Screen All 4 and 5 Year Olds in the UK for ADHD
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I am Hannah Edwards, I am 15 years old and I have ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I was diagnosed by my local children's mental health services when I was 8 years old. But by that point, I was already being bullied, in the process of moving schools, and in trouble with my teachers.
However, I was one of the lucky ones. After diagnosis, I was put on medication and given the support I needed. I started a new school, and I am now predicted to achieve all A*s in my GCSEs.
But not everyone is as lucky as I was. So many people don't get their diagnosis, don't get the support they need, and get written off as "born naughty".
This hit home for me last night when I was attending an after-school club, and one of the other attendees was misbehaving. He regularly struggles to remain still, and doesn't seem to have a verbal filter. Although I am not a clinician, I recognised ADHD in him. I recognised myself in him.
Then I heard another boy call him "damaged in the head". I felt like screaming that he was wrong, that is wasn't his fault, that he had done nothing wrong apart from being born different. I realised how much better his life could become if he was given the diagnosis and subsequent support that he so clearly needs.
So I decided to start this petition. I don't want any child to be written off as "badly behaved". I don't want any child to struggle and not know what is wrong. I don't want any child to be blamed by their peers for something that isn't their fault.
I have decided to ask our Prime Minister Theresa May and our Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to screen every 4 and 5 year old in the UK for ADHD.
This would mean that every child with ADHD starts school knowing what they might struggle with, and with a support network already in place to help them through.
Every child would then be able to reach their potential without having to fight through waiting lists and years upon years of struggle with undiagnosed ADHD.
Join me and help people like me, people like the boy at my after school club, and people like every child in this country who has ADHD to achieve their full potential.
Today: Hannah is counting on you
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