Podcast Transcript

Guidance for Uncertain Times: How CHADD is Supporting the ADHD Community

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Podcast date: March 26, 2020

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how CHADD’s resource helpline and local chapters are providing support
  2. Learn about important ADHD blog topics
  3. Learn how CHADD can help you find professionals in your area
  4. Learn about getting medication during this time


Susan Buningh:  You're listening to a special podcast of All Things ADHD, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. I'm your host, Susan Buningh, and I'm here today with Robert Cattoi, CHADD's CEO. Good morning, Bob. How are you today?

Bob Cattoi:  I am well. How are you, Susan?

Susan Buningh:  Very well. Thank you. Bob, can you tell me in what ways CHADD is ready to help people with ADHD during this COVID-19 pandemic?

Bob Cattoi:  So, this COVID-19 outbreak is certainly a stressful time for everyone. And during this time, levels of anxiety caused by this pandemic become problematic. Our ability to focus on our work, on studies, on home may become more difficult, and this can certainly become an issue with those with ADHD. Know that the CHADD National Office is open, we're all working virtually from home. We are ready to help. We have our call center helpline working, our online support groups are working. We have informative blogs. We have great information on our website and we just have a lot of current news and information going out on our newsletters. So, please know that we are here and ready to help at any time.

Susan Buningh:  What kind of information is CHADD covering currently in the blogs? And what are some of the issues that are concerning people that we are addressing in the blogs?

Bob Cattoi:  Well, certainly with many schools closed, we have information on how to help parents with expert tips on children being home and homeschooling. We have tips and information on what it's like to work from home and ideas on how to make your home-work environment more productive. A lot of the work we have on our website are recommended resources for the COVID-19 outbreak, and also just some information on resilience and routines for families. So, we've got a lot of tips for parents, a lot of information for families to help them be ready during this time, while they are primarily homebound.

Susan Buningh:  So, in person meetings are strongly discouraged or even forbidden during this time. How are the CHADD chapters conducting their support groups? Can folks reach out to them?

Bob Cattoi:  Absolutely!  Reach out to our local chapters. We have over 115 local chapters around the country. Most of those chapters have moved now to virtual meetings using either Zoom or WebEx or Skype or some other platform. They're working very carefully to make sure that your confidentiality remains and that you work within these meetings. Obviously, it's not the same as an in-person meeting, but we're trying to maintain that community, and those local chapters are working very hard to be there to support you.

Susan Buningh:  If parents are looking for professional help for their children, or even for themselves, can CHADD help them find a professional?

Bob Cattoi:  Absolutely. I would recommend everyone go to the CHADD resource directory, our webpage—which lists all the professional associations and individuals—where you can find local support and local professionals to help you, who diagnose and treat ADHD.

Susan Buningh:  So, people are being advised to get a three-month supply of their prescribed medications. But how can people who are on stimulant ADHD medications, which are Schedule 2 controlled substances, how can they get a three-month supply?

Bob Cattoi:  So, our public policy committee has been looking into this for the last two months. There are no national restrictions on three-month prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs. But according to the Pharmacist's Manual, that's one of the things you might want to point out to your local pharmacist—prescriber may issue multiple prescriptions, authorizing a patient to receive up to a 90-day supply of most ADHD medications, which are often Schedule 2 controlled substances. There are some caveats to this. Every prescription must be written separately for each 30-day supply, and the prescriber must indicate the earliest date the pharmacy can fill each of these prescriptions. This information is on our CHADD website, and I would encourage you to come to our website and read more about this.

Susan Buningh:  Can you talk a bit about why people should join CHADD, especially at this time?

Bob Cattoi:  So, I think it's important for all of us to connect with our community. We're obviously all in this together. We want everyone to realize you're not alone. There's a lot more information on the CHADD website that's not upfront and available to the public. There's a lot of information behind the log-in, which has past information from our Attention magazine. And it has a great deal of information on our parent-to-parent and teacher-to-teacher programs and upcoming adult-to-adult programs. You get discounted pricing on all those programs. It's nice to get the Attention magazine. It has a great deal of information in it. Please know that our Editorial Advisory Board continues to work to make sure that that information is up-to-date and relevant to what's going on in the world right now.

Also, I think the other important feature is you do get a discount card for dining, which will be opening up at some point, obviously shopping, but prescription drugs as well. But I think most importantly, is that we're looking at a community. We're all in this together, and we're all working together with the strength and unity to move forward throughout this pandemic. Know that our public policy group is working carefully and watching what's going on at the Department of Education and with the federal negotiations right now for helping those going through this pandemic. Our professional advisory boards are working very carefully to make sure we have the best information available.

And really, our conference committee is still moving forward, planning our conference for November, assuming that will be taking place. But we are planning our conference in Dallas, which will be a great gathering for all of those who need support and looking for additional information on ADHD. And if you remember, you get a discount to that conference. So, I would strongly recommend everyone come to the CHADD website. It'd be a great time to become a member and work together with all of us throughout this pandemic period.

Susan Buningh:  Is there anything else you'd like to share with our listeners?

Bob Cattoi:  I think one of the most important things we can remember throughout all this is that we're all in this together, and that those with children at home, you're worried about their academic skills, but really most importantly is looking at over your own mental health and the mental health of your children, and know that when all this is over with, they'll remember how they felt during this time, much more than the academic skill you're trying to get them to achieve during this time. So please keep that in mind, that, take care of yourself, take care of your family during this time, and know that CHADD is here available to help any way we can.

Susan Buningh:  Thank you, Bob. Thank you very much.

Bob Cattoi:  Thank you for your time, Susan.

Susan Buningh:  In this time of crisis, we know everyone in our community is facing tremendous pressures and CHADD and it's National Resource Center on ADHD are here to help. We are committed to continuing to be the resource on which you can rely. For more information, visit our website at CHADD.org, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.