Nation celebrates Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Awareness Week

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its attached agency, The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA), in partnership with the ADHD Society of the Philippines, will lead the nation in the annual observance of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Week on October 16 to 22.

The celebration is mandated under Presidential Proclamation No. 472 declaring the third week of October of every year as National ADHD Awareness Week.

"Turning Disability into This Ability" is this year's theme, which aims to intensify awareness campaign on the neuro-biological disorder which remains highly misunderstood.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo lauded the conduct of this celebration saying that it is one way to create awareness and understanding on this medical disorder.

"By understanding the disorder, we learn to provide genuine care to persons with ADHD at the same time become part of the support system to their families. We are also able to appreciate the capabilities of persons affected by this disorder," Sec. Taguiwalo added.

Proclamation 472 cited that ADHD is a hereditary neurological disorder which results in difficulty regulating attention. It impacts almost every aspect of daily living including learning, organizational skills, and time management. Multi-modal intervention approaches are available to manage the symptoms of ADHD.

NCDA pointed out that since there is no official statistical data in the country as to the number of people affected by ADHD, the government is relying on the prescribed international figures with 4 to 5 percent of the young population affected by neuro-biological disorder. This does not count about 4 to 5 percent of the general population of adults.

Proclamation 472 further stated that even with the condition, most persons with ADHD are found to have above-average intelligence and are capable of excelling in their own fields of interests. Understanding and identifying signs of ADHD early on and getting interventions and support in place can make a big difference in the child's success to have a normal life.

A Holy Mass will kick-off the celebration that will be held in the morning on October 16 at the Tondo Sports Complex in Manila. It will be followed by a short program to be graced by Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Another activity during the week-long event will be the Launching of ADHD Information Awareness Campaign on October 17 at the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Port Area, Manila. It will be attended by city health officers and social workers of local government units in NCR, teachers, parents, caregivers to have a deeper knowledge and understanding about ADHD. Health professionals and experts will discuss ADHD, including the use of medications and the roles of parents, siblings, peers and therapists.

Likewise, on October 19, a Seminar on Drug Abuse and Crime Prevention will be held at the DPWH Office in Manila. Topics to be discussed include overview and the medical perspective of ADHD; effects of drugs; and, drug abuse prevention and crime prevention tips, among others.

On October 20, an Employment Talkshop on Persons with ADHD will be held at the Multi-Purpose Hall of San Juan City Hall, where resource speakers will discuss topics on laws protecting persons with disabilities and how to increase employability of persons with ADHD.

The event will be capped by a two-day National Conference on ADHD at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (DLS-CSB) in Manila onOctober 21-22. Foreign lecturers and local experts on ADHD led by Dr. Russell A. Barkley, clinical professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina and Dr. Cornelio G. Banaag, Jr. known as the "Father of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry" in the Philippines will head the list of distinguished speakers.

Other medical experts will delve on their own fields of expertise.

For the past sixteen years, the ADHD Society of the Philippines has been at the forefront in raising awareness on this neurological disorder through the conduct of seminars, training workshops and media campaigns. Filipinos are more aware that early identification and treatment of the disorder will increase the likelihood of positive long-term outcomes.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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