The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and the AD/HD Society of the Philippines lead the nation in the observance of 2015 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Week celebration on October 18 to 24.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “ADHD: A Hidden Disability (Alamin, Unawain, Tanggapin at Mahalin)” which aims to raise awareness on the neurobiological disorder which remains highly misunderstood.

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.

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 are affected by neuro-biological disorder. This does not count about 4 to 5 percent of the general population of adults.

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.

To officially start the celebration, a launching program will be conducted on October 19, at the Atrium, SM City Fairview in Quezon City. The member-agencies of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ADHD Week celebration will be attending together with children with ADHD and their parents, advocates, and representatives from the 17 local governments units in National Capital Region. Members of the NWC include national government agencies, LGUs, non-government organizations, medical professional associations,

The NWC spearheads the observance of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Awareness Week, as well as the nationwide campaign to strengthen the advocacy on ADHD.

As part of the kick-off program, an art exhibit of the works of children with ADHD in San Juan City will also be displayed in SM City Fairview.

After the kick-off, a two-day Scientific Congress will be held on October 20 and 21 at the auditorium of the Philippine Health Mental Association in East Avenue, Quezon City and at the Main Building Lobby of the Quezon City Hall, respectively. It will be attended by city health officers and social workers of LGUs in NCR, teachers, parents, caregivers, among others, 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.

On October 22 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, the “Seminar on Drug Abuse Prevention: Avoiding the Road to Addition” will be held at the Main Building Lobby of Quezon City Hall. Topics to be discussed in the seminar includes: (i) background on ADHD, (ii) medical effects of drugs, (iii) drug abuse prevention, (iv) treatment and rehabilitation, and (v) crime prevention tips. Based on a study report, the populations of persons with ADHD carry a 50 percent risk of taking illegal substance because they tend to self-medicate.

A regional conference dubbed as “Reach and Teach ADHD” will be held at the Biñan Elementary School in Biñan, Laguna on October 23 to allow teachers, parents, guidance counselors, among others to reach out and teach children on ADHD.

The culminating event will be hosted by the City Government of Mandaluyong on October 24, where the talents of persons with disabilities will be showcased in a cultural presentation. ###