Jersey school receives award for its work supporting children with ADHD

A school in Jersey and a podcaster in Guernsey are on a mission to break the stigma associated with ADHD.

Springfield primary in Jersey has become the first in the Channel Islands to receive the ADHD Friendly School award for its work supporting children with ADHD.

Students are being taught that the condition is a strength, not a weakness, and teachers are working to ensure every child feels supported.

The initiative was inspired after Deputy Headteacher Anthea Caroll's son was diagnosed with the condition, which led to her finding out she also had ADHD.

She likens her diagnosis late in life to having a superpower and wants to ensure the next generation don't struggle like she did.

Anthea says: "How can I use my bad experience to improve my practice so that no one else has to go through that experience?

"But it is a wonderful trait to have and I love having ADHD. It helps me in my job because it is lots of different things going on all the time and the empathy side of it is a gift".

In Guernsey, a woman known online as 'the ADHD midwife' is trying to break down the stigma through her podcast.

Laura says she felt like an outsider in life before she was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 37.

She uses her podcast, 'She Thrives ADHD', to talk about the condition.

She says: "It's a privilege to be able to share other people's stories and to speak so openly about it.

"I just think it's really important to give everyday people their experience and what it was like before the diagnosis, what led them to explore the assessment in the first place and what life has been like for them since".

Laura believes that the diagnosis has also empowered her in the workplace and says she feels more confident in asking for help: 'it does take me a little time to understand things fully, for the penny to drop.

"Since I've had the diagnosis I can voice that now to say I don't understand, it will take me a few minutes to get my head around it whereas before I had the diagnosis, I would've played along, I would've masked it".

At the end of October 2023, 1,083 children and young people were receiving support for ADHD from The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Jersey. In Guernsey so far this year, 81 people under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with the condition.

Figures of the number of adults diagnosed with ADHD from the Jersey and Guernsey governments have not been provided at this time.

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