ADHD in Singapore

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental disorder of self-control. As the name suggests, the symptoms of ADHD are characterised by serious and persistent difficulty in three areas, namely:
  • Inattention
  • Impulsivity
  • Hyperactivity
It is quite normal for children to be active, inattentive and impulsive. However, children have difficulties in the above areas when these behaviours:
  • are severe and persistent
  • occur across more than one situation, for example, at home, school, the supermarket
  • impair their performance at school and their relationships with others
Children who exhibit such behaviours may be suffering from ADHD. Another name for this is hyperkinetic disorder. ADHD is related to abnormalities in brain functioning and development. It is also associated with other factors that can affect brain functioning or development, such as genetic factors, injuries, toxins and infections. 

Signs and Symptoms

Children with ADHD exhibit a variety of symptoms. Accordingly to diagnostic criteria, the symptoms must have started before the age of seven and be evident for at least six months.

With inattention, the child:

  • often fails to give close attention to details
  • often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • is often forgetful in daily activities
  • often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
  • often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties
  • often has difficulty organising tasks and activities
  • often avoids, dislikes or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (toys, school assignments, pencils or books)


With hyperactivity and impulsivity, the child:

  • often fidgets or squirms in the seat
  • often leaves his seat in the classroom or in other situations where remaining seated is expected
  • often runs about or climbs excessively in situations where it is inappropriate
  • often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • is often ‘on the go’ or often acts as if he is ‘driven by a motor’
  • often talks excessively
  • often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
  • often has difficulty waiting turns
  • often interrupts or intrudes on others

Treatment

There is no simple treatment. A multidisciplinary approach is most effective. This includes:
  • Medication
  • Medicine changes the brain chemistry so that the brain may function in a more orderly manner. As a child’s concentration improves and hyperactivity lessens, the child will find life more manageable and satisfying.

  • Help with behaviour management and organisation skillsParents can help children structure and organise their life. Having a routine is essential. Parents may make use of concrete reminders, such as lists, schedules and alarm clocks to help break down homework activities into small steps. Use of small, frequent and constantly repeated incentives and feedback increase children’s awareness of what they are doing. Positive results are encouraged in this way.

  • Training parents to elicit desired behaviourTraining parents helps them to elicit the desired behaviour they want in their children. As children with ADHD often feel they can do nothing right or well, helping children experience success by discovering what they are good at will foster their confidence and competence.

Where to Get Help for ADHD Diagnosis, Treatment and Support

 
(A) Subsidised Venues for Diagnosis & Treatment of ADHD/ADD (For Children)
 
Child Guidance Clinic (CGC)
Health Promotion Board Building
3 Second Hospital Ave #03-01
Singapore 168937
Tel: 6435-3878/9

The main government clinic in Singapore under the Institute of Mental Health that assesses and treats behavioural and developmental disorders in children and adolescents up to the age of 18 years. Students can pay a subsidized fee if there is a referral letter from school or polyclinic (Long queue expected)
                 
Child Development Unit (KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital)
Specialist Clinic M
Podium I, Children’s Tower
100 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 229899
Tel: 6394 2211
Students can pay a subsidized fee if there is a referral letter from school or polyclinic
(Long queue expected)
 
The Children's Specialist Clinic (National University Hospital)
Clinic 'A'
Main Building Level 1
National University Hospital
5 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Singapore 119074
Tel: 6772 5502
 
James Cook University Psychology Clinic
JCU Singapore Psychology Clinic
JCU Singapore Campus Block D
600 Upper Thomson Road
Singapore 574421

Email: psychologyclinic@jcu.edu.sg
Website: www.jcu.edu.sg/Clinic_Intro.htm

This is a University Clinic where ADHD children and adults can get diagnosis and medical treatment. Low cost of $20 per consultation session (diagnosis tests will cost more). As this is a training clinic, patients are seen by psychiatric students under training.

(B) Support & Service Organisations
 
Student Care Services (SCS) – Educational Psychology Services (EPS)
The EPS serves students aged 5 to 18 years coming from families with less than $2000 monthly income. The EPS provides diagnostic and intervention programmes for students with learning difficulties, special behavioural / emotional / developmental issues, and special needs eg autism, dyslexia, attention deficit. They also provide support services for parents.

There are 3 centres:

SCS Clementi Centre

Blk 437 Clementi Ave 3 #01-98
Singapore 120437
Tel: 6778 6867
 
SCS Hougang Centre
Blk 463 Hougang Ave 10 #01-964
Singapore 530463
Tel: 6286 9905

SCS Yishun Centre
Blk 202 Yishun St 21 #01-89
Singapore 760202
Tel: 6759 6821

Email: epsenquiries@students.org.sg
Website: www.students.org.sg

Care Corner Educational Therapy Services (ETS) - Mr. Isaac Tan

Offers specialized services for children with special learning needs which covers ADHD, attention difficulties, dyslexia, reading difficulties, writing difficulties and slow learning.
Serves children from 5 to 13 years old. Services include consultation, specialist tuition and intervention programs to improve learning abilities conducted at its centre in Toa Payoh and at six primary schools. Subsidies are available to families needing financial assistance.

Care Corner Educational Therapy Service
Blk 149 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #01-963
Singapore 310149
Tel: 6259 8683
Email: ets@carecorner.org.sg
Website: www.carecorner.org.sg/ets.html
Learning To Learn Centres (Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation)

The Learning To Learn Centre is run by Kampung Senang Charity and Education Foundation. The Centre helps children with learning challenges, including ADHD, Autism Spectrum, Dyslexia, developmental delays and children who do not respond well to traditional teaching methods, at affordable and subsidized rates.

They run 2 Centres :
 
Kovan MRT Centre
Blk 221 Hougang St 21 #01-90
Singapore 530221
Tel: 6487 3430 (Mr. Ong Chee Seng)
 
Tampines Centre
Blk 840 Tampines St 82 #01-113
Singapore 520840
Tel: 6788 2568
(C) Support Groups
 
Society for the Promotion of ADHD Research and Knowledge (SPARK)
1008 Toa Payoh North, #03-08
Singapore 318996
Email: Spark_Singapore@yahoogroups.com
Website: www.spark.org.sg

SPARK is an independent, voluntary welfare organization which promotes ADHD awareness and runs a support group for parents who have children with ADHD / ADD.
 
SPARK holds monthly Parent Support Group meetings and talks relating to ADHD, treatment methods and coping strategies. They are held on the first Saturday of every month, from 9am–12noon at the Child Guidance Clinic, 3rd floor of the Health Promotion Board Building, 3 Second Hospital Ave, Singapore 168937. 
 
ADHD Singapore Mailing Group
This is a mailing group which offers a forum for people to connect with others in the group to ask questions on ADD / ADHD related issues and to share learning. To join the mailing group, just send an empty email to:

Email: ADHD_Singapore-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Website: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ADHD_Singapore/

                   

Sources:
http://www.imh.com.sg/clinical/page.aspx?id=249
http://www.spark.org.sg/help.html

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