October 31, 2020 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Zoom

ADHD WA is proud to announce our first Virtual Seminar, which you can attend from the comfort of your home. ADHD affects the entire community in WA, and so we are offering the opportunity to those near or far to take part in this exciting event and to learn from the experts.

October is Global ADHD Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is Common Questions, Reliable Answers. We have posed 5 common questions to highly esteemed professionals working in the area of ADHD.  Their presentations will provide all the answers, backed by scientific research.

What is ADHD? Professor Wai Chen

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

What neural mechanisms in the brain are implicated in ADHD?   Professor Chen will provide an explanation based on neuroscience. His presentation will provide an overview of the brain receptors and neurocircuits relevant to ADHD in everyday terms.

Professor Wai Chen is Professor of Mental Health, Fiona Stanley Hospital, and also Adjunct Professor at UWA, Notre Dame University and Murdoch University. He read medicine at Southampton University, and a Master of Philosophy degree at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, before completing a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) at the Institute of Psychiatry. He received his psychiatry and child psychiatry training as a lecturer at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. His research is in the areas of ADHD, neurodevelopmental disorders, emotional dysregulation, their treatments, dissociation, resilience and social recovery in CAMHS. He is a member of the prestigious Eunethydis(European Network for Hyperkinetic Disorders) by invitation. He served between 2012-2014 as an external peer reviewer for the DSM5 Clinical and Public Health Committee (DSM5 CPHC) during DSM5 revision. He is a member of the international expert advisory panel for Legatum Institute, advising the compilation of the ‘Health Pillar’ within the Legatum global ‘Prosperity Index’, compiled annually for 149 countries and as complementary index of GDP for informing federal and national government policies.

What is the best approach for ADHD and Substance Abuse Disorders? Dr Di Grocott, Psychiatrist

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM

There is a significant and costly association of ADHD and SUD.

ADHD complicates the course of SUD, with earlier onset, greater severity, more co-morbidities, higher rates of relapse and increased harms.

International Guidelines 2018 From ICASA (International Collaboration on ADHD and Substance Abuse) recommend that all people seeking treatment for SUD should be screened for ADHD and then accurate diagnosis made by experienced clinicians.

Australian guidelines (2014) recommend treatment should take an integrated, multimodal approach; considering ADHD, SUD and other comorbidities. Management includes psychoeducation, psychotherapy for individual and groups, peer & family support, pharmacotherapy, eHealth interventions, smartphone Apps, physical activity, complementary and alternative therapies, diet and lifestyle change.

Clinical challenges include making the diagnosis, possibilities of medication abuse and responding to increased pressure on services.

An ADHD diagnosis often prompts relief, hope and gratitude, but may precipitate temporary emotional destabilisation. However, this group of patients bring their creativity, sense of humour and exuberance for life.

There are great opportunities to significantly impact many lives by treating ADHD+SUD.

Dianne Grocott MBBS (1983 University of Western Australia), FRANZCP (1980) is a psychiatrist with 30 years’ experience in public and private psychiatry in four Australian states. She has been developing an assessment clinic for adults with ADHD in Melbourne and is also involved in research into comorbid ADHD and Substance Use Disorder. She co-founded the Victorian Adult ADHD Interest Group (VAADHDIG) for clinicians of all disciplines and is involved in the development of a GP training programme in ADHD. Dianne is passionate about helping adults with ADHD to understand how their brain works so that they can restore relationship with themselves, their significant others and their future, using a wide variety of therapeutic modalities.

How do negative thought patterns and cognitive distortions affect people with ADHD? Professor Steve Houghton, UWA

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Many adolescents tend to focus on and interpret everyday ambiguous information as negative or threatening and because of this they develop negative patterns of thinking and cognitive distortions. Systematic misinterpretations of ambiguous information are arguably the hallmarks of, and causal in, the development and maintenance of mental health disorders. The social communication and interaction difficulties that characterise adolescents with ADHD and which affect relationships are underpinned by alterations in social cognition, thereby placing them at greater risk of adverse mental health. It is therefore critical to address the everyday challenges that adolescents with ADHD experience in their everyday functioning. However, schools and school psychologists do not have the resources to address the increasing numbers of adolescents with and without ADHD referred for mental health problems.

The recent findings from a longitudinal study of adolescents with ADH, along with interviews conducted with (i) adolescents with and without ADHD, (ii) their parents, (iii) teachers and (iv) school psychologist’s in Perth metropolitan government and non-government schools and schools in Geraldton, Albany and Newman will be presented. These findings detail the everyday challenges to the mental health of adolescents with and without ADHD. Then an innovative adolescent self-directed 3-D-animated interactive gamification treatment program will be described. The core component of the program is Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM-I), a psychological procedure designed to therapeutically alter unhelpful negative thought patterns known to contribute to high levels of emotional dysfunction and causally linked to mental health disorders.

Professor Stephen Houghton is Professor and Director of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing Research Clinic at The University of Western Australia and a Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde, School of Psychological and Health Sciences, Glasgow, Scotland. He is a registered psychologist with an international reputation in the leadership of multi-site large-scale research projects in child and adolescent developmental psychopathology. He has been Chief Investigator on over 20 externally competitive funded research projects and has over 200 high quality journal publications to his credit. Professor Houghton has successfully supervised over 130 Higher Degree thesis students to completion and has conducted numerous invited international conference presentations. His is widely reported in the international media. He is a recipient of a National Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Excellence in University Teaching Award (Social Sciences Category), and an ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contribution to University Student Learning. He was also a recipient of the UWA Vice Chancellor’s Senior Research Award for distinguished achievement in research, scholarship, and sustained career excellence.

What medications are used to treat ADHD? Dr Roger Paterson, Psychiatrist & Dr Mark Parker, Paediatrician

1:30 PM – 2:30 PM

Medication is very helpful in treating ADHD, and is usually the frontline treatment for moderate/severe cases of ADHD, both in children and adults. The particular medications that are most useful are called stimulant medications and are short or long acting versions of dexamphetamine and methylphenidate/Ritalin.  This presentation will provide information on all medications used to treat ADHD.

Dr Roger Paterson is a consultant psychiatrist in full-time private practice. He worked in combined public and private practice from 1989 to 1996, and from 1997 onwards has been exclusively in private practice, now mostly treating adolescent and adult ADHD. He was a principal author in 1999 of a world first study showing that dexamphetamine was indeed useful in the treatment of adult ADHD. Dr Paterson has been a member of the WA Health Department Stimulants Committee, has been on the ADHD WA Professional Advisory Body since 1994, and on the Board of ADHD WA since 2016. In 2017, he became an inaugural Board member of the newly formed Australian ADHD Professionals Association. Together with Dr Michele Toner, he was instrumental in starting an email support network for Australian ADHD professionals in 2011.

How does coaching benefit adults with ADHD? Dr Michele Toner, ADHD Coach

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Pills don’t teach skills. ADHD Coaches do!

In everyday activities, adults with ADHD may experience difficulty in focusing, meeting deadlines, following jobs through to completion, and sustaining motivation, particularly during tasks which they consider boring or irrelevant. They also describe themselves as being easily distracted, forgetful, disorganised, failing to plan ahead, and producing inconsistent performances at work and on the sports field.

However, with their symptoms well managed, adults with ADHD lead successful, fulfilled lives. This talk will illustrate the important role that coaching plays in the treatment of ADHD.

Dr Michele Toner works in private practice as a specialist ADHD coach and education consultant. Originally trained as a teacher, she soon developed a special interest in students who learn differently and found coaching. She is credentialled with the International Coach Federation (PCC). Her Masters (2001) and PhD (2010) projects were both awarded research prizes by UWA, and she remains involved in several ongoing ADHD research projects across Australia.

Alongside this work Michele has spent 20 years in the not for profit sector to raise awareness and improve outcomes for people of all ages with ADHD and co-existing conditions. She currently serves as Board Chair, and member of the Professional Advisory Body for ADHD WA (formerly LADS). She co-founded ADHD Australia, served on their inaugural Board, co-founded AusPAN with Roger Paterson, and was an inaugural board member of the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA).

Michele’s combination of research and practical experience give her great insight into effective interventions for people with ADHD and co-existing conditions. Together with Desiree Silva, she co-authored the ADHD Go-To-Guide: Facts and Strategies for Parents and Teachers.

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