A year on from setting up a group to help parents of children suspected of having ADHD, Emily Slann was named as the winner of this year’s Diversity and Inclusion award.
ADHD & Me (Guernsey) was set up in October 2022, and followed Mrs Slann’s own experience as a parent.
Nominated by her mother-in-law, Vanda Slann, she was described as ‘an absolutely fantastic mum’.
It was the lack of access to vital ADHD information without a firm diagnosis that made Mrs Slann feel excluded and she suspected that other parents probably felt the same way.
‘I was really surprised,’ she said. ‘I know the other two nominees personally and have used their services and they’re both incredible.’
It was only after her son had been diagnosed with ADHD that she had received information that could help: ‘By then it’s too late, and I realised that there must be so many people going through the same situation where they haven’t got the information that they need. They end up trawling the internet.’
The group, which has grown to 180 members, is for parents of children who are suspected of having the condition or who have a firm diagnosis.
She obtained sponsorship and arranged for experts to come to the island from the UK to talk to people and educate families, friends and the community on ADHD so that they could give their children the best possible support and for those children to be accepted and included by everyone.
It operates via Facebook and has held events for parents and carers that have been sold out.
Another event she arranged was the screening of a film at the Mallard Cinema just for children with ADHD, since the youngsters often found it hard to sit still and in a regular screening parents might feel scared to take the children out: ‘It’s so that they can be together as a group, to be relaxed without fear,’ said Vanda.
Mrs Slann said that ADHD and neurodiversity generally was still a taboo subject: ‘Parents don’t like to admit that their child is different to others and even adults with ADHD themselves don’t openly speak about it with a fear of being judged or treated differently.’
Karen Blanchford and Paws for Support were the other two finalists in this category.