Letter in the TES Today the 30th of August from Me

Re: The reality of ADHD
With regards to the recent range of misleading and misinformed media reports as a group of clinical and educational experts with everyday experience of working with children with ADHD, we are disappointed to see so much coverage questioning the existence of ADHD as a condition.
ADHD is under diagnosed in the UK, and poorly managed or unrecognised ADHD can lead to serious consequences, most notably educational exclusion, and possible decline into social exclusion, antisocial and criminal behaviour. However, with early recognition, management and support, many children with ADHD can be successful in school and in society.
More needs to be done to help and support these children. Currently exclusion from school is often the first event that can label a child with ADHD as “a problem” child and yet, at the same time, this encounter should be an opportunity to establish a positive path forward. We are currently campaigning to change educational guidance so that every child who receives two fixed-term exclusions from school is assessed for ADHD before they return to school. Many children are excluded once for bad behaviour and are suitably chastened by the experience but more than one exclusion suggests a more serious underlying problem. We believe that by taking action at this key juncture, we can help build better futures for children with ADHD.
Fin O’Regan
On behalf of the UK ADHD Partnership