Zahrah Khimani has completed her MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology from University of Bangor, UK. She is Master Neuro Linguistic Practitioner - Licensed (USA) and Specialised in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (USA). At present she is working as a Senior Behaviour Therapist at Aga Khan University Hospital and Senior Clinical Psychologist at Karachi Vocational Training Centre. She ia also working as A-Level Psychology Faculty at Foundation Public School. She is the founder and and CEO of URAAN-Paediatric Therapy Services


Objective: In Pakistan, there is an extreme dearth of awareness about the developmental needs of children, especially those suffering with ADHD is sorely lacking. A comprehensive analysis of the published empirical research literature of Pakistan demonstrates that no studies so far have been conducted on the significance of parents and teachers knowledge of ADHD. This study is an initial step to create awareness and tolerance for all those children who are different. The primary purpose of this study is to explore the existing knowledge and understanding (if any) of parents and teachers about ADHD. Moreover to inquire, how their cognition and belief towards mental health services for ADHD influences their decision to seek psychological assistance and medical help for their child’s treatment.

 Methods: Purposive sampling technique was used to select primary students (6-8 years) from lower middle class schools from three different towns of Karachi, Pakistan. Ten Focus group interviews were conducted to collect data from 150 (semi-literate) parents and teachers (untrained).  

 Findings: The findings of the study shows cognitive dysfunction of parents due to stigmatization of learning disabilities, societal pressure and rigid thinking (tunnel vision). There is a 2:1 ratio proportion of fathers & mother in laws hindering the treatment as compared to the mother. 80% of the mothers in the focus group outlined/suggested lack of decision making (especially in case of children) in a male dominant society. Moreover, mothers attributed lack of guidance/professional help/inclusive schools in Pakistan as compared to the west (developed nations) where ADHD treatment is much more common. While 45% of the fathers attributed lack of finances and overload of responsibilities. This concludes that parents disregard the needs of their child over societal needs.