Australian Government Must Stop The Stigma And Myth

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STOP NEGATIVE MYTH AND DAMAGING STIGMA!

CONSISTENT MESSAGING FROM GOVERNMENT

IS NEEDED NOW!

The Australian GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO UPDATE and show CONSISTENCY of SCIENTIFIC FACTS and MEDICAL-BASED EVIDENCE, on ALL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES, ESPECIALLY WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA, in order for people, their families and carers who suffer these neurological disorders to understand, manage and obtain appropriate support to overcome challenges of these bio-neurological disorders.

WE CANNOT MOVE FORWARD WITH MIXED MESSAGES!

Many Government departments and bodies have conflicting information. 

ADHD = ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER is a bio-neurological disorder and is the result of insufficient levels of brain chemicals, which is not 'Naturally' within the control of the sufferer. 

ADHD IS NOT CURABLE AND IS NOT 'JUST' A CHILDHOOD DISORDER, more than 60% suffer into adulthood.

ADHD has some of the same genes as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

ADHD has many overlapping symptoms of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

ADHD is wrongly and ignorantly put in the category of 'behaviour' disorder.

ASD is confirmed as a bio-neurological disorder that has a significant impact on the individual and their families. ADHD should be the same but it is not.

ADHD is recognised under the World Health Organisation as a bio-neurological disorder.

Raising Children Network is a parenting website funded by the Australian Government. ASD is shown on the front page of the website as a drop-down menu choice. ADHD is not.

If you check under disability there is nothing mentioned about ADHD.

If you check under mental health, it talks about anxiety and depression, but again nothing about ADHD.

If you check under the NDIS section, it talks about the importance of early intervention, but again nothing mentioned about ADHD.

Eventually, you find ADHD under 'school' and then 'behaviour problems'. This is unacceptable.

Raising Children Network explain ADHD is a problem in the brain not talking to other parts of the brain and that people with ADHD cannot control certain actions and learning. They also say they can often have anxiety and depression, but no mention was made of it under the mental health sub-heading, where they discuss anxiety and depression. This is unacceptable.

Raising Children Network state how important it is to have early intervention and detection to help, yet ADHD is hidden away under non-appropriate sub-headings. This is unacceptable.

Raising Children Network state "Schools can help by setting out support plans in an 'individual learning plan' for your child. The school should also work with you to set and review your child’s learning goals regularly." However, on the 'individual learning plan' or 'education adjustment plan' websites. This is shown not to be true. This is unacceptable.

The NCCD - Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on students with a disability is a new Australian Government initiative and they have an example of a person with ADHD on their website and examples of what extra support and help students with ADHD may need in education due to their bio-neurological disorder.

We CANNOT obtain help and support for bio-neurological developmental disorders of ADHD if there is no acknowledgment that the problem exists AND if there is no consistent information and facts from the government in health and education.

Beyond Blue has no mention of ADHD in any of its subheadings, yet people with ADHD are 30% more likely to have anxiety, depression and suicide ideation. If you do a search on their website for ADHD - 608 entries come up in their forum discussing ADHD. That is 31 pages of search results for ADHD. Yet this is not significant enough to have its own subheading! or recognise this as an issue! This is unacceptable.

Head Space has no mention of ADHD, yet people with ADHD are 30% more likely to have anxiety, depression and suicide ideation. This is unacceptable. Also, early intervention is key but they only deal with kids 12 years and above.

Head to Health has no mention of ADHD, yet people with ADHD are 30% more likely to have anxiety and depression. This is unacceptable.

Lifeline and Kids Helpline have no mention of ADHD. If you do a search on their website, for ADHD the result is '0' items found, yet people with ADHD are 30% more likely to have anxiety, depression and suicide ideation. This is unacceptable.

To save lives & generate long term, sustainable reductions in youth crime, anti-social behaviour, adverse driving outcomes, mental health issues including anxiety, depression & suicide, violent crimes, intimate partner violence, addiction issues & other negative societal problems, prevalent in Australia today, we need to first have consistent messaging from the government. 

Acknowledgment & recognition of ADHD, a prevalent, pervasive & systemic bio-neurological development disorder, is essential, necessary & long overdue.

Australian Government MUST make the changes now and update the facts to be consistent and to show ADHD as a prevalent, significant, bio-neurological disorder that is a lifelong challenge and is not curable, requiring early intervention and support.

REFERENCES

1. Child Dev QLD Hosp & Health Serv Act Now For A Better Tomorrow 2013–2020
2. Mental Health Australia & KPMG Investing to Save (May 2018)
3. Child Report-Child Rights Taskforce & UNICEF- UN Committee Rights of Child
4. Born to Be ADHD A Lifetime Lost or Lifetime Saved (UK Expert Panel Oct 17)
5. White Paper ADHD: policy solutions to address societal impact, costs & long-term outcomes in support of affected individuals (S Young, M Fitzgerald)
6. Andrew’s Angels https://www.facebook.com/pg/andrewsangels813/about/
7. ADHD Likely Reduces Life Expectancy by Young Adulthood Dr Russell Barkley
8. https://www.additudemag.com/suicide-linked-to-adhd-more-than-depression-in-children/
9.PubMed– Strengthening care for children with complex mental health conditions: Views of Aust. Clinicians 2019
10.Mental Health of Children & Adolescents Survey Report - Mental Health & Wellbeing by Aus Gov 2015
11.WebMD – Risks of Untreated ADHD
12.Parent & Carer experiences of ADHD in Australian schools: Critical gaps
13.Journal of Developmental & Behavioural Paediatrics – Academic Achievement & Risk Factors for Adolescents with ADHD in Middle School- Early High School
14.https://www.smh.com.au/education/caught-in-a-vice-why-one-in-four-students-with-adhd-has-been-suspended-20190429-p51i7p.html
15.Child Development Institute – Missed Importance of Social Development for Kids with ADD & ADHD
16.Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992
17.International Consensus Statement on ADHD (January 2002)
18.People with ADHD-twice as likely to die prematurely, often due to accidents. (The Lancet – 25 Feb 2015)
19.https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-life-expectancy-russell-barkley/
20.https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-life-expectancy-video/
21.https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/behaviour/adhd/managing-adhd-5-11-years
22.Aus.Gov Dept Education & Training – Disability Standards for Education 2005
23.Aus.Gov Dept Ed.– Parental Engagement: Improving outcomes of students with disability
24.Aus.Gov Dept Education & Training – Planning for Personalised Learning & Support: A National Resource
25.Aus.Gov – Quality Schools – Fairer funding for students with disability
26.Qld Gov – Education Adjustment Program (EAP) Handbook January 2020
27.Department of Education – Inclusive Education Policy
28.Dept of Education Every Student Succeeding – Schools Strategy 2020-2026
29.Dept of Education Every Queenslander Succeeding – Disability Service Plan
30.Dept of Education and Training – every Student with Disability Succeeding
31.AADPA Costs of ADHD to Australia – Deloitte Report 2019
32.https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/add-adhd/adhd-comorbidity

33.Frontiers Human Neuroscience: Co-occurrence of autism & ADHD in children  
34.Autism Spectrum Australia (ASPECT) Autism and ADHD
35.https://aadpa.com.au/australian-adhd-funding-announced-by-health-minister/
36. https://headtohealth.gov.au/

37. https://beyondblue.org.au/