Adult ADHD was discussed on the BBC2 Victoria Derbyshire show this morning, featuring Michelle Beckett of ADHD Action, Jo Platt MP and Abi Nicol, co-moderator of the ADHD/ASD UK Community Support Facebook group which has over 66,000 members. The feature highlighted the fact that adult ADHD has only been fully recognised in the past 10 years, but that adults with ADHD benefit enormously from diagnosis and treatment. Michelle described how the (unquantified and likely minimal) risks of medication for adult ADHD can be far outweighed by the mental health risks of ADHD remaining untreated. Other participants to the programme talked about the importance of other therapies alongside medication to help adults with ADHD manage their lives, and the patchiness of NHS services for adults.
You can watch the clip on our Facebook page here.
Here you can see some coverage of our new report, Attending to Parents
. Huge thanks to the families who kindly agreed to be filmed.
BBC Scotland Evening News 17.4.18
STV Evening News 17.4.18
The BBC has covered the launch of our new report, Attending to Parents.
And there was a piece in The Herald
Big thanks to Avril and Rhys Sinclair, and to Joanne and Michael McPeake, for going on record to talk about life with ADHD.
April 17th 2018 saw the publication of the results of our survey of parents about health and education services for children with ADHD across Scotland. The survey was answered by more than 200 parents of children with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD across Scotland and paints a picture of health and education services which are excellent at best, but not consistent enough. Many health services are overly focused on medication provision as the only treatment on offer for ADHD, and teachers urgently need more training on AD.
The report also highlights the huge value that peer support groups, including Coalition members, bring in supporting parents to feel less alone.
DOWNLOAD THE REPORT HERE
Download our press release about the report here
The report makes a number of recommendations:
For Health Services:
- Waiting times for CAMHS teams are unacceptably long in some areas and this is a barrier to timely assessment and review of children with ADHD. They need to be reduced.
- Parent training tailored to the needs of parents of children with ADHD should be offered to all families at diagnosis. Programmes such as NHS Fife’s Pinc© for parents of primary school children and Young People In Control (YPinc)©, which recognises the changing needs of adolescents, should be available for all families.
- The availability of written information offered to parents and children about ADHD needs to be improved. Children need information tailored to their age group. As children mature and reach adolescence, it is particularly important that they are supported to find out about ADHD for themselves and begin to take responsibility for managing their own condition.
- Current treatment for ADHD is very medication-focused. Whilst our survey could not assess unmet need, there is a case for greater multi-disciplinary team support, involving not only ADHD nurses and psychiatrists but also psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dieticians for children with more complex needs. Families who do not at first accept the offer of medication should not be discharged from the service if they still have needs.
- ADHD cannot be seen in isolation. There is a need for more joined-up neurodevelopmental care pathways where children can be assessed for related difficulties such as ASD and sensory issues alongside ADHD, and holistic treatment plans can be put in place.
- CAMHS teams need to be more proactive in reaching out to education services, and not only as part of the assessment process. After diagnosis, CAMHS should be working with schools to ensure they understand the diagnosis and make and implement appropriate plans, and jointly to monitor the effectiveness of both health and educational interventions.
For Education Services:
- Additional support plans for children with ADHD need to be made and, crucially, consistently implemented by schools. This includes clear communication between teaching staff and between schools and parents.
- Teachers need more training about ADHD, both in order to recognise signs and symptoms and refer children for assessment and also to manage children with ADHD in the classroom. There should be a systematic programme of continuing professional development about ADHD and related disorders, as well as online resources available as needed to support teachers.
- Mainstream education may be an unrealistic goal for some children with ADHD and more complex needs. Where needed and appropriate, specialist provision should be available.
We have just published an analysis of the latest NHS prescribing data for Scotland showing ADHD treatment rates for adults and children by Health Board.
To read more visit https://www.scottishadhdcoalition.org/adhd-prescribing-in-scotland/
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has just published its new Guideline on the diagnosis and management of ADHD. It applies only in England, but is still a useful document for us as it summarises all the latest evidence about ADHD treatment and is therefore much more up to date than the Scottish SIGN guideline (2009). To access the Guideline, visit https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng87
A newly published editorial in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry highlights the need for more research on the amazing strengths of people with ‘high functioning ADHD’ – people who fully meet the criteria for ADHD but are still able to function relatively well. Such people, the editorial argues, often compensate for their ADHD difficulties through extraordinary strengths – such as creativity, hyperfocus, high levels of agreeableness and above-average openness to new experiences. If high functioning ADHD can be better understood, it will be possible to re-characterise ADHD less as a ‘disorder’ and more in terms of the extraordinary potential that these people have. The article also makes the case for more research into treatment approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness which have the potential to help manage ADHD symptoms and let strengths shine through.
Download the article here: Lesch-2018-Journal_of_Child_Psychology_and_Psychiatry
As reported in today’s Guardian, a new report by the think tank Demos has shown the enormous cost of undiagnosed ADHD in adults. Based on a literature review and interviews with 10 adults with ADHD which was not diagnosed in childhood, the report highlights that the economic burden of ADHD to the UK economy is likely to be far greater for adults with the condition than children, because of the far reaching effects it has on the lives of those with it. It recommends that adult ADHD should be given much greater attention in government thinking about mental health.
You can download a copy of the report here:
Delighted to announce a new parent support group – ADHD Support Network South Lanarkshire. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or join them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/211039219462436/
The first meeting will be on 21st February 2018 at 7pm at Kirktonholme Nursery, 401 Kirktonholme Road, East Kilbride G74 1RS
The Scottish ADHD Coalition is running a parent/carer survey looking at health and education services for children with ADHD. If you are a parent or carer of a child with a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD living in Scotland, it would be great if you could take 10 minutes to complete it. It will be used to create a briefing which will be shared with the Scottish parliament and help to raise the profile of ADHD and highlight how families could be supported better. Click on this link to be taken to more information and the survey.