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Home > Articles > ADHD Oxfordshire: Supporting those living with ADHD

ADHD Oxfordshire: Supporting those living with ADHD

ADHD Oxfordshire is a small charity, organised and run by volunteers to raise awareness of ADHD and provide free advice and support to all those affected by ADHD.

There is no provision of regular and ongoing support within Oxfordshire’s NHS support services specifically for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (commonly referred to as ADHD or ADD). The support group, founded by Mary Austin and Patric Vale, fills that gap. ADHD Oxfordshire is in regular contact with over 80 people which is made up of parents of ADHD children, ADD/ADHD adults and mental health professionals. The constantly growing contact list proves there is a growing demand to offer ADHD support and advice.

Getting support

Feedback from the monthly groups (held on the last Tuesday of every month at 7pm in St Leonard’s Hall, Eynsham) demonstrates a real need to expand the provision of support. People who attend soon find that there are many more people living with ADHD than they had initially thought and are pleased to learn they are not alone anymore.

The group is free to attend and there is no obligation to attend the whole evening or to come every month. Everything discussed is entirely confidential. If you want to find out more, you may be encouraged to contact Mary or Patric after reading some of the comments from people who attend the group.

A regular adult attendee says “that was the first time I'd met people who understand Adult ADHD” and another confirms a benefit of the advice and support is that, “I feel much more in control now”.

One concerned parent said, “If it weren’t for you, we would still be at square one as no one else had a clue about where we could find help” and “knowing there's support out there and not being on your own” is often quoted by others.

For many, the support group is their first step to beginning to understand ADHD, the impact it has and how to positively manage and to control it in their lives.

There is no question that growing up with ADHD is hard work. But what is it?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) describes ADHD as a “heterogeneous behavioural syndrome characterised by the core symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. While these symptoms tend to cluster together, some people are predominantly hyperactive and impulsive, while others are principally inattentive.” In simple terms ADHD is a combination of a number of primary and secondary symptoms.

Primary Symptoms:

Type 1
Inattentive: poor at attention to detail, sustaining, listening, finishing, organising, loses task tools, focus, remembering.

Type 2
Hyperactivity: fidgets, leaves seat a lot, runs/climbs a lot when inappropriate, noisy in leisure/play activities, "on the go", talks lots and or Impulsivity: blurts out answers before end of question, difficulty waiting turn, interrupts or intrudes on others in conversation/games.

Secondary symptoms
Includes: disorganisation, lack of follow through, thrill seeking, and impatience.

But don't we all display some or all of these symptoms? Yes. Many people display the same symptoms throughout the population and in varying degrees of severity. However, it is only those with significant impairment who meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. This means that your symptoms might be associated with at least moderate psychological, social and/or educational or occupational impairment and be present in two or more settings e.g. socially, family, school and/or work.

ADHD is a complex condition so confirming a simple set of symptoms is only the start of learning how to successfully manage living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

ADHD Oxfordshire provides useful practical advice in a non-judgemental, confidential environment for anyone who wants to find out more about getting a diagnosis, medication, coping at home, in relationships, counselling and learning life changing skills to manage some of your limitations but more importantly to help you fulfil your potential using your many character strengths. If this article rings true with you, a family member or a friend then,
find out more at

Up to 7,500 school children aged from 4 to 18 years in the 232 primary and 34 secondary state schools in Oxfordshire 1, 2 could have ADD/ADHD. This figure is likely to increase to 8,500 by 2019. Remarkably, there is no regular specialist NHS support outside of school for children or their families.

  1. Pupil Place Plan, 2012/13 – 2016/17 (Oxfordshire County Council, December 2012)
  2. Based on diagnostic criteria (UKDSM-IV) it is estimated that about 3-9% of school age children and young people have ADHD in the UK and 2% of adults worldwide. ADHD doesn’t go away just because you get older, so it is likely that nearly 1 in 10 adults also have ADHD. (NICE, 2013)
  3. ADHD Oxfordshire 87 contacts: 78 - grandparents/parents of ADHD children and ADHD adults (54 on support group contact list) and 9 - health professionals/ADHD organisations. (ADHD Oxfordshire, 2013)

Publication date: February 2013.

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