
  • Council tax benefit

    What does the course cover?

    Please see the outline of the sessions provided earlier on this page of the website.

    What does the course fee cover?

    The course fee covers:

    • A pre course, “no obligation” meeting to discuss the course content, what you would like to achieve by attending the course and to confirm that the course will meet your needs and objectives. Should you decide, at this stage, not to join a course, there will be nothing to pay
    • All of the weekly course sessions
    • Refreshments at each of the weekly sessions
    • All of the course handouts
    • Optional, free coaching, by phone, between weekly sessions
    • An optional review session, held six to eight weeks after the course end, to discuss your longer-term experience of using the various approaches discussed in the course and any outstanding issues

      Are any concessions available on the cost of the course?

      Yes, you will be entitled to a 50% fee reduction if, at the time you are allocated a place on a course, you receive one of the following benefits:

      • Income related JSA (Job Seekers Allowance)
      • Income related ESA (Employment and Support Allowance)
      • Contribution based ESA
      • Contribution based JSA
      • Income support
      • Housing benefit
      • Council tax benefit

      To receive the concession, you will need to provide up to date, documentary evidence of your entitlement to the relevant benefit(s)

      Do I have to attend all the sessions on the course?

      Parents are strongly encouraged to attend every session, as this will enable them to gain the most benefit from the course for themselves and their children. However, various factors, such as illness can, naturally, sometimes make it difficult for parents to attend all sessions in a parenting course.
      Please note, though, that because the costs of organising courses are the same – irrespective of the number of parents who attend particular sessions – it is unfortunately not possible to reimburse parents for any sessions that they miss.
      For any sessions they miss, parents are provided with copies of the materials discussed at the relevant session and The Parenting Skills Coach will provide a short verbal summary of the key points of the session.
      Provided a parent attends 70% or more of the course sessions, they will still be eligible to receive an end of course certificate.

      Can’t I just attend the course sessions covering the topics I am interested in?

      There is not an option to pay part of the course fee and only attend certain sessions. This is for several reasons:

      • Parents and their children will only get the most from the course by the parent attending all sessions
      • The sessions are interrelated and so missing some sessions can sometimes on others (although not seriously as parents missing any sessions will be provided with copies of the material covered in the relevant session(s) and given a summary of the key points in the session(s)
      • As well as parents gaining benefit from attending sessions covering topics which address aspects of parenting where they may feel less “happy” or feel in need of fresh ideas, parents can gain significant benefit from the reassurance or confirmation they can feel from attending sessions which deal with parenting topics which the parents are very happy about.

        I know that I will be unable to attend all sessions. Does that mean that I cannot do the course?

        No, you can still do the course, but will still have to pay the full course fee. This is because the costs of organising courses are the same – irrespective of the number of parents who attend particular sessions. Also, please note that to receive an end of course certificate, you need to attend at least 70% of course sessions. For any sessions which you were not able to attend, you would be provided with copies of the materials for the subjects discussed at the “missed” session(s) and provided with a verbal summary of the key points which were covered

        I have heard it suggested that parenting courses are for “bad” parents! Is that true?!

        No, it is not true. All parents can gain benefit from parenting courses in different ways. Because the vast majority of children need the same things to thrive, flourish and behave well, “The Parent Factor in ADHD” course – like “The Incredible Years” course has been successfully delivered to many parents from all sorts of backgrounds, ranging from parents who are really struggling with their children, to parents who find parenting easier, but nonetheless want to improve their children’s behaviour, avoid future behaviour problems or, as in the case of the “The Parent Factor”, also understand more about the impact of relevant factors on their children’s behaviour.

        How often is the course run?

        Courses are arranged according to demand. If you would like to be advised when future course dates are set, please register your interest, using the button on this page. Thank you.

        If I am not available to attend a particular course, can I put my name on a waiting list for future courses?

        Yes, absolutely – please use the Register Interest button above or Contact the Parenting Skills Coach and your name can be put on a waiting list. Then, when new course dates are being arranged, you will be contacted.
        Alternatively, if it suited you better or was more convenient, you might be interested in the coaching services we offer. Please do contact us though, so we can talk through how the Parenting Skills Coach may be able to help.

        What happens during a course session?

        A typical session – all of which is led and supported by a trained course facilitator – includes:

        • A discussion of how the past week has gone in terms of parenting – in particular, how parents found putting in practice the approaches or key points discussed in the previous week’s session
        • The topic for the current session will then be introduced and put into context by the course facilitators
        • To explore the session topic and draw out the key points, the facilitator would invite parents to discuss their experiences and ideas; and provide an opportunity to try out some of the recommended strategies or approaches relevant to the topic being discussed
        • The facilitator would then explain recommended home activities for the week ahead; summarise the key points for the session and provide copies of relevant materials for parents to take away for future reference
        • During the session, around half-way through, there would also be a refreshment break for tea and coffee

        In all of the above, individual parents are free to join in as much or as little as they want to. It is recognised that some people are comfortable speaking in groups while others are not, so you will never be “put on the spot” or be expected to do something that you do not want to do

        I really don’t like groups. Is there any other way for me to access the course?

        Yes, if you would prefer, the course can be delivered on a 1:1 basis just for you or to you and your partner, either in your home or in another venue which you arrange. If you would like to apply for this service, please have a look at the Coaching page on the website and Contact the Parenting Skills Coach. Thank you.

        Do my children come to the parenting course with me?

        No, unless specific prior arrangements have been made by the Parenting Skills Coach for an onsite crèche to run alongside a course, parents are requested not to bring their children with them to courses. The only exception to this arrangement may be for parents to bring young babies with them to groups, provided other group members are happy for this to happen.

        Reading isn’t my thing. Is that a problem? Will that mean that I can’t do the course or that I won’t get as much out of it?

        We all have different learning styles. Some people love to read and others don’t. During the course written material (including copies of any slides or presentations shown) are made available to each person to take away with them if they wish for future reference. However, if you don’t wish to do the reading that will not prevent you from doing the course and you would still gain a lot of benefit from the discussions during the sessions and the practical home activities you will be encouraged to do with your child(ren) during the week between course sessions.

        Do I have to do activities, outside of the actual course sessions, as part of the course?

        Each week parents are encouraged to do “home activities” (e.g reviewing household rules and how they are implemented; etc). It is not mandatory for these to be done, but there is no doubt that parents (and their children) gain a great deal more from the course if the home activities are fully completed in a committed, thoughtful way.

        Can grandparents or other carers attend the course?

        Yes, absolutely. They are very welcome to attend.

        How much change can I expect to see in my children after doing the course?

        This depends on a lot of factors; most importantly how effectively parents themselves manage to change in areas where such changes are necessary in order to affect their children’s behaviour (e.g. parents being consistent in following through with consequences, where they haven’t been in the past).
        Other factors include: the age and personality of the child; whether any patterns of unwanted behaviour are deep-rooted or have been in place for a long time; whether the child’s home and school environment (if appropriate) are stable and supportive, etc.

        How can I get the best out of a parenting course?

        There are several important things you need to do to get the most benefit from a parenting course. These are:

        • Be prepared to change yourself. We can’t expect our children to change if we’re not prepared to change ourselves – even if previous approaches to our parenting have not brought the results we want!
        • Be open minded to different ways of doing things and be honest with yourself about aspects of parenting that you sometimes find difficult
        • Don’t “beat yourself up” over aspects of your parenting that are tricky for you or which you feel you don’t do as well as you want to
        • Do want to be the very best parent you can be, but there is no such thing as the perfect parent (or the perfect child)!
        • Attend all the course sessions. If for any reason you really cannot make a session, make sure you speak with the Parenting Skills Coach about the main points that were covered in the missed session and read through the session materials which you will be given
        • Ensure that you are clear, assertive, consistent and persistent with any new parenting approaches that you try
        • Give change a chance to happen – if particular unwanted behaviours which your child displays have been that way for a long time it can sometimes take quite a long time for those behavioural patterns to be changed (sometimes many weeks)
        • Involve any partner you have in applying any new parenting approaches you apply. This is vital. You and any partner you have and others close to you (e.g. mums and dads and close friends) involved in bringing up or regularly looking after your child must consistently apply the same approaches which you do. Otherwise, your child will (understandably!) be confused and unhappy and/or poorly behaved

          Can I pay for a course by instalments?

          It is preferred that you pay the full course fee at least two weeks before the date of the first session of the course. However, you can pay the course fee in two halves if you wish, in which case 50% of the full course fee must be paid two weeks before the first session of the course you are enrolled on and the second 50% must be paid before the fourth session.