Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


ADHD no barrier to student’s achievement

ADHD no barrier to student’s achievement

When she was five year’s old Anna Redgrave’s parents were told she would never achieve success. But she has repeatedly proved the doubters wrong.

Her latest achievement was to graduate with a Master of Counselling (Hons) from the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work with First Class Honours.

She was drawn to study Psychology at the University after many years working in the ICT industry.

It was during one of her lectures, the then 36-year-old started to realise she was ADHD.

“As she lectured I just thought oh, that describes me. I guess I felt a little excited. I always knew I was different. I finally worked out that this square peg actually had its very own square hole.

“Finding out wasn’t a big blinder, it felt like it just happened over time. I heard a little bit here and there about ADHD and thought it sounded a lot like me.”

Anna says getting her MA was a thrill, but also a relief.

“I felt relieved it was over. It was exhausting work - especially with ADHD.”

Anna has chosen not to medicate her ADHD, which would help her focus in study. Five years ago she failed three papers in the first year of her studies.

“Every year my grades got a little better as I learnt strategies to cope with ADHD, and how to study. I also have an amazing and supportive husband who taught me a few study tricks.

“By the time I graduated I received First Class Honours. That was awesome, absolutely awesome.”

Anna lives in Mt Eden and works part time for Massey University as a counsellor. She also has her own counselling practice focusing on three areas including issues with invisible diagnosis such as ADHD, individuals experiencing workplace problems, and working with survivors of trauma.

“As a counsellor I work with both adolescents and adults. For clients with ADHD recognition of an adult diagnosis is very recent and it presents quite differently than in children. It is an area of neurological difference that has received very little focus from research and supportive services.”

Anna co-facilitates four closed Facebook groups on behalf of the NZ ADHD Association - one for parents of ADHD kids with more than1450 members and one for ADHD adults with about 350 members. There are two smaller groups; one for young ADHD adults up to the age of 25, and another for neuro-typical individuals living with an ADHD partner.

“Neuro-typical partners may live in a chaotic world, not only with an adult partner who has ADHD, but also they may have young ADHD children.”

In 10 years she hopes to be a public speaker. In her past career she attended speeches by Bryce Courtenay and Sir Edmund Hilary amongst others that inspired her to take make changes to her career and set upon the direction she is now going.

“I would like to inspire others to embrace their difference, not only look at the negatives, but seek out how they might be turned into positives.”

In the mean time she may go on to study clinical psychology.

She has some good advice for people who are diagnosed with ADHD.
“Don’t try to see it as a disaster, rather work towards understanding both the positives and negatives.”
If you would like to contact Anna check out her website at


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland