VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – All this week, we’re marking ADHD Awareness Week with a series of interviews with experts in the condition, people who help support and coach those with it, and people who have ADHD themselves.
We spoke with Carol Wally, a recently retired public health nurse who’s one of the two co-coordinators of CHADD Vancouver.
What is CHADD?
The Vancouver chapter of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder provides information and support. We have information and support meetings on a monthly basis for anyone who is interested, mostly parents and adults that have ADHD or parents with children who have ADHD. We also provide an adult ADD support group. We also have a telephone line and email where we respond to questions that people have in the community.
What are some of the myths about ADHD?
I think one of the common ones for many years was that is wasn’t a real medical disorder, that it was more just activity or a child wasn’t managed well by his parent or ate too much sugar or had red dye. But really there’s overwhelming scientific evidence that really all medical associations and government authorities recognize ADHD as a real disorder.
Did you recieve special ADHD training when you were a nurse?
No, and I think there’s not a lot of training for people who work with ADHD. One of the colleges used to have a course on ADHD. But I do believe it’s changing as the myths are dispelled and more people are aware of it and actually believe it’s a real condition. And many people know somebody who has ADHD, or knows someone with a child with ADHD or thinks somebody has ADHD so I think just the awareness of it is really helping the education as well.
What kind of advice or coaching does CHADD provide?
We really encourage parents to understand what ADHD is, that it’s a neurobiological condition. There’s information now about the functioning of the brain and learning from mistakes. There’s more and more evidence to explain it to parents. Education is really important so parents understand what it is. It’s not the child misbehaving just to bug you, it’s not something that’s being done consciously for children with ADHD – it’s very difficult. We have support meetings where they come and share with each other. That is wonderful to have parents share their frustrations and what works with each other.
What is the CHADD phone line?