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Scotland's Befriending sector reveals widespread ADHD misdiagnosis

27 November 2007

Misdiagnosis of ADHD may go some way to explaining why volunteer befrienders have largely positive experiences of working with children expected to have disruptive behaviour.

This was the challenging statement given by Child Psychologist Joe Nee at Befriending Network Scotland’s national event on befriending and ADHD held in Stirling this week.

Discussions amongst children’s and young people’s projects from all over Scotland revealed that many of the children and young people who are disruptive at home are often well behaved when out with their befrienders. Children who truly have ADHD, however, would not be able to their control behaviour in this way, according to Joe Nee, no matter how much they might want to.

The eventís findings revealed the many positive effects befriending has on the lives of children with ADHD. By giving children and their parents a much needed break from each other, befrienders are able to offer positive role models and plenty of positive behaviour reinforcement. They are also able to involve children and young people in limited decision-making and planning, leading to improved self esteem.

This was the latest in an on-going series of national events organised by Befriending Network Scotland bringing together befriending workers sharing the same client group. Others have included older peoples befriending projects exploring practice relating to dementia, mental health befriending projects looking at the recovery approach and learning disabilities projects considering befriending and communication skills.

For a full article on the event’s findings or more information on befriending and ADHD, please contact: Susan Gilchrist, Training Officer, Tel: 0131 225 6156, Email: susan@befriending.co.uk.

For more information on this article, contact Liz Watson on 0131 261 8799, or email admin@befriending.co.uk.