Alarming figures reveal teachers lack ADHD training of understanding about the condition amongst teachers and GPs.

New figures released at a conference at University College Dublin, have revealed 80 percent of Teachers lack ADHD training. Several hundred delegates attended the inaugural child and adolescent psychiatry conference, titled ‘The ADHD Tsunami: Global Perspectives’, the Irish Times reports.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is caused by the brain’s neurotransmitter chemicals working incorrectly. It is a treatable condition.

Symptoms can include inattentiveness, impulsiveness and hyperactivity, and left undiagnosed, can have a lasting negative impact on children’s development and academic attainment.

In the first presentation of an Irish study into understanding of the disease among teaching and medical professionals, the study also found that 90 percent of teachers and GPs surveyed believed that ADHD was a legitimate condition. However, some struggled to discern between ADHD symptoms in children, and ‘normal child behaviour’.

The study also showed that few teachers and GPs thought of the condition as biological and neurological. Among teachers, 30 per cent felt an ADHD diagnosis was stigmatising for a child and 30 per cent believed it was caused by poor parenting.

Training around the condition amongst GPs was even lower, with just four percent of GPs reporting having any training in ADHD.

Dr. Tatlow-Golden, who conducted the study, said that the responses from teaching and medical staff showed a clear tension and negative stigma surrounding the condition.

The next step for Dr. Tatlow-Goldwn and her team is to analyse data from six sub-studies that were conducted alongside the current one, which includes surveys from the Probation Service, to assess how ADHD is understood and dealt with in the justice and rehabilitation system in Ireland.