Hundreds attend virtual CANDDID Conference 2021



More than 300 delegates came together for the 2021 virtual conference of the Centre for Autism, Neuro-Developmental Disorders and Intellectual Disability (CANDDID) on Friday 26 March with experts in ADHD other neurodevelopmental disorders presenting on range of topics.

CANDDID, based in Chester, and hosted by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) brings together, education, training and research in the fields of neurodevelopmental disorders and intellectual disabilities.

The 2021 conference; which was aimed at professionals, academics and students also welcomed members of the public was opened by Sheena Cumiskey, Chief Executive of CWP.

Sheena said: “Today’s conference shone a spotlight on ADHD and other neurodevelopmental conditions and we were delighted to welcome hundreds of colleagues and people from right across the country together with speakers from the UK and internationally with a range of backgrounds and expertise to the virtual event.

“I hope that the keynote sessions and seminars provided delegates with the opportunity to further develop their thinking and ultimately improve lives for all the people that we serve which is absolutely at the heart of everything we do.”

Professor Sujeet Jaydeokar, Operational Clinical Director, CANDDID, said: “This was our second conference since launching CANDDID in 2018 and it's been great to see an overwhelmingly positive response to the day.

“CANDDID is committed to co-production and we’re working very closely with a range of organisations on some exciting research, education and training projects. We now have a thriving programme of multi-disciplinary research and all our projects are clinically led which has led to innovative solutions being picked up nationally and internationally.”

Speakers from across the UK and the United States presented at the 2021 CANDDID conference including Dr Heather R. Adams, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology and Department of Paediatrics from University of Rochester Medical Centre, New York.

Dr Heather R. Adams presented on ‘Assessment for tics disorder in children with co-occuring neuro-developmental conditions.

She said: ‘“It was such an honour to be invited to speak at the CANDDID conference. I learned such a lot from the other speakers! The conference offered a wonderful balance of presentations of new research and a review of established evidence-based approaches to the assessment and care of individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (IDD’s).

“My talk, which focussed on assessment of tics and tic disorders in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, reviewed the approach to a comprehensive assessment of tics, tic phenomenology, and tic impacts. I also presented some data that highlights the importance of considering the comorbid presence of stereotypy / stereotypic movement disorder when evaluating tics in individuals with IDDs, and how to differentiate between tics and stereotypy”

Professor Jonna Kuntsi, Professor of Developmental Disorders and Neuropsychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neurosciences from King’s College London presented on ‘Does physical activity improve symptoms of ADHD?’

She said: “I was delighted to receive an invitation to give a lecture at the CANDIDD 2021 conference and to have the opportunity to listen to the other presentations, which I found very informative. It is so important for scientists, clinicians, carers and service users to get together – even if virtually in these COVID times – and hear about and discuss latest research findings and clinical insights.

“In my lecture I addressed the question of whether physical activity improves the symptoms of ADHD. I first discussed anecdotal evidence from elite athletes with an ADHD diagnosis – Michael Phelps, Louise Smith and Simone Biles – and then reviewed scientific evidence from meta-analyses and our own recent studies.”

The CANDDID conference will return in 2022 with a focus on learning disabilities. More details will be announced later in the year.