Awareness Month Aims to Set the Record Straight on ADHD
It’s October—and this year, we’re setting the record straight on ADHD.
CHADD and ADHD Awareness Month partners ADDA and ACO are taking this time to “set the record straight” on ADHD. Why? Because when you have information on the disorder, how to treat it, and helpful lifestyle changes, daily life can improve for you and those you know who have ADHD.
“ADHD Awareness Month gives us an opportunity to celebrate the progress we’ve made in ADHD education and advocacy, while understanding there is work that still needs to be done,” says CHADD Chief Operating Officer April Gower. “We’re working to raise awareness about the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to make life better for the members of the ADHD community. Without ADHD awareness, many children and adults will continue to struggle.”
What is ADHD?
“ADHD has three components,” says Max Wiznitzer, MD, a pediatric neurologist at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, and co-chair of CHADD’s professional advisory board. “The first component is inattention. This is a broad category that includes poor organization, poor time management, forgetfulness, losing things, and the inability to finish tasks. The second component is overactivity. The third is impulsivity.”
Sometimes, though, people may first be diagnosed and treated for a different condition—often one that co-occurs with ADHD, such as anxiety or depression—before they receive an accurate diagnosis of ADHD. A thorough evaluation for ADHD for an adult or a child can make a difference in creating a successful treatment plan. An ADHD diagnosis requires a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced professional who can assess signs and symptoms, rule out other causes, and determine the presence or absence of coexisting conditions.
“Always start with the underlying symptoms and stay open-minded regarding all the possibilities as to why a problem exists,” says Dr. Wiznitzer.
Helping to spread awareness
CHADD and the National Resource Center are once again partnering with the Attention Deficit Disorder Association and the ADHD Coaches Organization to form the ADHD Awareness Month Coalition. Together, we are spreading awareness of how common it is to have ADHD—2 out of 25 children, or about 8 percent, and 1 out of 25 adults, or about 4 percent.
The ADHD Awareness Month Coalition is committed to educating people about ADHD by providing user-friendly information, addressing stigma, and empowering those with ADHD to minimize the impairments and challenges so they can unleash their strengths and create a life they love.
CHADD is setting the record straight on social media to spread the awareness that with recent information and research-supported practices, life with ADHD can be better. You can check out social media posts to Like or Share throughout October and all year long at Facebook.com/CHADD.org and Facebook.com/Help4ADHD. We’ve also introduced our Instagram page with memes and graphics that you can share.
CHADD’s local affiliates, members, and friends can download the ADHD Awareness Month Toolkit to help with social media outreach, plan events, and get the word out to your local media. The toolkit features suggested Facebook and Twitter posts, along with letters to the editor and press release templates you can use where relevant to your organization.
Multimedia message—Enter Now!
This year you had be part of the excitement by contributing a video by October 10, or your own story, art, or meme.
2018 Video Contest. What do you want the world to know about ADHD? Submission deadline has been extended through Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. You can vote for your favorite video starting on Friday, October 12. Visit the ADHD Awareness Month Video Contest to learn more.
Share Your ADHD Story through the written word from the perspective of a person with ADHD, or a person who loves or works someone with ADHD.
Share Your Art! Share your photos or other images that show what ADHD looks like or feels like to you.
Submit Your 2018 Meme! Contest runs throughout the month of October, and you can vote for your favorites.
What can you do to help set the record straight?
“CHADD does not do its work alone,” Ms. Gower says. “A coalition is forming among all of us who work to improve the lives of people and their families affected by ADHD. Together we will provide individuals and families with the support they need to thrive. We will provide educators with the training they need to educate students who have ADHD and we will provide ADHD professionals with the information and guidance they need to support their patients or clients. As we go forward, we will provide the information and advocacy needed to end any trace of stigma surrounding ADHD.”
As part of the growing coalition of ADHD community members, you can:
Print out the NRC fact sheets on ADHD and share them with your friends and community.
Get tips and resources on how you can increase awareness about ADHD.
Host an event promoting ADHD Awareness Month or local resources for ADHD and mental health.
Use your social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms—to help set the record straight.
Join an event in your area, such as the annual ADHD Walk hosted by CHADD affiliates. Find your local CHADD affiliate or check out the CHADD Calendar of Events.
Go to the 2018 Annual International Conference on ADHD in November.
October is ADHD Awareness Month. CHADD and the ADHD community are working to raise awareness and improve lives every day. Together, we can set the record straight on ADHD.