CHADD Shines a Spotlight on Three Hot Topics: the Medication Shortage, the Need for Adult Diagnostic Guidelines, and Access to Care in Underserved Communities
October is ADHD Awareness Month, and CHADD is shining a spotlight on the most critical concerns currently facing this community.
Moving Forward with ADHD in 2023
Each October during ADHD Awareness Month, CHADD joins forces with the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) to build a stronger understanding of ADHD, and to provide valuable programming and resources. The theme for Awareness Month this year is Moving Forward with ADHD in 2023. On the coalition’s website at ADHDAwarenessMonth.org, visitors will find education materials, videos, podcasts featuring ADHD experts, and much more.
This ADHD Awareness Month, the experts at CHADD have identified three pressing concerns in need of attention if we are to move forward as a community in enabling individuals with ADHD to lead successful lives. These topics are the ADHD medication shortage, the importance of developing universal diagnostic guidelines for the adult population, and the lack of access to care for ADHD, particularly in underserved communities.
The ADHD Medication Shortage
There has been an ongoing shortage, beginning in the fall of 2022, in the availability of stimulant medications to treat ADHD. This is causing serious challenges for millions of children and adults who rely on these medications to function properly in school, at work, in relationships, and throughout their day-to-day lives. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are working closely with manufacturers, agencies, and others in the supply chain to understand, prevent, and reduce these shortages.
CHADD’s Public Policy Committee―experts who advocate on behalf of the ADHD community―continues to pursue all appropriate channels to bring these concerns to the attention of policymakers and manufacturers, and to affect change. If members of the community are interested in reaching out to their representatives and senators, CHADD has composed a letter template that can be customized and sent to elected officials. Tips for how to handle the medication shortage are also available at CHADD.org.
The Need for Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines for Adults with ADHD
The prevalence of ADHD among the US adult population is 4.4%, equating to 11 million people. Many adults remain undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed by their healthcare providers. Surprisingly, 75% of adults with ADHD are not receiving treatment. Middle-aged women contend with additional challenges regarding diagnosis and treatment, as the symptoms they experience are often mistaken as hormonal changes, stress, and other mental health concerns.
CHADD and its adult guidelines DaTAA project coalition is partnering closely with APSARD―the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders―to develop and publish clear diagnostic guidelines for the treatment of ADHD in adults, and to provide toolkits and related resources for implementation of the guidelines, addressing a crucial need for healthcare providers and adults. These guidelines will be based on a critical review of the world’s scientific literature, the APSARD-developed Adult ADHD Quality Measures initiative, and expert opinion from a large panel of diverse nationally and internationally recognized ADHD researchers and clinicians, in collaboration with other professional organizations. There are currently no such guidelines in the US addressing the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD for adults.
Access to Care for ADHD in Underserved and Rural Communities
Concerns regarding access to competent ADHD care are significantly magnified in communities of color, where overall disparities in healthcare are pervasive. Findings from several research studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) show that Asian, Black, and Hispanic children are significantly less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD compared with White children, and when diagnosed, less likely to receive treatment. Substantially lower rates of detection among minority racial/ethnic subgroups in the US leads to higher odds of negative outcomes with economic and personal consequences. Barriers include lack of access to proper evaluation and treatment, a shortage in the delivery of culturally competent healthcare, frequent misdiagnosis, cultural stigmas surrounding mental health, and mistrust in the healthcare system. Reduced access to care is also prevalent in rural communities, where there are fewer local healthcare experts who understand how to recognize, diagnose, and treat ADHD. It is estimated that more than 66 million people in the US reside in non-metropolitan counties with a shortage of mental health professionals.
CHADD continues to develop resources specially addressing ADHD among diverse populations, aimed at breaking down stigmas and increasing access to trusted, reliable information. In rural areas, where wait times to see a specialist can be six months or more, telemedicine services may now offer a viable option. Telemedicine―which gained increasing acceptance during the COVID-19 pandemic―can be a cost-effective and convenient alternative to an in-person visit with a doctor or specialist. That said, it is imperative to identify an experienced ADHD professional who can provide a comprehensive evaluation and individualized treatment plan. A telehealth evaluation for ADHD should reflect the same level of attention and care received during an office visit with a clinical expert.
2023 Annual International Conference on ADHD
Beyond ADHD Awareness Month, the coalition members―CHADD, ACO and ADDA―will host the 2023 Annual International Conference on ADHD in Baltimore, Maryland, from November 30 to December 2, followed by an online conference option on December 5 and 6. The conference delivers a multitude of ADHD-focused science, education, and essential information, as well as support and community, for an intended audience that includes adults with ADHD, parents and caregivers of children with ADHD, educators, coaches, advocates, and clinicians who diagnose and treat patients with ADHD. For more information or to register, please visit TheADHDConference.org.
What is ADHD?
Everybody can have difficulty sitting still, paying attention or controlling impulsive behavior once in a while. For some people, however, the problems are so pervasive and persistent that they interfere with every aspect of their life: home, academic, social and work.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 11 percent of school-age children. Symptoms continue into adulthood in more than three-quarters of cases. ADHD is characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity.
Find A CHADD Chapter
CHADD has a nationwide network of affiliated chapters. We encourage you to find a group in your area. This is the best way to connect with resources and find a local ADHD support group that you can share with.
We also have a number of resources for individuals who would like to form a chapter. We can help you setup your chapter and teach you how to grow your membership.
ADHD Medication Shortages: What to Know and Do
Perseverance, flexibility, and creativity are key to success in dealing with the ongoing shortage of various ADHD stimulant medications. Here are some helpful tips and strategies.
Moving Forward with ADHD:
October Is ADHD Awareness Month
October is dedicated to raising awareness about ADHD. With millions of individuals affected by this neurodevelopmental disorder worldwide, ADHD Awareness Month is an annual opportunity to educate, advocate, and support the adults and children who live with ADHD.
Raising ADHD awareness for almost forty years
CHADD plays a pivotal role in ADHD Awareness Month. We offer a wealth of information, resources, and support for individuals with ADHD and their families through the National Resource Center on ADHD, our local chapters, and educational programs.
Throughout these years, CHADD has developed first of its kind training on ADHD for families and for teachers. More recently, a course for adults, and a course for healthcare professionals have been created to meet their specific needs.
ADHD Awareness Month and ADHD Coalition partners
CHADD continues to work closely with the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO) and the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) to provide awareness month programing and resources, along with a vibrant social media campaign. These three organizations also team together to sponsor the Annual International Conference on ADHD following the awareness month each year.
The ADHD Awareness Month Coalition is encouraging members of the ADHD community to express themselves through art, memes, short videos, and their own stories. Submissions can be made on the ADHD Awareness Month website. Selected submissions will be shared through the ADHD Awareness Month social media and on its website.
This year, the coalition partners will randomly draw winners from submissions, and winners will receive either coaching hours through ACO or memberships in CHADD or ADDA for one year. You can learn more about the drawing at ADHD Awareness Month—Express Yourself.
Here's how you can get involved:
- Host or attend local campaigns and events: You can find various campaigns and events taking place during October, and have your events, local and online, listed on the ADHD Events Calendar.
- Plan an ADHD walk or community event: Get your chapter or community members involved in a day spent together to get the word on how to move forward with ADHD. Can’t get everyone together at the same time? Plan a virtual walk.
- Share your story: Share your personal experiences with ADHD, helping to reduce stigma and raise awareness. Talk with other people, offer a presentation in your community, or express yourself by submitting your art, memes, or stories at ADHDAwarenessMonth.org [https://www.adhdawarenessmonth.org/express-yourself/].
- Share educational materials: CHADD’s National Resource Center on ADHD provides educational resources, infographics, and fact sheets that you can share with your friends and family and within your community.
ADHD Awareness matters
When you help to raise awareness about ADHD, you help to:
- Reduce stigma: People with ADHD often face unfair judgments and stereotypes. By increasing awareness, you can help reduce stigma and foster empathy and understanding.
- Encourage early intervention: Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment plans are essential for individuals who have ADHD. Awareness efforts can lead to earlier identification and support for children, helping them to become successful in their lives.
- Supporting families: Families affected by ADHD often need guidance and resources. Awareness campaigns can provide information on ADHD and its treatment strategies while helping to connect families with community and resources to provide support.
Awareness Month is moving the ADHD community forward
ADHD Awareness Month is an opportunity for all of us to learn, support, and advocate for adults and families affected by ADHD. CHADD provides valuable resources throughout the year. By spreading knowledge and understanding, we can help each member of the ADHD community to move forward in their lives and to thrive.
October is ADHD Awareness Month: Featuring the ADHD Awareness Coalition
The ADHD Kids Can Thrive podcast discussed ADHD Awareness Month with ADHD Awareness Coalition Director Roxanne Fouche. Hear what she has to say about ADHD and how to make more people aware of ADHD and helping them move forward with the supports they need. CHADD, ACO, and ADDA make up the ADHD Awareness Coalition.
Our podcast today features Ellen B. Littman, a clinical psychologist who has specialized in working with those with neurodiverse brains for over 30 years. Described by the American Psychological Association as “a pioneer in the identification of gender differences in ADHD,” Dr. Littman has extensive experience with issues affecting neurodiverse women and girls.
ADHD Awareness Month Campaign
ADHD is one of the most common mental health conditions affecting children and adults. But it is often misunderstood. ADHD Awareness Month's goal is to correct these misunderstandings and highlight the shared experiences of the ADHD community.
ADHD–Where Children Live Might Make a Difference for Diagnosis and Treatment
Many factors can influence whether a child receives a diagnosis and treatment for ADHD, including where the child lives. Learn what CDC is doing to understand differences in ADHD diagnosis and treatment.
ADHD, Young Adults, and Their Parents
Featuring Dulce Torres
ADHD can have a profound affect on the relationships between parents and their children. Unmanaged, it can cause deep hurt. Dulce Torres discusses what parents and young adults can do to keep communication open and their relationship healthy as young adults move through their 20s.
Watch additional ADHD Awareness videos
ADHD Events Calendar
Find ADHD events on CHADD's events calendar.
Be An ADHD Advocate In Your Community
Advocacy begins in your own community. The CHADD Advocacy Manual can help you pursue ADHD issues in your community and raise awareness among local and state leaders.
ADHD Awareness Walk Toolkit
If you are interested in hosting your own event for ADHD Awareness Month, you can use our Walk Toolkit as a guide. While written with an in-person walk in mind, much of its information and helpful steps can be adapted for a virtual walk. Within it you will find information on: How to get started, Creating an event registration page, Promote your event, and much more.
Plan a Virtual ADHD Walk
Your local CHADD affiliate or group of friends may be interested in hosting a walk to support ADHD awareness, or as a fundraiser for CHADD.
The COVID-19 pandemic and health precautions needed to slow the spread of the virus mean that many activities, such as fundraiser walks, have needed to change. If you are interested in hosting a virtual walk for ADHD Awareness, here are a few ideas.
Select a date, week, or weekend for your virtual event. You can have participants keep a log of their walk or fun run.
Decide on your platform. There are websites available to help you plan your virtual walk, including these:
Other possible platforms to use:
You can also use a free website with ready-made templates to create your own informational website. A quick internet search for “free websites” should provide you with options to choose from that meet your needs.
Use your social media. Facebook events, Twitter, and Instagram are social media channels that can bring your participants together online to share information and excitement. Encourage participants to hashtag pictures of videos of themselves and family members walking for ADHD awareness. Ask them to post or send pictures to your social media or event page.
Follow up with your event participants. Celebrate their accomplishments on your social media. Send certificates and ribbons to acknowledge their participation in your event. Maintain an email list and send regular emails about your plans for future events.
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