Since 2004, October has been slated for ADHD Awareness Month. Efforts to recognize ADHDers was initiated by collaborative effort between CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), ACO (ADHD Coaches Organization), and ADDitude Magazine.
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a common childhood neurodevelopmental condition which impacts the way the brain grows and develops over the lifespan. Individuals who receive a diagnosis of ADHD in childhood may have exhibited certain characteristics, such as:
There are three types of ADHD that can present in children and adults. Given that the signs of ADHD can change as a person ages, the outward presentation of ADHD can also change.
These and other examples of stigmatization can often lead to internalization of negative thoughts and feelings for ADHDers, or even denial. Overcoming stigmatization may involve self-advocacy on behalf of ADHDers (e.g., disclosing a diagnosis, emphasizing its validity and impact on functioning); acknowledgement of the unique strengths that come with ADHD (e.g., creativity and driven focus on projects or assignments); but also increased ownership on non-ADHDers to do their research and separate stereotypes from reality.
Thus, ADHD Awareness Month! This time of year serves the purpose of educating others about ADHD to dispel inaccurate information with facts and to elevate the voices of those who are living with ADHD.
So, how do you start the process of better understanding ADHD?
Devon Brunson, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS
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