The ADHD Family Support Group (Malta) was set up in April 1996 by a group of three families, each of which had experienced the condition first hand. Fairly soon after its inception, the group was presented with information in a Report on School-Children in Malta which indicated that of 29.2% of problematic children, 6.3% had behaviour problems relating to Hyperactivity, Hyperkinetic and Attention Deficit Behaviour. This report spurred the group and it was felt that it was imperative to alert parents, teachers and professionals to the condition and to acquire and pass on information to them so that children suffering from the condition would not also suffer more than they need.
The Group is a non-governmental organisation offering support, information, advice based on personal experience and a sympathetic ear. The Group works closely with, and is linked, to the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities and the Malta Federation of Organisations Persons with Disabilities. The Committee is formed by parents of children with AD/HD and often one or two parents who themselves have AD/HD.
It is not the Group’s intention to make a profit and funds are reinvested into the group and go towards offering Personal and Social Skills training sessions for children during our Group Meetings for parents, improving our resource library for the use of members and professionals alike and organising seminars and in-service training courses in schools. The Group in no way undertakes to diagnose or medicate.
The main aims of the Group are:
Recent and Ongoing Activities Undertaken by the Group:
Recent and Current Undertakings:
In February 2005, we published 4,000 copies in English and Maltese of a booklet entitled, Guidelines and Information for Teachers. This was widely distributed to all schools by the Ministry of Education.
In the summer of 2006, we organized a Parental Skills Course as a pilot project, focusing on behaviour modification, which was a great success. We are now following this up with a Trainer of Trainers Course in October 2008, which will enable us to continue offering the Parental Skills Courses regularly as we will have a pool of trained professionals.
In November 2006, we hosted an International Conference at Mater Dei Hospital, aimed at professionals in medicine and psychiatry as well as social workers. We invited Prof. Eric Taylor, Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, from Kings College, London who gave a half-day seminar for professionals and a short talk for parents.
In order to better help ADHD sufferers cope with everyday life, we sent a member of our support group to a coaching course in the UK in September 2007 where she was trained as a Specialist AD/HD Coach.
The Trainer of Trainers programme that we will be offering in October 2008 will make more human resources available to us so that we can help people suffering from ADHD on a more personal basis and also, if need be, on an everyday basis. Besides, we believe it is essential for parents to learn how to work with their children if the environment around the child is to be favourable and conducive to a positive outcome in the future. Parents are desperate to find help and learn these skills which cannot come from reading books alone. Nowhere in Malta is this specialised service available.
In collaboration with the Malta Union of Professional Psychologists, we will also be organising a Seminar in October 2008 aimed at professionals – psychologists, teachers, facilitators and social workers – that will be addressed by Professor Paul Cooper, who will speak about the “Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties” encountered by children with ADHD, their difficulties at school and possible solutions.
Address : P.O. Box 2, St Julians Malta STJ 1001