As part of the Integrated Disability Services Project, we provide structured 1-1 and group opportunities for parents to learn and embed strategies and practice into the home and community environment to support their child / young person with ADHD. Here’s how we helped Carys and Ryan:


Carys is a single parent who was referred to the ADHD Parenting Group as her ten year-old son Ryan was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Carys wanted some support in understanding ADHD as she felt this wasn’t fully explained when Ryan was diagnosed.


Ryan was struggling within the classroom environment, often being sent home at short notice due to his behaviour. This adversely affected his mother who works part-time and was often called out of work. Ryan often displays aggressive behaviour in school towards staff and peers, as well as at home toward his mum.


As well as ADHD, Ryan has a sensory and auditory disorder which gives heightened sensitivity to his hearing. He is on medication but some days he refuses to take it. This causes stress and anxiety for his Mum as the medication helps him to concentrate at school. Ryan likes the computer and can be challenging when he is not allowed on it due to his behaviour.


The Support Worker began her sessions by explaining ADHD and how it causes difficult behaviours and frustrations, anger, emotions. She showed Ryan’s mum a brain scan of a child with ADHD and a child without ADHD. They discussed different strategies and techniques and looked at triggers to Ryan’s behaviour. This helped Carys to reflect and she began to find a pattern that triggered his behaviour and was able to prevent some of the behaviours reoccurring.


Together, Carys and the Support Worker looked at ways of rewarding good behaviour and techniques for managing bad behaviour. They also looked at triggers over the weeks and put routines in place. In particular, the family was tasked with making a family rules chart and then having a pizza to celebrate.The Support Worker also suggested the purchase of ear defenders for Ryan to wear in loud environments such as school assemblies. Carys bought them and Ryan went into assembly in the main hall for the first time in a year. Mum was overwhelmed and Ryan was happy.


The Support Worker also met with staff in the school and asked if Ryan could use a fidget toy to help his concentration. This was agreed and the toy has helped Ryan to control is behaviour in the classroom. A tent was provided in the quiet area of the classroom for Ryan to use when he feels angry or frustrated.


Following six 1:1 sessions in the home, Carys has a much improved understanding of how ADHD affects Ryan. Carys said, “I have been working with the Support Worker for 4 sessions and I have learnt so much about ADHD. She takes time to listen and explain things at my pace”. The Support Worker continues to work with the family.


With thanks to Carys and Ryan for sharing their story. Names have been changed. December 2018


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