ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – is a group of behavioural symptoms that can include hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsivity.
The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but it has been shown to run in families. It can also become more noticeable at school where there are more distractions, more opportunity for children to socialise in big groups and perhaps more exposure to pressured situations.
It is so important for children and young people to receive the support they need at school to help them channel their energies and unique gifts in a positive way.
The Founder and Chairman of Cavendish Education, Aatif Hassan, gives an insight into his own experiences of living with ADHD:
“Will Smith, Jamie Oliver, Richard Branson and I are part of a club. A big club.
“We are all blessed with ADHD. We are not that unique. It manifests itself in inattentiveness or hyperactivity. How many people do you know who can’t sit still, talk excessively or act before thinking?
“Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the most common ‘disorder’ affecting children. Many will also have multi-diagnosis such as dyslexia (like me!), autism or anxiety.
“At Cavendish Education, we prefer to use the term Unique Learning Profiles (ULPs) for our 500+ extraordinary pupils – a more positive recognition that we are all different and an attempt to lose the labels and stigmas being attached.
“Like all of the others, for me, it is who I am and in one way or another, whether intentionally or not, it has shaped my life.
“I may have started out as the naughty kid at the back of the classroom but it has certainly been turned to an advantage. Those who work with me benefit from short meetings, a need to look at the world in a different way and a level of speed that has allowed Cavendish Education, and my other educational ventures, to grow immensely.
“ADHD in itself requires good management and, for me, a combination of time spent with family, sport and meditation are my tools.
“People used to write off those with such conditions. However, I have been privileged to meet many young people who have used it to create resilience and incredible tenacity to prove the world wrong.
“If it can be managed, successful channelling of energies can lead to many amazing things”.
Excerpts of this article previously appeared in Angels & Urchins online.