The nature of this website is confidential. We don't publically name children or professionals here for reasons of confidentiality and data protection. That said, here is a bit about me and why I started this . . .
Me and My Children
I am a married mother living now in Devon. I spent the first 43 year of my life living in the London Borough of Wandsworth. I have six children and four potentially five of my children are diagnosed with ADHD.
My eldest son is 18 years old. He was born at prematurely at 26 weeks gestation in May 2001. He was diagnosed in 2006 when he was 5 years old with ADHD with Autistic Traits. In 2015 the 'Autistic Traits' was dropped from his label and he was diagnosed with Autism. His Autism is considered as moderate to severe. He also has a learning disability, Cerebral Palsy, sensory processing difficulties and he has speech and language disability as well. My son has an EHCP and attends a specialist autistic college.
My next son is 17 years old. He was born prematurely at 30 weeks gestation in February 2002 just 9 month's after my first son was born. He was diagnosed with ADHD in 2016 when he was 14 years old. He'd spent an entire childhood on SEN Support which didn't help him very much unfortunately and struggled continuously at school. My son has an average IQ. My son has an EHCP and attends a specialist provision for ADHD young people.
My eldest daughter was born in June 2003 prematurely at 28 weeks gestation. She was born just 16 months after her older brother, my second son. I'd had THREE premie babies inside a period of just twenty five months. As a result of her premature birth she was registered severe sight impaired at about 4 years of age. This visual impairment is Cerebral and arose out of Hydrocephalus following a Grade III Intraventricular Hemorrhage (brain damage) which occurred when she was just 2 days old. My daughter also has a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis. My daughter is 16 and has an EHCP and she attends a specialist college.
My youngest daughter is 12. She was born at 36 weeks in October 2006. She was also diagnosed with ADHD in 2016. She also has Dyslexia and Dyscalculia and following a thorough EP evaluation it was found that she has an average IQ. She has an EHCP and attends a specialist ADHD school which supports ADHD children and young people.
My 9 year old son was born in January 2010 at 26 weeks gestation. He has a diagnosis of Autism, Cerebral Palsy and Severe Visual Impairment. He is also completely non verbal and speaks using an IPAD and he's incontinent. We suspect that he also is ADHD! He has an EHCP and attends a specialist School.
Lastly I have a four year old son who is very well behaved and bright who has a diagnosis of ADHD, ASD, Cerebral Palsy, SPD and speech dysarthria. He has an EHCP and is very well supported in a mainstream primary school.
Finally there is me! I am 44. I was diagnosed with ADHD with primarily Impulsive, Hyperactive tendencies in 2017. In 2018 I was also diagnosed with Autism, SPD and Praxis. I am partially deaf and I have restricted fields of vision.
As my children started to get diagnosed and I found out that ADHD is genetic, I started to look for the cause closer to home. This is a common theme for mothers. All of my children have been born prematurely (some extremely so) and I originally attributed it to that as an underlying cause. As I studied the symptoms, I saw myself in the description and I sought out an assessment for myself. Lot's of pennies have dropped for me since diagnosis.
So why did I start this?
Some of my children have a diagnosis which attracts a lot of support and sympathy. Like Cerebral Palsy, Severe Sight Impairment and Autism to a degree. There are lots of family groups set up for those already. Not so for ADHD!! I found out that in Wandsworth my previous LA that my children's consultant is aware of at least 1000 families where a child or young person has a diagnosis of ADHD. That is an awful lot of people if you picture it mentally. Yet there is not one local parental group!! I found this to be a tragedy as I know only too well how stressed out and alone you can feel as a parent raising a child with or with the suspicion of an ADHD diagnosis especially where there is no support for you or your child. Concerned at the gap and lack of support in this area, I decided to start a group myself.
The object of this website is to provide information, signposting towards help and real support via our online forum to parents faced with a new diagnosis for their child and for parents living with an existing one.
I also hope to gather together enough parents that we may be a collective voice to effect decisions, attitudes and change in services for ADHD children/young people in the UK. This includes but is not limited to Education, The NHS and The Local Authority. I'd like to do this in a positive collaborative way.
Further down the line, as this grows I hope that it may be possible to have gatherings and educational groups for parents run in conjunction with relevant professionals at local venues.
Please do email me with any thoughts, comments, ideas and suggestions.
This website is produced in honour of and with gratitude for the life and work of Kate Farrer, Consultant Neonatologist who sadly passed away on January 7th, 2014. My eldest daughter would not be alive today if it were not for Kate. Rest in beautiful peace.