LGUs urged to support ADHD Week

Fourteen-year-old “Leon” (not his real name) seems to be different from other high school students in Manila. He  comes to school often  late and has difficulty keeping his things in order. While classes are ongoing, he talks excessively and frequently interrupts his other classmates during recitations. In one of their PTA meetings, his homeroom adviser disclosed to his parents that “Leon” has poor time management skills as he lags behind his classmates in submission of outputs or during quizzes. Further, he often loses his things and has difficulty staying still.

“Leon” is just one of the 1,046,314 people in the Philippines who are diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, a common, chronic neuro-biological disorder, affecting 3-4 percent of the country’s population.

The unmitigated condition of a patient suffering from ADHD is caused by neglect and may lead to the incidence of out-of-school youths and even child abuse. Studies show that 70 percent of juvenile offenders and 40 percent of adults in correctional facilities were found to have ADHD.

The public is not fully informed that there is treatment available. Misconceptions and social stigma hinders patients’ access to effective medication and increases other complications, such as conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and anti-social disorder.

To generate greater public awareness on ADHD, the Department of the Interior and Local Government encourages all local government units to support the observance of ADHD Awareness Week on the third week of October as stipulated under Presidential Proclamation No. 472.

In his directive to local chief executives, DILG Secretary Mel Senen Sarmiento enjoined them to conduct significant activities related to this year’s theme, “ADHD: A Hidden Disability; Alamin, Unawain, Tanggapin at Mahalin,” and inform the public by hanging streamers and calendar of events in conspicuous places.

“Let us use this opportunity to educate the public about ADHD and its treatments, thereby slowly eradicating the stigma associated with it,” Sarmiento said. 

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