By Shizuka Shimabukuro
Our unit has been working on ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) research on children, and I myself particularly have been working on development of efficient parent trainings.
Most commonly seen symptoms among ADHD children are such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. If there are any negative effects by these on their social life or at school, some kind of support suitable for each child would be necessary. In this regard, our parent training program is to provide some knowledge for the parents of ADHD children on what these children are not good at, to train children with ADHD through appropriate behavioral treatment, to support families to implement the treatment in practical ways.
We introduced a program for ADHD children developed in UK. We made some modification for Japanese families including how to take care of parents as well as children in the new program. To provide support for ADHD children, firstly, we need to understand how their parents feel and how their relationship with their children are so that we can guide the parents stay in good psychological state. In our support program, the parents learn about ADHD, communicate with people around them to solve the issues they have in various ways.
In our research unit, we analyzed appropriately 50 people who participated in the parent training developed by us, and we found various good effects through implementing it. In the future, we are to demonstrate the effect of this program in our local community. We plan to implement this program in and outside of Okinawa, and we are currently recruiting some people who can cooperate for our project. We also need to develop leaders who can operate our program with new participants. I think it may take some time, but we hope that we can disseminate our activity starting from Okinawa to outside of Okinawa.
Inquiries from Parents
I became a researcher at OIST in 2010. While I was in the US, I had been especially interested in children’s depression and I provided some consultation to these children. Since then, I have always had hoped for working with children in Okinawa, my hometown.
I also wanted to do some research on providing support not only children with problems, but also for family members since my major was family therapy. In Japan, sufficient research on providing socio-psychological supports does not exist. During our interviews to parents, we encountered many people who did not know how to deal with their children. With their various inquires, we came to an idea to develop a program which would suit each child with ADHD.
Success Came out of Failures
We are also planning to tackle not only on children diagnosed with ADHD, but also on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) besides ADHD.
In my upcoming talk, I would like to share with the audience what I have been through. I experienced a lot of failures, which gave me the momentum to go forward, and I am now what I am today through all these experiences. I would like to tell young people not to be in a rush but spend their time on what they really want to do. Believing that failures and setbacks will surely lead to a success, we want young people to hang in for their future.