As October is ADHD Awareness month, I thought it would be helpful to draw on some of the information out there, so that as a nation we can work towards better supporting and understanding those who suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Many people mistake ADHD as a disorder that affects children, but in fact, many adults are sufferers too. Imagine suffering the shame of being deemed the ‘naughty child' at school because you can't sit still or struggle to concentrate in class? Then as an adult you are unable to manage time effectively, suffer from forgetfulness, impatience and gauging appropriateness, all exacerbating the already overly cluttered ADHD mind?
Thankfully, recognition, testing and treatment of ADHD is improving year on year, coupled with the growth of support networks, information available and an attitude shift to embrace neurodevelopmental diversity overall, there is help available.
Medication and natural remedies have been widely recognised as part of a treatment plan which can reduce ADHD symptoms. Clinicians advocate a healthy balanced diet, physical activity, plenty of sleep, good routine and limiting screen time as being key factors that can significantly reduce the effects of the disorder.
Behavioural therapy seeks to identify and help change potentially self-destructive or unhealthy behaviours and is often centred around how someone's thoughts and beliefs influence their actions and moods. It often focuses on a person's current problems and how to solve them. The long-term goal is to change a person's thinking and behavioural patterns to healthier ones.For children, through play, experts can gain insight into what a child is uncomfortable expressing or unable to express, with an end goal of being able to provide parents with the strategies required to improve communication with their child and to enable mentors to support effectively.
Having been able to identify antidotes to the symptoms, support can be put in place where needed and by having the right intervention can be life changing for ADHD sufferers.
The rise of the Behaviour Mentor within an education environment means that more children and young people who are affected by neurodiversity can excel, flourish and thrive given the right toolkit.
To be a Behaviour Mentor, first and foremost you need to have empathy, understanding and a dedication to improving the lives of the people who need additional support.
On a day to day basis, a Behaviour Mentor or Behavioural Teaching Assistant will build trust and rapport with the learner, be dedicated to promoting their independence, building confidence and working with them to understand their triggers and develop strategies to manage behaviour.
Whilst being a Behaviour Mentor can be challenging, the rewards are immense. You would be an integral part of helping a child or young person to make sense of their world and enable them to achieve their best possible life outcomes.
Take a look at www.senploy.co.uk to see if there is a Behaviour Support role or similar position available for you.
For support and further information about ADHD, please see;