Aylsham mother backed by comedian after her emotional video message about ADHD goes viral
Archant Norfolk 2016
A mother’s whose emotional video about the stigma of living with ADHD went viral has secured the backing of comedian Rory Bremner in her bid to raise awareness of the condition.
Andrea Bell recorded a six-minute outburst of frustration at how children with ADHD are “discriminated against” at schools, and the video has been watched by more than 100,000 people online.
It even caught the attention of Mr Bremner, an impressionist and comedian, who played the video during one of his gigs.
Mrs Bell, of Aylsham, has ADHD, as does her 14-year old teenage son Reuben Antunes.
She said she recorded her video after advice from Reuben and his brother Elliott, 12, who encouraged her to talk on camera about her frustrations over the lack of understanding about the condition.
In the video Mrs Bell says schools making children with ADHD sit still and concentrate is akin to asking a person confined to a wheelchair to start walking around on their legs.
“It amounts to bullying and abuse,” Mrs Bell said.
She also talks about the difficulties of getting children diagnosed with ADHD.
“Schools will report to parents daily that their child needs to focus, concentrate, sit still, and remember things - but when a child is being assessed by a paediatrician the school will tell the paediatrician there is not a problem,” she said.
“Parents are screaming out to be listened to.
“I’ve had so many parents contact me since I published the video saying they’re experiencing the same problems.”
After seeing her video Mr Bremner invited Mrs Bell to a gig he was holding in London, where he showed her video to the audience.
Mr Bremner, who also has ADHD, is a patron of national charity the ADHD Foundation.
“I loved going to London and meeting him, and it really helped get my message out there,” Mrs Bell said.
“I was over the moon.”
Meanwhile the team that provides ADHD services for adults in the county, run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, is reporting high levels of demand.
Mrs Bell said she will be forced to wait for more than a year to see a member of the team for a medication review.
She runs charity ADD Norfolk, which offers a meetings for people with ADD (attention deficit disorder) or ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and campaigns for more awareness and less stigma around ADD/ADHD.
More information on the charity can be found by clicking here.