I am so proud to be part of my Jewish community in North Manchester.
There is local Jewish emergency service called “Hatzola” which means in yiddish “to help” They are available for the assistance of the Jewish community, however they also help the non-Jewish members as well.
I was walking to town this morning. I saw a cyclist lying on the floor, there were people around him and they had called the ambulance. I offered to call the local Hatzola, the local Jewish emergency support service. The ambulance came within 5 minutes. They applied emergency first aid and waited till the general ambulance arrived to take the casualty to hospital.
Last week there was a serious fire in my street. Thank G-d the family got out safe and well. Even though they are not Jewish and the local ambulance services were on sight to assist with oxygen and first aid, t he local hatzola sevice greatly supported them together with the local ambulance service.
It is times like this that I feel so proud to be Jewish and to be part of the greater Jewish community. We are all like one family.
We area guiding light unto the nations.
I support my Jewish clients from my community in North Manchester who have ADHD children. What I find surprising is that each parent that has a child with ADHD is given the impression that they need to “sort out the child” and that there are no other ADHD children in the school.
My Jewish clients find it difficult to understand why I do not go into schools to offer training and support to staff. My success in the wider national ADHD scene is almost seen as a failure in my local Jewish community.
I have tried. Hard.
The local Jewish schools in North Manchester are often under funded and strapped for cash. I am passionate about ADHD education and advocacy. Since I am very grateful to the schools for having taught my children, I have offered many times to go in to train the teachers for free or at a greatly reduced fee.
They are also suspicious of new ideas and change. I get that. This is what has kept us alive as a people through the millenia.
Sometimes it can be so frustrating.
After speaking to a potential client who really could not get her head around why I do not give workshops in the Jewish schools, I decided to call up some schools and speak to the SENCOs. I hadnt done this in two years.
I spoke to a SENCO who works in a local Jewish school about offering training for her staff of teachers about ADHD. I called her up because I have a number of clients who have daughters in her school, and who reported that while the school means well, there is a lot of ADHD ignorance. Most sadly, the tools to help high school students with ADHD that are simple and easy to implement, are not being put into practice in this school.
The conversation was going pretty well, then things got sour. I mentioned that ADHD is largely genetic. This is even more so among the Jewish population. (No studies yet, but very well known among expert psychiatrists.)
The SENCO had to restrain herself not to put the phone down on me right away… She won’t be calling me back. My phone was on loudspeaker. this helps me focus. My teenage daughter who was in the other room (my door was closed) was shocked. She asked me how I can allow myself to be spoken to like this? I smilingly told her, “My dear this is not the first time and it wont be the last. This is part of being a pioneer.”
I have been trying unsuccessfully to get in touch with another school. (I have called 4 times, and left clear messages with the relevent people.)
I have since offered my services for free to another school for a limited time period and I havent heard from them.)
Countless different variations of this story are unfortunately all too common in my experience. The SENCOs tell me that the schools are managing their ADHD students very well. That is not what I hear from the parents..They tell me that they have just had an ADHD organisation come in to train the teachers, and they don’t want any more at the moment. However when I ask some basic questions I get some worrying answers…
The best line that I get is “We have just had an ADHD expert in to give training to our staff. We don’t need to do this again.”
ADHD in the Jewish community is far more common than in the non Jewish community. It is present in most families. I focus on ADHD awareness, and most importantly ADHD focused home/time/student study tools.
I have called up the girl’s high schools to offer to teach the students study skills/focus skills/stress management skills. They say that they use their internal staff for this. When I meet the mothers they complain to me that their daughters are so stressed out. They tell me that their daughters are not being assisted in learning how to study/ plan time/deal with stress. This affects the entire family. The tools I teach apply to everyone, especially those who are neurodiverse.
I love being a pioneer, but it can be extremely frustrating.
My mental and emotional health come before anything else. I need to have the energy to care for my husband and 5 children. They are my top priority.
This is why I do not call up my local Jewish schools any more to offer ADHD education and training.
When I come up against such ignorance it only strengthens my resolve to do more to spread ADHD awareness. My ADHD creativity awakens, and I usually have a great insight/idea regarding ADHD. My book was born after an intensely frustrating moment. I did not let the frustration and difficulty set my back. I resolved to do more.
I am actively spreading ADHD awareness and education nationally and on government level.
I have attended and will be speaking at the next APPG for ADHD in the House of Commons.
I have set up the first ADHD Women in Business network event in the UK.
I go where the door is open.
ADHD treatment is “pills and skills.” I do the skills part.
There is a lot of ADHD ignorance out there, in the national UK scene as well as closer to home.
I have my work cut out for me.