Continuing my review of adult ADHD resources in Australia, in this article we’ll look at one of the longest running organisations that has been providing support to the ADHD community. Since 1993, ADHD Western Australia – ADHD WA (formerly known as The Learning and Attentional Disorders Society, or LADs) has been providing support, advocacy and information for children, teenagers and adults coping with ADHD and learning disorders in Australia – as well as their family members, friends, teachers and members of the medical community.
LADs recently renamed themselves ADHD WA or ADHD Western Australia to highlight their particular focus on Western Australia. The organisation was founded after a year-long government sponsored research program showed there was a need for greater support and information for those with ADHD, as well as greater communication and coordination within the academic and medical community for treating ADHD.
The first president of ADHD WA was The Honorable Keith Wilson who was Health Minister at the time the group was founded. Wendy Mander played a critical role as the founder of the organisation until her death in 1999. After Wendy’s passing, volunteers came together to carry the torch forward and now LADs is securely situated at the Neurological Council of WA facilities.
The mission of ADHD WA is to: Provide support, advocacy and accurate information to members, parents, families and all people affected by learning and attentional disorders, to advocate on their behalf and to work in partnership with others to ensure appropriate services are available.
One of the great thing about ADHD Western Australia is their focus on teenagers and adults with ADHD. It should be noted that you need to join as a member of ADHD WA to access their resources. However, their site is still quite useful without a membership, and they have a list of events for those with ADHD in Western Australia including support groups here.
Information on the ADHD support groups – including their adult ADHD support group can be found on the ADHD WA support group page here. Currently the adult group meets monthly on every 3rd Tuesday, be sure to follow the link for the latest schedule.
Support groups can play a vital role in helping you cope with ADHD. ADHD WA captures this well on their site:
Probably the biggest advantage of support groups is helping an individual realize that he or she is not alone, that there are other people who have the same challenges. Being in a support group can also help you develop new skills to relate to others. In addition, the members of the group who have the same challenges can support each other and may suggest new ways of dealing with the challenges each of you are working on.
I encourage those of you with ADHD to find a local support group. For those who are unable to attend a group, ADHD WA also offers coaching and counseling for those with ADHD over the phone and through Skype. Please note, their coaching and counselling services do carry a fee, you can see the latest rates and find more information on the ADHD WA counselling and coaching page.
The LADs ONTRAC Teen Program is specifically designed for teenagers and adolescents who are transitioning to adulthood. They teach skills for interacting with others, at school, and in the workplace. This type of support is vital for helping people transition into adulthood with ADHD. Rather than have a false expectation that the condition will disappear with adulthood, they provide a clear path to continue coping effectively with ADHD as individuals get older.
For those who may not be able to afford one of their programs, you may still call the ADHD WA information and support line to learn what options are available. They have discounts on their membership for non wage earning individuals. Often it’s hard to keep a steady job with ADHD until the condition is properly managed. Contacting ADHD WA could be an important first step to help people get the treatment they need in Western Australia.