Social Exclusion To Be Tackled By European Group
The long awaited first issue of the newsletter ADDvance, for the National ADHD Alliance is out. It includes a report that the Alliance has been approached by the Danish DAMP Association to participate in a project to tackle social exclusion across Europe. This European Social Fund project is to be called "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and will be a partnership of groups from Denmark, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and the UK.
Jim Hedgeland of the National ADHD Alliance has given permission to adders.org to reproduce the article as follows:
"The Alliance was approached
months ago by The Danish DAMP
Association to take part in a
European Social Fund project bid entitled 'Knowing Me Knowing You'. This was
seen as an excellent opportunity for us
to work in partnership with Denmark,
Netherlands, Finland and Sweden to
address ADHD and social exclusion. The
European social fund has approved and
funded the project which will explore
solutions to the social exclusion facing
children/young people and adults
affected by ADHD. The outcomes of the
project will be made available within
various seminars/conferences and
reports and the project will culminate in
a wrap-up meeting in London in March
Social exclusion is a problem facing children and adults affected by ADHD. They
are unable to understand the 'social
code' and society reacts with bewilderment and fear. Up to 5% of school age
children are affected by ADHD and
approximately 25% of these get through
adolescence unscathed. About 75% have
profound difficulties adapting to the
school environment which can lead to
poor educational attainment and underachievement. As a result many of these
children find it difficult to find and sustain paid employment after leaving
school. It is believed that solvent, drug,
alcohol abuse and crime, suicide and
attempted suicide is significantly more
prevalent among people with ADHD than
the rest of the population.
Social exclusion is frequently experienced by children, adolescents and adults
affected by ADD/ADHD. The purpose of
the project is to identify the types of
social exclusion and the extent to which
it happens across Europe.
The project started in February 2001
and will last for 14 months - Work
. Undertaking a mapping exercise, via
questionnaire and telephone
enquiries, of the situation regarding
social exclusion across Europe looking
at the existence, support and identification of key needs of family organisations to combat social exclusion at
local, regional and national level. This
will culminate in a consensus report.
. Setting up an informal European 'interactive' support network for individuals
affected by ADHD and their families to
encourage their empowerment, self-respect and participation. The network will be reviewed and refined
during the lifetime of the project
based on the inputs of consumers.
. Exploring two areas which play a critical role for children, adults and families affected by ADHD:
a) Diagnosis and Early intervention
Centres - Based on their own experience, parents from throughout
Europe wilt meet in a seminar to
devise the ideal centre which meets
real needs and provides sustainable
support for themselves and their
child to promote their social inclusion.
This will involve 30 parents from 5
countries, 2 from UK, 5 from
Denmark and 23 from the rest of
b) How to share and utilise knowledge and best practice for children
and young people affected by ADHD
and who are intelligent but consistently under-achieve at school and often excluded from work.
. Hold a European mini-conference for
professionals and people affected by
ADHD to enable them to develop a
'Curriculum for our Future' which will
then be translated and widely published across the EU, and introduced
as a possible contribution to the 2002
Review of Social Exclusion.
INVOLVEMENT OF PARTNERS
Representative organisations from the
five countries will participate on an
equal basis. Both the Mapping exercise
and the Informal Network and its review
will be set up on a European wide basis.
The project will deliver three key
The 'consensus report' on the mapping
exercise, and the 'seminar report' on the
ideal centre for diagnosis and early
intervention will be widely publicised
across the 'ADHD community' and are
intended to contribute positively to
internal and external policy discussions.
The informal interactive network will be
developed on the basis of these reports,
and the project partners will be largely
responsible for marketing the network
in the first instance.
The conference report, 'A Curriculum
for our Future' will be published and disseminated across the 'ADHD community'
and targeted towards educational and
vocational training professionals at all
levels. Following presentation to various EU Commissions it is hoped that a
synthesis of this project could be integrated as part of the 2002 Review on
Social Exclusion. Each of the partner
organisations involved in the project
will work closely with their national Governments to ensure that the Social
Exclusion National Action Plan reflects
the outcome of the mapping exercise
and the meeting reports."