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(43 Posts)
BlueBelle Thu 23-Jan-14 12:36:03

Forgive me if this has already come up

Does anyone have any experience or personal contact with ADHD or ADD

Galen Thu 23-Jan-14 13:01:22

See the parents all the time. In tribunals

BlueBelle Thu 23-Jan-14 14:00:00

That's really harsh Galen I was expecting something less judgemental from gransnet In my experience it has no link with bad parenting although of course bad parenting can initiate poor behaviour that may be similar

Stansgran Thu 23-Jan-14 14:12:24

I would look on Mumsnet Bluebelle as they seem to have plenty of threads about it. If you join you can put things in the search tab. I joined when my Dd was living abroad and was asking about child are. I occasionally lurk there when I'm asked something I know nothing about

Mishap Thu 23-Jan-14 15:15:38

They are both difficult conditions that arouse controversy. The implication of poor parenting is brought up less and and less; although the parenting of a child with these conditions is a huge challenge and may be beyond some parents who struggle with their task anyway.

It is also important that a proper diagnosis is made - such labels tend to follow children throughout and beyond their school careers so it is important that it is accurate. A parent who is struggling with a very active child may seek such a label in their desperation to get help. But professional child psychologists are able to make the proper distinctions.

My nephew has this label, although he is also on the autistic spectrum, and is being treated with Ritalin. I would be lying if I said that the help he has received both from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and the education services were good - they were not. The truth is that parents of such children have to fight every inch of the way to get any proper help at all. It is often the case that their lives become one long battle and they become locked into this to the detriment of their health and the family's well-being.

Parents need support; try this organisation:

durhamjen Thu 23-Jan-14 15:29:12

I thought that Galen was just answering your question, Bluebelle.
Galen is a doctor and goes to tribunals.

FlicketyB Thu 23-Jan-14 15:36:04

Well, there are plenty of children with ADHD and ADD who do not feature at tribunals, do not apply for or need benefits and do not use ADHD or ADD as an excuse for bad behaviour or poor school performance.

glammanana Thu 23-Jan-14 15:53:36

Mishap I agree 100% with your comments that parents who cannot cope with highly active children do run towards the ADHD label far too quickly and that only professionals can make the diagnosis after much consultation with the child.However I do feel some parents use the condition as an excuse for lazy parenting and try to convince others the condition is an acceptable way of behaving.Both my boys where livewires on the go all day and I made sure they had loads of excercise and fresh air/sports/and fresh food not junk stuff just to keep them quiet and they are fine young men,it's was in the parenting and lifestyle in my opinion when it came down to my boys.

glammanana Thu 23-Jan-14 15:55:57

Galen I bet you see some fine examples of parenting during your working day hmm

FlicketyB Thu 23-Jan-14 15:59:27

My experience is that a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD is enabling not disabling

petra Thu 23-Jan-14 16:00:02

BlueBell. I have sent you a PM.

Mishap Thu 23-Jan-14 16:17:21

I don't think that parents run to this diagnosis too quickly, but there may be times when it needs proper clarification from a professional; and that maybe a parent needs help to deal with a very active boy - as glammama has described.

A diagnosis can be enabling - but it needs to be accurate and the proper help needs to be forthcoming, which often is not the case. Sadly I have watched my nephew's family battle long and hard to get people to understand their child's problems.

annodomini Thu 23-Jan-14 16:38:35

Galen, I assume that you are alluding to parents who come to tribunal to appeal against a decision not to award their offspring disability benefits.

Galen Thu 23-Jan-14 17:26:44

Exactly. The dwp is not sympathetic to these claims. I can't see what is harsh in what I said. It's a statement of fact.

BlueBelle Thu 23-Jan-14 19:02:04

Well the reason I said that I felt it was harsh Galan was because having read many threads on here and seen the wise and kind replies and was hoping for the same I have to admit I was shocked when I asked a question and got a very brief sentence which implied negative judgement you may not have meant it negatively but to a complete stranger who doesn't know you from a cake of soap that is exactly how it sounded and I don't think if I d have come on here and said has anyone experience with a blind chid anyone would have been so short and curt in their reply, now I have been told you are a health professional I presume you have seen parents with good parenting skills who do have a huge challenge on their hands and not just 'poor' parents out to gain monetary advantages

My original question had nothing at all to do with benefits tribunals or money, simply out of all the grans on here there must be some with grandkids who have problems and I would have been interested in personal connections

Thank you for those who have given me some personal illustrations

Iam64 Thu 23-Jan-14 19:09:13

Bluebelle, my experience is that parents of children with ADD/ADHD usually struggle on for some time. It's often schools who first raise the fact that this child finds it difficult to focus, is often disruptive etc. i didn't find Galen's post harsh, but I do know she is a doctor, and works on tribunals. As she says, the DWP is often unsympathetic to the family and keen to avoid awarding financial support. As a young sw I confess to having been less than convinced of ADD. No doubt, this is because the families I was involved with, were usually struggling with daily life and it was difficult to unpick the lack of routines, boundaries, affection in the chaos the children lived in. I spent some time working on a Child and Adolescent Mental Health team. This meant reading more research, and learning the diagnostic tools used to diagnose either attachment problems, or ADD (amongst other things of course). I left that work, convinced about the reality of ADD, and the possible benefits of a combination of drug, individual and family therapy to support those directly involved.

HildaW Thu 23-Jan-14 19:21:27

Bluebelle, having carefully read your original question I feel you might be better off asking specific questions.....'Does anyone have etc' is a bit broad and my gut reaction was to just type 'Yes' and leave it at that.
Also, you do not say why you seek advise, is it for a specific child or just academic interest?

Its a huge subject and coupled with the complexities of families in general someone could be sat all night typing just to give you the basics of their personal experience.

I have found that if I ask a specific question on here and offer up a little context there are many lovely folks willing to help.

Nelliemoser Thu 23-Jan-14 19:27:57

I do believe ADHD exists, but having watched a few "supernanny" type programs, there appear to be a number of families from all types of social groups, who just basically fail to offer any consistent and benign discipline'

Children need a lot of emotional warmth and praise from parents but also firm, consistent boundaries and clear rules about what is acceptable behaviour.

On these programs, after the parents have got the message about what needs to be done and actually apply it, you can see that children, who were previously bouncing off the walls becoming a lot calmer and everyone a lot happier.
Finding enough experienced people to teach these skills and the financial resources to organise and accommodate such schemes is another matter.

With a child with ADHD I suspect that these changes do not happen so quickly. Like Autism it is probably a neurological condition.

Getting any help is a real post code lottery, some areas do have reasonably good services, but they are very few and far between.

The children's services in a county I know, refused to offer any support for anyone in the the Autistic spectrum unless they had fairly severe learning disabilities. ADHD got nothing as well.

This lack of help includes Asperger's where some of the children and young adults concerned concerned had great difficulty with life skills despite excelling in some particular subjects. This meant that most of these young people who do not have particularly marked learning disability get no help at all as they try to move into adult living.

The difficult behavioral issues of some of this group though can be far more stressful for a parent to manage than those of say a child with Downs Syndrome.

Galen Thu 23-Jan-14 19:33:47

To clarify. I have seen a lot of parents whose children have ADHD. The genuine cases have my sympathy. They present with very challenging behaviour which can exhaust the parents.
Diagnosis and treatment can take long time and treatment is not always successful.
Some of the cases I've seen recently, are people who have reached adulthood and there appears to be no provision for treatment for them as they've been discharged from the paediatricians.
A lot of children outgrow, or learn to cope with their problems but not all.
Does this help , or is there something more specific you want to know?

BlueBelle Thu 23-Jan-14 21:52:51

Thank you Galan I can obviously understand much more since you have explained your work etc I am interested that you say children can outgrow it and learn to manage it In your opinion do you think life changes like puberty can make it worse for a period of time in some kids ?

I do realise like with many 'unseen' illnesses ME being one they are difficult to prove and there are always plenty who will 'swing the lead' so to speak

I only really knew ADD or ADHD existed when I saw good parenting with love and solid ground rules in equal portions making no difference at all and hearing the impulsiveness described as being like a sneeze totally out of your control to stop

Penstemmon Thu 23-Jan-14 22:02:11

I have had experience of children who have been given a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD and also of families who have very much wanted a diagnosis and been angry with me for not completing the form for the paediatrician in the way thy wanted me to.

If a child does have ADD/ADHD it is very exhausting and challenging condition for a family to manage. I understand that Ritalin will only help children who genuinely have this condition and can make behaviour worse for children who do not.

Children who can control their lively and non-stop behaviour in one situation but not in another are less likely to have ADD/ADHD but have a behaviour management / emotional need.

Really does need a professional paediatric diagnosis as in my experience there are quite a lot of families of children who have developed bad habits of behaviour but who hope that they can get a diagnosis of ADHD.

Galen Thu 23-Jan-14 22:19:08

I totally agree with Pen's opinion. Unfortunately in some severe cases Ritalin may modify the behaviour but it can still be uncontrollable. Response to Ritalin/concerta can give an indication however that the diagnosis is correct.
I agree a professional paediatric psychiatrists opinion is essential to establish the diagnosis!

Galen Thu 23-Jan-14 22:22:10

In answer to your question. In my experience puberty can make it worse in that compliance with medication becomes more erratic! We see the same in juvenile diabetics who want to be the same as their mates and therefore won't comply with testing and medication and diet.
I hope this helps?

Penstemmon Thu 23-Jan-14 23:04:40

I have also seen parents, and I can understand how it happens, who throw in the towel when a child's specific needs mean behaviour is an issue. Even if a child has ADD/ADHD etc dos not mean that boundaries/high expectations are not important any more.

Equally have seen parents of significantly disabled children really help their children by expecting big things from them!

durhamjen Fri 24-Jan-14 02:09:52

A friend of my grandson has ADHD and was controlled by Ritalin.
He has just gone up to secondary school which is disruptive in itself, but has also been taken off his medication to find out if he would be better on something else. In the meantime, his behaviour has deteriorated and he is a nightmare in any situation where he mixes with other people.
He is in the football team that my son coaches and runs around trying to strangle all the other players, and is impossible to control. He is the biggest and strongest boy in the group, so obviously puberty is playing a part in his behaviour.