ADHD, Articles by Jacqueline McDiarmid, Children, Couple's counselling, Family counselling, Uncategorized

ADHD medication – How do children describe it?

I am a Family Counsellor who works with a lot of parents and families affected by a child’s ADHD diagnosis.  Many parents come to see me because they are not on the same parenting page with decisions about medication for their child.  They also want to learn more about ADHD and how to manage the behaviours that show up and impact their family.

Sometimes I find that parents do not really understand what ADHD means for their child or what it is like to really live with ADHD.  It’s a tricky neurological disorder of the brain – you can’t see it, and it’s not an obvious disability.  This can leave many parents, despite their child receiving the diagnosis, thinking that their child is extremely naughty, lazy or rude – and wondering what on earth is wrong with their parenting skills or why their child is like this.

A big part of my work is educating parents on aspects of ADHD and helping them to parent effectively without being punitive.  ADHD is not connected to the IQ of a child. It is also not connected to the personality of a child.  I find however, that most children I see with ADHD are incredibly interesting, engaging and bright personalities.

We need to support all children to reach adulthood with good self-esteem and life skills, and it is vital that parents understand that children with ADHD need more help in these areas.

Here is a video of the real voices of children with ADHD – if you are a parent, carer, teacher or loved one – it will will give you great insights into their world.  Please share it around.

Jacqueline McDiarmid

About Jacqueline

Jacqueline has been in private practice for more than two decades, helping individuals, couples and families.  She has extensive experience in couple and family therapy and is considered a specialist in these areas.

In her clinical practice, she has helped people deal with complex trauma, affairs, complex mental health issues, eating disorders, adolescent behavioural problems (including self-harm and suicidal ideation), behavioural issues in young children which are impacting parents and families, relationship issues and post-separation work.

Jacqueline works with many different dynamics: couples, parents, families with young children, same-sex couples, foster/adopted families, families with teenagers and also adult families.  She is particularly interested in helping parents of children with behavioural issues, or with diagnosed conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, ASD and so on.

Although Jacqueline’s work is supportive and friendly, she will challenge her couples and families to make the necessary behavioural changes, to repair relationships and to move towards healthier communication styles in the future.

Jacqueline’s style is direct and fast paced and she is known for quickly getting to the heart of the matter.  Clients report that they feel safe and understood with Jacqueline.

Qualifications and Professional Membership

Jacqueline has a Masters in Couple and Family Therapy (UNSW). She has a Bachelor degree in Counselling and Human Change, and a Diploma in Psychotherapy and Counselling.

Jacqueline is a Clinical Supervisor for Counsellors and Therapists. She lectures in couple and family therapy at Masters and Post Graduate level, and is currently Head Lecturer for the Couple and Family Therapy course (Masters) at the Jansen Newman Institute.  She has been a Lecturer at the University of Western Sydney and Sydney University, and continues to guest lecture at other tertiary institutions.

Jacqueline is also the Director of the Couple and Family Training Centre where she runs regular professional development workshops and seminars for Therapists, Counsellors, Psychologists, Social Workers and Health Industry Workers who are looking to gain skills in this specialist area.

She is a Clinical Member of the Family Therapy Association of Australia and a Clinical Member of PACFA.

“Thank you for seeing me today. Your help with all our family issues and all your advice has been invaluable.
I don’t know how other families do it, without a Jacqueline in their lives.” – Anna (43) step-mum and mum to four children.

If you feel as though you could benefit from talking with a Therapist please contact  The Sydney Couple and Family Specialists on 02 8968 9397 or email

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