We have the opportunity to restart the Youth Club on a regular basis on a Saturday morning at Quarterdeck, Zion Place, Margate. The actual time will depend on the availability of Quarterdeck, but will probably be 10.30 a.m. - 12 noon. This will be for children aged 7 plus. We will need regular parent volunteer helpers, hopefully on a rota basis. All parents will need to complete the relevant Police Checks and be able to help on a monthly basis.
We will need to run this venture as a separate unit to the main support group and form a committee of at least 5 parents to enable us to use Quarterdeck and also to enable us to take advantage of cheaper insurance and training.
There will be a charge of £1.50 per child per session to cover expenses. Drinks and biscuits will still be provided.
We hope to restart after Easter, therefore please complete and return the slip below before 15th March so that arrangements can be made.
Thomas Phelan Talks in Kent
Thomas Phelan, author of 1,2,3, Magic, a book about behaviour management technique and specialist in ADHD from America, will be speaking in Maidstone on 6th July.
Tickets for the talk cost £6, and are available from Thanet ADDers.
If there is enough response we will be arranging a coach for the event.
New Book Available
Dr Geoff Kewley has just published his book entitled "ADHD, Recognition, Reality and Resolution".
This is a book written from the UK perspective so it contains some very helpful information. The book costs £12.50 plus £1.50 p&p and is available from the Learning Assessment Centre. We can order copies through Thanet ADDers to help cut postage costs. If anyone would like a copy please contact Caroline for details. I would highly recommend this as essential, inspiring and good reading.
ADHD Awareness Week
We are arranging an Awareness Week to be held Nationally in November with members of the ADHD Alliance.
We need to have ideas of what events we could hold at local level and volunteers to organise this as we, Caroline and Simon are involved in the National Programme organisation and therefore will not have to much time to organise a local event.
We will however be organise local media coverage for the week and local events.
If anyone has any ideas please contact us so that we can start to make plans. These could range from a sponsored event to an awareness campaign of publicity table in town or visits to schools.
If anyone has any ideas as to any public figures we could ask to take part, either Nationally or Locally we would love to hear them.
We will offer all the support to those who feel that they can help and can do all of the publicity and advertising.
Please think about how you can help, as we really need to raise awareness to the suffering of our children and adult sufferers.
Recent Reports on the use of Ritalin
Following the recent reports on the use of Ritalin on both the BBC and in the Daily Mail. Thanet ADDers have held an exclusive interview with Dr Geoff Kewley, text of the interview follows.
We are sending this as a press release to the Daily Mail, the BBC and also the Press Complaints Committee and the Broadcasting Standards Committee. Stating our disgust at the irresponsibility of the articles.
We are also writing to Professor Hamid Ghodse of the International Narcotics Control Board.
If anyone else would like to forward their comments to the above organisations please feel free to send your comments to Thanet ADDers and we will be happy to forward them on your behalf.
Recent Scare Stories over Ritalin
Ritalin Over Prescribed?
Our Interview with Dr Geoff Kewley
According to the Daily Mail, Wednesday 24th February 1999, "British Doctors were yesterday warned to curb the use of a 'miracle drug' which is being given to thousands of hyperactive children. The International Narcotics Control Board - a United Nations agency - reported that the number of prescriptions for Ritalin doubled in this country last year." This article followed similar reports on BBC News and Radio this week and culminated in a further article in the Daily Mail on Saturday 27th February.
In an interview with Simon Hensby of adders.org, Dr.Geoffrey Kewley, one of the country's leading ADHD specialists, hit back stating that, "rather than over prescribing, Ritalin is being grossly under prescribed in this country". Using Professor Eric Taylor's figure of 1% of children in the UK having severe ADHD, as published in the British Medical Journal, this would mean at the very least, 120,000 children suffer from the condition in the United Kingdom. The INCB's figures, however, suggest 15,000 children are being prescribed Ritalin in the UK. In the same Daily Mail article they quoted a generally more accepted figure, of 5% of boys and 2% of girls that are thought to have the disorder. This would give a figure of around 600,000 likely child sufferers. By anyone's calculations even 15,000 children being prescribed Ritalin against at the very least 120,000 (12.5%) or a more likely figure of 600,000 (2.5%) children who should be taking it, this is hardly a basis for describing this as over prescribing.
Dr.Kewley stated that "rather than calls for it to be curbed; we should be looking at why it is grossly under prescribed. It is essential to relate any discussion of the use of Ritalin to the severity of the condition being treated and to it's incidence.
Academics are often those making such decisions - people who are not in touch with the reality of living with a child with significant untreated ADHD and possibly associated ODD, which is so destructive to families and relationships.
ADHD must be seen as a significant, Child and Adult Mental Health issue and it is grossly misleading to merely emphasise medication issues, without relating them to the reality of the condition and its impact on sufferers and their families".
Dr.Kewley added, "if these figures of incidence against actual diagnosis were related to inhalers being prescribed for child asthmatics then there would be a huge public outcry".
The Daily Mail also stated that fears had been growing about the long term effects of Ritalin in that it could lead to children being prone to addictions. Dr.Kewley stated that "he had been assessing, diagnosing and managing ADHD for many years and had never come across such a case. Indeed untreated, people with ADHD are predisposed to alcohol and substance abuse, often in an unwitting attempt to self medicate their condition". In all the patients he sees at his clinic, The Learning Assessment Centre in Horsham, West Sussex, 95% of the children prescribed Ritalin have found it to be of tremendous benefit, whilst only 5% have had some short term side effects, such as, loss of appetite and sleep problems. He added that he had "never come across a child who had had a craving for his Ritalin".
Is the INCB saying that parents would allow their children to be on this type of medication for probably the rest of their lives, if it wasn't necessary or effective?