Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD is thought to affect eight percent of people in the UK.
The disorder is diagnosed more frequently in boys than girls, due to boys being more visibly hyperactive.
Boys are also more typically diagnosed as girls tend to utilise masking, making it more difficult to see the symptoms.
Masking is when people camouflage and ‘mask’ their symptoms, such as rehearsing conversations and controlling urges.
The act of masking can make it increasingly difficult for girls and women to be diagnosed, as on the surface you appear ‘normal’.
The neurodiversity charity ADHD Foundation, state that girls are typically diagnosed at the age of seventeen, nine years later than boys.
They claim that this results in underachievement in schools and can lead to mental health issues.
How does it affect people’s lives?
A Broadstone mother, Rhea Barnyard had to take the private healthcare route to get her daughter diagnosed with ADHD.
She first noticed differences in her behaviour when her daughter was around eighteen months old.
In pre-school Rhea was told that her daughter’s actions were just “developmental changes” that she would grow out of with age.
Due to her daughter masking throughout her time in school, no teachers were aware of her child showing ADHD traits, leaving her with no support.
She was okay in school, she’s really good at masking it.
The school didn’t have a clue about anything that was going on at home.
Rhea contacted a health visitor for assistance and guidance. They commented that if she couldn’t control her child now, then what is she going to be like at sixteen.
Because it wasn’t noticeable amongst others, she thought “it must be my parenting”.
Jessie Price spoke with her regarding the journey.
It wasn’t about the label for Rhea, she just wanted her child to receive the support and understanding that comes with it.
Because the NHS waiting list was so extreme, and she was keen to seek help before her daughter went to secondary school, she sought out a private review costing almost £3,000.
Many people alongside Rhea and her daughter are having to seek private healthcare due to the four year long wait with the NHS.
Education specialist, Rowan Fulon is disappointed with the amount of time people are having to wait.
We have contacted the NHS for the right of reply but we are yet to receive a response.
To read more about ADHD symptoms visit the NHS website here.