New project : What’s it like to grow up with ADHD?

I’ve seen first hand the challenges faced by many people growing up with ADHD. In 2016, I want to make a film to highlight the challenges that people with ADHD face in our world today, and raise public awareness of what ADHD really is, and what it is not. If you, or someone you know, has ADHD, or something similar, then you can be involved too. 

Many of you will know that I spent many years working in education and youth and community work. In that time, I had the pleasure – and more often than not it really, genuinely was a pleasure – of working with many people who had been labelled as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD.

Believed to be the most common behavioural disorder in Britain, ADHD affects up to 5% of youngsters, with roughly 132,000 being diagnosed with the most severe form of the disorder, which can have a massive impact on every aspect of their lives.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Common symptoms of ADHD include:

  • a short attention span or being easily distracted
  • restlessness, constant fidgeting or overactivity
  • being impulsive

ADHD can occur in people of any intellectual ability, although it is more common in people with learning difficulties. People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.

from NHS Choices:

The Problem

I have seen first hand the challenges that individuals with ADHD can face, especially when they, and/or their family, don’t get the support they need. That could be from their school, friends, community groups, health services or just people around them in general.

I’ve met people who, in part because of the symptoms of their ADHD, have lost jobs, left school with few or no qualifications, got into trouble with the law, ended up in broken relationships and even gone to prison.

On the other hand, I also know many people who have grown up with ADHD who have succeeded in education, work and family and made a real success of their lives. The story is far from all negative, but all too often it is.

My Aims

So I’ve said what I think the problems are, what am I planning to do? Well the aims of my project are:

  1. Explain what ADHD really is – a neurological medical condition.
  2. Demonstrate the very real impacts it can have on genuine sufferers.
  3. Explore successful, evidence based ‘treatment’ and support.
  4. Find out what, if any, are the positives of having ADHD.

The Plan

In 2016, I plan to:

  • Produce a short documentary film about Growing Up with ADHD.
    The film will feature real stories, told by real people; who either have grown up with ADHD themselves, or otherwise have personal experience of the condition (eg. as a family member, parent, friend, teacher, health professional).
    My aim with the film is not to be sensationalist. I want to provide a space for people to tell their stories and say what they think is good, and bad, about life with ADHD, and what others can do to support people with ADHD through life.
  • Develop a supporting website
    This will add depth to the film and provide links to more information and sources of support.
  • Link in with organisations working in the sector already
    There is loads of great work already going on up and down the country to support people with ADHD. This project isn’t about duplicating that, I want to do something to build on it and contribute to it.

When will it be completed?

If I’ve learned one thing about making films, it’s not to rush it! Allowing time for research, planning and everything else I’m planning at the moment on having the finished film ready for release in summer 2016.

How can I help?

I’m glad you asked! If you have personal experience of ADHD, whether it’s as someone who has the condition yourself or as a parent, teacher, health professional, friend, relative or anyone else, and you’d be happy to talk to me about your experiences please get in touch.

You’re under no obligation to take part in the project – if, after having a chat, you don’t want to take it any further then that’s no problem at all.

To get in touch you can either:

Either way, just mention that your contacting me about the ADHD Project. Or you can just fill in the form below.



Photo © Professor25 | - Young Boy Holds ADHD Text Written On Sheet Of Paper Photo

5 thoughts on “New project : What’s it like to grow up with ADHD?

  1. I work with a young man aged 13 who has Autism and ADHD. I have been working with him for over 4 and a half years. If you would like any input from me I am more than happy to contribute x

        1. Hi Gemma, happy new year! You should have an email from the office about the ADHD project. Give me a shout though if it doesn’t arrive. Thanks again, Mat

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