Loading Google Custom Search...
Barbara Follows

Barbara Follows, M.Ed

"My philosophy is that every child is unique and, whatever their differences, every single child matters."

A decade of success for ADHD charity

As the end of 2010 was approaching I wrote an article for SEBDA News about ADHD Awareness Week - or, rather, how it had passed by without most people being aware of it. At the end of that article I said that maybe in 2011 we could: "... highlight the benefits and success of young people and adults with ADHD, rather than the negative and sceptical stigma and inertia that seem to surround it at the moment."

For the Studio ADHD Centre in Surrey that success was celebrated in July.

Award winnersYoung people who had turned their lives around were the stars of the show as this Capel-based centre celebrated its 10th anniversary of becoming a registered charity. The venue was Denbies Vineyard in Dorking and the event was attended by over 70 dignitaries, speakers, parents and those affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Twelve Studio members in their late teens and early 20s represented the hundreds that the Studio has helped to succeed, receiving awards after conquering their condition and achieving success.

They came to the Studio as young adolescents who had been, or were at risk of being, excluded from school. They were often in trouble with the police, and family life was fraught, with parents not knowing where to go for help and advice.

Award winnersThe Studio believes that its treatment programme, which includes activities that are linked to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, has been crucial to their transformation. The youngsters have all completed their education, with some at college or university and the others in work experience or employment. ADHD is a lifelong condition with many children continuing to have symptoms as they grow into adulthood. The Studio helps them and their families understand the disorder and find ways of dealing with it that suits each individual.

SpeakerThe awards were presented by Lady Louise O'Connor, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, who said: "The Studio is obviously doing a splendid job with these young people. They are an absolute credit to all the hard work put into their care and education." Talks were given by a consultant paediatrician, a researcher from King's College, London and the parents of two children with ADHD. It was pointed out that public awareness of ADHD needs to be raised, as many people do not understand the condition and can be unsympathetic towards those who suffer from it.

As well as celebrating success, it was also hoped that the event would publicise the funding problems faced by the Studio at a time when demand for its services is increasing.

(Published in SEBDA News, issue 26, winter/spring 2011)