Trying to give kids the best chance

Merchant's House, Law's Close, High St, Kirkcaldy;'Relaunch of Attention Fife charity ; BARBARA NAWMAN, MARGARET PORTER, DIANNE GIRVAN & TRISHA ELSTON 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

Merchant's House, Law's Close, High St, Kirkcaldy;'Relaunch of Attention Fife charity ; BARBARA NAWMAN, MARGARET PORTER, DIANNE GIRVAN & TRISHA ELSTON 'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON

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A FIFE charity which supports children with attention, behavioural and learning difficulties re-launched in Kirkcaldy this week.

Attention Fife held an event at its office in Merchant’s House in the town’s Law’s Close yesterday (Wednesday) to officially mark the move.

The charity provides help and information to families struggling with the challenges of attention, hyperactivity and impulsivity disorders.

It aims to encourage self-help, while raising awareness and sharing experiences of positive options allowing parents to make informed choices about how to treat their children.

Attention Fife, which was formed in the mid 1990s, also provides: a resource and information library, workshops, parent support group, shared feedback on food, nutrition and complementary therapies.

Funding issues

Barbara Naumann, vice-chairman, said the main reason for yesterday’s (Wednesday) event was to gain feedback from various agencies to help re-establish the charity, and promote its new out of hours telephone numbers .

Barbara said: “We wanted to speak to them to find out what they saw as our role in the future, given the limitations we have.

‘‘There are a lot of funding issues, and a year ago we had to let our one paid worker go because we didn’t have the money to pay her.

“Just now all we have are a few volunteers and it is difficult to run the charity solely on that basis.”

Barbara originally helped to establish the Fife charity.

She got involved after she was given a lot of support from an English charity which promoted a nutritional approach when she had difficulties with her own son, who was very hyperactive.

A group was established in Dunfermline, and others gradually were formed across Fife. In the first few years there was a lot of help available from other sources, but this is no longer the case.

Rising cases

Barbara said: “Over the last 20 years there has been a huge rise in the number of children with neuro developmental disorders such as ADHD, autistic spectrum, dyspraxia and dyslexia.

‘‘Some doctors would say this is because there is better diagnosis now - many people feel that this is due to the increasing toxicity of our modern world, in food, the environment and the increased use of electronics with children spending too much time on computers.

“The service we offer is still very important. We want to hear from parents who have children with these challenges.

‘‘We are particularly interested to hear from families and others who have concerns about the amount of medication children are taking these days, and are interested in exploring other possible approaches.”