ADHD is a complex neurobiological condition. The condition is present from early childhood although diagnosis is not usually made until after the age of 5. It is pervasive (i.e. occurs in more than one setting) and persists into adolescence and adulthood.
What is ADHD?
The exact causes of ADHD are unknown, but current research evidence suggests a complex interaction between genetic pre-disposition (or risk) and other factors. Many children with ADHD will have parents who have adult ADHD.
ADHD is common condition affecting approximately 5% of the population. It significantly interferes with everyday life. Although research is still continuing, findings show that:
There are differences in the development of the brain, particularly in the areas of the brain which affect alertness, executive function and the ability to control shifts from one activity to another.
Blood flow to the brain is often reduced to some areas at the front of the brain. These areas control executive functions such as attention, impulsivity (the ability to stop and think before acting), regulation of emotions and memory.
There are difficulties with the genes that regulate attention, learning and appropriate behaviour.
Problems with neurotransmitters (dopamine and norepinephrine for example) can cause the brain to be under active or inefficient in people with ADHD. It is neurotransmitters, which allow the chemical messages to move through the brain - so if there is too little or too much, messages are unable to complete their journey throughout the body. This can cause lack of attention, irritability, inappropriate and argumentative behaviour, difficulty with schoolwork - problems comprehending what is read, poor memory, poor organisation, sleepiness in class, and problems retrieving information from stored memory.
ADHD in Childhood
Having a child with ADHD can be extremely challenging. The most important thing you can do is to manage and reduce the levels of stress in your home:
Learn as much as you can about ADHD and how it affects your own son or daughter.
Make sure that your home has as much structure and routine in it as possible.
Have a system in place for after school to make sure that home work gets completed. Use charting, pictorial reminders and timers for start behaviours.
Whenever possible prepare your child for any changes in routine.
Organise your home so that everything has a place and keep it as clutter free as possible, particularly in areas like bedrooms.
If you expect your child to do some jobs around the house, help them out by writing the job down on a card.
Know your boundaries - think about a plan in advance.
Learn your child's triggers and avoid them.
Have clear rules and stick to them.
Have clear rules to protect siblings and their property.
Managing your child's ADHD behaviour
Find a good behaviour management plan that suits you. Make sure that adults who come in to contact with your child at home follow the same rules / techniques as you. Decide which behaviours are worth doing battle with. Deal with a challenging behaviour immediately. Be consistent with your punishment. Recognise when your child has made an effort - even if its completely wrong. Know your boundaries - think about a plan in advance. Learn your child's triggers and avoid them. Have clear rules and stick to them. Have clear rules to protect siblings and their property.
Use positive language
Without meaning to we can cause problems for ourselves just by the way we speak to our children or through the words we choose. Try not to get in to arguments with your child. Develop your listening skills.
Focusing on failure - look for the positives whatever the situation. A structure-less environment with little routine. Responding to conflict with more conflict. Getting into arguments.
Parent Survival Guide
It can be very stressful to raise a child with ADHD and to make matters worse many parents become isolated from relatives, friends and neighbours. Your well-being is vital to your family so here are some tips... Take time for self-care. It will help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Find someone who you can talk to for understanding and support. For example, become active in a support group. Create space and build your resilience networks. If a situation is causing you stress - give yourself the ‘time-out'.
What is Coaching?
Coaching can work for anyone, but it has been proved extremely successful for people with behavioural problems and learning difficulties. ADHD Specialist Coaching will help you and your family to achieve a fuller, calmer more enjoyable life by making some simple changes. Coaching can be delivered in various forms e.g., 1-2-1, group settings, and can be face-to-face, virtual, or over the phone.
Coaching is a supportive, practical intervention that will enable clients to discover their full potential and take positive steps towards their goals.
Coaching will help families and individuals to develop systems and structures that will help with the challenges of everyday life.
Coaching can help you to work with your child's school to ensure that your child has the opportunity to meet their full potential in life.
Coaching can help with which ever part of your life you would like to improve.
Coaching is not therapy, however it can be very therapeutic.
Coaching is a partnership between Coach and client that requires you to make a commitment to change and that can be difficult
Coaching requires your full commitment but results can be immediate and life changing!
Some of the areas coaching can help with are:
organisational skills | behavioural difficulties | time management | learning difficulties
underachievement | anger management | home / school work | low self esteem | social skills
financial management | understanding strengths and weaknesses | structure at home, school and the work place
Cost of coaching
Coaching sessions are £50.00 an hour and can be accessed face-to-face or virtually.
What is a QbCheck?
A QbCheck is a screening tool that provides information on likelihood of ADHD-like symptoms.
QbCheck captures the test takers performance during the test. It is important to stress that QbCheck does not give a diagnosis. The report results display the test takers degree of ADHD-like symptoms. This is done by comparing the test takers result both to persons with ADHD as well as people without ADHD. Both groups are of the same age and gender as the test taker.
QbCheck ADHD Total Symptom Score is in relation to the occurrence of ADHD in the general population.
The Q-Scores and percentiles allow for comparison with age and gender adjusted norm group for, Activity, Attention, and Impulse Control.
Uses for a QbCheck
To support a clinical decision by a GP to refer, or not, for a full assessment of the child’s / adult’s symptoms by community Paediatrics, CAMHS or Adult Mental Health Services, a copy of the report can be included with the referral.
To support a school’s decision to make a SPA referral, evidence for SEN support / EHCP.
Parents can take the report to their GP to support their request for an assessment referral for their child, utilising the results as additional evidence. Also providing reassurance that ADHD-like symptoms are present and to what degree.
Cost of a QbCheck
£150.00 per test.