I was studying engineering at university when I was diagnosed with ADHD and autism. I also became very unwell, which led to me having to take a leave of absence from university.
The NHS wasn't able to help me – they just don’t have any support for people in my age range or told me I had to wait for two years - but I needed help straightaway as I was in chronic pain.
When I had to drop out of university, I was adamant about not returning home, but I also couldn’t get any help where I was. My Mum was looking around and she found Kids Inspire online and they had small package of funding so agreed to help me.
They gave me 20 one-to-one sessions straightaway, and they helped me figure out what I was going to do with myself for a bit. I'm not in chronic pain all the time anymore.
They talked to my family about my neurodivergent conditions because they didn't understand. If Kids Inspire hadn't been there, I probably wouldn't have come home, because my relationship with my family had broken down pretty much completely.
My parents didn't understand what was going on with me or why I wanted to even get a diagnosis because they were confused by the misinformation online and they thought I wouldn't be allowed to do certain jobs or be allowed to drive a car.
Kids Inspire arranged a session where my parents got to ask questions about my diagnosis, and they explained how my brain works, how I take things literally. For example, sudden changes to my routine used to cause a lot of problems and made things difficult.
Kids Inspire was better than I had expected – mainly because they look at you as a whole person. All my other treatment had been geared towards looking at one thing at a time rather than at how everything was linked. Kids Inspire took an overall approach, and involved my family too because my health was also linked to my home life. They also taught me strategies for dealing with what had happened and how to manage my days and understand how my head works.
They have a group called The Voice. I go along every other week and there are other people who've been through therapy or need help with different things; some have autism and social anxiety - all different things. We talk about our experiences and it’s really helped me to re-socialise because when I was ill I didn’t really see anyone and my social skills were gone.
Things are pretty good now. I’m learning to drive and I’m back in contact with my friends, who I didn't really have much contact with before, and I'm just starting a trades course at college part time.
I'm just really grateful for Kids Inspire in general. I don't really think I would necessarily be here if it hadn’t been for them. The fact that they were helping a lot of other people in the same situation was a lifeline to me. I’m really grateful to them because they helped me to have a relationship with my family, which is really great now.
Kids Inspire provide mental health and trauma recovery support for children, young people and their families.
Through a range of therapeutic and community activities it promotes resilience, self-awareness, and relationship building to help young people re-engage in education and empower more positive life choices.