The summer is now over, the school year has restarted and the SPACE Stockport monthly meet ups restart this Wednesday. We’ve had an unusually long summer break of two months due to the refurbishment of Funky Monkey where we hold our meet ups, but this week we’re back to normal and if you’re the parent or carer of a child with ADHD, the second Wednesday of every month is a date for your diary.
The start of the school year is the chance for a fresh start, but unfortunately for many families with ADHD children it can be the start of another school year filled with negativity.
The team here at SPACE are particularly pleased to see an increased focus within the guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of girls and adults of both sexes. A common ADHD myth is that the condition only affects male children, which is now known to be completely untrue.
There are a number of common misconceptions about ADHD, particularly the idea that it is solely a problem of behaviour, which leads to the common stereotype of naughty boys shouting and throwing chairs. Whilst there are many cases where this is true, it completely ignores anybody that doesn’t present with those symptoms which creates a serious problem for those who have the Inattentive form of ADHD. The new guidelines includes a reference to attention issues, under recognition, highlighting the fact that ADHD is not a behavioural condition, despite the fact that it is often challenging behaviour that is most widely recognised.
By only recognising challenging hyperactive behaviour, children who are well behaved in the classroom and able to maintain a reasonable level of academic attainment are left to manage without support. This can lead to them fighting internally to control their behaviour during the school day and “exploding” the minute they get home.
Internalising the effects of undiagnosed ADHD is also a problem for adults, particularly women and there are large numbers of adults presenting with mental health complaints, which actually stem from a lack of diagnosis and support for ADHD.
The updated NICE Guidelines are for healthcare professionals, medical commissioners, those with ADHD and their families and carers. Outdated information is responsible for many people not receiving the support they need to thrive and we are pleased to see that the updated information from NICE recognises a number of factors which were not present in the previous edition, including a recognition of the hereditary factory. We are hopeful that this will lead to an improvement in diagnosis and training and lead to better outcomes for families with ADHD.
We are currently working on improvements to our website and blog. If you have visited us lately you may have noticed that the website changes from one day to another whilst: updates are made, things are tweaked or in some cases our self appointed web monkey came up with a better idea and started the whole thing again from scratch!
For the team at SPACE Stockport, the most important thing is for parents of children with ADHD to find out information about our monthly meet ups. No matter what the website looks like, our priority is for parents to be able to find out the date and location of our next meeting and we pledge that no matter how many things we tweak, change or redesign, the SPACE website will always 24 hours a day 365 days a year satisfy that goal.
For those of you that know the team, you’ll know that our ambitions are a lot higher than that. We want our website to be a source of information for anybody interested in ADHD, but particularly for those caring for or working with children. The updates we’re currently making will make it easier for us to organise that information and publish content about new research and the various activities in the ADHD community.
So please excuse us if we don’t look our best for a couple of weeks and don’t forget that no matter what, our website will always be there.
On October the 7th the SPACE Team are travelling to Wales to take on the Titan.
Titan is a four person zipwire that flies 2000 metres down a Welsh valley, which raises the question of why four women, three of whom are terrified of heights, are driving to Wales to put themselves through that ordeal. The answer to that question is that they are raising money for SPACE Stockport, the ADHD parent support group they run.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition which is regularly characterised by hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be challenging, especially if children and young people have problems managing their behaviour or experience difficulties at school.
Despite all the scientific research there is a lot of misinformation about ADHD, which leads to ignorance and negative stereotypes. To help combat these problems and raise awareness of the facts, we’re challenging the misinformation about ADHD by challenging our fear of heights. October is ADHD Awareness month so we decided to celebrate and raise funds for our group with a sponsored Zipwire.
ADHD is still stigmatised and parents and carers often find themselves on the front line. SPACE provides information, advice and support for parents in a friendly open environment, with others in a similar situation.We share information on a variety of topics including school conflicts, medication, and the diagnosis process. We are also able to signpost parents to services which can help them and their children. As a community of ADHD parents we are able to share personal experiences, which can especially helpful for those with a new diagnosis who may feel overwhelmed.
SPACE holds regular monthly meet ups and provides online support, but we’d like to extend the range of services we offer and unfortunately that costs money, so we’re taking on the Titan and we’d appreciate your support. If you’d like to make a donation to our zipwire challenge please visit our Just Giving page where you can donate securely.
If you happen to be in Wales on the 7th of October and hear screaming, don’t worry it’s just the SPACE Team supporting parents, abolishing myths and fighting sterotypes.