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May 7th 2004

ADDISS 6th International Conference

First Day

Monday 15th March 2004

The conference started off with around 400 delegates from all over the globe assembling in the main hall of the conference rooms of the Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool.

Andrea Bilbow, Founder of ADDISS and Jenny Missen, Chairperson of ADDISS

Andrea Bilbow from ADDISS welcomed everyone to the conference and explained a little about ADDISS and what was to come in the next few days at the 6th International Conference. This sounded as if the next three days were packed full of seminars, keynote seminars and masses of great speakers.

David Henshall - Chief Executive of Liverpool Council then also welcomed everyone to Liverpool - European Capital of Culture 2008. He hoped everyone would have a good time and were also able to find the time to experience some of what Liverpool had to offer as well as attending the Conference itself.

The Conference was then handed over to Jerry Mills for the first Keynote session - Don't Doubt the Dream. Click here for more information about Jerry Click Here

After a short coffee break Andrea introduced the speakers for the remainder of the morning:-

The first Keynote Session was given by Dr Gillian Baird, Consultant Developmental Paediatrician, Guy's Hospital, London and a member of ADDISS Professional Board. Dr Baird gave an overview of the key findings from recent Parent Convention in Southport - September 2003 and explained more about the provision and policy document which had been drawn up from the findings of Convention, these have been sent to all MP's and it is expected that this will be used to move things forward for ADHD, the children, families and adults in the UK.

Copies of the Consultation Document were available to all delegates and can also be found at ADDISS

The 3rd Keynote session of the morning was presented by the Liverpool ADHD Project. This project has been running about a year and was set up by a number of people including Liz Miller, Jenny Harrington and Rita Jones and is funded by the Children's Fund. The project works with families, children and schools in the Liverpool area. The project has consulted and involved children and various examples of the work on ADHD friendly playgrounds and transition from primary to secondary school.

Also in the main registration hall there was an exhibition stand set up and manned for the whole of the conference by members of the Project so delegates could take a look at more of the work of the project. They also had copies of various booklets and leaflets they had produced.

The conference then broke for lunch which was laid on by the Adelphi Hotel. During this time delegates had the opportunity to meet and talk to each other, both socialising and being able to learn more about how each worked and what was happening in various areas of the UK and also in the many countries which were represented from throughout the world.

This was really great as it was very interesting to find out more about the views and services of other areas and countries and the different way everyone had in helping those families, children and adults with ADHD and what sort of services and awareness there is in very many countries both in Europe and further a field in places like South Africa, New Zealand, Australia as well as many other places in between. Being able to speak to parents and professionals alike who were all working together for the good of ADHD. It was also very encouraging to hear about many of the positive steps which are being taken to provide services and awareness and to hear also about a lot of the positive advances which are being made throughout the world.

Delegates were also able to view a number of Exhibition Stands set up in the Registration Hall, including one by us here at Doing this I met some wonderful people from all over the world many of whom it appears are regular visitors to so it was really nice to be able to put faces to some of the names I have corresponded with via email over the years. We also had copies of Interim Results from the Survey for the UK which is currently running on and there was a lot of interest in these and many were very surprised by some of the results.

There were also a number of other people there who were conducting research studies so again they were able to talk to many people to advance their research.

The ADDISS Bookstall was also in the Registration Hall and was constantly busy with people very eager to get hold of copies of new books on ADHD along with some of the old favourites. The Bookstall was wonderfully manned throughout the whole of the three days of the Conference by Monica from the Milton Keynes Support group who was assisted by many others throughout the whole time.

Some people were lucky enough to be purchasing copies of books by some of the speakers at the Conference at the same time as the speaker concerned was there looking at the rest of the books available and so they were very happy to sign copies for some of those who purchased their books.

It was difficult to get round to everything bearing in mind lunch was only 1¼ hours so a lot of talking was done at the dining tables - there were also coffee and tea breaks and of course after the days events were over which were all very enjoyable, sociable occasions.

After lunch Professor Peter Hill from Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital chaired a Keynote session - ADHD Through the Lifespan: New Understanding which was given by Thomas E Brown PhD, Clinical Psychologist from Yale University. Dr Brown has presented papers, workshops and symposia all over the world; he is on the advisory board of CHADD and the author of the Brown ADD Rating Scales for Children, Adolescents and Adults. He is also the author of many research reports and the editor of ADD & Comorbities in Children, Adolescents and Adults which can be found on our Books and Resources Pages here at

After a break for tea delegate had the opportunity to choose to attend one of 6 parallel breakout sessions - it was very difficult to choose which to go to but I am sure everyone was able to gain much information and knowledge from each of these.

The sessions included:

1. A Parents Guide to Medication for ADHD - Professor Peter Hill - Author of many research papers on ADHD, Consultant Great Ormond Street Hospital and a member of the Professional Board of ADDISS

2. Adult ADHD - This is not an Oxymoron - Dr Robert Doyle, MA, DDS, MD director of the ADHD Clinic at McLean Hospital USA. He spends most of his time working on clinical trials conducted through Harvard Medical School, Department of Paediatric Pharmacology.

3. Time as the Invisible Disability: Salience and temporal sequencing of time related events in boys with and without an Attention Deficit Disorder - Stephen Houghton PhD whose research activities focus on developmental disorders of childhood and adolescence, particularly in relation to executive functions and self-regulation in ADHD and Director of the University of Western Australia Centre for Attention & Related Disorders.

4. ADHD and Driving: Science Reveals the Reality - Marlene Snyder PhD Director of Whitefish Consultants, Whitefish, Montana. Child Welfare League, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Montana Supreme Court Assessment Programme are among of the highly respected organisations which use Dr. Snyder's consultation services. She is also author of AD/HD & Driving: A guide to Parents of Teens with AD/HD.

5. Adolescence Auditory Processing, ADHD and Associated Disorders - Dr Paul Hutchins, Senior Staff Physician and Head of the Child Development Unit and Senior Practice Consultant to the Children's Hospital Education Research Institute at the Children's Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, Australia. He has contributed to guidelines for ADHD Management in Australia and UK, collaborative school resources, strong interaction with support groups and consultation with sports bodies about ADHD.

6. ADHD Treatments: Medication: the old and the new - Dr John Ratey, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School in the USA, author of a number of best selling books and co-author of Driven To Distraction and Answers To Distraction with Edward Hallowell MD.

The first day concluded at around 5.30p.m. when everyone was able to retire to their rooms for time to refresh themselves and get ready for dinner. Delegates were able to dine within the hotel or many went out to sample the delights of the many great restaurants or bars in Liverpool itself.

In the evening there was the official Launch of the Liverpool ADHD Project and all delegates were invited to attend if they wished.

I was taken out to nearby Thai Restaurant with a number of people including Andrea and Jenny from ADDISS, Tom Brown PhD and his wife, Dr Robert Doyle, Dr David Coghill, Dr Paul Hutchins, Dr John Ratey, Dr Loretta Giorcelli, Margaret from Dorset ADHD Support group and others. We all had a wonderful time and almost took over the place. It was an excellent evening full of laughter and obviously loads of chatter!!

I must admit that it was past midnight by the time I got back to the hotel room and got to bed, I was quite shattered after such a full but wonderful day. Trouble was I had to be up and down to Breakfast by 7.30 the following morning to get ready for the next full Conference Day!!!!

For Day 2 Click Here



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