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April 11th 2005

Press Release Northern Ireland Survey Reveals

Parents Of Children Suffering From ADHD In The UK

Are Not Receiving Adequate Support

United Kingdom, Monday 11 April 2005: The results of a nationwide survey released today reveal that 9 in 10 parents of children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Northern Ireland are not receiving adequate support. The comprehensive survey indicates that there is a significant need and want among parents for better aide in caring for children with ADHD, 64% considering it 'very difficult to impossible' to receive any help at all.

The survey, undertaken by the national ADHD support group Adders, interviewed parents via online questionnaires. In the Northern Ireland, 90% of parents indicated that they have never been offered ADHD coaching, even though of that percentage, 91% indicated that they desire such help. Similarly, the results of the survey illustrate that 85% of parents wish for specific parenting skills courses but only 17% have ever been offered help in this area. This lack of assistance creates considerable roadblocks for parents in being able to effectively manage their child's ADHD, a disorder which can lead to significant emotional, social, and cognitive challenges if left untreated.

SJC Bass, founder of, mother of a son with ADHD, and an ADD sufferer herself adds, "The results of this survey are staggering. They confirm that parents are desperately seeking but not receiving help in many areas, including behaviour management therapy, ADHD coaching, and specific parenting skills courses. The prevalence of ADHD and the lack of support regarding the disorder is a real and influential problem, one that needs to be addressed. I believe that with the proper support and resources available, families can not only overcome the challenges posed by ADHD, but also embrace the experiences associated with hyperactive children."

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder affects approximately 5% of the child population in the United Kingdom. Symptoms of the disorder are primarily characterised by an inability to sustain attention and concentration, developmentally inappropriate levels of activity, distractibility, and impulsivity.i

Speaking for the local support group, NI-ADD in Belfast, Sarah Salter adds, "Parents of children suffering from ADHD want to do all that they can to help their children cope with their symptoms. Sometimes, however, they need a little help. Various forms of behavioural therapy and counselling could offer just the help they need…if only they were in fact offered. Considering that 93% of local parents said they have not been offered such help but wish they had been demonstrates both parents' desires to facilitate their children, and also, unfortunately, a lack in support for them to accomplish this."

The implications of this survey are far-reaching. The effects of ADHD influence not only the child diagnosed, but also his or her home and school environment. If untreated, the symptoms of ADHD can remain with a child into adulthood, negatively affecting his or her daily experiences and potentially lead to destructive behaviours. It is therefore vital that programmes are initiated that can aide those suffering from the disorder and their caregivers. Unless parents have a foundation of knowledge and support on which to rely, they cannot offer the most effective help to their children.

For further information, visit or contact SJC Bass, Tel: +448715903693, e-mail: - Additional information can be found by contacting Sarah Salter at NI-ADD; Tel: 0289 020 0110, e-mail:

- Ends -

You can view all the survey results by clicking here

Notes to editors:

1. is run by SJC Bass of Thanet ADDers, an ADD/ADHD non-profit support group based in Thanet, Kent, England. The primary objective of is to promote awareness of ADHD and to provide practical information and assistance for parents of children with the disorder.

2. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder refers to a family of related chronic neurobiological disorders that interfere with an individual's capacity to regulate activity level (hyperactivity), inhibit behavior (impulsivity), and attend to tasks (inattention) in developmentally appropriate ways. The term "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" is abbreviated and usually referred to as ADHD.ii

3. MRI scans suggest that those with ADHD have reductions in total brain volume and in the volumes of specific areas of the brain, which may contribute to or even account for the symptoms of ADHD. 2

4. Surveys were conducted online at for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and eight regions in England. They were carried out over a period of 8 months and there were a total of 1000 participants. Each survey consisted of 43 questions, which gathered information about the individuals diagnosed with ADHD, when and how they were diagnosed, if on medication, and the availability of and interest in various types of support methods.

5. Participants were prevented from completing the survey more than once and no personal identifying information was collected from them. Individual logs to substantiate the results can be provided by applying in writing to:, 45 Vincent Close, Broadstairs, Kent, CT 10 2 ND. Tel: +448719503693 E-mail:


i National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2001) Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) - methylphenidate (No. 13).

ii "Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder."

SJC Bass for


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