ADHD Symptoms Ambassador

This campaign is initiated
and funded by Takeda

Jannine Perryman

When I found out my daughter had ADHD I was in denial but after seeing the positive impact of her diagnosis, I went on my own journey of self-discovery for both myself and my family too.

I struggled from a young age. I couldn’t integrate myself into the education system. I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t concentrate. I wasn’t disruptive but I was very reserved, sitting and listening to my own thoughts rather than a teacher. Coupled with a sense of feeling judged and misunderstood, school felt impossible at the time. It got to the point where my parents didn’t feel like they could keep me safe.

I would wake up in the middle of the night and couldn’t lay in a dark silent room so I would go and explore.

When I got told off for being in the living room, I started wandering in the garden and eventually in the streets. Now, I know it all links back to my ADHD but at the time no one knew.

I got married at 19 and had my first child, but I was divorced by 21. I didn’t actually start to feel like myself until I was 21 when I took on the challenge of a dance and drama degree without any previous qualifications. From then on, I started to flourish and fell in love with children’s books. I even went on to get a masters in performing art and I’m desperate to do my PHD, but I have to confess the prospect scares me. I was really proud of myself, but something still didn’t feel quite right.

After my Masters I got married again and had my twins – they are 19 years old now and both of them have ADHD. The doctor told us my daughter had ADHD I was completely in denial – I just didn’t believe it was real. But after seeing the incredible impact of the medication on my daughter, I went on my own journey of self-discovery for both myself and my family too.

It was actually the Head Teacher at the school I was working in as an unqualified teacher that pushed me to get an assessment for ADHD and Autism, but I was terrified the doctor wasn’t going to believe me. He did listen though, and even though he didn’t think I had ADHD or Autism he did say “I think you would know better than me.” He gave me the agency to decide my own fate, he didn’t belittle me or make me feel like I was crazy. Thankfully, they referred me to a specialist and within four months I was diagnosed with ADHD.

After my diagnosis, I went through a period of grief for the life I could’ve, would’ve and should’ve lived if I’d known.

But I kept pushing my way through academia. Teaching was only part of my story, and it was the teaching qualification that was going to be my springboard into making real change. I chose to specialise in teaching children with additional needs – I found that not only did I love it, but I am very good at it. At the same time, I founded ADHD Wise and which has now become Neurodiversity Networks CIC this year, a support platform that helps people through ADHD along with other Neurodiversities.

I fully believe that you can’t solve a problem until you know what it is, and we help people identify their problems. We also help schools to recognise ADHD in children and educate them on how to understand it better. I feel so lucky to be able to work with and advocate for people that don’t currently have a voice and give them the chance in life that I didn’t get.

As for my own progress with ADHD I have accepted that I am time blind, and I cannot change that I get distracted easily. In that acceptance I have been able to put coping mechanisms in my environment to help me through the day, it has also made me a better mum and a better professional.

My one piece of advice to women with ADHD is to make friends with your ADHD. ADHD exists in me. ADHD is part of me.




Founder ADHD Wise & Neurodiversity Networks CIC




Key symptoms Difficulty concentrating, restlessness

Sound familiar?

Do these stories sound familiar to you? If so, you might want to consider speaking with your doctor about ADHD. Visit our symptoms page to learn more or download our discussion guide to help you prepare for your appointment..

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