The day began with opening talk by Professor Anita Thapar, a Principal Investigator at NCMH and head of the developmental disorders group within the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics.
Professor Thapar explained how the causes of ADHD are complex, involving genetics as well as environmental and psychological factors. She also discussed some of the findings from her team’s research, including how children with ADHD may find it difficult to recognise emotions from facial expressions, and how there may be an overlap with autistic spectrum disorders.
Families were then invited to attend two of three workshops; ADHD and emotional difficulties, ADHD and the overlap with autistic spectrum disorders and learning difficulties, and ADHD as you get older.
There were also a range of interactive activities for families to get involved in, including searching for brain facts in a giant brain bouncy castle, colouring in a sleep diary and getting hands on with some research activities.
Professor Stephanie van Goozen, a biological psychologist from the School of Psychology, then gave a talk about her new project, which will explore whether computer-based emotion training can improve social behaviour.
The day ended with Q&A session, where parents and children had the opportunity to speak to researchers about their current work, as well as ask questions about the support for people with ADHD in education, the health service and in the workplace.
“It was great to see so many people at the open day” said Professor Thapar “We couldn’t do the work we do without families volunteering their time, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share what we’ve learnt so far and say thank you to those who have helped us”.
If you would like to help with our ADHD research, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 029 2068 8401.
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