THOMAS’S STORY – ADHD

Social context

NB Names altered for anonymity

ADHD is one of the most common neuropsychiatric and behavioural disorders in children and young people. About 1.5% of 5–15-year-old children in the UK have ADHD at any given time.

ADHD is a condition where you have lots of energy and have difficulty concentrating. You might also find it hard to control what you say and do. Poor impulse control can seriously affect peer and family relationships which lead to poor self-esteem, school isolation and increased family stress.

OUTCOMES and IMPACT

Thomas has increased focus on set tasks.

Thomas has developed increased self-awareness and is able to take responsibility for self.

Thomas has built and maintains positive relationships with his peers.

Thomas is planning next steps and potentially transitioning to Moulton College to study an animal based course.

Background to case

Thomas joined TSOC as part of an alternative education programme, becoming part of an already established KS4 group completing a Level 2 City and Guilds Employability Skills qualification. As a year 10 male this wasn’t an easy transition.

Thomas lives with his Mum stepdad and 5 younger siblings He has a very low reading age of 7yrs and 6 months due to a moderate learning difficulty for which he received SEN support in his previous school.

Thomas has also been diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed medication for this in October 2020, however, he took these for only a few days before flushing them down the toilet as he ‘did not feel himself.’

Process at The Seeds of Change

At first, Thomas was unable to build relationships with peers and had very little or no understanding of the impact of his own behaviours. Antony found focusing challenging on any set task.

Thomas seemed to build a relationship with the horses and was soon able to recognise how the horses made him feel calm and increased his focus. He was then able to begin to consider the impact of his energy and continues to build on this. Antony was able to harness his new skills and understanding of the horses to help him develop relationships with peers and coaches by supporting others with the horses and starting to share common interests.

His engagement with the course is now of a high level, he has developed a good rapport with his coaches and enjoys taking the lead on some practical based activities. He still finds containing his energy challenging at times but is able to recognise and reflect on this by taking a moment to himself, usually near a horse to help him reflect and refocus. At home Antony practices ‘taking a moment for himself ‘or goes for a walk to help him release his energy constructively.