AN ORGANISATION to support adults with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) has been set up by two Enniskillen people.
Emma Weaver and Niall Greene founded Adult ADHI NI about a year ago when they realised there was no support services here, or anywhere else in Northern Ireland for people living with this condition.
The aim of their organisation is to create awareness of ADHD in adulthood, and to advance the education of professionals/public at a local and potential national level in Northern Ireland.
The group have established a support group which meets in Enniskillen once a month in the Aisling Centre.
Emma has a background working with people with mental health difficulties while Niall suffers from ADHD.
Emma Weaver explains that ADHD is a neurological disorder which affects the front lobe of the brain. It is an imbalance of chemical messengers in the brain that results in difficulties focusing, organising and prioritising work, filtering out/ignoring distractions and thinking before acting.
“Common traits of people with ADHD can include inability to concentrate, lack of organsation, forgetfulness and poor memory, poor self discipline, inability to establish and maintain a routine and poor social timing – blurting out things,” said Emma.
“Most people think it’s behavioural and also think that it goes away. Where is it supposed to go” continues Emma
Emma said it is estimated that 4% of the population in the North have ADHD but most of these are undiagnosed.
And a common myth is that children with ADHD ‘grow out of it’. But 65% of children diagnosed continue having symptoms into adulthood.
“Most people know the problems children with ADHD face – academic and behavioural trouble at school, difficulty making and keeping friends, and stressful family situations.
“As well as the monthly support group ADHD NI provides peer support to those working with potential suffers, provide information sessions to schools, colleges, local organisations and groups.
“They also provide support to family members of those with ADHD including parents of under 16s, and organise activity programmes based on stress reduction techniques and reducing social isolation and anxiety.
“Our mission is to build a society in which all people with ADHD have access to services and support appropriate to their needs. We will do this by promoting, supporting and aiming to reduce stigma of ADHD within society.
Emma also explains that a lack of guidelines and objective tests can make ADHD difficult to diagnose in adults – with criteria structured more towards childhood diagnosis.
Anyone who thinks they might have ADHD is advised to visit their GP.
The Adult ADHD support group meets on the first Thursday of the month in the Aisling Centre, Enniskillen (7.00 to 8.30pm).
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