Be an ADHD Myth Buster

(Thanks to ADDitude Magazine for these ideas.)

ADHD is a medical disorder, affecting more than 15 million Americans, with symptoms—distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity—that seriously interfere with the ability to function. But children and adults with ADHD can do well, even excel, when they receive help and support. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of ADHD naysayers out there. That’s why we suggest you become an activist. You can start by sharing your own ADHD story. Then employ the seven strategies outlined here to broadcast the “ADHD-is-real” message to a wide audience. Make copies of this list to share with fellow ADHD advocates. Here’s to ADHD advocacy!

  1. Be a myth-buster.

    Download and print 7 Myths about ADHD and the 2010 ADHD Awareness Poster [new poster coming soon!] and hand them out to teachers, friends, and relatives. Leave copies at local libraries, doctors’ offices, and schools.

  2. Cultivate news coverage.

    Contact your local newspaper or TV station. Tell the editors or producers about National ADHD Awareness Week, and urge them to prepare related stories—about high-achieving local people with ADHD, about the medical aspects of ADHD, about a teacher you think has been especially helpful. Write a letter to the editor of the newspaper, or submit an op-ed piece, using the information in 7 Myths about ADHD.

  3. Enlighten via email.

    Remind everyone that ADHD is real by appending a mention of ADHD or National ADHD Awareness Week to your e-mail signature. Include an important fact, such as, “The American Psychiatric Society recognized ADHD as a medical disorder in 1980,” or, “3 to 5 percent of school-age children have ADHD.”

  4. Request services.

    Contact your child’s teachers, and explain how ADHD affects your child. Make a game plan for how you can work together. (Be sure to send a thank-you note after the meeting.)

  5. Lobby the library.

    Contact the head librarian of your local library (or your child’s school library), and suggest that the library prominently display ADHD books and resources on National ADHD Awareness Week—or all September long. If they don’t have many books on ADHD, donate a few. Hand them copies of the 7 Myths about ADHD and the 2010 ADHD Awareness Poster to add to their display.

  6. Pump the P.T.A.

    Work with the parent-teacher organization at your child’s school to create an ADHD education program for students, teachers, and administrators. Invite an ADHD specialist to speak or conduct a workshop. Hand out copies of 7 Myths about ADHD to everyone at the event.

  7. Buy a subscription.

    Give ADDitude Magazine or Attention Magazine (comes with your membership in CHADD) to your child’s teacher or pediatrician, and to your library.