Belfast mum says son is being failed by a lack of ADHD services in Northern Ireland

A west Belfast mother has said her 13-year-old son, Daire, is being failed by a lack of services for ADHD in Northern Ireland, as calls mount for the Department of Health to commission services and a strategy here.

Daire was diagnosed with autism in Primary 3 but his mum began to see traits of ADHD too as he got older.

Karen says she brought Daire to his GP before the Covid-19 pandemic and that he was given a referral but years later, she found out it wasn't processed and that he is now too old.

The reality is there is little help for anyone with suspected ADHD in Northern Ireland, especially over the age of 11.

Some turn to charity ADD NI, who themselves are dealing with a backlog of over 4,000 people.

Alliance MLA Peter McReynolds has launched a petition calling for the Department of Health to commission ADHD services here, including a strategy for treatment.

In response, a spokesperson for the Department said: "Any decision to commission Adult ADHD services in the future will be based on an assessment of the level of demand for services, and in the context of future budget availability.

"Officials from the Department are considering the future direction of travel for the commissioning of Adult ADHD services and how best to progress the issue, in discussion with relevant stakeholders.

"Subject to future budget availability, potential next steps include the commissioning of research/analysis of adult ADHD demand to inform options for future commissioning strategies, as well as a regional workshop to explore potential ways forward."

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