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  • Writer's picturePetra

How it All Began...

As a clinical psychologist with an interest in brain disorders, ADHD always held an interest to me. But my interest in this condition grew when my child was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of five, and a few years later he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I wrote an account of my thoughts about raising my child post ADHD diagnosis and pre-ASD diagnosis for ADDitude magazine.

I became more interested in how ADHD diagnosis and treatment could help so many other people in the community, as I worked to manage my child's symptoms and help him lead his best life. With my skills in assessing, diagnosing, and treating mental health issues, as well as my knowledge of neuropsychology, I realized that I could make a real difference by focusing my clinical work on ADHD and neurodiversity.

My ultimate goal is to reduce the stigma around these conditions and increase acceptance for those who are neurodivergent. I want my son and other neurodivergent individuals to live in a society where these differences are noticed early and where assessment and treatment can happen sooner. After all, around 5% of the adult population has ADHD, which is about the same number of people who are depressed at any one time. That's a lot of people who could benefit from greater understanding and support.

Although I currently work with adults in my practice, diagnosing parents can lead to a diagnosis and treatment for their children since ADHD is quite heritable. And research has shown that treating children with stimulant medication can help their brains mature more fully, which hopefully means a stronger set of executive functioning skills than if they were untreated. That's why I believe an intergenerational approach to ADHD diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the mental health and self-esteem challenges that many adults with ADHD face.

I'm optimistic that by raising awareness about ADHD and neurodiversity in its many forms, a more inclusive and accepting society may develop, where neurodivergent people are able to reach their potential.

So in 2021, I started helping adults with ADHD by assessing and offering therapy. It was clear that many people needed this kind of support, and I felt like I could make a real difference. Now, most of my therapy clients are adults with ADHD, and some of them have even gone on to have their children assessed, diagnosed, and treated for ADHD too.

I truly believe that assessment and treatment for ADHD can make a huge difference in people's lives, and I want this blog to reach people who may be struggling to show them that change is possible. When I say treatment, I mean a combination of medication and therapy, which can be incredibly effective for managing symptoms and improving quality of life.

In the future, I'll be sharing more blog posts about both medication and therapy, as well as my observations from therapy and assessments, and links to resources about a range of ADHD and neurodivergence related issues. So if you or a loved one are struggling with ADHD, or if you just want to learn more, be sure to stay tuned!

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