Coping With ADD. p.2
For two hours, the parents at the table discuss spouses in denial, teachers who don't understand ADD, and schools that fight special accommodations. There is talk of a new, longer-acting form of Ritalin, of which county school system provides the best special education, and of which local pediatricians are most skilled at diagnosing and treating ADD. For every person with a problem, there is another who offers a story of her own for comfort, a suggested solution, or a smart place to turn for help. For parents like these, CHADD is proof that they are not alone.
Started in 1987 by a group of parents of children with ADD in Florida, CHADD has grown to a 22,000-member organization with 225 chapters in 37 states. The group has become a major voice lobbying for the rights of those with ADD. CHADD succeeded, for example, in having the disorder included in the 1997 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, which protects the educational rights of children with special needs. Because of this, thousands of children with ADD get special education through public schools.
A SOURCE OF ADVICE
When parents are isolated, they don't realize that other parents are going through the same thing," says Loretta Buckner of Charlotte, NC, adoptive mother of two boys, 11 and 6, both of whom have ADHD. Buckner's older son, Nathan, was diagnosed at 5. Here was a child who broke his arm while climbing into his brother's crib, who got kicked out of one kindergarten on his third day, and who was put on probation at his next school for hanging out a second-story window. A recently released study by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, found that children with ADHD have higher rates of injury than their peers. But Buckner remembers feeling as if only her child had these kinds of problems.
She found solace and advice in the voice of a fellow ADHD parent who manned the phones for the local CHADD chapter. "It was just nice to have someone on the other end of the line who had been there and experienced what I was going through," she says. That's why Buckner tries to keep support groups in her area running, even when attendance is slim.